KIRSTI BUICK AND NADINE LAGGAR
What has your Oppi experience been like thus far?
Well, we’ve been busy. We arrived [Friday] and we went for sound-check at the main stage [because] we’re recording our show tonight. We’re also filming it. Then we rushed to Studio 1 to do sound-check there. We went back to camp, set up tents, back to Studio 1, played Studio 1. And now we’re here.
The recording of your show. Is that for DVD?
Fritz: Well the band split up in December in studio. So we’ve been apart six months. And then Oppi booked us in February and I just said, “The band’s broken up.” And then about two months ago I wrote the song that translates into “Epilogue” and the fan page grew quite significantly. So we were like, alright, we’ll do one last show and we’ll put it on film and DVD and release the single with the whole product in October/November with a few old songs and maybe, like, a very short [documentary].
What do you consider essential when packing for Oppi?
Louw: And some alcohol.
Naas: Definitely a sleeping bag. And a tent.
Fritz: I don’t have a tent, sleeping bag… It’s just survival here.
Met any interesting unknown brothers?
Louw: I met Naas.
Naas: Didn’t I know you once?
What life lesson has Oppikoppi 17 Unknown Brother taught you?
Don’t forget ice.
Apparently, the name Holiday Murray belongs to a thin wooden man who accompanies the band in all its endeavours. Is he here at Oppikoppi?
Of course. We built a box for him so he can travel with us, because we did break him at a festival before. So we had to repair him, but ja, now he comes with us everywhere, and he’s been on all the stages we’ve played on.
Your music has been described as being a mix of folk-pop-rock. What would you say are the major influences on your music?
Life. Experience. And all the music we’ve ever heard. As musicians, we want to play around with sound as much as possible. The journey has just begun.
How was it working with Adriaan Louw on your music video for “Jirey”?
Cool. Adriaan’s a friend of ours. He’s very organised and he’s good at what he does. Sometimes it got a bit hectic, he got a bit upset with us when we didn’t pull our weight. Well, some of us. [All laugh and look towards drummer]
Can we expect a new music video anytime soon?
Yes, we’re about to release a video for our new single “Antagonizer”. It should be on TV and the internet in the next couple of weeks.
You guys released your self-titled debut album in May. What can we look forward to from Holiday Murray in the future?
We’ve been thinking about recording an acoustic version of our album sometime this year.
What’s the best thing about Oppikoppi?
Walking past random people when you’re compos mentis enough to hear their conversation. The most ridiculous things come out of people’s mouths, it’s awe-inspiring.
What’s with the masks? We want to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. It sort of creates this idea that Jax Panik is not just only one person but everyone that was involved in the project. So it’s something that we did in the first few months of rolling out this album and the first few videos feature this logo and the mask.
Is it true that Jax Panik started out as a parody of prevailing traditional South African rock bands?
That’s true, yes. Jax Panik started out as, I think, some sort of pop-parody. It was never really meant to be taken seriously. It’s been around for quite a few years now and I think it’s the first time we’re taking it seriously because people seem to really enjoy it. So Jax Panik was never meant to perform live. It was just this bedroom project and it evolved, evolved, evolved until, ja, we came up with some really good songs. And now we’re a live show as well.
Has what Jax Panik stands for changed since making it so big in the South African music industry?
I think maybe the hardest part about Jax Panik so far has been to share personal experience with a big audience. [An] unknown stranger… Unknown Brother. And I feel quite comfortable setting it in that direction. And, just like, over-the-top crazy party music, you know? I think [tracks] like “Get Up” and “Dinosaur” really become a made-up experience. They’re just drawing from various bits and pieces of popular culture. And we just kind of meshed it all into this one little horrible pop abomination. And that’s Jax Panik.
What do you get your inspiration from?
I think we’re all looking through a lot of really dodgy underground stuff. Like hard, hard electronic and rock music. And I think that’s what we all secretly love and what we all secretly would want to do. But there’s always been that fine line between taking bits and pieces of that and putting it together with, sort of, whatever is cool right now.
You say your music gives fans a chance to escape to another world. What kind of world would you say Planet Joy creates for the listener to escape to?
We try to kind of create a space that people can fill up for themselves. We have an idea, like a visual picture in our minds, and write songs according to that, but it’s not like we try to force that on people.
Is that the link then to the graphic novel Marthinus [lead singer and guitarist] created for the website?
The graphic novel is basically just the story of the album. We really just tried to translate the emotions involved.
How has it been collaborating with Tamara Dey on the album?
It was pretty cool, she just listened to the music and was like, “I want to come sing, I want to get involved.” So she basically just features on a few segments. People just loved it.
Which bands are you most excited to see at this year’s Oppikoppi?
Zebra and Giraffe, Die Antwoord (just for the entertainment), Lark, and The Used.
What item is essential for survival at Oppikoppi?
Wet wipes – for the dirt. A hip flask – to help you forget about the dirt. Allergy pills. Special tequila underpants?
Oppikoppi is renowned for its visual spectacle. What is the strangest thing you’ve seen so far?
At a previous Oppi, we saw this drunk guy trying to reconnect these two cables lying on the floor. And then this old guy comes up, whips him, grabs the cables and tries to reconnect them himself. It was pretty weird.
Do you think anyone is missing from this year’s line-up?
Shadowclub and Taxi Violence. Boo! would have been great too.
Alleen na Desember
What’s the best thing Oppi has to offer?
Francois: Good music.
What bands are/were you most looking forward to seeing?
Zebra and Giraffe, Not My Dog and The Used.
There has been some talk of Alleen na Desember releasing an English single. Do you think Afrikaans fans will find this offensive?
No, a lot of our fans are English.
For such a new band, making the line-up at Oppikoppi is quite an achievement. How does it feel?
Overwhelming. There are no words. It’s just Oppikoppi.
What life lesson has Oppikoppi 17 Unknown Brother taught you?
Koppi is a good thing forSouth Africato show the world. There are just no rules – the world should be exposed to our happiness.
Tidal Waves has been around for over 10 years now. Do you think Tidal Waves have another 10 years in them?
It’s actually been about 13 years now. It’s difficult to survive in this industry. We fight – but we know our aim and goal. As long as we remember that then definitely.
You guys are Oppikoppi veterans. What has been your best moment at the festival over the years?
All our performances are our best. But there was a Koppi, the one when we introduced “Lekker Lekker Dans”. The crowd was so crazy.
You toured the US in March this year. Did you get a good response?
It was a very successful tour. We went toTexasduring the tour, and people kept saying we were crazy to go there, that they’re racist there, but it was so amazing! They’re just like South Africans. We impressed them.
Any plans to do another tour there?
We’re going again in March next year – we want to extend it to places like California. They love reggae there now – now that marijuana is legal there. [Ed’s note: We checked and it turns out that marijuana isn’t legal in California after all, but we applaud Tidal Waves’ s wishful thinking. Love marijuana, right, Tidal Waves?]