When did you start and who works with you, and what sort of music do you perform?
The band formed when Hunter Kennedy and Jaco Venter from Fokofpolisiekar, teamed up with friends Laudo Liebenberg and Hennie van Halen, combining creative forces in making music to expresses shared experiences and influences. aKing then wrote an album, recorded and released it and started playing live in February this year.
aKING play melodic Pop-Rock with focused energy. We aim for sing-along alternative country-inspired songs and Classic Rock anthems. Our lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and cynical, yet sometimes sentimental mixed with an infectious, positive energy.
Are you signed to a record label? What albums have you released
We were signed before we existed with Rhythm Records and we have one album out, Dutch Courage which was released on 1 February 2008. The album was recorded at BSharp Studios in Boksburg and contains 11 original English rock tracks. We had three no 1 hit singles, from the album and it has been hailed as one of the best rock releases in SA in 2008. The first single “The Dance” was play-listed on 5fm and reached the no 1 chart position on the 5fm Hi 5 at 5 Chart,
Overtone chats with the guitar guru Guy Buttery, a man who discovered the guitar “like a young Scotsman discovering the bellowing bagpipes”
Check out this exclusive interview on Overtone.
When did you start, what sort of music do you perform, who works with you, what is the best show you have played? Are you signed to a record label? What albums have you released?
I picked up the guitar at the age of 10 learning the inevitable “Smoke on
the Water” riff like millions of other guitar players. Like a young Scotsman
discovering the bellowing bagpipes, the sound of the instrument pulled me in
like nothing I’d ever known before. Learning countless rock and folk tunes,
getting heavily into world music and more recently into a lot of nu-folk,
I’ve made music a staple in my life in one way or the other. Continue reading Guy Buttery | Guitar Guru | Exclusive Interview
Everybody comes along at the right time. Leonardo da Vinci was lucky because he came along at the right time. Oscar Wilde was lucky because he came along at the right time. Rock ‘n’ Roll was lucky because Eksteen Jacobsz came along at the right time: To save the world of rock from the modern day peasants that has infected it for more than a decade with their futile attempts to reconstruct the magnitude and reminiscence of a cult which one conquered the world. Rachelle Crous spoke to the man behind the band that is changing the face of the South African rock scene. Continue reading The Sick-Leaves | Transforming the Face of Rock
5 May 1891. Music Hall in NYC has its grand opening and first public performance with Tchaikovsky as the guest conductor. 5 May 1932. Japan and China sign a peace treaty. 5 May 1972. Voyager 1 passes Jupiter. 5 May 2008. Zebra and Giraffe releases Collected Memories and ends the world of electronic rock as South African music fans have come to know it. Rachelle Crous spoke to Greg Carlin, the force responsible for setting loose the zoo to conquer and reign over alternative electronic rock in South Africa. Continue reading Zebra & Giraffe | Reigning in the World of Electronic Rock
How does one find a way to define the undefined? And how does The Undefind define themselves, and can we define them? No? Fine. The Undefind are a hard rock outfit from the underbelly of South African bandspace. By hard rock, we’re talking Bullet For My Valentine, My Chemical Romance, Led Zeppelin, and by underbelly we’re talking rejected radio-play, faulty equipment and classic rock covers to pay the bills. But also, a thriving West Coast following, die-hard persistance and forward-thinking business acumen.
The big question: is Ike Moriz really South Africa’s answer to David Bowie? Well, if All Around The World is anything to go by, perhaps. Some Ike Moriz die-hards might find this shameful, and there are many of them, but prior to receiving the task of writing a review of the tall blonde, starlit singer-songwriter, I had never before heard of Ike Moriz. Maybe being a fully-fledged indie rock girl has something to do with it?
As with any carefully crafted pop album, the majority of the tracks share an aural aura. A couple of gems that should be kept in your radio-friendly archives include All Your Heroes Are Dead and the title track. Still (Bravo Mix 2007) is a good indication to go by when curious to find out more about Ike’s music. Whereof One Cannot Speak may be the only song not written by Ike himself, it opens the album on a strong note, and suddenly you’re at the front row of the outdoor festival listening to your new favourite solo artist from the South.
A few words with EBM (Electronic Body Music) two-piece VNV Nation ahead of their Cape Town show tonight (Fri 22nd August). Today, we’re talking about Mexican fans, shock tactics and getting ‘responsibly giddy’. As a sidenote, we’re glad John Bauwens could meet ‘em cos as you remember from the MyCokeFest article, he’s a legend.
Overtone recently caught up with Freshlyground’s multi-instrumentalist Simon Attwell for a couple of words about ZIMFEST 08. Check out what he has to say about the charity fundraiser that the band is headlining on September 6th, and get your tickets at www.zimfest.co.za now!
