Basement Birds

This was my first interview with a celebrity, and while I wasn’t too nervous it was still an intimidating experience. Kav was a relaxed interviewee, which made my job a lot easier. This article serves as a time capsule, as many of the things mentioned in the article changed. Eskimo Joe did an acoustic tour in early 2011, although Kav’s electronic album has not yet come to pass. Basement Birds eventually released the album as a physical CD, and have toured longer than they expected. From this edition on any musicians we spoke to were asked a series of stock questions at the end on the interview. This worked well as its own separate box on the page.

When musicians get together to make a ‘supergroup’ album it often results in a self-indulgent mess. This is not the case with Basement Birds, a collaboration between Josh Pyke, Kevin Mitchell (or Bob Evans to some), respected Western Australian solo artist Steve Parkin and lead singer from Eskimo Joe, Kav Temperley.

Kav spoke to UniLife Magazine from the back porch of his Fremantle home where much of the Basement Birds material was recorded.

“I’ve got a little studio out the back of my house, that’s where we’ve been recording the Basement Birds album.”

“It’s not exactly professional but it feels good.”

The plan for collaboration had been in the works for a few years, and when asked how they managed to keep it a secret for so long Kav laughs, saying “maybe no one just really cared.”

“Our whole basis for this was just so we could get drunk and do a tour together.”

Moving away from his current project and onto what the future holds, Kav talks about a possible solo record which could go in an electronic direction.

“It would be really fun to work with a good keyboard programmer and do some Gorillaz style tunes.”

“I’ll wait till I get a bit older and uglier, and then I’ll do that.”

Eskimo Joe is still going strong with the band about to build their own studio in Fremantle where they can start working on their next album. As for whether the laidback tone of the Basement Birds will affect the style of Eskimo Joe, Kav doubts that this would interest the other members.

“This weekend I’m getting all of the Eskimo Joe guys to come down and we’re gonna do folk versions of all the Eskimo Joe songs.”

“If it goes well I’ll try and convince them to take it on the road.”

The Basement Birds album will be released fortnightly as three-song bundles on iTunes instead of a physical release. Kav sees this new way of releasing music as a “really good litmus test” and says that “if it goes well then we can utilise it in the future with our own bands.”

The first single Waiting For You is now available on iTunes, and is getting heavy rotation on Triple J. Basement Birds plan to tour later in the year.


Favourite Album “Depends what day of the week it is, how I’m feeling.” “If it all boils down to it on the desert island it would have to be the White Album.”

Most Embarrassing Album “Probably some really daggy early Sting.”

Kav Recommends Beach House, The Leisure Society, Fleet Foxes, The Chemists, The Acorn.