Archive | January, 2012

Born with music in his veins…

24 Jan

Photographerr - Mike Carelse; Stylist - Claire Gritten

I was born with music in my veins.

I vividly remember sitting in the back seat of the car, playing passenger  with my mum and sister in the front seats. I was about 8 or 9 years old. A melody had come into my head and I could not stop humming it. I repeated it on repeat, until my sister demanded I stop humming the same old tune over and over again.”

At age 9, Joshua Grierson took the hand of music, and started on the path that would inevitably lead him to musical greatness.

Joshua formed his first rock band by the age of 13, with a few friends from church. Since his proverbial musical ball began rolling he has bumped off and touched down on many a musical platform…

For Joshua, music is a form of inspiration… it does something to his soul and his feet, and he is constantly searching for new and fresh ways to present just that.                                                                                                                                                               When one takes the above stated fact into consideration, you understand why trying to classify his style and sound or box him into a specific genre is like putting a chameleon on top of a rainbow… its not probable… not possible… and will lead to much distress on the part of the chameleon.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       “I never want to confine myself to one voice, while there are so many others I want to sing and listen to. It is important for me (as an artist) to put myself in a place that is not comfortable and to see and hear what comes from that. To be comfortable is, in my opinion, not a very healthy place to be at; at least not in terms of progression and pushing boundaries,” Joshua says.

Photographer - Mike Carelse; Stylist - Claire Gritten

When it comes to the musical inspiration behind his sound, he credits everything “which moves me to tears, makes me want to dance, make love or dance in the rain.                         It has to touch a nerve…”.

Touching a nerve… well that is exactly  what his music does.

Joshua’s music is raw and intense. His lyrics are beautifully written with his soul carried across the airwaves with every cord struck on his guitar. He’s part of that rare breed of musician that succeeds in making a true connection with his listener. You experience the strong emotion fuelling the music and it moves you in a way music is supposed to. Before you realise what has happened… you find that you have listened to half his album… eyes wide shut; head moving rhythmically with the steady beat of his sound.                                      For Joshua, “Each song is a canvass, on which I paint whatever emotion I am feeling within myself at that time. I tend to stick to shades of red, brown and grey … yet at times, though seldom, I open a tin of blue, yellow and white.”                                                                                                                                                                 Spoken like the true artist I perceive him to be.

Joshua, together with producer Dan Roberts, is currently busy with the pre-production of a full length album – Strange Heart – set to invade our airways and headways by March 2012.                                                                                                                                                           On my up and coming album, Strange Heart, I attempt to tackle some universal issues like unrequited love, poverty, the relationship between a father and his son and how some days, you just want to forget it all and party,” Joshua says.                                                                                                                                                         For a taste of things to come, you can visit his band page, linked to his Facebook account and download some of his tunes for free… legally for free I might add.                                                                                                                                                            “I encourage everyone to download my music and share it with their friends,” Joshua says.

The power of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter is the upcoming musician’s most powerful tools. Joshua says,                                                                                                 “The power of the social network. If I could shake Mark Zuckerberg’s hand, I would. For an artist, like myself, who has had limitations of money for wide-spread marketing, a place like Facebook and/or Twitter has really helped me to connect with my friends and fans ‘face-to-face’! The gap between artist and fan is reducing daily because artists now realise that if they want to survive, they have to connect with their fans one-on-one.                                                                                                                                               Facebook and Twitter have built a perfect bridge for that. Though I do have my own personal reservations towards said social networks, for my professional identity it’s brilliant.”

A nagging question I always ask upcoming musicians pertains to the ruthless scene that is our music industry. Making it in this cut-throat industry is no easy chore… with many trying… almost succeeding… leading to ultimate submission and contribution to yet another statistic. I always want to know what hardships they face… how it affects them and how they plan to overcome them. On reply to this tired asked, burnt out, over used question Joshua reacts simply,                                                                                                             “I have been asked this question in every interview I have done and there is no clear answer. What I will say, is that the ruthlessness in the SA music industry is miniscule compared to the American and European markets.”                                                                                                                                                                       So when times are tough and silver linings is few and far,                                                               “…the daily encouragement I receive from friends and fans, and the knowledge that I am not the only artist, who has struggled to make a sustainable living from his/her chosen creative industry” is what keeps the remarkable Joshua Grierson, keeping onward and upwards.