What is the best way for South Africans to act on the Zimbabwe situation?
Given the reality of life in SA at the moment- I think it’s difficult for any South African to “Act” on the Zim situation- bar of course to condemn Mugabe and ZanuPF outright if given the platform, and to continue to put pressure on Mbeki to follow through in his role as mediator.
Charity fundraising is nothing new for Freshlyground. Comments?
Check out what upcoming four-piece SA rock outfit Chasing Friday’s hilarious interview after a fantastic gig at The Edge in Parklands. July is Upcoming and Independent Music month on Overtone. Find out how you can win a website and get featured here.
It’s a cold Sunday night. The sky is dark, and I’m walking from the parking lot to Silvertree Restaurant at Kirstenbosch to watch the last winter performance by Babu, a four-piece hybrid group featuring the skills of Rheza Khota on guitar, Kesivan Naidoo on drums, Ronan Skillen on percussion and Shane Cooper on electric bass. Babu means ‘big brother’, or ‘older brother’ in South Asian languages. Almost the equivalent of the English ‘sir’. Rheza is one of the country’s top technical guitarists. Richard Pebbleman (Boulevard Blues) is up there, as well as acts like Jimmy Dludlu and Ben Badenhorst. But Khota, one of the instrumental outfit’s principle songwriters, makes magic by performing classical Indian scales (ragas) on electric guitar. Throw in an extended percussion setup and a typical, Western jazz back line of electric bass and drums, and soon I’m stepping back with raised eyebrows. Listen…
Complimentary Johnnie Walker Black Label at the door (and another later, when nobody’s looking), I claim a seat with the band behind one of the large banners. Kudos to the whiskey label for “having the courage to sponsor South African music,” as Ronan puts it. Everyone’s chilling. Rheza is focusing, Shane and I chat about stuff, and Kesivan’s eyes grin around the banquet hall. No indication of what’s to follow, really. Something like the last time I spoke to them [Interview: Babu]
Pride gushes forth. It’s been a kickass content weekend for Overtone, having interviewed crossover afro-rock outfit Hot Water and Flat Stanley ahead of their tour with Counting Crows, and we’re pleased to announce that local social network Zoopy, for one, is paying attention to our efforts!
So, fully aware that Flat Stanley are about to embark on a national tour alongside some band called Counting Crows or something, Overtone got backstage with front man Andy Mac after a smashing show at The Green Dolphin in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront on a Sunday night. Here’s the video that gets everyone curious: what do the band have to say about playing with the big boys?
A few shots from Sunday night’s show at The Green Dolphin. It was the first time we’d been there, and the place is an amazing live music venue, hosting local acts seven days a week. The beers might burn a hole in your pocket, but the atmosphere is great, and entrance is free on Sunday nights for Levi’s Original Music.
Stereozen are an excellent example of not knowing when to stop. By all standards, a group that has negotiated the tricky live music gig-scape, neighbour after neighbour and a self-funded recording process should have played their final outro years ago, but four years later they’re still locking down the fattest basslines and going bossies at their energetic gigs. While kismet seems to have played a charming role in their timely ascent to near 12-track ‘sci-funk’ albumhood, it’s not luck that’s dropped Stereozen in the drivers seat; these guys are quite simply going all in. We catch a couple of words with the defiant progressive funk threesome at Sound and Motion studios (the home of artists such as Lark and Humanizer) and find out all about triple testicles and what Clement can do with a flute.
This is the life! It’s going pretty smoothly. Cutting our teeth. [gangster look] Sny jou tande! [laughs]
What was the last recording?
Funk Euphemisms in an Old Brothel. Today, Justin’s laying down some funky tracks.
The album. Any ideas for a title?
Nothing yet. It might be self-titled. We didn’t really release our EP so if we release anything it will be this. We’re gonna be a bit broke after this recording. Maybe we’ll get sponsors that wanna sponsor us. Any sponsors out there, Nandos?
The drunk sound we’re trying to go for here is quite big. We’re gonna get some taxi bass going. Fat, hard edgy and progressive. Funk has to take on a different form. It’ can’t always stay in the 70s. We’ve gotta kinda keep it real cos we’re the only funk band in Cape Town.
Is your music fat with an ‘f’ or phat with a ‘ph’?
Ph. For sure.
Justin: Hanson Carlo: Ah, fuck, no, dude! You and Hanson. Frank Zappa. Clem: Mars Volta, Primus. Justin: Tom Jones. Carlo: Yeah. Stuff you won’t hear on South African radio, really. Funkadelics, Prince.
You guys got quite a technical setup here. Justin, you’re two floors down…
…and we’re watching him on TV up here!
Do you feel like professional musicians? That this is something you’re working towards?
