Another Exclusive Interview With Jax Panik
“Jacobus Johannes van Heerden (aka Jax Panik) was born and raised in the pleasantville-ish suburb of Bellville; located just outside of Cape Town (South Africa). At varsity Jax played in various bands, regularly switching from guitarist to bassist to keyboardist, and everything in between! The more he struggled to explain his unique vision to other musicians, the more he wanted to just do his own thing. So he bought some cheap software and started recording and programming his own tracks. Jax Panik was born!”
I had first interviewed Jax about a month ago, but as so much had happened in that time period I decided to check back and see how things had changed and what was new and happening…
On how he chose the somewhat ‘odd’ name came pretty easily as he explains “Jax has been my nickname for as long as I can remember. I really like the Panik part (added about two years ago) because it says a lot about my music and personality…”
He started out making music when he was “about 16 years old I started out in my first band, 22 Stars. I started singing in the band, but soon began playing guitar too.” The band 22 Stars had now legends Johnny De Ridder (Fokofpolisiekar) and Jaco Venter (Fokofpolisiekar, aKING) and has had many a Bellville fan. Their track ‘Still Dreaming’ can be found on the BRC (Bellville Rock City cd/dvd). He said “Playing in a band just seemed like the coolest thing ever. When I picked up the electric guitar in 22 Stars I could hardly play a chord. But it didn’t matter, I practiced hard and could soon play along with Johnny de Ridder who was our lead guitarist at the time…”
“At the end of 2006 I wrote and recorded some songs. In 2008 some of those songs became hits…” He worked with friend and producer Johnny De Ridder on his album Cigarettes and Cinnamon. On working with Johnny he said “We’re good friends so that makes it easier to work together. He’s a great muso and producer, with a great ear and amazing feel for what’s cool. It’s been loads of fun and I hope to work on more tracks with Johnny in 2009…”
The C&C album has been promoted from all sides-from Mxit to Facebook and all other online areas-Jax has it covered.
As for the new single to be released, he’s “not sure yet; it’s a toss up between Don’t wanna dance and Hit or Miss. But Russian Roulette is still doing pretty well on the charts so I have some time to decide…”
The last time I checked his favourite track was ‘Talking to Myself’ and he still “loves that track and thinks, it’s a good indication of where my head is at for album 2. I also really like Hit or Miss.” -There it is, a mention of a second album-exciting stuff!
As for his musical influences, they are “Talking heads, Joy division, Erasure, van Halen, Depech Mode…as well as loads of old school pop and rock…”
Jax Panik is heating up the airwaves here in SA and is going to continue to do so, keep an eye out for his tracks!
Enjoy the video for ‘Cigarettes and Cinnamon’ below.