Interview with The Anti Retro Vinyls!

Posted by on 24 Jul, 2015 in Featured, Interviews | 0 comments

Interview with The Anti Retro Vinyls!

So, I had the pleasure of chatting to the Anti Retro Vinyls just the other day, and I’ve got to say that I have never met a nicer bunch of guys! They were…are great! We met at Hells Kitchen in Melville where I got to know the guys.

So here’s what went down:

Cayley: How did you guys meet each other?
Sarel: “Internet!”
Greg: “Ya, when the old members all left the band I made an angry Facebook status, one of those immature rants and uh, Sarel responded.”
Sarel: “I phoned Tate up and I told Tate this guy was looking for band members, lets do it.”
Greg: “ So I got facebook messages from them and looked at their pictures and I was like yip, sweet bros! So we played the first show like two weeks after we met. First rehearsal was like a week after the facebook message and it was like a week and a bit after that we played our first gig.

Cayley: Where did you play your first gig?
Sarel: “Arcade Empire in Pretoria. The next morning we did 5fm.”

Cayley: Why did you guys decide to play the genre that you play?
Greg: “Its..um..its what we sound like when we all play together I think that’s..
Tate: “I think we just make music that we love and then hopefully other people love it as well”
Greg: “Yeah, it’s nothing like the old version of Anti Retro Vinyls, like if you heard the first album it’s nothing like what it sounds like now, I don’t think. And I think we didn’t really talk about anything like that, I didn’t want them to play the other guys parts even in the old songs. They just kind of did what they did and I did what I did and that’s what we sounded like..so..ya.

Cayley: Do you guys ever get nervous before a performance?
Tate: “Depends how pretty the front row is.”

Cayley: Do you guys have any advice that you would give to new bands coming up?
Sarel: “Play shows…Everywhere and just make sure your name’s on every bathroom stall or every sleazy bar just… shamelessly promote.”
Greg: “You have to kind of throw everything you have at it – I think you get out what you put in.”
Tate: “And appreciate your response as well from others, like just appreciate it, whether its shit or awesome…just love it.”

Cayley: Where’s your favourite place to gig?
Tate: “Any place with a stage..”
Sarel: “Aandklas has been awesome, that’s probably my favourite. Joburg, probably Rumours Lounge. ”
Greg: “Aandklas, Pretoria is pretty cool. I think the Boheimian is probably my favourite. The sound is not that great and the venue’s technically not that great but it’s the only place that has like…I don’t know…it’s kind of dirty and..its got kinda..yeah..it smells like last nights sins.”

Cayley: How do you guys balance your music with other obligations?
Tate: “Lists..I write a lot of lists and try and follow them.”
Greg: “We don’t have any other obligations this is what we do, …full-time musicians.”Ant Retro Vinyls

Cayley: If you could have any musical instrument what would it be?
Tate: “A Theramin, one of those woo..woo..woo..woo, just because it sounds like ghosts.”
Sarel: “Like a massive organ built into my room…church style, like gigantic, like the one Davy Jones plays in pirates of the Caribbean, like exactly that one!”
Greg: “I don’t actually own an electric guitar..hahaha…I use one of Sarel’s…um I had to sell mine to pay rent a little while ago and I haven’t sort of gotten around to replacing it.”

Cayley: Do you guys have any hidden talents?
Tate: “I’m really good at massage….”
Sarel: “Hidden talents…I can run quite fast..In a race….I did athletics in school..Ï ran Gauteng.”
Tate: “That’s a big run! You ran Gauteng..”
Sarel: “I ran Gauteng…from one side to the other……I was tired”
Tate: “I wanna see you run now! Go do a run..”
Sarel: “You can chase me around tonight, okay?”
Tate: “But I’m not as fast.”

Cayley: Do you guys have a main songwriter in the band?
Greg: “Yeah, I’ll write a song on acoustic guitar kind of thing and then we all kind of, you know, Sarel puts his shit on and makes it cooler, then Tate puts his shit on and makes it cooler, and then we sort of fuck it until it’s done.

Cayley: What sparked your guys love for music?
Tate: “I watched one of my friends band practices when I was young and then I just wanted to be the drummer…and now I am.”
Sarel: “I have no idea what started it actually. It just….happened.”
Greg: “I think I….ya I don’t even know….I think I had one of those sort of slightly abandony fathers that I saw every now and then, so I kind of put him on this pedestal and he had long hair and played guitar and taught me Smoke On the Water when I was like 8 years old, so I think through that odd emotional nonsense..sort of yeah..it became the only thing I thought was cool.. from as early as I can remember, I think. Air guitaring to Rolling Stones.”

Cayley: Have you guys been in any competitions?
Tate: “I think we’re all competitive with each other.”
Sarel: “The band is one big competition.”
Tate: “Who can have the biggest hair this day…..but not competitions as a band.”

Cayley: How would you describe the evolution of your sound and style?
Greg: “I think musically, from the first album to now it’s kind of, its quite minimalist now. It’s sort of straight up, that’s what rock and roll is. There’s some sort of punk rock ethic involved. And sort of saying fuck you with the instruments, or I love you at the same time, that’s what rock and roll is. It’s fuck you and I love you, just, you know, people have to choose which one they hear.”
Tate: “I think we’re all on the same page now, all members are on the same page, wanting to make the same music instead of like too many cooks in the kitchen kind of thing.”