Photographer - Mike Carelse; Stylist - Claire Gritten

Joshua’s attitude towards life is as simple, raw and honest as his music is. He takes it all in his stride with positivity. He has a tenacious spirit and a burning passion for the music he loves making. He makes music for the sake of making music… because it’s a part of who he is… because it’s always been a part of who he is and because it’s the way he gives his soul flight. He is a true musician and will never settle in a chosen mould, instead he will keep on experimenting with musical boundaries… seeing where he can cross a forebode line… taking his fans into uncapped territories and opening their eyes to something adventurously, new and fresh.

Joshua Grierson… is a name to keep a very close eye on this coming year, especially around March, when he’s new album will conquer our airways.                                                                                                                                                          So do yourself a favour; adventure your way to Facebook and Twitter… and get acquainted.                                                                                                                                          You see… come end of March, when everyone is talking about the phenomenal new talent burning up their ears – you will be able to say…”get with program… I’ve been a fan since Jan…”

I foresee great success for this soulful character and he is most deserving of every droplet of success coming his way!

So as per usual… here are a few extra questions I asked Mr Joshua Grierson.

Suné: A lot of muso’s mean that in order to really make it… you at some point need to make a move to the big city… Johannesburg.                                                                                                                        Care to comment?

JG: I have lived in Johannesburg for 6 months now and loved every minute of it.

Being born and raised in Cape Town, I automatically felt that different pace of life that everyone speaks of when referring to Jozi but I thrived on it.

Growing up in the small town of Brackenfell, I always feel ignited with energy when entering into a city – there is nothing more cathartic than bright city lights and the sense of danger and intrigue that a city provides. I don’t think anybody has to move to the city (whether it’s CT or Jozi; or New York for that matter) to make it but I think it’s just very good to keep moving.

Suné: How’s your schedule?                                                                                                                                                           How busy are you with shows?                                                                                                                                          How about a show in Bloemfontein… sometime during 2012?

JG: My schedule could be busier – presently looking for a booking agent. I have been in talks with the event promoter, Marnus Strydom, about some Bloemfontein (and surrounds) events and you’ll be the first to know! I plan to tour SA extensively once my album drops.

Suné: When times are tough and silver linings is few and far behind… what keeps you motivated and going strong?

JG: The daily encouragement I receive from friends and fans. And the knowledge that I am not the only artist, who has struggled to make a sustainable living from his/her chosen creative industry. I take a lot of encouragement from David Gray’s story.

Suné: You’ve shared the stage with some greats… what name/s stands out, and why?

JG: I got a taste of the Rock n Roll lifestyle, when sharing the stage with Finley Quaye for 2 nights in Dubai. Playing to a filled-to-capacity Tanz Cafe, when opening for Yoav – the crowd was thirsty for real music and they really appreciated what I had offer.

Touring America (playing guitar for a SA Hardcore/Metal band, Neshamah) in a Dodge van for a month – meeting some of my most favoured and respected musicians at the time.

Suné: What has been your most memorable, best vibed performance thus far?

JG: Main Stage at Splashy Fen 2011. My backing band, The Town Criers, and I were just pumped 13.

Suné: Any star struck moment you can share… meeting a legend… getting caught in the moment… saying something funny/questionable… 

JG: I regularly have to remove my foot from my mouth but I can’t recall a particular moment that I can highlight.

Suné: Any interesting groupie/fan… stalker moments… maybe some lingerie finding its way onto the stage?

JG: I found myself between 2 beautiful women at the backstage area of Mercury Live one night…

Suné: Any local muso’s/bands currently blowing your mind?

JG: I am inevitably going to omit someone, which will come to me 5 minutes after sending these answers but here are the ones that are coming to mind now.

