The Courier-Mail



It was pay­back time for Wally De Backer. His break­through hit (as Go­tye) Some­body That I Used to Know quickly be­came a karaoke sta­ple, with pages and pages of cov­ers on YouTube.

So when De Backer re­united with The Ba­sics band­mates Kris Schroeder and Tim Heath for a se­cret gig in Mel­bourne in Fe­bru­ary, they asked fans to call out songs to cover.

“They tried to wrong-foot us with Christina’s Ge­nie In a Bot­tle and some­one brought Free­dom 90 by Ge­orge Michael, which is a great song but has a huge amount of over­lapped vo­cals you can’t sing as one per­son,” he says, laugh­ing. “So that one fell in a heap.” De Backer will re­turn from his New York base later this year to tour The Ba­sics’ new al­bum The Age Of En­ti­tle­ment.

The trio’s first in six years, its songs are bal­anced be­tween head ( What­ever Hap­pened To the Work­ing Class, Time Poor) and heart ( A Cow­ard’s Prayer, To Think Of You).

Mu­si­cally, it ranges from garage rock and blues to pop and African flavours supplied by Schroeder — who has worked with the Red Cross in Kenya. De Backer calls it their “mu­si­cal soup”.

“The fans who have loved the band for many years have al­ways been open to what we have done,” he says.

“I guess I have this con­trast be­tween two projects (The Ba­sics and Go­tye), but it’s not like if we do what­ever we want that we have to worry about dis­ap­point­ing some mas­sive au­di­ence.”

Schroeder wrote the lion’s share of the al­bum “while I was away on (Go­tye) tour and Tim was do­ing dif­fer­ent stuff,” De Backer says.

Schroeder in­sists it isn’t a po­lit­i­cal man­i­festo.

“Yeah, we pulled the ti­tle from Joe Hockey’s in­fa­mous speech, but we’re def­i­nitely not draw­ing any sort of line to that,” he says. “It’s a clever turn-of­phrase, though — it can mean so many dif­fer­ent things to so many dif­fer­ent peo­ple.

“For us, it’s ... we’re get­ting a bit older, and our ex­pec­ta­tions of each other and our­selves has changed. We’re mak­ing mu­sic for our­selves — that’s our en­ti­tle­ment, I reckon.” HEAR THE AGE OF EN­TI­TLE­MENT (WA­TER­FRONT) OUT TO­MOR­ROW

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