You performed at the Hello Ambassador afterparty alongside bands like Shadowclub. What was the experience like?
Tristan: The venue is called The Sheds, which is an old warehouse in [the] Pretoria CBD. [It is a] great place for a band to play. It’s huge and once you have your amps cranked up it fills the entire room. Sharing the stage with Shadowclub so early in our band’s existence is unforgettable.
Hugene: The Hello Ambassador show is one of my favourite shows to date, where we played our hearts out in such a punk vibe venue, and because it was such an awesome show. Just after we started we felt a sense of appreciation from the people that were there.
You played alongside aKING on 26 February. How does the band prepare for a big gig like that?
Tristan: It’s great to get to gig with one of South Africa’s best rock ‘n’ roll bands. You realise that as great an achievement as that already is, there is now equal pressure on us to make sure it’s the best show we could ever do. We try to keep the show interesting and not just play ten songs. The songs are an outline of the show, what we do within and between those songs musically is what makes it a “live show”. So we try and work hard at making it somewhat impressive.
Hugene: Practice. To be jamming with guys like that [has] its ownmindset that you need to prepare for. It’s either your best show ever or your worst, but usually [it] ends as one of the best since you are under so much pressure to nail it.
You are currently recording an EP. Has there been anything special about the recording process so far?
Tristan: We had barely started gigging last year when our friend and producer Gerhard van der Merwe suggested we record with him as he showed an interest in the music. Before we knew it he was recording guide tracks in Xan’s room and we had to get ready for this EP. We recorded drums in Pretoria at Xan’s house, guitars in Jo’burg and then bass and vocals [with] Gerhard. The recording took about a month due to everyone’s time constraints, so we’d record each instrument somewhere different and on a different day. Usually when you book a studio or plan to record a few songs you do it in a few days or weeks flat-out, then mix, master and release. We had time to record each part and then listen to it before we moved on, so it wasn’t rushed. We did it at our own pace and in a completely comfortable environment.
What can listeners expect from this EP?
Tristan: It’s raw and energetic rock ‘n’ roll that’ll bring you to tears.
Hugene: Some awesome foot-stomping rock ‘n’ roll that will get you moving and a song that you’ll just get lost [in].
You recently completed a national tour stopping in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Jeffrey’s Bay. How did the crowds around the country receive you?
Tristan: This was the first tour we embarked on. It was with some crazy friends who are also in bands such as Sheldon Payne &The Blue Veins, The Barking Trees, Carri Wolfe and Blazin’ Gooch. [It was the] best time of our lives. We played Durban first and it was such a party. I think “Durbanites” are deprived of live music so either they liked us or they just needed to hear some bands. Either way we all win. You have to start somewhere, and as a whole it was a successful first tour.
Photo: Mike Olckers