Taxi Violence never ceases to impress me with their professionalism, mastery of instrument and songwriting!                                                                                                                                                                           Laurie Levine is always pushing the boundary of what is considered ‘cool’.                                                                                                                                                                Andrew James & The Steady Tiger leaves me breathless.                                                                                                                                         Andre Leo with The Pretty Blue Guns – together and separately – is sexy and dark. And André is one of the most enchanting front men to come out of South Africa.                                                                                                                                                   Machineri turns me into an animal and not the cuddly kind.                                                                                                                                                          The Nomadic Orchestra beckons me to party all night.                                                                                                                                                      Cold War Candy Drop reminds me of that feeling when you have a crush on someone and they know it and they like you too and you know it but the both of you are still making your sums and ticking your boxes, though all the while you know that you want to spend the rest of your life with that person.                                                                                                   Nate Maingard is a home in the countryside.                                                                                                                                     Simon Van Gend understands the human psyche better than I have ever come across.

This country has so much talent!!!

Suné: Where do you see yourself three years from now?

JG: In 3 years, I will be 30 and half years old. ‘People in the know’, say your 30’s are some of the best years of your life – we’ll see about that!

All I know is that I won’t be retired in some beach house, growing my own vegetables and sucking on a pipe – though that does sound like fun for a weekend

There is so much to do and so little time and according to the street, we’re all be pushing daisies in a few months; nevertheless I’ll be writing and performing my songs.

There is a book in me and a collection of short stories and I still need to buy that damn type writer I keep dreaming of.

Suné: Any words of wisdom for young muso’s in the making

JG: Listen. Watch. Read. Fuck. Make Love. Write. Dream. Live. And not necessarily in that order.

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Earl Grey and Croquet…a brew of music and friendship perfected…

16 Jan

Earl Grey and Croquet - Nadine Aucamp

“A bunch of good mates who want to enjoy music together! It all began with good friendship!” That is what led to the birth of the brilliant old school rock and roll influenced band, Earl Grey and Croquet. As friends, their common taste in music and the ability to master their instruments, made the birth of a band inevitable.

Earl Grey and Croquet consists of Laurie Sloan, the brothers Chris and Jonny Smith and Dan Millar. They are as unique and different as the name suggests.

Earl Grey and Croquet - Nadine Aucamp

Pertaining to the christening of the band, according to Dan, the name “…came outta nowherewith cudos being given to Laurie for bringing it to light –  “what a legend.”   Jonny echoes that, with Chris adding, “It’s a name that’s different, I suppose – doesn’t have any deeper meaning… It’s just a fun; different name – best represents our sound and vibe.”

Like their name their sound and the vibe you get from their music glues itself to your brain. They classify their sound as, “Basically feel good rock ‘n’ roll… influenced by old school legends and a lot of present day bands… hard to box into a specific genre… psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll.”

A unique modern day rock and roll approach… grounded with some old school epic guitar solos… a feast for the culinary professional music listeners amongst us.

Earl Grey and Croquet - James Reynolds

Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Allman Brothers, Kings of Leon, Temper Trap, Foo Fighters, Isochronous, Bon Iver, aKING and  Wild Beasts are a few musical inspirations accredited to their sound.

What makes this band stand out is the complete musical approach they take. You’re not just treated to stellar lyrics, sent down your ear canal by a pair of brilliant pipes but you get treated to some phenomenal guitar solos, grounded by some steady groovy bass riffs. You know that cliché pitch some bands, muso’s and critics like throwing our way,”its all about the music man”, trust me… when it comes to Earl Grey and Croquet it really is ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         “We “We are all musicians in the band. We love our instruments and are avid explorers of what they can do. Thus at times (and often in the past) we can get wrapped up in the instrumental aspect of things, we love to get lost in a good jam. However, at the same time it is important to include strong vocals… vocals are an instrument equal to the guitar, bass or drums and must be treated as such, even if as musicians we tend to get lost in Pink Floyd-esque jams,” Dan explains.

They released a gem of an EP in 2010, From the 21st Century. It is really  a piece of work and this is of course meant as a compliment. Pappa was a school boy and Lady Luck are my personal favourites. The EP was very well received by fans and journalists alike… even causing a ripple or two internationally.                                                                                                                                                      The boys are currently busy with the preproduction of a full length album. Dan proudly states that, “A whole new Earl Grey vibe is on the rise… Expect a debut full length album that will conquer the world, very soon!” According to Jonny they have developed and perfected a clear sound since the release of their EP and have grown in confidence, writing their songs.

