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Keep Your Friends Close

by The Basics

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    This CD version of Keep Your Friends Close comes in a beautiful cardboard softpak. The reverse cover and inside booklet contain extra artwork and all lyrics.

    Compact Discs sound better than digital files because of a complex techmologicle property known as "Direct Injection Compact Krystle", or DICK. You will enjoy The Basics' music on this medium for many loving nights to come.
    ships out within 60 days

      $25 AUD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    (taken from the 2009 Media Release)

    October 2008, and The Basics were travelling along just nicely, thank you for asking – halfway through recording the follow-up album to 2007’s enormously popular ‘Stand Out/Fit In’, they were feeling positive about the significant increase in production values and the more energetic capturing of their “live” sound.

    ‘Keep Your Friends Close’ – the title of said follow-up – was going to be a musical tour de force, cementing their reputation as one of the country’s most eclectic and intriguing bands, and sending them into that elusive stratosphere whereby professional satisfaction and inter-band relationships melded into a perfectly harmonious recipe for success. The future was theirs for the plucking. They were wild-eyed troubadours poised for action and the fates were finally smiling in their direction.

    Until, of course, everything went to shit. It just has to sometimes, doesn’t it?

    As personal upheaval and simmering emotional tumult began erupting from their home base in Melbourne, it was a strong commitment to – and certain amount of blind faith in – the unifying force of their band “The Basics” that saw Wally, Kris and Tim rally under the banner on a Government-sponsored tour of the Australian outback – there to entertain and mentor at remote High Schools and even remoter Indigenous Communities. It was a noble undertaking, reaching out to those lacking in adequate mental health care by promoting and raising awareness of the Lifeline telephone support service, and it might have strengthened them any other time – but trouble in their collective heads simply amplified the fact they were alone and without a clue. It was a time that should have been spent honing their record and consolidating as a unit. It was a time, instead, of isolation and facing the hostility of the elements; where The Basics’ carefully constructed musical and personal dynamic fell to pieces – and they decided to throw everything out and start again.

    Now many people have said that music can be a sort-of healing salve, a device for turning your insides out and making sense of the mess you’re in. Necessity – in this case for an outlet amidst physically and emotionally brutal touring conditions – was also the mother of invention, and in this instance the re-invention of ‘Keep Your Friends Close’.

    So much of the album was reconsidered while sitting aimlessly in 40+ degree heat – the vast emptiness and long hours of procrastination becoming part of the soundscape, as experiences gave birth to lyrics and sounds were borrowed from the aural inspiration of outback life. There was the curious prevalence of reggae and country music, the two-faced gift of rain, the trying corrugated roads, the occasional animal, the neverending horizon, the questions that lay just beneath the surface. The path of recording suddenly seemed far less clear than it had been a mere eight weeks ago, and as personal experiences drove individual members down dangerous and dark internal roads so too did the once rock-solid musical foundations of ‘Keep Your Friends Close’ splinter. Suddenly, a question mark hovered over its very existence.

    The desert tour may have felt like an endless struggle for mental survival, like a long-haul flight into hell, but then – as with all things – it was suddenly over. The band now had their songs, conceived via new and honest inspiration, ready to be completed. It seemed obvious that their next step was to return to the studio and pick up where they left off. Yet they fumbled around in the dark for some time, still in a half-malaise, doubting their own ability to continue not just as a band, but in the world of music altogether. In a fug of alcohol and wild nights they faced their demons and turned everything they’d previously known upside down.

    And somehow, through a taxing period of trial-and-error, they managed to find a way.

    Like Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds back in 1999, The Basics found themselves on a pilgrimage to the Old World to make sense of what they had seen and heard. It was at the iconic Abbey Road Studios that they were to fully realise the work they had begun; as it happened, it was antipodean Peter Cobbin who was to carry the vision through to completion, his extensive work on film scores (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings), classics (The Beatles, John Lennon) and contemporary material (Air, Panic! At The Disco, Björk), contributing a unique translation of the sounds into finished songs.

    The broodingly defiant first single ‘With This Ship’ thematically personifies just how fractured the world of The Basics became during the making of the record – a morass of broken down communication, heartbreak and bitterness in a time of creatively challenging circumstances. ‘Fear of Failure’ and ‘What Do You See In Me?’ voice insecurities personal and otherwise; ‘Trouble In His Head’ and ‘All Or Nothing’ delve into the struggle of mental desolation; ‘The Day Mairéad Goes Away’ and ‘The Executioner’ are relationship stories, one in denial and one with no turning back.

    On the flipside, ‘Keep The Door Open’ reaches out to the listener with the promise of an open heart, ‘Home Again’ is a bittersweet journey song for any with a longing heart, and ‘The No.1 Cause of Death Amongst Youth Today’ is the redemption song of the record.

    The Basics have emerged, eventually, a stronger and wiser unit. Bruised and battered, but unified in a musical vision and ready to search and destroy.

    ‘Keep Your Friends Close’ is a record of survival.

    The Basics know who their friends are now - they’ll be keeping them close.

    by Marieke Hardy and Charlie Sutherland
    ... more
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10.69 AUD  or more


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    So, here it is folks... over 10 years after its initial release, we'd like to make "Keep Your Friends Close" available on vinyl. It's a beautiful sounding record, and this is the treatment it always deserved - recorded at Melbourne's Soundpark and mixed by the legendary Peter Cobbin at Abbey Road Studios, it's some of our best work. Get behind it!

    Includes unlimited streaming of Keep Your Friends Close via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 60 days
    edition of 100 

      $55 AUD


Home Again 03:30


The Basics are Wally De Backer, Tim Heath and Kris Schroeder.

Additional musicians
David Bramble: Piano on Track 2,
Organ on Track 5, Rhodes on Track 8
Andrew Hehir: Percussion on Track 8
Dan Luscombe: Piano-Accordion on Track 2
Jake Mason: Saxophones on Track 8
François Tétaz: Additional Programming/Synths on Track 2

All songs written by Schroeder-De Backer, except Track 7 (Heath).

“The Basics” is a registered worldwide trademark of The Three Basics Pty. Ltd.
® 2009 ORiGiN Music Publishing/Control
© 2009 The Three Basics Pty. Ltd.



released September 25, 2009

Keep Your Friends Close

Produced by The Basics
Recording Engineer: Andrew Hehir (except Track 7: Kris Schroeder and Track 10: Peter Cobbin)
Mix Engineer: Peter Cobbin
Mastering Engineer: William Bowden
Additional Vocal Production: Peter Cobbin on Track 5 and 6
W.H. Rogers: ‘In The Lion’s Den’. Oil on canvas, c. 1870. © Compton Verney
English School: ‘A Pair of Pigs’ Oil on canvas, c.1850. © Compton Verney
Photography: Alain Bouvier
Design: Traffic Design Studios

Recorded at Soundpark, Northcote, Victoria,
Australia (except Track 7: Tim’s old house in
Brunswick, and Track 10: Abbey Road Studios).

Mixed at Abbey Road Studios, St. John’s Wood,
London, NW8 9AY, United Kingdom.


all rights reserved



The Basics Melbourne, Australia

The Basics ( /ˈbæzɪtʃ/ bazz-ich) are a three-piece band from Melbourne, Australia, formed by Wally De Backer and Kris Schroeder in 2002, later joined by Tim Heath.

They’re pretty silly but the music is rather good, especially on a Saturday night.
... more

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