Categories
Interviews Music

Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett screams in blue

On stage, Midnight Oil’s lead singer Peter Garrett cuts an imposing figure. Bald, six foot four, bestowed with an intense stare, he’s prone to flailing his limbs with wild abandon while singing passionately about politics, the environment, racism, militarism, and nuclear disarmament. In conversation, he’s thoughtful, articulate, and just as passionate. He has strong opinions on everything from climate change to legacy bands that go out and play the same 15 songs over and over, night after night.

Categories
Interviews Music

White Lies go it alone on ‘Five’

Jack Lawrence-Brown is a bit stressed. It’s mid January. In less than two weeks White Lies hit the road for four months. They’re playing 55 dates across Europe and North America. They’re marking the 10th anniversary of their debut album. Oh, and they’re launching a new LP.

“This is always one of the toughest parts,” the drummer admits, looking ahead to the release of ‘Five’ on 1 February. “It’s all done, you’ve had it done for a little while, and you’re just drip-feeding songs to people, constantly checking the internet to see what they’re making of it all.

Categories
Interviews Music

Goldfish choose their own adventure

How would you recover from a gruelling US tour? Goldfish’s David Poole went surfing in the Maldives. Dom Peters, the Cape Town electronic duo’s other half, attended a music festival just outside his home town.

“That was probably the wrong thing to do,” Peters laughs on the line from the group’s studio. “I wore a hoodie, which helped, because everybody kept asking me what time I was playing.”

Categories
Interviews Lifestyle

TT Mbha: the real deal

You can tell a lot about someone from their Instagram account. The Rock clearly likes working out, meeting fans, and raising his eyebrow. ‘Expresso’ presenter Katlego Maboe is a snappy dresser who meets many socialites and enjoys coffee and rugby. And Founding Director of Black Real Estate, Thato “TT” Mbha, is a dynamic, gregarious, well-travelled family man with no time for negativity. Always smiling (often with equally happy celebrities by his side), he’s mad about his two daughters, golf, fashion, and sharing inspirational quotes like “Pay attention to your dreams”.

Categories
Interviews

Bruce Dube: divide and conquer

“Life,” says Bruce Dube, “gets to be hard. But it’s a beautiful struggle.”

He should know. Today, the 27-year-old rules a pan-African digital media empire that incorporates youth portals, e-commerce sites, gaming and video channels, recruitment resources, and classifieds platforms. But his beautiful struggle to the top — marked by failure, hunger, and even death — has been as taxing as it is inevitable.

Categories
Interviews Music

Dan Patlansky explores the blues

Dan Patlansky won’t soon forget 1 February 2014. It’s the day he opened for Bruce Springsteen at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium.

“That was fantastic, even though it was one of the most daunting things I’ve ever done,” he remembers. “The scary part wasn’t the actual number of people, it was that none of those 80 000 people were there to see me,” he chuckles.

Categories
Interviews Music

Lightning prevails for Arno Carstens

London in January is cold, dark, and miserable. Yet Arno Carstens is excited to be back in the city he called home while making his third solo album.

“My memories of recording ‘Wonderful Wild’ are that there was a lot of serious thinking and kind of hard work but amongst the angst was just great fun and partying,” he says, thinking back to 2009. “Most memorable was all the good friends I made.

Categories
Interviews Music

éVoid come out of the shadows

The last time éVoid had done a full South African tour, PW Botha was president. The brothers Erik and Lucien Windrich were 20-somethings with a thing for beads and face paint. And their politically charged, African-flavoured ethnotronic songs were considered subversive enough to warrant police attention – and popular enough for jumping fans to cave in the floor of Stellenbosch Town Hall.

That was 30 years ago – an eternity in the music scene. So the siblings were understandably a little worried about doing it all over again to celebrate their self-titled debut album’s anniversary. No need: all 10 of their August homecoming shows were sell-out successes.

Categories
Interviews

Herman Mashaba: self-made man

“Independence,” wrote Dr Maya Angelou, “is a heady draught, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more.”

Sure, the author and civil rights activist was writing about her tumultuous life as a teenager in 1940s California. But her words would ring just as true for a multimillionaire founder of a South African haircare empire.

Categories
Interviews

Transformer: Khumbulani Konco

Football is a fickle business. Just ask Manchester United’s ill-fated manager Chris Moyes. But in a game where sackings and transfers are as common as vuvuzelas at a Bafana game, Khumbulani Konco has spent more than a decade at one club. The thoughtful, soft-spoken Bloemfontein Celtic veteran first joined Phunya Sele Sele as a player, before moving up the ranks to team manager, COO, and now CEO and club director – a career path he attributes to “loyalty, commitment, and responsibility”.