DYD: Tell us about your acts, from inception to where it is today.
Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace: Well this act started as a passion side project, just an excuse to get some muso friends and jam some good old blues and other stuff we liked. As it naturally evolved and grew, it became a way for me to channel some creativity that did not necessary fit into the projects I was a part of at the time. So it really took four years to become a good vehicle for my songs with the right people.
DYD: Tell us about the make-up of the band, its members and their roles.
Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace: Well, we started out with a lot of drummers, but like I said it all evolved very organically. The members at the moment are Jan Fyfer, who was my roommate. When the last drummer parted ways, I was like, “Hey man, wanna join?” and it has worked out great. I think he’s the cheerleader of the band – always excited and ready to go and has a lot of vibe and energy on stage. Dr Beitel van der Merwe has been jamming with me since I was 19 years old when we were in Zinkplaat together, and at first he wasn’t that keen on it, but I convinced him and he’s just the anchor – as solid as a rock. We have been making music together for so long that we don’t need to talk about ideas. He just instinctively knows what I want and it’s awesome.
DYD: Your music has an awesome classic rock and roll style about it, tell us about the choice to create music in such a genre, especially considering it seemingly lack of prevalence in modern rock.
Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace: I don’t think it was ever a choice – I never sat down and went, “I wanna make rock and roll”. I grew up in that environment and it’s like falling in love – you can’t help it. I just gravitated towards that kind of music. When I started to write, the influence just came through and I couldn’t help it. I think it chose me. I mean blues rock was my first love, so it doesn’t matter if I play reggae, it will still be at the core of what I play. It’s just in my blood.
DYD: Your music flows though rock and roll, blues and hints of country, tell us about your music influences that help shape your music.
Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace: I was fortunate enough to grow up in a musical environment. My dad played guitar and loves all music from Pavarotti to Black Sabbath, so I grew up with a wide music palette from classical to folk to country to blues to rock. So I guess subconsciously it all sneaks in. My biggest heroes in school were the classics like Hendrix, Clapton and Stevie Ray, but I also loved punk and after school found country music. So I guess I could never make up my mind, hahaha. Also through session work which I have done since I was 21, I have to learn a lotof styles and be diverse and I guess that rubbed off on my own material as well.
DYD: Your music is filled with such strong emotions and stories, what inspires the band to create music like this?
Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace: Well I have say we are not a band in the traditional sense. It’s a solo project with a great backing band like Bruce and The E Street Band, so the music kinda works in that way as well. I write the songs and then take it in to the guys and I usually have an idea off what I want and let them put their spin on that. As far as writing goes – I don’t know, these things are sent from the heavens as far as I am concerned. I would just sit and play around and get something I like and then a week or two later, a lyric would appear and then I would kinda go down that avenue. And the emotional or personal state you are in usually dictates for me what I will write about.
DYD: Your music sounds extremely accomplished and of an immense quality, tell us about your creative process when creating music.
Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace: Like I said I would usually get the idea and write the song, but I never try to force it, so it might take a while and then I would record it roughly on my computer and play around with the arrangement until I’m happy and then take it to the band. In the studio again, we laid down the basic tracks and then started playing around with extra layers and instrumentation – its like a kid in a ice cream shop and you can have all the flavours, its awesome!
DYD: You music sounds very honest, would you say that that certain purity is important in your music?
Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace: I think passion and truth its what music is about and anyone can spot a bullshitter. I don’t think fake passion or trying to be truthful works as well. You just gotta be yourself and be true to yourself and keep your soul. No one should try to be anything else than what they are and make music for any other reason than the love of making music and the thing of blues and alternative music, is you can’t fake it otherwise it sounds fake. Its either in your bones or its not – its really that simple. So I wouldn’t say there’s a purity, because we never tried to be pure, I just play and make music that I like and that’s maybe that vibe which comes through? I don’t know.
DYD: I would like you to give us a few images, colours and moods that you associate with each track off of your Shakedown EP.
Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace: Well, there’s a saying, “The blues ain’t nothing but a good man feeling bad and rock and roll ain’t nothing but a bad man feeling good”. I would say that sums it up, haha. There’s blues, lust, boogie and everything in between inside.
DYD: What can we expect from the band for 2014? What would you like to achieve?
Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace: We would really love to play all the festivals and tour so hopefully we will be hitting Joburg, Pretoria and Potchefstroom soon, then maybe a viral or two and an album at the end of the year.
DYD: Is there anything you would like to say to the people reading this?
Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace: Buy the EP please, and thank you!
If you want more Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace information:
– Check out the Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace Soundcloud page
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