Capitol Basement is a group of bonded childhood friends evolving into one of Seattle’s most popular young bands. Influenced by the Seattle scene of the 90's, rock, blues, jazz, and classical music, Capitol Basement has developed a unique sound through original compositions.
"A super, young band" - Chris Travis- 107.7 The End, Young and the Restless Show, Seattle
"They'll give you a good dose of bluesy, deep rock tinged with some grunge." - Megan Seling, all ages music columnist for The Stranger, Seattle's free newspaper covering news, politics, music, film, and arts
“They are a young band with old talent.” - Steve Smith, owner of Seattle Drum Schools
“Even without taking their age into consideration, they're great. With their age, they're phenomenal.”-Bob Rivers -102.5 KZOK, The Bob Rivers' Show, Seattle
Whether receiving a standing ovation at the Moore Theatre, winning a battle of the bands at The Vera Project or The Experience Music Project, this cast of 17-18 year olds intrigues people of all generations. Capitol Basement, a band with a musical soul and a social conscience demonstrates maturity, cohesiveness, artistic passion and dedication to their instruments.
Recent Venues Include:
Seattle Folklife Festival, Fremont Fair, Redmond Firehouse, Georgetwon Music Fest, Vera Project, EMP Sky Church, EMP Science Ficiton Museum, Moore Theatre, El Corazon, Studio Seven, Catwalk Club, Peace Concert Series at Gas Works Park, Localpalooza, Jules Mae’s, SS Marie Antionette, and Seattle Drum School Lab
Demo of the Week, May 27th, 2007- 107.7 The End
New CD, In the Park, released May 11th, 2007!!!!
Seattle Magazine - What's Hot: Name-droppping young Seattle indie rockers Capitol Basment- Pg. 32
*Track of the Day on Dec 6, 2006 in Indie Rock
*Best Male Vocals in Indie Rock, week of Dec 4, 2006
*Best Guitars in Indie Rock, week of Dec 11, 2006
107.7 The End- Played Live and Local Show 10/20/06
KZOK- Song Writing Contest Semi-Finalists 10/06
KZOK- Played Fridays Live Show- 3/26/06
Moore Music @ the Moore Theatre - April 1, 2006
EMP Sound OFF! Finalists - Feb 25, 2006
102.5 FM - Popular Vote - Song Writing Contest 10/05
Studio Seven Sugarlight Productions - Won Battle of the Bands 12/09/05
Vera Project - Won Underage Noise Battle of the Bands 3/05
History of Capitol Basement:
Members of Capitol Basement united through the Experience Arts Camps sponsored by Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project. Many were already childhood friends but through EAC, they had the opportunity to play music collaboratively with talented teachers and mentors.
Their love of music and desire to improve as a group led them to The Seattle Drum School, known for it’s support of young aspiring bands. Under the instruction of Steve Smith (owner of The Seattle Drum Schools, drummer for Billy Moon) Capitol Basement grew as a more cohesive entity…musically and personally.
In October 2003, band members Kelvin Bates, Brian Chinn, Nick Demmert, Evan Easthope and Kessiah Gordon founded Capitol Basement. The name derived from the many hours spent practicing in drummer, Kessiah Gordon’s basement located on Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Although the band is making its mark above ground their roots below ground are a happy memory of where they first began playing music.
Philanthropy and Community Service:
Capitol Basement, in cooperation with Steve Smith, owner of the Seattle Drum School, organized and raised $3000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina. All proceeds were donated to Habitat for Humanity’s Project Home Delivery and Musician’s Village.
After their successful Katrina Benefit they have participated in many community service concerts including Rock School-UK, The United Way, Art With Heart, Mercer Island half marathon for colon cancer awareness and Redmond Firehouse cancer benefit. Capitol Basement performed at Seattle's 2006 Fremont Fair dedicated to overcoming poverty, prejudice and neglect. Recently, vocalist, Evan Easthope cut and donated 11 inches of his hair to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization providing hair prosthetics for children with long-term medical hair loss.
Kelvin Bates……… Keyboard
Brian Chinn……… Lead Guitar
Nick Demmert…… Bass Guitar
Evan Easthope…… Vocals, Rhythm Guitar and Harmonica
Kessiah Gordon….. Drums, Backup Vocals
In The Park - Available through iTues and other online music retailers
Ging Gong EP - Available through iTues and other online music retailers
Can request at 102.5 KZOK, 107.7 The End, 90.3 KEXP
Podcasts on Insomnia Radio & Seattle and Beyond
Web page: www.capitolbasement.net
Pure Volume: www.purevolume.com/capitolbasement
Evan at Showbox: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrbTHlv70CU
New Music: Capitol Basement - In The Park
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By Justine-Marie July 21st, 2007 in Albums Capitol Basement’s long awaited first full-length alb...By Justine-Marie
July 21st, 2007 in Albums
Capitol Basement’s long awaited first full-length album, “In The Park,” is both a continuation of the sound they have carved for themselves, as well as a progression in style since their last release, the “Ging Gong” EP. The 5-piece group put out a full-fleshed, ten track album in May to a crowd of family, friends, and fans (the three f’s of filling a venue, proportioned properly for a great live experience).
