Feedback Musiq’s Rifumo finds that an orchestra collabo and an X-Box are among the things that make a rock star.
It’s a fine and early Friday morning in Cape Town which means business executives are getting their daily dosage of caffeine while analysing figures and discussing golf handicaps. Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room provides the prime location for these and other interactions, including a band interview no less.
Following the unprecedented success of their debut full-length album, yes/no/grey., a nationwide tour was in order for Gangs of Ballet. The tour kicked off in their native Durban and made its way all the way up to Joburg and Pretoria, only to trek back down to Potchefstroom and Cape Town. Another performance is set for the small town of Darling, just outside of Cape Town, as part of the Rocking the Daisies Festival but it is between these two final stops that we caught the band for a sit down.
I arrive moments before my Durbanite interviewees and secure a table large enough to accommodate the quartet, their publicist and manager. It’s been a month of back-to-back interviews, performance and traveling and, naturally, an early morning caffeine injection is in order if they’re to do it all over again ahead of their performance that Friday night at The Assembly. Once the greetings, formalities and attempts to pronounce my name were out of the way, the coffee started rolling in and my questions began rolling out.
Part 1: The Making Of…
In this first of the three-part interview, I get acquainted with the band and try to unpack their DNA. They reveal details on the not-so-fireworksy story behind their band name, the progress they have made so far in defining their sound and the creative process of putting the album together. Did we mention that they got work with legendary producer and Grammy award recipient, Darryl Torr?
Part 2: Working Relationships, Videos & Style
Brad emphsises the importance of the company you keep following H’s appraisal of Torr and his work on the album. What may not be apparent to a number of their fans is that these guys are no strangers to the music industry. From the inception of Gangs of Ballet, each of them brought in a wealth of experience on the nature of the beast that is the music industry. This reads in the way that they’re aware of who surrounds them, the emphasis they put on creating intuitive and captivating videos, and their partnering with Sergeant Pepper for the promotion of their style.
Part 3: Tour Revelations, Dream Collaborations & Ultimate Goals
It seems that Hollywood depictions of the world we live in have been disproved yet again. My probe into the stereotypical rock star lifestyle yielded unflattering results. Nevertheless, what the band could and did reveal was the energy of their Pretoria audience, their phenomenal achievements thus far and H’s disheartening serving of mac ‘n cheese.
This being the conclusion of the interview, I wanted to find out the band’s dream collaborations and what their ultimate goals would be. The former was pretty straight forward: a philharmonic orchestra. The latter saw a myriad of responses ranging from headlining stadiums to tour busses kitted X-Box game consoles. Perhaps the rock star stereotype isn’t too far fetched after all.
Today, Saturday 7 September, saw the conclusion of the band’s Cape Town series of shows. Capetonians aren’t completely out of luck just yet though. Gangs of Ballet bring their tour to Rocking the Daisies in Darling in just under a month. Find details on that show and on how to purchase tickets here.
Some Durban flair never hurt anybody and the band’s success to date is testament to this fact. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Gangs of Ballet and we’ll be sure to catch them as soon as they’re back in town. We hope that by then Jono will have afforded his X-Box and that they’ll give us a tour of their tour bus.
Until then (and to ensure that the above actualises), be sure to support good local music by purchasing your copy of yes/no/grey. on iTunes and check back soon for all the latest on Gangs of Ballet.