Clem: This is definitely what we want. Justin: There isn’t a huge infrastructure or market for live music, so you’ve gotta keep it as much a hobby as something you wanna do full-time. But still have fun. Carlo: You gotta get enjoyment out of just playing without making millions. Justin: The dedication comes when you keep on; when you keep on playing gigs, keep on practising. Hopefully that manifests itself into something bigger.
How long you guys been jamming together?
Five years? Four and a half? Our first gig was 2nd Feb 2004. We obviously practised before that, and had band camp for a couple of weeks.
Band camp? Did you do that thing with the flute?
Justin: Yeah , you should see what Clement can do with a flute, man. Clem: It’s not true, he’s fucking around! [to Justin] We’ve spoken about this!
Carlo:It would have been nice to be cracking two months in the studio, but we’ve got, like, three days, and the rest of the stuff we’ll do at my place. This is gonna be a fully DIY album.
After so many years, we’ve realised that if you wanna do something you gotta do it yourself. You go out there and you do it hands on. Dude, there are so many people in Cape Town talking the talk and walking the walk, but when it comes down to getting stuff down they’re not preprared to do it. There’s lots of empty promises.
“We’ve got no more money, and we’re going all in, like in a poker game. This is our hand, this is what we got. And this is what we’re going with. “
This song we’re about to record now is called Going All In. We’ve got no more money, and we’re going all in, like in a poker game. This is our hand, this is what we got. And this is what we’re going with.
There we go, put your balls on the line.
[laugh] Justin: I’ll put my balls on the line. [laugh] I’ll put all three.
Who’s who in the band?
Clem: I’m the nice guy. Cos Carlo’s not the fuckin’ nice guy.
Carlo: Sometimes I have to run it through Clement as a filter. I’ve seen things go horribly wrong in the studio. Sometimes you have to be more focused than you actually are. It’s all fun and stuff, but if you all concentrate and do it well, the result is a lot better than just fucking around.
[laughs] Justin: I plant trees! I look after bonzais. Carlo: That’s actually what we need. More people caring about the environment. Justin: Using music as a medium to raise people’s awareness about the environment. The more people who throw green concerts like Rocking the Daisies the better, cos we’re headed for some turmoil man. Keep things clean.
Keep very specific things clean…[Stereozen have a lyric which goes 'Keep your pussy clean']
Carlo: Justin convinced me to say something serious. Justin: I finally convinced him. Carlo: We’re recording it as “keep your body clean”. You know, get the message home, cos there’s people running around with herpes and syphilis. And then at the live gigs, I’ll scare you. Like really shout it at you.
Sleeping on the job. Sleeping around. Sleeping their way to the top. Sleeping on the mid-day train. The Sleepers on what it’s like sleeping as a part-time profession, upcoming albums and bleeding their way to Hermanus. And sleeping.
The Sleepers doing the acoustic thing. No, the other acoustic thing, you pervert.
How long have you been together?
Four years? Four and half.
What was the first show like?
It was great. Our first show was at Evol, very cool venue back then. Nice party. We were shitting ourselves. Our first show put pressure on us to finish all the material that had been floating around. “Wow! We play eight songs, that’s like forty minutes!” But it ended a lot sooner than we thought.
Who does what?
Simon does nothing. [Laughs]. Simon sings and plays guitar, Steve plays drums. Jody plays bass, I (Adam) play guitar with Nic. Tonight I’m playing lapsteel with electric.
Who does what?
Seldom do our bands have their own agents. Everyone overlaps. What do you feel about collaboration?
In certain ways bands do play in the same circles. In other ways, they’re a bit separate. There’s no reason why you can’t collaborate with other artists. You do need a degree of similarity between bands for it to work, for it to be a band you can consistently play with.
We’re kinda in the middle when it comes to what’s happening in South African music. Well, white, upper class metal meets electro.
“Prevent regret. And get off your computer and come to a fucking show.”
Mostly myself [Adam], and Nic. Sometimes Simon helps. We probably work on a general structure, and then take it to the rest and work on it together.
When we look at our music, we kinda see it as lucid, and the songs are flexible. Light, dark.
What’s the wildest gig you’ve ever played?
[Nic] Cool Runnings in Obz. I ended up bleeding.
[Adam] Was that the one where you ran towards me? [laughs]
Yeah, Obzfest 2008 was a small, fucking intense show. I’ve never played a show that aggressive. It was hot, and they were sweating and it was evaporating and dripping off the ceiling.
[Adam] Nic had a Red Bull or something and just ran towards me. I was like, wtf are you doing?
I think our shows end kinda crazy and wild these days. It’s becoming more and more of a monster.
What’s the furthest you guys have played from home?
Betty’s Bay. That was the lamest show we’ve played in our life! No, wait! Gecko Bar in Hermanus is the furthest. That was a rad gig.
