Gangs of Ballet and a Gang of New Songs
Gangs of Ballet released a new EP which is a second part of their previous EP, which will eventually lead to perhaps a third part…It’s all rather complex but you can read their explanations (via Brad Klynsmith) below while listening to their new music here.
Richard Chemaly (RC): Congrats on the new EP…or rather the release of part 2 thereof. We read that you wrote about 40 songs and cherry picked a couple for part 1. We did however not that the names of the first couple of songs on part 1 were “Ageless”, “Always” and “Blurry”. We’re you just going alphabetical before you thought somebody might catch you out?
Brad Klynsmith (BK): *laughs* That’s funny, never realized that! We actually managed to get that song total up to 60, don’t know when to stop I guess.
RC: Sitting on so much unpublished when in your five years you’ve established quite a name for yourselves in our musical discourse…do you feel like you’re being unfair by holding out on your fans?
BK: Well there is a disclaimer in that we never said they were 60 GOOD songs! We’re not scared to write bad songs, it helps with finding out what the good ones should sound like. So basically it’s an act of kindness that we don’t share them all.
RC: I’ve been reading about how the 90s in America, punk rock evolved and it (arguably) all happened at a single club called Gillman Street. While not exactly punk rockers, you gents hail from Durban…not the first place one thinks of when thinking alternative rock. Is there a centralized alternative rock community with an established head quarters or did you just built the culture yourselves?
BK: We also started in short lived but legendary Durban club called Unit 11. The scene has changed since then and alt rock isn’t really a massive thing now but there a few really great acts like Josh Wante, easy Freak and Edison tide coming on the scene.
RC: We’ve done the math and the associated homework. We’ve learned that you wrote about 40 songs for part 1 and a further 20 for part 2. Continuing the pattern of using 6 songs per part, you should exhaust your collection of 60 songs over 8 more years. So what are your plans for 2025? More importantly, if an EP is collectively 12 songs (as it currently is), isn’t it now an album?
BK: Yeah we got one more part, EP 3, coming for you, so watch the skies for a sign!
RC: I’m actually enjoying part 2. My favourite track is “Walk Away” as it resonates with me. For example, today I was supposed to write an exam and I felt so liberated telling myself, “No, this isn’t what I want to do!” so I didn’t go write it. I doubt that that is the meaning you intended for the song but how important is the way your fans interpret your music to you?
BK: Yoh! That’s quite bad ass! Well, I love it when people connect with our music, that’s why we do it.
RC: “Life Goes On” is also one that caught my attention. I haven’t really heard a breakthrough band write on the subject since Offspring in 2005 with Can’t Repeat and certainly not any local bands. Over the years, your music has (especially on the local scene) distinguished itself not only musically in general but also specifically in content. Looking at your older music of course songs like “Always” contain common content, “Don’t let me go” sound like it’s common until the video adds content (that song still makes me super happy inside by the way so thanks) but metaphors like in Hurricane are unrivaled. What made you decide to place so much effort on lyrical content and has it paid dividends?
BK: We’ll see over the next few months if it pays off, but we’re becoming more comfortable with writing more and more honestly. If you listen to the first two EP’s you’ll be able to really hear where we were at and where we are currently in life.
RC: Traditionally one must close an interview asking what’s next…but I surreptitiously already did that and frankly, the answers tend to always be spoilers so instead…inevitably, having written as much as you three have, you develop and evolve. Are there any songs you look back on and think, “urgh! How could we ever have put that out?”? Moreover, any tips for the up and coming kids when it comes to song writing and not looking back but always forward?
BK: Yeah for sure, I’d say that’s probably been a weakness for us as a band. We’ve held in to too much content in hopes of the perfect time to release and it eventually ends up dying in the archives and never sees the light of day. If you want to do music it will come at a price, if you want an extraordinary career it will come at an extraordinary and unrealistic price. Go get it!