They’re still clearly recognizable as a Seattle band: not by sounding like everyone else, but by drawing influence from distinctly Seattle views of rock. This band’s members grew up listening to Pearl Jam and the Presidents; seeing live music; and in general, taking rock seriously. However, exhilaratingly abrupt shifts a la Arcade Fire, keyboard complexity drawing from classical and jazz influence, and moments of discord pulled from more punk and hardcore roots all show the bands pull from a large library of modern music.
And Capitol Basement’s own sounds are strengthening. Vocalist Evan Easthope is starting to sound more like himself in his singing. When the “Ging Gong” EP was released, people were shocked to hear a voice so deep and mature coming from someone so young, and he may have played that up a little bit. Now, a bit older, his voice is still deep, mature, and impressive, but it sounds more uniquely like he, himself - which makes for more solid vocals. Also continued are the anthem-like segments with heavy keyboard, guitar, and steady drumbeats (remember the intro to “Quickdraw” from the EP?). In “In The Park,” “Tyrannosaurus” often has me imagining lights, smoke, and arena rock: it’s epic, especially live.
But as a whole, the album shows variety between tracks for a solid compilation. “Redwing” and “Nightropes” are nothing short of fast, rock-your-socks-off pieces, “It” is an emotional but rocking piece, “August 10th” a bit slower, and of course, there’s those anthem-like bits that I think characterize Capitol Basement’s releases.
The album is available on iTunes and through CDBaby.
Gifted, Young Band Climbs Ladder to Fame
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Gifted, Young Band Climbs the Ladder to Fame By Cathy Herholdt 01/10/2006 When Evan Easthope s...Gifted, Young Band Climbs the Ladder to Fame
By Cathy Herholdt 01/10/2006
When Evan Easthope steps up to the microphone and starts to sing, ears perk up and people are intrigued at the professional sound of his deep croons. As the lead singer of Capitol Basement, a Seattle-based rock band, Easthope has begun to draw much attention with his voice, thanks in part to puberty.
Easthope, 16, didn't sound this way two years ago when the band started getting serious about their music. As his voice matured and developed the local music world took notice.
But with any band, it takes more than a great voice to make it in this competitive industry. Luckily, Easthope has an equally talented band backing him up. Guitar afficionados respond with equal enthusiasm to the tight licks of lead guitarist and high school freshman Brian Chinn; heads turn at the natural rhythm drummer Kessiah Gordon, 16, offers; Nick Demmert, 15, bellows a bold sound from his bass guitar; and Kelvin Bates, 15, incorporates his intellectual genius into his keyboard playing.
Several of the band members have been friends since Kindergarten. The others met at a summer camp through Experience Music Project. They have played together for several years, but started practicing seriously in grade. Eventually they found the Seattle Drum School whose instructors agreed to work with them as a band.
Their name came from many practice sessions in Kessiah's Capitol Hill basement.
Lots of bands get their start in Seattle, but few face such obstacles as preparing for final exams while rehearsing for a show, or having to miss a basketball game in order to practice with the band. Or, relying on their parents to drive them to a gig.
But they seem to manage the hectic life of high schoolers and musicians with professionalism and dedication.
Their parents, a wise and supportive group themselves, waver between hovering protectively over their teens and stepping back and watching in amazement as years of investment in music lessons, camps and equipment begin to pay off. The band is receiving more and more local attention, including winning every Battle of the Bands they've entered.
With classic rock influences like Neil Young, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen and Eric Clapton, combined with inspiration from local '90s groups, Capitol Basement has developed their own style that incorporates rock, blues, alternative and indie sounds into something that is unconventional and satisfying.
Their songs, written primarily by Easthope with contributions by each band member, appeal to their peers as well as what they lightheartedly refer to as "old people," like those who gave them a standing ovation after their performance last month at the KZOK Twisted Christmas Show at the Moore Theater.
"At first, their music was real different for me," admits Brian Chinn's mom, Janet. "But I've come to respect their music, and the more I listen to it, the more I love it."
"I always have Capitol Basement in my CD player," agrees Brenda Demmert, Nick's mom.
