Our music industry isn’t kind to the alternate scene. Goths, metalheads and rockers are too often consigned to ashes before reaching maturity. Their killers are corporations and demographics. Corps because we can’t compete in the money game. An overseas band lands as a million dollar package (videos, posters, adverts) that’s worth more than our whole scene combined. Demographics because there are 10 black people for every white person. There’s no racism in that statement – just simple fact because rock ‘n roll, like almost everything after the alleged end of apartheid, hasn’t mustered willingness to cross the colour divide. Sure, there are rare exceptions such as the astounding Blk JKS but they’re like a lonely torch being shone in the deepest coal mine. In South Africa, Gospel, Kwaito and McDonalds Pop rule (in that order).
And let’s not forget, or underestimate, the universal fallibility of the human condition; that ability to self-conflagarate when egos become bigger than determination. We don’t live in an age where schools and parents teach their budding adult offspring to grow balls or confident clits.
Hopefully my criticism and bitterness will eventually be surpassed by a zeitgeist of discovery, a worldwide viral exploration of amazing bands whose music will never die.
For now, i can at least dedicate my morning ears to Jo Day, Saturnine, The Awakening (are they alive?), Ketamine, Lucid, Armchair Generals, Darkpop, 16Stitch, Sitter, Squeal, Sunways, Ashburner, N.I.P., The Diesel Whores, Fruit Fly Navigators, Cannon to a Whisper, Believable Addiction, Battery 9, Wickhead, Movie55, The Flowerheads, Kickstand, No Friends of Harry, Mr. Smug, Henry Ate, N.I.P., Slugs of War, Sacrifist, Cynosure, Rhutz and Fetish. I don’t include Grynd Rodd Muse because they’re zombies who keep rising again and again…and again.
Music industry days have been long and dark but my morning, at least, is sungoddamnshining!
Who They Were and What They Are Now:
- Henry Ate’s Karma-Anne now performs as Karma in the USA.
- Michelle Breeze (Fetish, Darkpop) leads Why Why Peaches in the UK.
- Gerrit Boonzaier (Movie55, Boon) is now 2nd Life.
- Rowan Stuart, half of Cynosure, now plays under his own name.
- Ketamine’s singer mellowed from rock to alternate pop as Shannon Hope.
Find a massive collection of South African music videos on my YouTube channel, Play South Africa Loud.
If i’ve missed out any bands you love, or what they’re doing now musically, be sure to supply a comment below. Be great to have a contact edress for an ex-member of Saturnine, Lucid, Sitter, Cannon to a Whisper and Flowerheads. Be good to feature their music and keep it alive!