Earl Grey and Croquet - James Reynolds

So…for whom do they brew their Earl Grey sound?                                                                                                                                                     “Everyone. Why not?”Is the solid no nonsense answer echoed by the band as a whole with Chris colouring it in by adding, “The older crowd love the old school sound and the younger crowd love the indie vibe.” I could not agree more… no matter who you are or your musical preference and taste, if you love music this band’s your cup of tea. Their groovy blues sound with a bit of acoustic folk stirred in, topped off with a bit of soft rock covers the genre base and will find true appreciation from vibey people of all walks of life.                                                                                                                                                                 They are a band to be watched and followed; they are a band to be appreciated and supported. They play for the love and passion of music… and they play what feels good to them.

I am eagerly anticipating their new album… set to conquer the world. I’m also keeping an eye on the lamp posts in Bloemfontein – hoping to catch an eclectic Earl Grey and Croquet live performance before we snuff the end of 2012… wink winknudge nudge.

Earl Grey and Croquet - Nadine Aucamp

So, before I share a few extra questions I asked these stellar blokes… just a reminder… they are socially available and easily connectable. Adventure your way to Facebook and Twitter… exercise your clicking right and become a fan…You will most definitely not regret it.

Suné: Who are you, where do  you come from… and what do you do when you’re not making music.

Dan: I’m from Joburg; I’m a chemical engineer and mostly just a king.

Chris: I’m from Joburg; I work in PR and marketing.

Jonny: I like long walks on the beach and romantic dinners; other than that I’m from Joburg and work at Wolves Cafe.  

 

Suné: Tell me a bit about the creative process… the magic that makes the awesome tunes I now like chilling to…

Who does what?

Dan: It is really a team effort. One of us will arrive at rehearsal with a simple riff (even just a two chord progression), we will jam the riff via classic improvisation and add to it till we feel the magic. Then it comes to the trimming down of the 50 minute jam that has just happened and that’s the hard part!

Chris: Well for me it’s sitting in my room with a loop pedal and experimenting with the craziest sound combinations possible.

Jonny: Boom!

 

Suné: Making it in a – now extremely – competitive music industry is no easy task.                                                                                                                                            What are the challenges and hardships you face in living your music dream?

Dan: It’s tough when music is not your only focus, the battles of everyday life coupled with the toughness of the SA music industry can be a big challenge. But it’s all about the love of the music and playing with good friends, not necessarily the success and fame…

Chris: I think the rock scene is pretty saturated around the world, so making a name for yourself is pretty tricky. As a rock band, essentially you are competing with every other rock band around the world. South Africans sadly don’t show enough support for local bands. It’s really great to see mainstream radio stations, like 5fm show support for local music. We need more mainstream radio stations doing this.

Jonny: SA bands seem to get big when they play with big bands, so the tricky part is to get booked at the right venues and festivals with a good line up but with what Dan is saying, I’m really appreciative playing to any crowd of people that are any sort of music enthusiasts.

 

Suné: When times are tough and silver linings are scares… what keeps you motivated… what keeps you going?

Dan: The fun of  it is to just be playing with the three other top legends I have in the band. Even if a show is crap, I can still have fun on stage because I am surrounded by such kings!

Chris: I think being in a band with my three closest friends is pretty rad! We all inspire one another.

Jonny: Yea, there are never really any scars – playing music with these cats is way too cool. Even the worst possible performance we can drive away and have a good laugh.

 

 Suné: You guys have shared the stage with some pretty stellar acts. Any performance… stage shared… that stands out?

Dan: Recently we did a couple of shows with Jesse Clegg… He is a king of a man. It was a lot of fun.

Chris: Whenever we play with Shortstraw, we know it’s gonna be a rocking night.

Jonny: Playing with Jesse and then Shortstraw in Cape Town and Stellenbosch was a jol.

