Basement What?
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Basement What?

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"More Than 'My Beer'"

Basement What?

By John DeGroff

Ever come across a band that surprises you? One of the great things about doing these articles is getting to hear bands and musicians I’m not familiar with. Upon first encountering the self-titled second release from Basement What?, my initial reaction was “...hey, pretty good band. Kind of alternative/roots rock stuff...”

But something clicked, and after repeated listenings, I discovered just how subtle these guys’ chops are. Of course, this particular CD contains the song Basement What? is getting national recognition for: “My Beer.” This tune is a frat party anthem if ever there was one. It’s the jazz influences and nice mix of instrumentation you’re not expecting that makes this band worth hearing.

Basement What? are the creation of Dave George (guitar, vocals) and Nick Young (guitar). The first incarnation of the band was realized in 1995 while Young and George were both students at Ball State University in Muncie. In the very beginning, the band started by jamming with friends in the basement of one of the dormitories on campus. According the band’s website (, it was in the basement of 1104 Wheeling Avenue, Muncie, that George suggested calling the band “Basement”. Someone responded with “...what?”, and the rest is, well, history, according to their site. For a time, some of the band’s early fans simply called them “The What?”

Their path followed familiar territory most bands cover. Local gigs in Muncie, with dates expanding their base to the rest of Indiana. From the beginning, though, the band was into writing their own material. Their first recording sessions in December of 1997 yielded the debut project U Listen To What?. Apparently, this album is now kind of hard to find.

In 2000, Basement What? signed with Thirtieth Century Records, an independent label out of Connecticut, and released their second project, the self titled Basement What?.

Since that time the band has undergone a few changes. The current lineup now consists of founding members George and Young, with Pete Jacobs on bass and Lou Grant on drums.

“The current line-up of Basement What? has only been in existence since 2003,” said bassist Jacobs. “Actually, our first gig together was in December of 2002. This December, we will have had this lineup for two years.

“Lou and I played in another band [the Shelly Dixon Band] from this area for about three years. The way we actually met was that in that other band we were looking for a guitar player. We auditioned Nick Young to be in that band with us. The reason Nick even auditioned in the first place was because Basement What? didn’t have a rhythm section. In the process, Nick thought ‘...maybe these guys would want to be in two bands.’ Nick approached Lou and I about joining Basement What? in addition to the band we were already in. We were a little hesitant at first, but we went ahead and did it. The chemistry. when the four of us started playing together. was so incredible that Lou and I basically stuck with both bands for a short time, and when the other started to fizzle out we cut it loose and have been wholeheartedly pursuing Basement What? ever since.”

That was obviously an excellent choice on the part of Jacobs and Grant. They joined a band that is beginning to garner a lot of national attention. The aforementioned song, “My Beer,” has been included on compilation CDs put out by Billboard Magazine, Oasis CD Duplication and X102.3 in Fort Wayne (Extreme Essentials, Volume 4). The song was also featured during the annual Bob and Tom Radiothon Benefit last March.

Because of this, Basement What? has received press from well known music publications such as Billboard and Rolling Stone, and has been selected as opening act for bands such as SR-71, Shinedown, and Seven Mary Three. “My Beer” also landed in the Top 30 of the most downloaded songs on what was formerly Not bad for a song it took George and Young all of 20 minutes to write.

“It’s a song that’s fun to play, and people request it all the time,” said Jacobs. “Whenever we play it, people dance and go crazy.

“But then again, it’s so tongue in cheek, it’s like if that’s what we’ve become known for, then if that’s not what we do, it could be a problem. As a matter of fact, we have some fans who have been fans since the guys started the band back at Ball State who don’t like us to play ‘My Beer.’ They say it’s a dead horse, you’re beating it, and you guys are better than that.’ But it’s catchy, and people like it, so it’s hard not to play it.”

There’s no danger of Basement What? becoming a one-hit wonder though. The current self-titled project has enough nuance and texture to it to win Basement What? a whole new legion of fans. The tracks were recorded sporadically between spring and winter of 2000. The jazz-flavored material on several cuts is the work of producer Ed Collins, who also played drums and some bass parts. Matt Albro, - The Whatzup

"Keep Off The Grass Review"

What’s the 4-1-1?
Third independent release by the Fort Wayne, Indiana group.

College rock / rock / alternative / indie

The Good
“Anything Good” is predominately acoustic, but has shades of electric thrown in. The lyrics focus on a woman in her forties who unsuccessfully tries to recapture her youth. Dave George delivers a smooth and melodic vocal performance on “Everything.” That’s not to say that the rest of the band doesn’t shine, because they certainly set the sincere mood. “Stay ‘Till Tuesday” is full of passion and emotion, as well as some great guitar tones. Acoustic strumming and electric guitar licks take control of “Hold Your Breath.” “Clear the Air” has slightly heavier riffs than the songs that preceded it, but still manages to keep the comfortable vibe the band has set forth. “At Home” has one of the most memorable choruses on the album; definitely worth of a rock radio single.