Overtone is setting up a route up the East Coast. You know, play a few shows, get out of town for a week, make some cash. Where it’s almost expected, and it’s not a lus to organise gigs. How would you feel about it.
We’re undecided on the title. We’ll let you know when it happens later on in the year.
Closing statements that sum up you guys as a band?
Prevent regret. And get off your computer and come to a fucking show.
Our apologies for being so quiet. But we have been cooking up something special for you – a new album, which is called Daddy don’t Disco. You’ll have to wait just a little bit longer as we are currently in studio recording the beast. We are doing this with Theo Crous, legendary guitarist of the Nude Girls, and now also a highly respected producer who has worked with a long list of cool bands. Now we are on that list too.
June 1st 2008: Prepare to disco…
Writing Daddy don’t Disco has been an amazing experience; it’s been very rewarding, occasionally funny, and, as anyone who writes music knows, at times goddam difficult. You’d be forgiven for thinking ‘who cares, just tell us what it sounds like.’ But we’re afraid that we just can’t do that. Not yet.
What we can show you of the album writing process you’ll find in our pre-production blogs. Check out the videos (on the “if you’re dirty” group and our band page) that examines our pre-production process, as shot by our friends at the African Attachment. Or the pre-production photographs shot by the talented Mister Ross Hillier (check out this guy’s stuff). Or just carry on reading this insightful and well written blog to fuel your erudition. What we can tell you is that the previous album On a Stellar Bender was really a collection of songs whose origination spanned at least a year and a half; the material had various authors and mirrored a changing band. To the contrary, Daddy don’t Disco was written in three very intense months. Whew.
The process kicked off with writers’ shock as we realized that the months of improvising (as a methodology for generating new material) had yielded no songs. We had recorded tons of audio files, which contained sonic explorations, riffs, some interesting moments and a fair whack of nice sounding, slightly useless sound garbage. What was lacking was much evidence of strong verse/chorus relationships. With Theo Crous’s studio booked for April, and our first pre-production session with him as our producer planned for early March, we knew that we needed to get cracking, and fast.
The outcome of us knuckling down has yielded something that sounds pretty different to what we have made before. The songs “have their own being”, and have us wondering that we might have created something very unique.
Once we complete the album we will tour to the UK in late May. In June we will launch the album in South Africa and proceed to tour our country over the course of a few weeks.
All tour details will be announced through the media, our Facebook (‘If you’re dirty and you know it clap your hands‘ has moved. Here’s the new page). And don’t forget to download the free mp3s you’ll find on our Myspace
We’d like to thank all of those who have supported us since our show at MyCokeFest. We had a huge blast and since then have received so many well wishes! Awesome doors have opened for us and we hope to ride this momentum as much as we can.
We are on a drive to increase our base of comrades as much as possible and we see Facebook as one of the elements that make up our marketing strategy. So what am I asking for?
Simple. Below, I have included two links. One is to our group page and one is to our fan page. We would love it if you guys could be so kind as to send this message on to your friends who are not in touch with us and who you think would like our music!
Once they join, we can keep them up to date with shows, and so grows the revolution!
You all must have 5 people you could send it to right? Those of you who can prove that you have sent it to 10 or more people and have had 10 or more people join both pages will be eligible to win the CD. The names will be drawn out of a hat at the end of the month. In order to win you need to supply the list of people that you have sent the links to and we will check whether they have joined.
Very NB: they must NOT be members currently. The aim is to get new guys on board.
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.
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.
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
Like you may have heard, Overtone is now an (almost) fully-functioning music store. We’d like bands and fans to be a part of the launch of our groundbreaking new music player, which you can embed on any site. Hey, isn’t it about time you plugged into the local music scene…?
Embed the player on MySpace, Facebook and other sites. Get noticed. It’s free.
Remember 2005? When the Arctic Monkeys struck gold by becoming the first generation of Myspace-made bands? Their debut album became the fastest selling in British music history. What we now know is that it was only a matter of time before bands embraced the wonders of digital publishing, and pretty soon, everyone was undercutting the distributors in a rapidly changing industry. Another thing we now all know is the lyrics to I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.
Trent Reznor says it like it is
Then, in 2007, the music industry died. We’re not gonna waste our breath justifying it: there’s enough reading out there. See the links below.
We’re here to remind you that Overtone is now taking the phenomenon of digital music publishing to the next level with our a mobile MP3 player. Embed it anywhere, and make friends with Overtone, one of the fastest-growing South African music portals. We host the music, and quality SA music gets streamed all over the web. And whether you like it or not, you’re making a statement: I support local music, not because it’s local, but because it’s good.
Bands and artists: get your player up now. Then send the link to your buddies. Show everyone you’re serious about being noticed. Sell your album in our online store. Get in bed with the most band-friendly South African music portal.