 

Suné: Any embarrassing moments at shows you’d like to share… maybe someone  falling off the stage… forgetting lyrics or anything like that?

Dan: Oh geeez, I knew this would come up one day. We used to play these legendary gigs at the Wits yacht club. With free alcohol on the go, staying sober was not an option. I found myself playing on people’s shoulders with wireless and funneling on top of the bar while playing. I even played a whole song when everyone else was playing a different one. (ooooyshhh)

Chris: Nothing embarrassing comes to mind. We have played some very rowdy shows with lots of people on stage as we perform. Putting novelty hats on us whilst we perform.

Jonny: I’m a drummer no one sees my embarrassing moments… rad. But ya, at many gigs at Wits Dan played opposing songs similar to a musical salmon going against our musical stream – playing the previous song twice… but still tasty grooves, regardless.

 

Suné: Where do you guys see Earl Grey Croquet in three years’ time?

Dan: Potentially making big sounds overseas…. but staying true to SA, playing all the big festivals.

Chris: Rocking and Rolling!

Jonny: Maybe getting some smiles from the blues rock scene in the States and playing festivals around SA.

 

Suné: Any advice for aspiring young muso’s?

Dan: Keep at it. The SA industry is a BITCH; don’t be disheartened. And most important do it for the right reasons, do it for the love of music!

Chris:  Everything has to be done with a plan in mind. You can’t just wing it and hope for the best. The key is marketing and persistence. Be different and fun. People hate seriousness.

Jonny: Keep at it, ask for advice from other musicians, the SA scene is  rad like that and don’t be arrogant – it gets you nowhere.

“HIT wave” headed for SA music scene in 2012…Anti Retro Vinyls are prescribed…

2 Jan

Anti Retro Vinyls

Lipstick and late nights; the girls and the bright lights; the dance floors and the bar fights… The making of a deliciously dirty night out and a perfect description – with good use of imagination – for the vibe of one of my new favourite rocking local music outfits.

Their sound draws influence from many greats but the likes of The Strokes, Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ramones need to get a special mention. When asked to simply define their sound they provide you with this wonderful on key descriptive explanation,                                                                                                                                                    “Hmmm, if you want a genre name, indie / disco / punk is the closest thing we can come up with. If you want to break it down all musicalogically, there’s a lot of old school rock ‘n’ roll / garage / punk influence in the bass and guitar. The beats have a general indie / dance / disco vibe to it and a lot of straight forward 4/4 time standard rock beats.”                                                                                                                                                                              That straight out of the horse’s mouth is the sound… see what I did there… definition of what the Anti Retro Vinyls have to offer.                                                                                                                                                                                        I could not have asked for a more precise definition… nor would I have been able to classify their sound more on par.

Anti Retro Vinyls

The band consists of two pairs of brothers, Greg and Harry Allan and Chris and Carl van Renen. An intriguing family venture.                                                                                              “It’s got its pros and cons. It’s cool, because we’re all on the same page and everyone’s equally committed and we’re literally like a family. The fights can get pretty intense but at the end of the day you’re still family, so you get to be brutally honest and speak your mind – more so than bands we’ve been in with friends in the past. So it’s a lot more volatile but also more productive and cohesive,” they said when asked about the interesting band dynamic.

They aim for an energetic dance beat combined with a matching brisk, funky and pulsating baseline. They then add a nice, suitably jamming guitar riff and some catchy, fun and bouncy lyrics (usually about partying or Greg’s meandering personal experiences) to create their unique sound.                                                                                                                 According to the band, “Fun, catchy, energetic seem to be the key ingredients.”

The Anti Retro Vinyls were born under a different name, The Otherwise.                                                                                                                                            The band was originally started by Greg and Harry, and after undergoing a serious of rebirths and fine tunings, they have now settled into the unique mould that is the Anti Retro Vinyls.                                                                                                                                          “We kind of had a few births. The original birth was when Harry and I decided to form a serious band together, sometime in 2007. We got a drummer and a bassist and started gigging around Durban.                                                                                                                   After playing Splashy Fen and completing a 5 track EP, the drummer decided to move to JHB to sell insurance (and eventually ended up in India, doing god knows what) and the bassist left (or got fired, the facts are a bit hazy and subjective).                                                                                                                                                 “We got a new bassist and current drummer, Chris, sometime in 2008 (birth number 2). That line up carried on gigging and touring and released a full album in July 2010, after which the bassist decided to focus on studies. This led to birth number 3, when Chris’s brother Carl joined in August,” Greg said.

