The Courier-Mail

GOTYE GOES BACK TO BASICS

- KATHY McCABE NATIONAL MUSIC WRITER

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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