Bittereinder to Rock Halloween

On the 29th of October, we’ll be jamming a pretty creepy Halloween party at the Voortrekker Monument. We’re looking forward to all 25 acts which include the South African staple, Bittereinder. Richard got to speak with them ahead of the party about all things from local radio to stories of things their fans have done at gigs.

Richard Chemaly (RC): Lekker gents. Dankie vir hierdie bespreking maar ek’s meer dankbaar dat julle tweetalig is want ek’s ‘n soutjie so aweh let’s do this. Man, I can’t forget being on debating tour in Gauteng and hearing you for the first time on the legendary Tuks FM back in first year. How much value did local radio have on your success when you were starting out? More importantly, how do you get their attention?

Bittereinder (B): Yes, we’ve enjoyed lots of support from all the campus stations, definitely makes a big difference when we go out to play shows in all the student cities like Potch, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Bloem, and of course Pretoria, to know that our singles are always on the charts is a big help. To be honest I’m not exactly sure how the songs get to the stations, our PR company used to do that. But we haven’t released new music in a while now.

RC: Fast forward to 2016…shot for the amazing Oppi gig feat damn sweet live drumming. You’re rocking the biggest stages available and your music lends itself to it. Do you miss small gigs? Any dorpie you haven’t performed in yet that you’d like to?

B: We hit lots of different types of shows in a year, from small sweaty club shows to big theatrical extravaganzas. We enjoy the challenge of playing lots of different types of shows to different types of audiences. Once we get our acoustic set a bit stronger we could probably consider a nice little tour of small towns, there’s tons we’d love to play at.

RC: I’m thinking of that Oppi gig now. Late on a Friday night, we were drunk and exhausted and were planning on skipping your gig and heading to camp…but then we decided not to. An hour of jumping around later, walking to camp was too much effort and a three hour power nap on the dust was to be had. That was probably one of the more rustig pass out storie but how does it feel that a lot of irresponsibility goes down at gigs you perform at? Got a cool story of a fan getting arrested/pregnant/dismissed after hitting one of your shows?

B: Shame. We’ve heard more than once that the combination of intense bass and too much intoxicants in the system has led to some peculiar biological reactions to our shows, specifically at Oppi shows. Live music can and should be something of a transcendental experience, exactly how people approach that experience is all up to them. We play our music for anyone who will listen, and we’re thrilled when they connect to the music on a deeper level than pure entertainment.

RC: Let’s talk collaboration. You’ve done a ton of it with various artists. My favourite being Kulkuns with Chris Chameleon because the artistic use of Afrikaans is just so amazing. I have some buddies in literature who have it on almost all their mix CDs. Both your own music and your collaborations have gone a long way in the development and evolution of Afrikaans. Do you take it as a serious responsibility or is it just something that happens to be a result of making music?

B: I guess it’s something that happens most effectively when you don’t think about it too much, when you just let the things that inspire you flow naturally into your own work. We do feel proud of the fact that our first four albums have formed a significant part of the new South African idiolect.

RC: Your music is damn enjoyable but Halloween is supposed to be scary. How’s this Halloween party going to work then?

B: We’ve rocked a few Halloween shows now, they’re usually tons of fun because to witness a mass of bonsing zombies and monsters is quite unique…or maybe that’s most gigs actually?

Date: 29 October 2016

Venue: Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria
Time: 4PM – 2AM
Tickets: R160 | Pre-sold: | R200 Door
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