Henry spent time with Al Bairre ahead of their Pretoria performance with The Plastics at !Arcade Empire. We’ve also featured the incredible photos that he took on the night. Click here to to check out the rest of the album.
DYD: Well first off, someone would love to know if you guys need a tambourine player?
Nic (Al Bairre): Yes! We’re definitely looking for one. But they have to be female and they have to be a photographer for a well known online blog. So if you know anyone, please let us know.
DYD: Anyone who has read the awesome interview you guys did with Rolling Stone SA will know that you guys have managed to play at a TON of prestigious events and, what’s more, achieved all your goals a year early. How does it make you feel and what are your plans for this year?
Tess (Al Bairre): I think at this stage we’re a little indifferent, but we are definitely wanting to go to the UK maybe in June/July during the varsity holidays and we’re about to release a new single and we’re busy working on a brand new EP. So for now that’s what we’re busy with.
Nic (Al Bairre): Otherwise, yeah, we’re just going to be playing festivals.
Tess (Al Bairre): We’re still busy working out the plan.
DYD: Speaking of the EP, I’ve heard some rumours that you were bringing a new one out – can you tell us something about that?
Nic (Al Bairre): What rumors? We started them!
Tom (Al Bairre): Well, we have the new song. But the EP…. It’s gonna be wild
Kyle (Al Bairre): It’s a lot more mature. We’ve actually started thinking about taking it all more seriously. Like when we wrote the first EP it was the first time we were doing something like that and we didn’t think anyone would be listening to it a lot. We’ve now started thinking about how we’re going to lay out the songs and just making better songs. It’s definitely more dancey, more musical.
Tom (Al Bairre): Yeah. I don’t know where this music is.
Nic (Al Bairre): I normally, kind of just bring a bunch of ideas to the table and the band makes the songs, so we’re looking at about 6 new songs in total. And the six songs we have are all very different to each other.
DYD: Are you excited about the EP?
Nic (Al Bairre): Oh hell yeah. So excited.
Tess (Al Bairre): Let’s just write the songs first.
Tom (Al Bairre): Yeah man. It’s just so nice to have a whole bunch of new songs.
Julia (Al Bairre): Playing a new set, that makes it exciting.
DYD: You guys are an extremely independent band, have you found that this has made life more challenging or has it made it easier knowing that you can do what you like with your sound and your shows?
Tess (Al Bairre): Well look, I’d say its easy and difficult in different aspects. It’s easy because we can do whatever we want – there’s no one that we have to speak to or get permission from or get stuff signed. If someone wants to use a track we can just say yes or whatever we decide to do. It’s difficult because you don’t have the backing of a company and the financial support. I mean in the music industry it’s about who you know and obviously big labels have the connections to radio punters and things like that.
Nic (Al Bairre): It’s more challenging for Tessa. It’s a dream for us. To us, it’s like we had a manager anyways. So it’s fine.
Tom (Al Bairre): We’re doing everything ourselves. So it’s not like, ‘Okay guys, I know all this stuff from my many years of managing’.
Tess (Al Bairre): But we all spread out the jobs pretty evenly. Kyle is in charge of finance and everyone else has their own role.
Nic (Al Bairre): But it’s not like we’ve had to learn everything on our own. We’ve had lot of friends and people who have offered to help and we’ve kind of taken from everyone.
Tess (Al Bairre):We’ve really got a support system in place with really cool people.
Kyle (Al Bairre): We’ve even had loads of other bands giving us advice and telling us about their experiences.
DYD: You are currently touring Pretoria and Johannesburg with The Plastics…
Tom (Al Bairre): Where are The Plastics?
Nic (Al Bairre): Probably eating pizza somewhere. I can tell you, we’re more honoured than they are.
Tess (Al Bairre): Yeah, pizza with a good view.
Nic (Al Bairre): I swear, that’s what I’m most excited for, to see which restaurants and places they’re going to take us to.
DYD: *laughs* I was going to ask, what would you say you’re looking forward to most? (Oh and how’s the consummation of your love going?)
Nic (Al Bairre): Well we haven’t seen them yet.
Tess (Al Bairre): But it’s going to be wild.
Nic (Al Bairre): Yeah. I’m actually so excited because they go to the most extravagant places and restaurants. They literally live like rock stars when they’re on tour.
Kyle (Al Bairre): It’s because they’re older and more sophisticated.
Tom (Al Bairre): They got the fine wines and good brandies.
Nic (Al Bairre): In Stellenbosh, they were doing a gig with ShortStraw and instead of watching ShortStraw they went to go watch a movie. Like everyone should know that. Maybe The Plastics should even be punished for it.
DYD: Having never seen you guys live before, I have a few questions that I am assuming have background stories to. Here they are and maybe you could fill in anyone else who hasn’t seen you live. Okay so this next question is from our editor, Yetu. We at DYD know a lot about weird dance moves. Tell us about your antics on stage. And I’m directing this one to you, Nic.
Nic (Al Bairre): What? I don’t know….
Tess (Al Bairre): He just feels the music.
Nic (Al Bairre): Yeah. I guess I just let the music take over.
Kyle (Al Bairre): It’s his spiritual journey. His hips don’t lie.
Nic (Al Bairre): Yeah man, Shakira Shakira.
DYD: What was up with Nic’s white hair stage (and can he please bring it back)?
Nic (Al Bairre): Can I please bring it back? Oh that’s great. Well, before the band got really serious I did this Wella commercial where they just wanted to dye my hair for an advert and then I did it and it was just… wow.. terrible. But I didn’t get it dyed back and then eventually got it dyed back to brunette. When we did some new gigs everyone was like, ‘Are you that band with the lead singer with the super white hair?’ ‘What happened to your hair?’ and everyone started complaining. I think the twins were like, ‘You need to dye your hair back to white to get our image back’. So I did it again…
Tess (Al Bairre): Yeah but that was a mess. It turned out to be this awful yellow colour like straw.
Nic (Al Bairre): Yeah. That was awful. Then I dyed it again for the music video.
DYD: Who is the wife (bitch) in Kyle and Nic’s bromance?
Kyle (Al Bairre): Definitely Nic.
Nic (Al Bairre): Wait? I’m the bitch – I mean wife?
Kyle (Al Bairre): No, no. Like we’re actually very even. We 69 a lot so it’s fair.
Tom (Al Bairre): But Kyle drives the car.
Tess (Al Bairre): That’s a euphemism.
DYD: Alright. I have one last question to ask you guys. It’s something I ask at the end of all my interviews, ‘What do you eat for breakfast?’
Tom (Al Bairre): Mostly boiled eggs.
Tess (Al Bairre): Whaaaat? Me too!
Tom (Al Bairre): Yeah, it’s a super food. Some boiled eggs, tomato sauce, and some chilli sauce. It’s the breakfast of champions.
Kyle (Al Bairre): Avo on toast. Add on a little salt and a little pepper.
Nic (Al Bairre): I think we’re all boiled egg people.
Kyle (Al Bairre): Yeah okay. I do love a good boiled egg.
Nic (Al Bairre): Although I don’t really eat breakfast anymore. I wake up too late.
Julia (Al Bairre): We’re definitely an egg band.