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Interview: Freshlyground

February 28, 2008 – 20:03 by John

We’re trying to write an intro without using the word *fresh*. Oops, too late. Catch what bassist Josh Hawks and drummer Peter Cohen from Freshlyground had to say on the comedown of their biggest tour yet, the Volkswagen Summer Tour 07.

Josh Hawks

Favourite moment on the Summer Tour?

Peter: I was really pleasantly surprised how mixed the crowd in PE was and how happy they looked as a result. I really hope they remembered that when they got home…I would feel like we were doing our little bit to make a difference.


Fresh off the tour: Freshlyground
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Who’s the most famous South African musician, ever?

Josh: Christopher Columbus Ngcukana the most famous in Langa and was an American great without ever going there. For me as a bass player, Spencer Mbadu was an outrageous talent from Langa too, but apartheid screwed that up. Bit of a long winded answer, but there doesnt seem to be a most famous ever, not yet.
Peter: Dave Matthews in America.

Who are your influences?

Josh: Miriam Makeba in the 60s, Hugh Masekela briefly with Still Grazing in the 70s. Johnny Clegg, Trevor Raben and Mutt Langer.
Peter: Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Nelson Mandela and a drummer called Steve Jordan

As an individual, how long have you been making music?

Peter: It depends what you call music, I’ve been beating the shit out of the drums since I was about ten.

What’s your ideal gig, fantastical or real?

Peter: Gigs are not really things I fantasise about. I’ve been doing them since I was 13. I loved playing at the Armchair in Obs the other night. We did 3 shows in a row there recently. It was cool to play a sweaty intimate enviroment. Close up, nowhere to hide.

What’s the favourite part of the job?

Josh: Making music and getting around.

…and the least favourite?

Josh: Making music and getting around; bit of a double-edged sword, missing my daughter’s evolution.

Nice car. Where’d you get it? (band members were all treated to a branded VW)

Peter: Is that a trick question? I’m a VW man all the way…with a bit of help!

What’s happening with the band now?

Josh: Working on new songs in our studio,some public gigs and treading the corporate mill,entertaining and paying the bills.

  • Josh was ‘expelled’ from the army, and has played bass with South African great Johnny Clegg
  • Pete used to play drums for jive act Mango Groove

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