Interview: Alex Basovskiy of Only Sibling

Only Sibling

A couple weeks ago I was able to chat with Alex Basovskiy (Vocalist/Guitarist) of a new band called Only Sibling. We talked about his band’s new album Get Well Soon, the struggles of promoting a new record during a pandemic, unique memories from the recording process of the LP, and what fans can expect from the band when they’re able to get back on the road. Get Well Soon will be available everywhere music is sold this Friday via Other People Records.

Thank you, Alex, for taking the time to talk with me today. Tell me a little bit about this project, Only Sibling, and what you think makes this band unique.

Thank you for having us. So we started around 2015 and originally it was myself. I play guitar and sing. Damien, who plays bass, and he sang. Then we had Alex on drums, also singing. And we played in another band that kind of fell apart. And we just decided we want to start something new instead of going along with that. So we started Only Sibling. We wrote a few songs, and found Jordan. We sent those songs out to a few labels per the suggestion of the guy we’re recording with the time, Adam Cichocki. And we got picked up by Other People Records and we kind of just been going with them since then. So we put out our EP, What Keeps You Up At Night, in 2016 and kind of just toured around on that for a while. And the whole time we were writing building up for the LP, which is what we’re getting ready to put out now.

So you already expanded upon a little bit about how this band came together. So where did the album title, Get Well Soon come from? And why did you decide to title your debut this?

We had kind of a lot of a lot of titles in our head at the time, but it kind of just summed up the whole vibe of the record as far as what we had going on in our personal lives. I guess we kind of felt defeated, but at the same time, a little bit hopeful. For me personally, at the time my grandpa was in the hospital and I was kind of worried about him, so that’s where just that phrase popped into my head and it ended up just kind of sticking.

Hopefully he’s doing okay and everything at this point? Your grandfather…

Yeah, he’s better now.

Okay, great. Good to hear.

Yeah.

What are some of your core musical influences that you bring both to this band and into your songwriting?

Everyone in the band kind of listens to lots of stuff. Everyone says the same exact thing, you know, “we all listen to different things…” but I guess we kind of try to blend newer influences and older stuff. We all like 90’s bands–Swervedriver, Sunny Day Real Estate, stuff like that. But also a lot of contemporary bands like Superhaven, Basement, all those all those bands are cool, too. So I guess it’s kind of just trying to bring those two worlds together.

Yeah, I kind of hear that somewhat in some of your sound too, kind of like the fuzzy guitars and the 90’s vibe that go on throughout. So it seems like it gets translated pretty well for this record.

Hell yeah, thank you.

Sure! So tell me a little bit about the promotional strategy for this new record, Get Well Soon. I can imagine it’s pretty hard to release a record during a pandemic…A little bit different than you were probably expecting when you were recording this record. But do you have any touring plans once the actual pandemic clears?

Yeah, definitely. I mean, like you said, we never expected this to happen. We had the date planned out way in advance and then this kind of all happened… We had three tours planned out that just kind of fell through. Luckily, we ended up finishing one tour right when everything started going on. So, you know, it could have been worse. But as of right now I have no idea when we’re gonna be able to tour, but we’re obviously all down to do that as soon as it’s feasible. But as far as what we’re doing now, we’re just kind of trying to stay active online. We have been trying to be kind of creative. We made photo books that we’re going to mail out to a few people that pre-ordered the record, just random things like that. We made postcards that the label was sending out to people that have bought from them before, so just kind of trying to keep people engaged for the time being.

That’s pretty cool. Seems like it’ll work out for you over pretty well, too. So are there any other unique merchandise designs in the works for this album or besides the photo books? Such as Vinyl, CD…

I think so, I’m not too sure, but I think we might also do tapes in the future just cause it’s kind of a fun little thing that’s cheap, but collectible. We’re doing the photo books and we also have mugs and stuff, just like small things like that. But generally we’ve just been trying to put a few things online. Hats and shirts, nothing too crazy.

Sounds about the right path to go for a debut record.

Yeah.

So let’s take a deeper dive into the new album. Who produced the record for you guys, and what stood out most looking back at the recording process?

