We caught up with Gangs of Ballet.
We’re really excited about your new album! Can you tell us about some of the themes in the album?
Thanks so much, we’re really excited to have some fresh sounds on their way. There isn’t too many lyrically consistencies on this project so far which in itself is a bit of a theme I guess. It’s been a real re-invention thing for us and we were really writing in the moment and what was happening around us. I spent a bit of time checking out the Bauhaus movement and their re- interpretation of what we understand as modern design. ‘Form follows function’ was a principle for the movement and kind of set us on course.
Does your new album reflect your journey as a band from your debut album released in 2013? Will we hear progression? Or will you still sound the same?
This first part is really a transition release, it’s got a bit of what people are used to and a bit of where we want to head. With our bass player leaving we’re transitioned into something fresh for us so we’re stoked.
In terms of finding inspiration for songs, do you look for anything or do you take it in moments? And also, who’s in charge of primary song-writing?
Josh and myself do all the song writing but the full ‘sound’ and character comes for the collective band input. I find my process is more intuitive than anything else, I really have a quiet mind and the music doesn’t really shut off. Sometimes it’s a tune I’m working on, sometimes fresh notes sneak in and show themselves. So for me it’s very much writing in a moment or recording a voice note at random times that I’ll later develop.
Who would you like to work with in terms of band collaborations? Name one South African act and one international one.
Locally I’d love to collaborate with someone outside our genre, we played with Naima Kay for the SAMA’s and we flexed some muscles that hadn’t been flexed. Internationally someone in a big production level like ColdPlay would be really fun.
Do you have a favourite performance? Where was it and what happened?
It’s hard to nail down one performance, there a re some memorable ones like playing to 30 000 people at Jhb Day but at the same time the energy of a smaller club like arcade empire and a few Durban shows leaves you on a high for days!
Who are some of your favourite international artists and acts? We’ve heard the more obscure they are the better but personally we’re having a thing for ‘N Sync again.
N Sync?! Maybe not! Guys like James Blake and Jack Garret have really impressed us, super fresh. But you can’t ignore the greats! Huge advocate for some old school tunes.
What do you do in your spare time, besides being awesome?
Well I’d be understating the fact if I said I was obsessed with surfing! Can’t get enough of good waves and the whole culture around the sport.
Photo by Craig Scott