I recently rediscovered the Anti Retro Vinyls, when their song Lipstick and late nights partied it up to the nr 1 position on 5fm’s John Savage rock show.                                             The song stuck like glue and I was hummingly irritating for the next couple of days at work.                                                                                                                                                Naturally I got hold of ALL their songs… adventured my way to their Facebook page… and became a fan.

Intrigued by their dirty disco punk sound I decided to make contact to arrogantly ask if they would assist me in doing a small internet interview, as to focus one of my blogs on them.                                                                                                                                                      Being the stellar blokes they are… they agreed!

I must say reading their replies to my questions… I can literally feel the awesome bare honest vibe coming from their response.                                                                                           It makes me wish I could have been sitting somewhere in a bar or pub asking these okes the questions personally!

Anti Retro Vinyls

But alas… still being an amateur blogger… an internet/email interview… is the way to go.

The important thing here is that I now have the privilege to thoroughly introduce and enslave you to the phenomena that will make headways… and heat waves in the local music scene during 2012…

Seriously… write that down… I’m making a prediction here!

Now … these guys are connected…and social media-available…go look them up on Facebook and twitter…start with the following…and become a fan! There even may be a song or three available for FREE DOWNLOAD  on their Facebook page…and being SA music fans…I KNOW…you won’t be able to resist a spot of free LEGAL music downloads! Jussssst saying…

So start with the Facebook adventuring…exercise your clicking flinger…and BOOOOOMMM…

Here’s my mini internet interview with the GENIUS…that is ANTI RETRO VINYLS.

Enjoy.

Suné: In what way would you say have you matured since the release of your debut EP?

ARV: We’ve become more focused and there are a few more serious songs and a few more minor chord changes. We’re a lot tighter live and have settled on the sound we want to create and everyone has improved a lot musically; there are more ‘intricate’ bits in the songs. We used to kind of blister and blast through a set and recordings were pretty raw and sparse – the newer stuff sounds a bit ‘fuller’ and better put together.

Suné: What can we expect from the new album?

ARV: The vibe will be similar to the old one; it’s still fun, energetic, party music, with a few more serious songs and possibly a few acoustic ones. We’ve played quite a few acoustic shows and want to show more of that aspect of our band as well. We love the new songs and they’re very well received live, so we’re extremely excited. We’re also rerecording a few songs off the first album that we think we can improve on.

Suné: Give me a glimpse into the writing of your music… What’s the journey a song takes from the concept idea to the mind-blowing tune… in short… who does what?

ARV: In terms of song writing process, Greg usually writes the lyrics and basic chord progression and brings it to band practice for everyone to give their input and create their parts. Then we play the songs live, see how they go down and keep on fiddling around with them at band practice until they reach their fully fledged, ready for recording form. Sometimes we add a few things once we get to the studio.

Suné: What are the challenges/hardships you face making your mark in the local industry?

ARV: One word: Money. Instruments, travelling, videos, recording, merchandise, promoting the band – everything costs; especially if you want things done properly. So that’s the main thing.

Suné: Most people and would be muso’s believe that in order to make your mark successfully in the industry you need to, at some point make a move to either Jozi or Cape Town… What’s your take on this… Would you guys ever consider leaving Durbz?

ARV: We tend to agree with that, and most Durban bands would agree with that. You don’t necessarily have to move but you do have to be prepared to at least travel there regularly; so it’s probably easier in the long run if you move there. We have big ambitions and want to do as good as we can in South Africa and eventually try and make it abroad – so we will have to leave Durban at some point.

Suné: In tough times… what keeps you going… what motivates you to press on and upwards?

