Catching Up With: Bittereinder

Photo Credit - Louis Minnaar

Photo Credit – Louis Minnaar

Renowned, local rap and electro trio, Bittereinder released their latest album ‘Dans Tot Die Dood‘, in early October, I caught up with them to talk influences, what went down in studio and what you can next expect from them.

How would you say the band’s sound has progressed with the various releases over the years?

Similar to the lyrical themes, our approach to making the music has also developed and widened over the last 6 and a half years. On this newest album we played a lot more analog gear, real synthesizers and drums. We’ve always been interested in the “human quality” that can be achieved in making electronic music.

Who were the main influences for the new album?

That is always such a tricky question. In a postmodern sense the level of intertextuality in our music and lyrics has almost become impossible to pin down or define. We’ve grown up listening actively to so much music and reading so many authors, all of which become reference points in the creation of our own texts, and naming a few specific influences is really almost pointless…

How many songs did you have to write before you came up with the ones that are on the album?

This album (thankfully) didn’t work like that, we chipped away quite early in the process on songs or ideas that we wanted to develop, and only carried on working on those we believed in collectively from the start. One song was added as a late inclusion as a hybrid of two earlier lyrical and beat ideas that weren’t working on their own but merged magically to make a new song…

Do you have a favourite track off the album? If so, why is it your favourite?

It changes all the time for the three of us, but we’re very excited about all the tracks in terms of what they’re going to add to the Bittereinder live set, there’s a lot of energy in these songs. “Berge Brand”, “Die Mes” and “The Flood” are getting a lot of love from people we’re playing the album to at this stage…

You are known for working with a wide range of artists on each album, has it been the same for this one?

This is the first Bittereinder album which features zero collabs. It’s mostly because Jaco has been letting his almost obsessive love of collaboration out in other projects like Walkie Talkie and Wêreld Records, so the three Bittereinder boys can finally work in peace on their own projects.

Did you do anything off the wall whilst in studio?

What happens in the mountains of Mpumalanga stays in the mountains of Mpumalanga. Suffice it to say that it was a really magical week in which we all managed to break away from the daily grind, society, and even the internet, and just focus on making music together in almost every waking hour…

What would you like to achieve in the music industry?

Again, quite a complex question. The way in which we measure “success” is probably variable, depending on what stage of your career you’re in. But we’re very excited about all the doors that are opening in Europe for our music and our live show, there’s an awesome horde of open-minded listeners there that we’d love to connect with more and more.

Last but not least, what is next for the band? We’ll make new videos for more singles off the album, play more album launch shows all over SA, and then hit Europe again in 2016. Exciting times!

Spotlight On: Chee

Photo Credit - Unknown

Photo Credit – Unknown

I caught up with up and comer, Chee before he plays at the Griet Halloween this weekend. We talked musical influences, who he can’t wait to see and what is in store for him..

Who are your musical influences?
Noisia, Vaetxh, Amon Tobin, Current Value, Moody Good, Culprate, The Mars Volta and a lot more.

How would you describe your sound?

Explain how you became involved with the event and why you chose to perform at the Halloween party?
My manager spoke to me about it and mentioned that it’s a Griet party so I was down from the start. Always been a fan of the Griet parties and playing one of them has been an honour.

What are you looking forward to about the party and Halloween itself?

I’ve never been to a Halloween bass party so I’m excited to experience both the bass music and disturbing costumes people have to offer. Both of them seem to work, I think my music will fit right in.

Who are most excited to see perform and why?

PHFat, Their oppi set was massive! Heard a lot new tracks that were a bit different to the usual PHfat sound they deliver. I’m a bit bumped out that I’ll only see them for 30 minutes due to our sets clashing.

What are you currently working on and do you have certain projects that you are excited about?
At the moment, I’m building a free halftime/hip hop & dnb EP that might be released sometime before the year ends through bandcamp and other label releases I can’t discuss yet. There’s a neurofunk LP in the works as well that I’ve been meaning to play out but never really had the chance. The LP will only be released in 2016.

Interview: Powerslave

Photo Credit - Caught In the Crossfire

Photo Credit – Caught In the Crossfire

I caught up with local band Powerslave, ahead of their performance at Cool Inc Tattoo Expo. We chatted about cover bands, the tattoo expo and what is in store!

Who are your musical influences?

Our musical influences range from the early rock/metal bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands like Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon. 80s Glam rock like Mötley Crüe, Ratt and Guns n’ Roses and early Thrash Metal like Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth are also huge influences to us.

How would you describe your sound?

We try to mimic the sounds and tones that Iron Maiden are famous for. Being a full on Iron Maiden tribute  band, we need to! That classic british sounding metal bite!

Explain how you became involved with the event and why you chose to perform?

We performed at Arcade Empire several times. The owners then approached us and asked us to do the Tattoo Expo.

What are you looking forward to about the expo?

We have never been to the expo before, so this will be new to us. We are looking forward to playing to the different mix of people attending.

Who are most excited to see perform and why?

I am looking forward to Jonathan Peyper (I love the blues!) as well as the Slashdogs, who are friends of mine.

What are you currently working on and do you have certain projects that you are excited about?

 Currently, the Iron Maiden and Mötley Crüe tribute bands are underway. I am involved in a casual rock n roll outfit and a KISS tribute is penned for the foreseeable future!

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