These aren't typical proud moms either. All of the parents have offered support and made sacrifices toward the success of the band. From dads hauling equipment to moms ordering T-shirts for shows and offering their basement space for practices, this tight-knit group of parents deserves some credit for the forward movement of the band.
"The only reason we're here today is because of our parents," said Kessiah Gordon. "They love the music as much as we do."
Their fan base has expanded rapidly following their performance in front of nearly 2,000 people at the Moore Theater, as well as after earning a spot on KZOK's 2005 Seattle Bleepin' Song Contest CD. They nearly won the contest. Their song "Sit and Stay" was the top pick from over 1,000 entries, but they had to give up their title after attorneys for the radio station pointed out the winners had to be 18 years old.
"They got the most votes," said DJ Bob Rivers who hosted the band in the studio recently and invited them to play at the Christmas party.
"I had the very unpleasant task of calling Evan's mom and dad," recalls Rivers. "But they were such quality people. They handled it really well."
Rivers was slightly stunned at the youthful appearance of band members when they showed up at the radio station, but was equally surprised by their professional sound. Their songs stood out in the long list of contest submissions.
"I thought, they must be a derivative of another Seattle band. They probably already have a manager, etc.," he said.
Rivers first heard Evan Easthope's voice live at Silver Platters in Southcenter, where several artists had been invited to play.
"It was just him and his acoustic guitar. He's got this combination grunge and 'aw shucks' look to him. He was a little shy..." said Rivers. "So he starts playing and I went, 'That voice!' It was raw and it had that feel ... he was belting out the same kind of energy that Kurt Cobain would.
"He sang every bit as good as the recording," said Rivers confidently, who sees a bright future for bands like Capitol Basement.
"His age and his generation have a chance to take Seattle's legacy. Pearl Jam is to them what the Beatles are to us."
While Rivers, a nationally known radio veteran of over 20 years, gives Easthope's voice much praise, he also credits the talent of the band members for their captivating sound.
"The arrangement of the song is equally important. This collection of friends have a good vibe, a great sound," he said. "Even without taking their age into consideration, they're great. With their age, they're phenomenal. And, they're great people too.
"Whether this is a great experience they have at this phase of life, or they go on to be professionals - and they have everything they need to do that - nothing can take away from this experience," Rivers said.
That sentiment was echoed by Brenda Demmert, who, along with the other parents, has weighed the cost and benefits of potential stardom. "It's great to talk about it and dream about it, but if it doesn't work out, what a great ride for high school," she said.
Among the parents' concerns are people out there who might try to take advantage of their kids. But not many bands have the advantage of their parents watching over them every step of the climb to fame.
"It's a very hard life," said Kelvin Bates' mom Susan Hamilton of the life of a rock star. "There's no sense of stability, no sense of home. There's the rush, but you pay for it in other ways."
After meeting Evan's mom, Margaret Easthope, whom he calls a "stage mom with savvy," Bob Rivers has this advice for her son, "Do what she tells you."
But fame is not necessarily the ultimate goal of the band. While Chinn has his sights set on a major record deal and sold out shows, Easthope sums up the band's aim, "To make music that's appreciated as socially aware and deep, and appreciated by a wide audience.
"And to make a living at it," he added.
College looms on the horizon for this group of scholarly-minded youth. While all are dedicated to school and numerous extra curricular activities and would like to attend college right after high school, they agree some chances only come along once in a lifetime.
"College will wait," said Easthope. "Creative energy, our camaraderie, won't. If we've got something good, I think we should do it as long as we can."
The band was recently chosen as one of nine out of 100 applicants to compete in the EMP Sound Off beginning on Feb. 4. The winner will earn a chance to play at Bumbershoot.
To hear a sample of Capitol Basement's music, visit www.capitolbasement.netor www.myspace.com/capitolbasement.
Capitol Basement at a glance
Kelvin Bates (Lakeside School), Keyboard
Brian Chinn (Edmonds-Woodway), Lead Guitar
Nick Demmert (University Prep), Bass
Evan Easthope (Bush School), Vocals, Guitar
Kessiah Gordon (Bush School), Drums
Ging Gong, dedicated to the 21-year-old cat who was the mascot of the Seattle Drum School
Capitol Basement wins popular vote
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Monday, October 17, 2005 Capitol Basement wins the Write a Bleepin' Song Contest We have a winn...Monday, October 17, 2005
Capitol Basement wins the Write a Bleepin' Song Contest
We have a winner in the 2005 "Write a Bleepin' Song Contest!" Capitol Basement wins an exclusive recording contract with "OK Records" and at least 1000 singles placed in Silver Platters stores around the Puget Sound and online!