The Bad
Nothing notable

The Verdict
Albeit quirky at times, Keep of the Grass is still an enjoyable college rock record. If you like Barenaked Ladies or Dave Matthews Band, then you’re sure to find some music that will appeal to you on this EP. For an independent release, the quality is top-notch.

Did You Know?
In 2004, Basement What? won first place at the Midwest Music Conference Battle of the Bands.

Rating: 4 out of 5

--George Dionne


"Keep off the Grass"

by Jason Hoffman

The heavily touring Basement What? have been busting themselves to get their name out. In addition to playing in five states they’ve also had songs on past Essentials albums and compilations by Rolling Stone and Billboard. With the release of their third album, Keep Off The Grass, they are positioned to expose even more states to their Midwestern college rock sound.

The eight songs on Keep Off The Grass are led off by “Anything Good,” a solid rocker that spotlights the clean vocals of Dave George as he sings lyrics such as “She reads magazines like Seventeen / Even though she’s thirty-five.” A sweet round bass, compliments of Pete Jacobs, and intense sounding distorted guitars from Nick Young round out this enjoyable indie song. “Spit Me Out” continues the impressive guitar sounds (half flange, half Brian May) and incredibly rich songwriting. In addition to impressive drumming by Lou Grant, this song has a bit of a Dave Matthews Band feel, albeit with a slightly more aggressive touch. “Stay ‘Til Tuesday” is a mid-tempo middle-of-the-road number with nice backing vocals, smoldering with passion in the vein of 3 Doors Down.

The band throws a twist with “Hold Your Breath” by adding a jangly rhythm and unconventional double vocals on the bridge, making for a seriously playful song. The band adds harmonica to “I Don’t Know,” a wailing song with a swaggering beat, a sizzling guitar solo and such pontificatious lyrics as “Sometimes in your life / You get a little surprise / Like some extra change / Or a punch in your eye.” The album ends appropriately with “At Home” that, while just under five minutes, tends to achieve a kind of epic feel with labored tempo, passionate vocals and buzzing guitars that soar overhead, being both inspiring and melancholy.

While Keep Off The Grass lacks the instant college appeal of songs like “My Beer,” there are plenty of quality songs to draw fans of modern heartland rock. By focusing on a smaller number of songs Basement What? and Neal Parnin of the late Ozone Studios have been able to fully develop the potential of each song, giving them the breath and life they deserve. For more information and sound samples check out

Copyright 2006 Ad Media Inc.
- Whatz Up Magazine

"Poised to leap into the National Scene!"

Poised to leap into the national scene, Indianapolis-based Basement What? began as a trio of Ball State students. Now, years later, they've had a track included on the Essentials 4 album and the 2001 Billboard College Band Sampler. More importantly, to me at least, is that they've added Shelly Dixon Band alumni Pete Jacobs on bass and Lou Grant on guitar, retaining vocalist Dave George and Nick Young on guitars. There's a drummer in there somewhere as well. What with the personnel changes and lack of bio sheet or proper schematics on their web site I'm not really sure. Perhaps everyone has been replaced by an animatronic garden gnome.

Regardless of who is playing what instruments, Basement What? are specialists in creating that modern rock vibe so popular with the kids these days. Their self-titled album contains 11 such tracks that follow in the footsteps of bands like Fuel, Verve Pipe and Blind Melon, hopping between quiet verses and louder, more energetic choruses that stick in your head for days. "Change" is a prime example, containing modern rock with a hint of groove that explodes in an upbeat, fun chorus. An intense bass and drum foundation form the nucleus of the singable "What To Do" and the zooming "Livin' Daydreams" is certain to get even the stodgiest bar patron onto the dance floor. "Sunshine Baby" has a mysterious Doors/late 60s reedy organ vibe that erupts into a volcanic chorus where the vocalist showcases his strong, emotive voice and magnetic charm.

"News For You" is a mid tempo anti-love song with solid drumming and an edgy bass line where the vocalist sings, "Someday you'll see me on the street with someone else." Similar sentiment is found in the upbeat and funky "You," as in "You make me feel like everything is falling down on me". "Moon" and "Wish I Didn't" are the mandatory ballads, classic in feel and format, where the musicians come together quite effectively to facilitate slow, close dancing.

