Basement Brew finally release full length album, ‘Lost in Ramble’

Basement Brew / Photo: Heather Younger

Ask any master brewer, and they’ll tell you that one of the keys to their craft is patience.

It takes a while for the yeast to ferment the wort, and for the residual sugars, hops and other ingredients to meld together to create the perfect combination of flavors.

Rush it, and you could end up with a product that isn’t even worth drinking.

Basement Brew, the Fayetteville band made up of locals Lee Zodrow, Gideon Haden Chomphosy, Patrick George, Will Eubanks and Wes Packard took a similarly patient approach to creating their first full length album, spending seven years writing songs, crafting melodies, and writing parts for their debut album, Lost in Ramble.

The result? It’s pretty dadgum refreshing.

The band will release the 11-pack of tracks at a release party set for Saturday, Oct. 4 at Smoke & Barrel Tavern with local songwriter Dana Louise and Springfield, MO band, The Too’s.

We got in touch with the band this week, and they were nice enough to answer some questions for us.

Tell us a bit about the lineup of the band and how you all started playing together

Lee Zodrow is our lead singer, keyboardist, and principle songwriter. Gideon Haden Chomphosy and Patrick George take up the guitar responsibilities, Gideon on rhythm and Patrick on lead. They both are contributing songwriters as well, and Gideon sings lead on most of the tunes the two of them write, as well as singing harmony. Will Eubanks and Wes Packard round out the rhythm section on bass and drums, respectively, and Will also sings harmony.

Patrick and Lee formed the band in 2007, after meeting and playing in Reed Indeed (what would later become Memphis Pencils) together. The lineup originally included J.D. Paul of SW/MM/NG on drums and Reed Faitak on bass. Throughout the years, we acquired new members as others moved away. Wes joined the band around 2009 and has been with us ever since. Gideon joined in 2010, and Will came in about a year and a half ago.

I know it’s kind of a cliche to ask, but we’re kind of curious about the band name too. Where’d Basement Brew come from?

When we started playing together, we were rehearsing in a basement, so that’s where that part comes from, and the “brew” represents what we are about musically. It’s a sort of concoction of all of the things that we love rolled into one sound, taking influence from all kinds of different artists and genres.

You guys have a few recordings out, including a live set from Maxine’s not long ago. This new record is your first full length, though. Correct? Tell us a bit about it?

Yeah, this is our first LP, called Lost in Ramble. Working with Chris Moore at East Hall Recording and Will, who is not only our bassist but produced this record as well, we’ve finally tackled the feat of recording a full length record – after being a band for 7 years! The record itself spans our entire career to this point, with some of the songs being written 5 to 6 years ago, and others just recently.

There are 11 tracks total, coming in around 45 minutes, with a little bit of everything. We’ve got anything from a quick 50s/60s pop-influenced tune, to a 7 and a half minute sort of epic jam (or two). We draw influences from so many different types of American music – anything from The Band to the Black Keys to Motown to George Jones – and at the end of the day we, consciously or not, just pull out little parts from what we like of all it and it becomes part of this sound. We were also able to pull a lot of other local talent to help us out on the record, including Dana Louise and Jackson Jennings of Air Loom and Matt Beach and Jeff Gray from the 1 Oz. Jig, so it really has a lot of different influences even outside the core members of the band.

In the process of making the record, we were really careful to essentially break down every song into exactly what we wanted it to sound like, making sure the arrangements and instrumentation fit what’s really at the heart of each song, and also trying to reinforce those sorts of moods and themes through the record production itself. We think we were pretty successful in doing that and in really showcasing the variety of sounds we can achieve while still sounding like Basement Brew.

We saw you guys at Fayetteville Foam Fest, and I know you guys were at Crystal Bridges not long ago. What have been some of the most memorable shows you’ve played over the years?


Foam Fest and Crystal Bridges are definitely two of our most memorable shows, but one that will always stick out was one of our first. We had two shows booked in one night, the first at The Old Post Office on the square during the evening, and the second at George’s Majestic later that night. The George’s show was also the Foo Fighters’ after party. They had played at the university earlier that day, and somehow we lucked out and got on the bill for the after party. After the Old Post Office show, which was one of our worst shows of our early days, we took the stage at George’s, as a young and completely unknown Basement Brew, and played to an insanely packed room with Taylor Hawkins standing right in front of us. We played well that night, and will always remember one of our first successes as a band.

And of course any time we get to play here in Fayetteville, it’s a great time – playing for our friends and families and people we have seen around town, especially at places like Smoke and Barrel. That place always has such a great crowd that we can feed off of and hopefully give that energy back to them. That’s a huge reason we do what we do. We love getting our music out there, but mostly it’s about the joy we all get playing for people.

What are some other bands, either locally, or around the state that you think are doing good things these days?

We’ve got a lot of friends playing around right now that are doing really great things. Dana Louise, The Too’s, the Brothel Sprouts, Dumptruck Boyz, Shawn James, SW/MM/NG, High Lonesome, John Henry, 1 Oz. Jig, Comfortable Brother, Swampbird – all the people you’re seeing around town a lot right now are doing some cool stuff.

How do you perceive the state of the music scene in Fayetteville?

It seems like every few years bands start breaking up or changing members or starting new projects, and that seems to be where the scene is right now. It’s a little strange not knowing as many bands as we did, say, a year ago, but it’s also really exciting because there are so many new projects out there that maybe people haven’t seen, and you can go out and see the same musicians playing with people you recognize from other bands. That speaks to the level of talent that’s here in Fayetteville as far as musicians go. There are a ton of really great ones, so no matter what project you go see, you’re gonna get some really great musicianship.

What’s next for you guys. Have you guys played around the region much? Any touring plans in the works?

We’ve played around Fayetteville, Conway, Little Rock and Tulsa a bit in the past year, and we’re going to try and expand on that in the coming year. We’re looking at trying to work out some short tours down to Louisiana and back and continuing to play around Fayetteville as much as possible over the next few months. In the Spring we’re going to try and put together something a little longer, maybe out to Colorado, and start trying to hit up as many music festivals as we can. For now, though, our goal is really just getting this record out to as many people as possible and seeing what happens after that.

Tell us a bit about the album release party on Oct. 4. (show details, how much for a copy of the album, is it a physical copy, vinyl, etc)

We’re releasing the record at Smoke and Barrel with two acts that we love, Dana Louise and The Too’s. It’s a free show, and we’re gonna get everything started around 9 p.m. and have a full night of music.

We’ll have CDs for sale for $10, which is a pre-order and release show only price, so hopefully people will jump on that deal while it’s there. We’ll also have some new t-shirts printed, so people will have their first chance to grab them at this show.

It’s gonna be a great night and we’ve got some new tunes and new arrangements we’ll be playing, so even for people who have caught our shows in the past, there will be some surprises in store.

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