Cayley: Has anything embarrassing happened to you guys while you where on stage?
Tate: “Ha!.. I fell off my chair..off the back of the stage, but we didn’t stop playing, and there’s worse things that have happened but..ah..that’s the worst one I’ll tell you.”

Cayley: If you were able to sit under a table and listen to any two people talk, who would they be?
Tate: “Ahh I’ve got this answer!…Dr. Susse and George Kallis…I think that would be amazing, cause they’d hate each other.”
Greg: “I think Izzy Izzard and Jim Morrison would have an amazing conversation..yeah, I think those two.”
Sarel: “Marilyn Manson and Jesus.”

Cayley: Who would win in a fight between spider-man and batman?
Tate: “Spider-man, cause he’s got actual powers.”
Sarel: “Ya, spidey sense, batman wont even be able to touch him.”
Greg: “Yeah, there’s no batty-senses.
Tate: “He’s just got grappling hooks.
Greg: “That’s all he has. That’s all he offers anyway, and a cool car.”
Tate: “Okay ya, he’s got a cool car.
Sarel: “Spider-man doesn’t need a car…”
Tate: “That’s true……pretty sure there are toy spider-man cars….so that’s a real thing.”

Cayley: If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would they be?
Tate: “Hey! Look at us.”
Greg: “Ha..That was pretty good.”

Cayley: What are your top five favourite bands?
Greg: “Um….Fuucck….probably…I don’t know, I think the Libertines are one of my favourite bands of all time…..um but ya like it’s sort of that seventies, London and new York combined with a lot of other stuff, but I don’t, it’s such a hard question..”
Tate: “That’s such a hard question.”
Sarel: “I hate lot of bands..I like a lot of metal..Korn, Slipknot, like stuff that you wouldn’t expect someone that plays in this band……Arctic Monkeys is the most communal one probably.”
Tate: “Anti Retro Vinyls though….probably number one for me.”
Greg: “This is my favourite band, it really, it genuinely is my favourite band. It’s just my taste in music..haha..it’s lovely.”

Cayley: Do you have any celeb crushes?
Tate: “So many..haha…so many. Angelina Jolie will always be a dream.”
Greg: “Mary Poppins….Debbie Harry, …then or now, just Debbie Harry…Debbie if your watching 😉 …”
Tate: “I’m tryn ta get you five..”
Sarel: “That girl from The Girl Nextdoor? Yus, I was in love with her….I’m just putting Russell Brand in there just because he looks like all of us.”
Tate: “And then the last one can be….GoKu..from um.. the..documentary.
Sarel: “Hahaha the documentary?”
Tate: “Yes…go with me on this…just..it’s real life”

Cayley: How do you guys handle mistakes during performances?
Sarel: “Just keep going..”
Greg: “There aren’t any mistakes…I think ya, people don’t come and watch us to hear a recital, you know what I mean.. I think a bum note is artistic expression.”
Tate: “It makes that specific time you played that song unique to who ever’s watching cause that mistakes probably not going to happen again.”

Cayley: Greg, you say you are the main songwriter, what influences your songs?
Greg: “Lyric wise..um..I don’t know..I think its like sort of.. looking at the world and life..and sort of..sex and drugs and heartbreak and stuff.”

Cayley: Where did ‘If I had your daddy’s money’ come from?
Greg: “Um that was a..ya, that was an argument, it was a fight with an ex-girlfriend, that turned into a song. Haha..that was the only response that I had in the argument, I went upstairs into the loft and recorded a song and then played it for her.”

Cayley: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Sarel: “When Greg told me to tease my hair..”
Tate: “I think just embrace who you are, that’s, I don’t know who said that, like a lot of people have said that, it’s just good, timeless advice. And then just do it.”

Cayley: What was your favourite live performance?
Sarel: “Splashy Fen, Splashy Fen was my favourite.”
Tate: “Splashy and that Old Mutual concert that we played, but also favourite as in size of stage and sound is good and stuff but then you also get those favourites where’s there’s like two dudes that dance really weirdly kind of favourites because what the hell are they doing and the ones where the boyfriends are taking their girlfriends out of the crowd – “No! Don’t like this band.””
Greg: “Music in the gardens that was really cool. I can’t think of a favourite. I think any show where it’s sort of… a little sweaty little club and you know…where there’s kind of no barrier between us and the audience.”

Cayley: What kind of music did you guys grow up with?
Tate: “I grew up on metal…oh no growing up with like my parents? Oh, awesome bands like Cat Steavens and the Eagles and..there was another one..Johnny Clegg was like one of my moms favourites..he’s pretty cool.”
Sarel: “Like Steve Hofmeyr..ah Dozi..”

Cayley: Do you guys have anything else you might wanna add? Any up-coming albums or songs we should keep an eye out for?
Greg: “Oh ya, we’re busy working on our second debut…hahah our second debut album at the moment…and it should be out before the end of the year. We’re also making a documentary-type EPK type thing..”
Tate: “And also Tate is single at the moment…and I’m not a prick come and speak to me.”

Anti Retro Vinyls

From the left: Sarel, Tate and Greg.

So there you have it. In summary what struck me about these guys is their commitment to their music and making it in the South African music industry no matter what they have to sacrifice to reach their dream. It was an awesome chat with an awesome band! Thanks guys for taking the time out to chat with me. Love you all! :)
Not only are these guys great people, but they make awesome music and its great to watch them in action on stage. So do yourself a favour and check them out when they’re playing a gig in your neighbourhood.

Anti Retro Vinyls

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