But the song that has jump-started their career is the buzzy, intoxicating "My Beer," a wisely chosen song topic if ever there was one. Full-out contemporary rock meets the slight reggae feel in the verse that is explored more fully in the bridge while rock organs punctuate the song, adding to the already memorable guitar melody that seizes your brain from the first listen. A guaranteed hit on every college campus and in every club! Mark your calendar for the 18th to experience Basement What? (with Watershed) in person at Columbia Street West ... be sure to save me a NewCastle!

- Whatzup Magazine by Jason Hoffman

"Song Review of 'Sunshine Baby'"

This song is an excellent example of why I haven't stopped listening to music. It is also an example of why I'm going to be hunting down concert tickets to see this Indianapolis band. This is spectacular! It's hard to say what it really sounds like, just picture some Days of the New guitar coupled with the vibe of a good Verve Pipe song. This is energetic rock with a pop edge that will keep you listening. (And the vocals even have a taste of Elton John in places!)

First the music. This is amazingly adept rock, and it certainly feeds my mind as the lyrics say. The instruments all fit in to the whole scheme of things, and this song takes off, held up by the band as a whole.

Vocally, this is something I haven't heard in a long time. All I can say for sure is that this vocalist is set to be a star. He has this aura around his voice that picks it up and drops it on you like a bomb. And you won't be able to get this guy's sound out of your head. I sure can't.

Give this band a listen. Hell, check out their whole page, it's worth every minute of it. You won't regret it.
- Gods of by Jonathon Sanders

"Album Review Basement What?"

Anyone who misses the days when the likes of Blind Melon and Blues Traveler ruled the airwaves will love the melodic anthems on Basement What?’s self-titled CD. The hooks on this CD are seriously addictive, but it’s the other influences that Basement What? throw into the mix that make this album really worth checking out. The beats here are very fluid; you can dance to some these tracks (and I challenge anyone to dance to anything a rock band did in the mid-90s). There’s almost a 60s lounge pop vibe going on during the verses of “Sunshine Baby,” thanks to Nick Young’s slinky lead guitar line, and the opening track, “Change” (one of the album’s best) juxtaposes a jam-band shuffle with an explosive chorus. The finale, “My Beer” is straight uptempo pop/rock with a refreshing spin on the old “my-girl-let-me-down-and-now-I’m-drinkin” scenario. As I implied above, the band’s main influences seem to be the jam-bands of the 90s, but Basement What? have taken the popular side of that genre and made it totally their own. (Fester) Hear Basement What?’s album on - Fort Wayne Reader by Fester


'U Listen 2 What?" (Independent Release)
Essentials 4 (WXTW Compilation)
Alternative (Oasis Compilation)
College Music (Billboard Magazine Compilation)
Rock-n-Roots (Oasis Compilation)
Essentials 7 (WXTW Compilation)
'Basement What?' (30th Century Records)
"Keep off the Grass" DECEMBER 2005




Recent Accomplishments:
Choosen to showcase at:
*2005 Thirsty Melon Music Festival, Louisville, KY
*2005 Midwest Music Summit, Indianapolis, IN
*2005 Midpoint Music Festival, Cincinnati, OH
*1st Place at the 2004 Midwest Music Conference Battle of the Bands
*2005 Added to the community. A website that features up and coming unsigned artists from across the nation. At the website fans can download songs and ringtones.
*2004 Headlining Act for Ball State University Homecoming
*2005 Headling Act for IPFW Homecoming
*The band has shared the stage with several national touring artists including: Collective Soul, Shinedown, Seven Mary Three, SR-71, Saliva, Blue Oyster Cult, Watershed, The Why Store, Frickin' A, and many others...

It is no surprise to the rock fans in the Midwest that Basement What? is receiving recognition for their efforts. For the past few years, clubs, radio, and fans have been saying, "Basement What? are going to make their mark on the national music scene." That time may be coming very soon for the band based out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. In the past months, the band have found themselves in the pages of Rolling Stone and Billboard Magazine, and their songs 'My Beer,' 'Moon,' and 'Change' have been featured on compilation discs from Billboard and Oasis CD Duplication as well as regional radio station samplers - "...among the hottest college singles in the country." - Billboard Magazine. BW? have also been reviewed and featured on many sites on the world wide web - "...spectacular!...this is energetic rock with a pop edge that will keep you listening." - J. Sanders ( Select singles from their latest album are being heard on radiowaves from Chicago to New York - "...this is one of the best albums I've heard in years." – Program Director (WCCC, Hartford, CT). "Basement What?'s music is an awesome mix of rock and alternative...they have huge potential for the national market."-Kelly McKay (WZPL 99.5, Indianapolis, IN)

BW? has aslo been in the Top 30 on pop/rock category. Their song 'Change' listed one month as the most downloaded song on in 2002

BW? song 'Illusions' reached as high as #4 in the Alternative charts at

BW? Songs were heard on Northeastern Regional Television Program "Port Of Call" in 2006