ARV: We all believe very strongly in this band and everyone understands success isn’t going to happen overnight. Every so often even the big bands play shows for empty venues, all bands have their off days and sometimes you try your hardest and things don’t turn out the way you want them to. Luckily everyone in the band has a good sense of humour, so we usually manage to laugh it off if stuff doesn’t go as planned. Also, sometimes we turn on the TV or radio and we see or hear some awful garbage trying to pass itself off as music and we think to ourselves, ”If this asshole can have a career, this music industry success thing is gonna be a walk in the park”.

Suné: You’ve shared the stage with many heavy weights in the music industry… Springbok Nude girls, The Ataris, etc… Is there a performance… stage shared… that stands out as a highlight in your career thus far?

ARV: There’s been quite a few really memorable shows – each one memorable for its own reason. The Ataris was the first international band we opened for, so that was a big boost for us early on. The Springbok Nude Girls show was awesome, not just because they’re the godfathers of South African rock but Arno gave us a nice little shout out during their performance and even got Greg to sing a few lines on stage. Afterwards we hung out with all of them and they were very complimentary about our performance, which made us all feel really good about ourselves. We also did a Fokofpolisiekar tribute show last year, which Francois and Wynand attended and Francois got onstage and did “Ek skyn heilig” with us, which was pretty frikkin’ awesome. We’ve also had some really good shows with Straatligkinders, CrashCarBurn, Taxi Violence, City Bowl Mizers, Voodoo Child – all really pro and really nice dudes.

Suné: Greg and Harry, I read an interesting piece on an unplugged performance you guys did way back in 2009 at Burn, after a performance earlier the evening with Stealing Love Jones… Can you guys paint me a picture of that legendary evening, which resulted in Shaun Morgan playing an impromptu unplugged set… It must have been some party?

Greg: We had two acoustic shows booked for that night. One at a place in Durban-north and one later on that night at Burn. When we got to the 1st of the shows our friend, Esjay from Stealing Love Jones, said she wanted us to meet someone. That someone was Shaun Morgan of Seether. We didn’t really have much of a star-struck vibe about the situation, and I think he took well to that fact. He offered to get us a drink, which led to many, many more. After our set… we told him about our show at Burn and suggested that he come along and party. We got to Burn about half an hour after we were meant to go on, which made it a rush show. But once we had finished our set. I asked Shaun if he would play a tune or two. He played a half an hour set! The club just had the best vibe that night. Best party that was! A proper night out!

Suné: Musically… who inspires you individually?

Greg: Jim Morrison, The Ramones, Anthony Kiedis, Led Zeppelin, Pete Doherty, The Libertines…

Harry: John Frusciante, Alex Turner, Born Ruffians, Foals, Two door cinema club, The Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club…

Chris: John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Dave Grohl (Nirvana), Matt Tong (drummer from Bloc Party), Matt Helders (from Arctic Monkeys) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)…

Carl: The Strokes, Nirvana, Pixies, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Billy Talent, Incubus, Jet, Kansas…

Suné: If you weren’t in a band…what would you guys be doing?

Greg: Start a band Harry: Play guitar

Chris: Working Nine-to-Five, making money, getting married, having 2.2 children, mortgage, investing, financing a home, retiring at 64, die at 75 (unless I die from boredom before then).

Carl: Work and play open mic nights, be in a cover / wedding band, male prostitution, join Greg’s band that he’s gonna start.

Suné: What do you guys do to unwind?

ARV: Party, watch series and movies, party some more.

Suné: Describe your idea of a perfect party… night out on the town / house party.

Greg: Lipstick and late nights, the girls and the bright lights, the dance floors and the bar fights…

Harry: Watching cool bands. Chris: Best nights for me are when there’s a lot of missioning going on, like having some warm up drinks at someone’s house, then go to a pub, then go watch a band and then go to someone’s house and carry on there. I also prefer shows where there are lots going on like a few bands, some stand up comedy in between and some drum n bass to finish it off.

Carl: Going for a quiet beer and waking up in a stranger’s house 30k’s from home.

Suné: Who’s the responsible one in the band?

 Least responsible?

Biggest Party animal?

