CASSIDY BESSA AND SAM MUKWAMU
The Black Cat Bones are a Pretoria-based, South African rock band. The MK Award winning group (Best Live Act) will be performing at the first ever MIX FEST, a two day music festival hosted by Mix 93.8 FM at Cradle Moon Game lodge. The theme for this year is ‘nostalgia’ and promises to be a great event. PDBY spoke to the band’s guitarist, Andre Kriel, about MIX FEST and their band in general.
How does it feel performing alongside other South African artists and do any bands inspire you in particular?
Over the past 12 years, we’ve shared stages with almost everyone on the Mix Fest line-up and we still consider it a great honour to be counted among such legends as SNG and Mango Groove. We do get inspired by not only the talent and great song writing alibies of our comrades but also their persevering spirit and positive attitude towards our sometimes cut-throat music industry.
What interested you in doing MIX Fest and what does the cause of deaf awareness mean to you?
MixFM 93.8 has, since its inception, been our go-to radio station for local content and good ‘ol rock n roll music. The DJ’s are informed and passionate about the current local scene as well as up to date with what’s happening on the live circuit. It just makes a whole lot of sense for them to be hosting this amazing event. With regards to Deaf Awareness Week / Month in South Africa, we commend every effort made in raising awareness and challenging perceptions of hearing loss and deafness across South Africa and the world. Folks do not always realise how much support and information regarding new methods and technologies to help deaf people there is out there, and by creating awareness we can create more avenues for more people to get involved.
What is your creative process when creating new music?
We take it as it comes. It’s not something that can be forced or commissioned so we usually allow ourselves to be open enough to whatever inspires us and also to use our experience and influences to guide us in the creative process.
The music festivals theme is “nostalgia”, how does this connect with your band?
Coming from a Blues/Roots background we’ve always believed that in music, as in most other things one needs to first look at the past before you can start focussing on the future. The ‘nostalgia’ theme has always played a huge role in our writing as it stirs up emotions connected to certain memories in our lives, be it good or bad, and to remember is to feel.
What are some of your favourites songs to play at music festivals?
We favour the more livelier, electric songs at festivals so songs from our repertoire like ‘Old Man Malone’, ‘Black Cat Bone’ and ‘Vendetta’ (Take it like a man) usually has more foot-stomp-sing-along qualities but we’ve also been known to sneak a tear-jerking ballad like ‘The Well’ into the mix from time to time.
Your band has come a long way to becoming one of the best bands in South Africa, how has your band progressed and changed?
We’ve always respected and treated the band as a live entity that’s ever-evolving, permitting it to grow into its own character and never to follow what’s being dictated by supposedly popular trends and drifts, thus adopting a unique yet appealing draw towards like-minded free-thinking individuals.
You won the MK Award for ‘Best Live Act’. How do you make sure that every time you perform live that you live up to that standard?
We don’t … we’re only human …
Catch other acts such as Springbok Nude Girls, Mango Groove, Desmond and the Tutus, Watershed and more at MIX FEST on the 28 and 29 September at the Cradle Moon Game Lodge. The event is being held to raise deaf-awareness. Mix 93.8 FM will donate a portion of all ticket sales to the Rotary Club, and donations will also be accepted towards the charity organisation at the one of a kind Silent Mix private headphone party on the Saturday night.