Interview with Mike Ivey of Basehead
Conducted via email 11/08
Jerry Actually – When “Play With Toys” came out it was greeted with a decent amount of attention, but by the time “Not In Kansas Anymore” was released, Basehead seemed to have faded back into obscurity. Was I just not paying attention to the right channels, or did your audience pick up the ball and then drop it?
Mike Ivey – Actually, the fade back to obscurity was after “Not In Kansas Anymore,” and after we recorded the follow-up “faith” which didn’t get a major label release after parent label Imago’s BMG distribution deal ended. Prior to that Kansas sold about as much as Toys, we did got some press, and we toured opening for Stone Temple Pilots, Butthole Surfers & fIREHOSE, as well as on our own and in Europe. Therefore the fade to obscurity was a bit more gradual than described above.
Jerry Actually – In regard to the question above question, basehead came about a few years before the massive proliferation of the internet and the whole peer to peer file share phenomenon. Do you think if basehead would have been more in line with this that things would have unfolded differently?
Mike Ivey – Actually, things unfolded the way they needed to. “Play With Toys” came out right just as Soundscan was in the process of rolling out, and that multi-year run ended right before the internet really got going, so I feel fortunate to have experienced the record business prior to the traditional industry model falling apart. I’ve always been skeptical of the panacea of promises of the internet age, particularly in regards to how artists are supposed to be paid for work when everything is available for free. But in general, it’s a cost-effective means for marketing and communications in the 360 degree-DIY business model that the future seems to be calling for.