So that was Corey Coffman. He plays in a band called Gleamer. We initially had no idea where we were gonna go with. We loved working with Adam but we just wanted to try something new. We had a few studios in mind that were local to us but Tom, who co-owns Other People Records, suggested Corey and it kind of just made a lot of sense. I had never even thought of working with him just because he’s based out of Colorado, which is super far from us. But at the same time, anyone that knows me will tell you I love that band. I love the vibe they have, their recordings sound so good. So when Tom brought that up we were totally on board with it. So we routed a few shows there and back. We had two weeks to record and we were all kind of nervous just because we didn’t really know him at the time, but he was super easy to work with. He got the vibe super well, and me and him ended up just working really well together, just bouncing ideas back and forth. So it was super stress free and it worked out really well. I think he made the album a lot more cohesive in the end.

Cool! So was there a certain memory that stood out from those sessions that you can look back at?

Well, initially we had a whole different idea for the record. The way it is now, it’s pretty much just me singing and Jordan has a song that he sings as well. But initially it was kind of all of us still splitting the vocals like we did on the EP. And so when we arrived there we tracked all the instrumentals pretty quickly and  it wasn’t so stressful, but then we started doing the vocals and the vibe wasn’t really matching. So Corey was the one that kind of first suggested maybe simplifying all that and having one singer. So what we actually ended up doing was going back home, working on the vocals a little bit, and then myself and the other Alex flew back to Colorado to track the vocals. So that’s kind of the most vivid memory of him making what at the time seemed like a super drastic change, but one that ended up working out for the best.

I’m glad that worked out for you. It sounds pretty seamless listening back to the record. I wasn’t familiar with you guys on the EP before that, but this record seems to be a pretty good fit.

Yeah, for sure. We’re all pretty stoked on how it came out. I think that the EP was more of us trying to figure out what our sound would be, so every song kind of has a bit of a different vibe. But I think overall the LP definitely makes more sense.

Great! So how would you actually describe your live show, when you guys were playing shows? What were they like?

Oh, man, I don’t know. I never really thought about that… I mean, we give it our all. More recently, the shows started picking up as far as attendance and we started playing better shows, but I’m definitely proud of the fact that we’ve played some pretty awful shows on tour and we’ve still given it our all. That’s really all you can do. So we’re just happy to play honestly. As long as someone’s there that even remotely cares, we’ll give it our all. So I guess just “energetic” would be the best way to put it. And also we try to be a pretty serious band but we don’t take ourselves too seriously, so kind of lighthearted I’d also say.

And what’s been the reception like when you guys play? Do you feel like you get any constructive feedback from fans, or people saying you sound great?

We started getting more positive feedback when we started playing the new songs. We’ve had the record more or less written for a while now, so we started slowly playing new songs maybe even a year and a half back before we had anything recorded, just to see what the feedback was. And people started kind of picking up on that. So I’d say once we started playing all that, people would kind of give us more positive feedback.

That’s great! And it’s trending in the right direction for you guys because usually when the band starts out, fans will be like, “No! Play the old stuff!”

(Laughter) Yeah, it was definitely a relief because we put out the EP and then it was literally four years of nothing. So you’re kind of in a totally different place and you wonder if people are going to like what you’re writing now. But it ended up working out.

Good. So going along with that, the last question I have for you is what can fans look forward to this year from Only Sibling? And what does the future hold for this band?

You know, with everything going on, it’s kind of hard to say what they can expect this year. Obviously we would love to tour as soon as we possibly can. Who knows if that will be this year or if that’ll be early next year…But either way just know that we’ll be playing shows as soon as we possibly can. And just trying to be creative. We still have another music video to put out and especially if we’re not going to be able to play shows then we’ll be thinking of more stuff to do to try and be more interactive with people online for the time being.

Great! So the record sounds amazing. I wish you nothing but the best going forward in your guys’ careers, and I’ll also most likely be reviewing the record when it gets closer to the release date.

Thank you! I appreciate that. Thank you.

Sure thing. And have a good evening.

You too, man! Thank you!

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