Silver Platters has the largest music selection in the Northwest and a music savvy staff to help you find the tunes you keep humming.
Capitol Basement also gets a $500 gift certificate to Guitarville, featuring new/used guitars, amps and effects. Run for musicians by musicians!
"A unified force since 2003, Capitol Basement has evolved into one of Seattle’s most popular youth bands. Influenced by the Seattle sound of the 90's, rock, blues, jazz, and classical music, Capitol Basement has developed their own unique sound. They are a young band with old talent." -Steve Smith, Seattle Drum School.
Ranging from 15 to 16 years of age, Capitol Basement represents a diverse group of musicians who intrigue people from all generations. Capitol Basement, a band with a musical soul and a social conscience is proud to have raised approximately $3,000 for Habitat Humanity’s Katrina Project building low income housing for those devastated by the hurricanes in costal Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
The Pulse: What's Hot and What's Not This Month in the Emerald City
What's Hot: Name-droppping young Seattle indie rockers Capitol Basment
SOund OFF! Gives Young Bands a Chance to Take Off
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Friday, February 3, 2006 SoundOff! gives young bands a chance to take off as the semifinals begin...Friday, February 3, 2006
SoundOff! gives young bands a chance to take off as the semifinals begin
By GENE STOUT
P-I POP MUSIC CRITIC
Evan Easthope can't recall when he started getting serious about music. But he and his friends in Capitol Basement began jamming together in the fourth grade at an arts camp offered by the Experience Music Project.
WHAT: Battle of the bands competition (semifinals, round one)
WHEN: Saturday night at 8 (doors at 7)
WHERE: Level Three, Experience Music Project
TICKETS: $5 for EMP members, $7 for students and teachers and $10 for all others; 206-770-2702.
"Music was something that meant a lot to us early on," Easthope, 16, said this week.
Musicians are hoping their respective bands win this year's SoundOff! competition, an annual battle of the bands that brought initial exposure to a number of successful local bands, among them Schoolyard Heroes, Idiot Pilot and Mon Frere.
The competition offers a fascinating cross section of what young Northwest musicians are doing this year. EMP launched the competition five years ago to support the all-ages community.
The finals are Feb. 25 at EMP's Skychurch. The first-place winner will get a performance slot at Bumbershoot, a live on-air performance with John Richard of KEXP's "Audioasis," studio time and song production at Glenn Sound Studio and other prizes.
Janine Logsdon, EMP's education program manager, was struck by the diversity of this year's entrants.
"We're really excited about all the different things that bands are bringing to the table this year," she said. "We've got an electronic group, traditional rock, indie rock, singer-songwriter-kind-of-folkie-acoustic stuff, we've got a blues band, a hip-hop group."
Logsdon also noticed a dearth of "emo" bands this year.
"It's just interesting to see the influences and how that changes from year to year," she said. "Last year, we had a lot of bands that were emo, screamo, or whatever you call it. And we didn't see that this year. I think that the kids have grown past that."
More than 100 bands and performers applied this year, about the same as last year.
"We're really excited about how many kids came out and gave it a shot," Logsdon said.
All were evaluated by a group of 20 judges, who pared the list of entrants to nine semifinalists.
"We really don't have an agenda of what kind of music we're going to get or what kind of bill we want to fill out. We really listen to the music itself. And we're still judging on the same criteria that we've always used. We listen for song composition, technical ability and creativity and originality."
Each night of competition features a different group of five judges. For the first time, nearly a dozen judges will come from the ranks of past winners. Among them are Jonah Bergman of Schoolyard Heroes and Benny of the HollowPoints, as well as two members of Mon Frere (counting as one judge) and all five members of Gruff Mummies (also counting as one).
"Traditionally, it's all been adults who are judging," Logsdon said.
Another interesting development is that all but one of the semifinalists has a Web site. And several bands are using MySpace.com, an online meeting place and blog site aimed at youth.
"The whole phenomenon of MySpace has really taken off," Logsdon said.
"I think that's one of the reasons so many of the bands have Web sites this year. If you look at all the entries last year, maybe a third of them had Web sites. And this year, 90 percent of them do."
For a full schedule of performances, as well as sound clips and Web sites for each entrant, go to EMP's Web site, www.emplive.com
EMP Sound OFF! Semifinals
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Mercurial Sound Soundoff! Semifinals #1 2/4 @ The EMP By Justine-Marie This years EMP SoundO...Mercurial Sound
Soundoff! Semifinals #1 2/4 @ The EMP
This years EMP SoundOff! competition got things started of right with 3 fabulous bands rocking their socks off with hopes of making it to the February 25th’s finals and win some great prizes. The evening finished off declaring Capitol Basement as the winner of the night, but all three bands gave memorable performances.
