Basht. are a five-piece Irish rock band based in Dublin. The band have four single releases to date as they continue to make waves in the Irish music scene. Formed in November 2021, they have managed to draw in large at Forbidden Fruit, Otherside and Eyries and Dublin City’s Culture Night within the space of a year.
I met the band on a crisp, cloudy and cold Monday night at Beardfire Recording & Rehearsal Studios in Harold’s Cross, a spot the band frequents regularly to fine tune their tracks and let their artistic visions materialise.
Bass guitarist Louis Christle describes being enamoured with music from a young age. He notes,“when I was young it was like ABBA, Queen, The Beatles, Daft Punk and catchy electronic-pop”. Christle reflects that he “had an ear for it from a young age”.
Similarly, guitarist Rossa Healy was drawn to music throughout his childhood. He adds, “people’s development and their idea of music is interesting”. “For me, my love and interest in music comes from my family who developed a sound they enjoyed”, he comments.
The name ‘Basht.’ was settled on after some deliberation between guitarist Sam Duffy and lead singer Jack Leavey. When asked about the band name, Leavey notes, “we were looking for a name for a band and we were thinking about unabashed”. “There is a bit more under the surface than what you originally think, which is what we try to do”.
Basht. are keen to avoid boxing themselves into a particular genre. When trying to describe the band’s style, Duffy explains, “it’s definitely rift driven rock and roll. It’s definitely not indie. It’s definitely not bedroom pop but, then again, it’s definitely something and another thing”.
Drummer Luke O’Neill touches on the ever-evolving nature of their music. He reflects, “it’s developing so much. If you look at the songs we’ve made and the songs we’ve scrapped, we’ve kinda dipped into every genre”.
Leavey wishes to steer away from the band putting all their eggs into one basket. He ponders, “we don’t want to pencil ourselves into one genre. We’re taking inspiration from different elements of the broad umbrella term that is rock”.
For the band to get to where they are today, Basht. have had to be ruthless with their creative process. Leavey muses,
“an important part of our development has been the ability to be cutthroat. We just adapt, change course, see if it doesn’t work and then go again”. That’s what keeps us exciting. You never see us play the same set twice.”
Another factor behind their success has been the band’s collective meticulousness and desire to constantly evolve. O’Neill notes that “when we listen back to tracks, this can be as nit-picky as turning the BPM down by two”. Leavey is keen for the group to develop sonically as they hone their craft and “carve away at this piece of marble to get the statue”.
The band’s creative process involves regular rehearsals and each of the five band members’ actively pursuing their own development – independently. Leavey stresses, “Everybody is pulling their own weight. When we leave here, we go home and then the next day, we might not be in the room but the five of us individually are working on our parts in the band”.
Though the band have gathered significant traction over the past couple of months, it hasn’t always been plain sailing. Duffy stresses that,
“Overall, self-management was probably the biggest struggle. At the end of the day, we’re musicians and we might not have the connections we want. That was internally our biggest struggle so far.”
Basht. have had to be relentless in pursuing every lead they can get. Leavey looks back on the past twelve months, noting that, “a lot of this game is knocking on people’s doors. I don’t know how many times I was asking for favours and getting people to do stuff. Eventually, people start coming to you and you can navigate it a bit more”.
Rossa Healy joined Basht. later than his four counterparts. From the offset, Healy knew that he wanted to be a part of the project.
“I was looking at a group of guys who I personally didn’t think existed in Dublin. These were the first people I met of a similar age that liked the same tunes and are one hundred percent committed to what they’re doing”.
“It’s based on a love for doing it rather than a monetary goal and I really identified with that.”
Perhaps one of the band’s most impressive feats to date is their music video for the single ‘RCKNRLLA’ which illuminates some of the grittier aspects of the rock and roll industry. Directed by Conor Ryan, the video chronicles a house party, night out and the events that subsequently unfold. Stylist Laura McKenna was instrumental to the music video’s marvel. McKenna ensured that each actor’s attire echoed the style of the video and the story Basht. were trying to convey.
The band are going on tour in February with gigs in London, Glasgow, and Brighton, to name a few, including a free gig in London on Valentine’s Day. They are currently working on finalising their first EP which will consist of four or five tracks. They played me some of their unreleased tracks which offer an exhilarating breath of fresh air into a genre that is oft saturated by formulaic tracks that mimic whatever sound is popular at a given moment in time.
Basht. are a phenomenal group of musicians who will likely be household names in years to come.