ARV: Responsible: Chris, our drummer but he’s also the only one with a criminal record (driving under the influence; don’t do it!)                                                                     ARV: Least responsible: Probably Greg but he works really hard when he needs to, like when he’s doing band admin and performing.                                                                          Party Animal: It depends on your criteria, Greg and Carl definitely party the most, Harry is the only one we’ve had to physically carry out of places (and he’s deceptively heavy for a skinny dude).

Suné: What’s your favourite venue to perform in?

Greg: Unit 11, Burn, Ting’s n Times (Hatfield)                                                                     Harry: Unit 11 and Burn Chris: The Cellar Door (CCHQ) in JHB                                       Carl: Cool Runnings (Fourways), Unit 11 and Ting’s

Suné: Any interesting groupie stories… a fan freaking out… weird gifts received… girls throwing lingerie on the stage?

ARV: Greg’s been kidnapped after going home with a girl after a show in Durban. She returned him 24 hours later. We’ve been hit in the face by lots of bra’s and underwear.

Suné: Any interesting “celebrity moment / story”… meeting someone you’re a huge fan of… potential embarrassing star struck moment?

ARV: When Billy Talent played at the Wavehouse in Durban, we were all eating at McDonalds and we spotted Ian D’Sa, the guitarist and we kind of mobbed him – but he was super cool and laid back. Chris got pretty star struck when he met Shaun Morgan but Shaun bought him a few brandy and cokes to calm him down. Chris also got a bit camera happy backstage at the Springbok Nude Girls show but they were all really cool and didn’t seem to mind.

Suné: Where do you guys see yourselves in 5 years?

ARV: Still doing the band thing; playing lots of shows and writing tunes.

Suné: Any upcoming local bands / artist that’s worth a look into?

ARV: Many! There are so many awesome bands we’ve gigged with this year. There’s a revolution brewing! Even if the world ends at the end of 2012, it’s gonna be a pleasant journey. To name a few: The Cheap Bad Habits, E.X.P.L.O.S.I.O.N., Shortstraw, Columbus, Black Math, The Trees, Man as Machine, Stripped to kill.

Suné: What advice do you have for aspiring young artists?

ARV: Practise, work hard, get some swagga’, don’t be afraid to rash people and keep the faith.

Trivial info:

Favourite band:                                                                                                                          Greg: The Libertines                                                                                                                      Harry: Arctic Monkeys                                                                                                              Chris: Nirvana                                                                                                                                Carl: The Strokes

 Favourite series?                                                                                                                     Greg: This is England 86                                                                                                            Harry: Boardwalk Empire and Jersey shore                                                                                   Chris: Community                                                                                                                            Carl: House MD and Game of Thrones

Favourite drink?                                                                                                                       Greg: Jack Daniels                                                                                                                      Harry: Brandy and coke                                                                                                                         Chris: Brandy and coke                                                                                                                  Carl: Jack on the rocks

Favourite Food?                                                                                                                         Greg: Fries                                                                                                                                          Harry: A good home cooked meal                                                                                         Chris: KFC / Pizza                                                                                                                         Carl: McDonald’s junior chicken burgers

Rugby or soccer?                                                                                                                                    Greg: Football                                                                                                                                          Harry: Football                                                                                                                                Chris: You mean Football!                                                                                                              Carl: Football

Celebrity crush?                                                                                                                                             Greg: Taylor Momson                                                                                                                      Harry: Julie Andrews                                                                                                                       Chris: Penelope Cruz                                                                                                                       Carl: Olivia Wilde

If I could have any super power… I’d choose?                                                                                                                                                         Greg: Flight                                                                                                                                         Harry: Time Travel                                                                                                                                                        Chris: The Power of flight                                                                                                              Carl:    Manipulating matter

Tried and tested pick up line:                                                                                                 Greg: How about it then?                                                                                                            Harry: Pick up lines are gay…                                                                                                                                                                  Chris: Do you wanna make out?                                                                                                       Carl: How do you feel about a bad idea?

Signature saying…                                                                                                                                                        Greg: Cool your boots                                                                                                                           Harry:Jersey Shore quotes                                                                                                                                                          Chris: We need to work harder                                                                                                                                                     Carl: Bitches be crazy