Playing first that evening was Capitol Basement, a group of 15 and 16 year olds who certainly didn’t sound like that was the case. Their vocalist’s incredible voice gives the impression of a much older, much more weathered individual. This is not to say they lacked youthful zeal- they were every bit 15 and 16 and incredibly enthusiastic. A rare case for bands so young, they appeared comfortable on stage, rocking out, interacting with the audience, and transitioning easily between songs. Their music itself was fun, loud, and flowed well. By the end of the evening, it was no surprise they won the competition. Rather than using EMP as a wading pool to develop experience and some attention, Capitol Basement instead dive bombed in with a professional performance, an EP and tee shirts ready for sale, and a crowd of enthusiastic fans.
All three bands have a great future, and I’m looking forward to seeing Capitol Basement at the finals, as well as getting an interview with them in the near future!
Posted on February 17th, 2006 in Reviews
The Senate, The Neons, Capitol Basement 5/26 @ Folklife
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The Senate, The Neons, Capitol Basement 5/26 @ Folklife By Justine-Marie So I didn’t make it...The Senate, The Neons, Capitol Basement 5/26 @ Folklife
So I didn’t make it out to Sasquatch this year. I’m lame. But it wasn’t a music-free weekend: I still got to check out Northwest Folklife, and see some awesome local bands.
The first band I got to see was The Senate. Although they’ve played on campus at my school several times this year (including twice in the building I actually live in!), this was the first time I saw them perform - dang, have I missed out. Although they’re most commonly compared to Dave Matthews Band (not usually my cup of tea), the Senate definitely impressed me. Their audience interaction was fabulous -the “awesome song” was both hilarious and fun - and their instrumental skill was thrilling. All three sang, played instruments, and charmed the audience. And they have an upright bass! What more can I ask for?
Later on, after enjoying some of the other great activities at folklife, I had the chance to see another band I’ve been missing out on for a while, The Neons. Underage SoundOff! veterans, with pop-rock style and a solid following, they pulled a serious crowd out to the Folklife “Kid Stage” for their performance.
…which brings me to another thing. “Kid Stage”?! Please, please, Folklife, could you be any more condescending? The local bands that played that stage may have all been underage, but they’re serious local artists. They put out impressive albums, have strong fanbases, and write good music. “Kid Stage” sounds like you have a bunch of 10 year olds having a sing-a-long. And oh, wait, Smoosh have proven that even musicians of that age can make good indie rock.
Anyways, *grumble*, the Neons deserved better than that.
Next up after The Neons were Capitol Basement, and they pretty much ruined the impression of a “Kid Stage” when they sucked dry the electricity with their many sounds and heavy volume. They ended up having serious technical difficulties at the beginning of their performance, but after the sound technician managed to get the electricity delicately balanced just on the precipice of overload, the performance was solid. The chairs that were laid out on the lawn slowly moved their way back as a crowd grew in front of the stage - a dancing crowd, at that. The ban performed a lot of great dancy music, as well as some slower songs (including one new song!).
A mix of music and art, local and exotic, my Friday at Folklife was a wortwhile trip.
Posted on May 31st, 2006 in Reviews
Underage-The Georgetown Music Fest
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Happening this weekend, June 2 and 3, the GMF has pulled together more than 40 local acts and thrown...Happening this weekend, June 2 and 3, the GMF has pulled together more than 40 local acts and thrown 'em on four different stages (located along 12th Street between Airport Way South and South Bailey Street). And like any good music festival, there will be beer gardens, plenty of food options, and, of course a lineup worthy of baking in the sun for.
As for Sunday, Patient Patient (really tight, spacey indie rock) play the early slot at noon, and Capitol Basement hit the stage an hour later. They'll give you a good dose of the Seattle sound circa 1994—bluesy, deep rock tinged with some grunge. The Lonely Forest plays at 3:00 p.m. (I've gushed about them enough lately), and Idiot Pilot go on around 3:30 p.m. This is the first local show the electronic duo has played in quite some time, as they've been in L.A. recording their sophomore release with Ross Robinson (whose resumé includes Korn, the Cure, Glassjaw, and yes, Vanilla Ice). No release date has been announced for the new album, Wolves, but I'm sure it's safe to assume they'll be playing some new material during Sunday's set.
Capitol Basement sings all original material. Set times vary. At major venues Capitol Basemetn plays 30 - 60 minute sets. At private parties Capitol Basement plays several 20- 30minute sets.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.