Interview with Voodoo Kudu

Voodoo Kudu is a Rock ‘n Roll, Nelspruit based band with the love for old-school music.
They play original songs and covers and describe themselves as “a group having fun playing great rock music and sharing this with other like-minded folks.”

After many suggestions and disagreements, Alan Wicks (Bass) compares it to being in the same difficulty league as naming a baby! They wanted something that related to the Lowveld, hence the “Kudu”. “Voodoo just rhymes and has a bit of a Rock n Roll Jimmi Hendrix kinda vibe. So the name doesn’t really mean anything, we just thought it was cool….and of course we give it horns!”.

The band members are all mates who enjoy music and have played in various bands. When they met Mike (Lead Vocalist), who had just moved to Nelspruit, they got together for a jam and Voodoo Kudu was born.

Brett Coates

When asked what they enjoy the most of being in the Local Lowveld music scene, they mentioned that they get a real kick out of seeing people having fun and relating to the music. “The local music scene is like a big family and we’ve met some really special people though being part of it.”

From left to right: Michael Clarke, Alan Wicks, Trevor Thompson

We asked them some quickfire questions: 

Who are the bands biggest influences?

“Many influences ranging from old style blues, classic rock bands like Hendrix, Bad Co etc,  through to more grungy stuff like Collective soul. Also South African gems like Springbok Nude Girls and Seether.”

What is the craziest thing that has happened while playing a gig?

“Besides the technical gremlins and power cuts etc, there was one crazy night when we played Puddle of Muds’s “She F*cking Hates Me” a bunch of old folk jumped up from their table and bounced around the dance floor singing the chorus in full voice…..the benefits of Tequila ha ha!”

What is the song-writing process like?

”We play mainly covers, but the few originals that we have written have started out with Brett coming up with a guitar riff and lyrics. Once we try it out each band member interprets it in his own way and it morphs into something unique.”

How would you uniquely describe your music style?

”Basically old school rock. We like to play the songs that are not generally covered by your typical Pub band, but of course you need to play the familiar favorites as well, It’s what a lot of people want to hear.”

When can we expect an album from Voodoo Kudu and will it have cover songs on it or only originals?

”We are heading to the studio to record a few original numbers next month, not an album as such, but maybe when we have enough tracks down.”

From Left to Right: Brett Coates , Michael Clarke, Alan Wicks, Trevor Thompson

Contact Mike For Bookings:

Mike 071 764 6181 or Brett 082 774 5821

Like their Facebook Page: HERE

The Xpierreience Interview

The Xpierreience

Yes, it’s happened! We had a conversation with The Xpierreience, and now you can also get to know them a bit more!

The Pretoria based band talk gigs, band stories, and their new EP, “The Morning After”.

These ultimate rockers describe themselves in the most simplistic way possible: “We are just 4 musicians from Johannesburg who’s trying to make the world a funkier place”.

Pierre Coetzee
The Xpierreience

When The Xpierreience just started out, it was only Xander (Lead guitar and backing vocals) and Pierre (Vocals). As everyone is probably wondering, what’s up with the name?

“Long story short we had a festival coming up but didn’t know what we were going to call ourselves when the organizers asked us for a band name. So we just decided to use our names to form something..and that is why its called The Xpierreience”. We at Rock Tot love the personal twist on the names, mixed with the word “Experience”; and we can bet your drumsticks that they are exactly that!

Pierre Coetzee & Xander Van Zyl
The Xpierreience

We wanted to get a bit more… personal with the guys and asked them what their favorite road memory was.

Pierre mentioned that it had to be their first tour to Nelspruit in January.

“We had a gig at The Pub on the Friday, Fat boys on the Saturday and Bohemian Groove Cafe on the Sunday so we headed down on the Thursday as it was our Drummer’s birthday.” When they got to Nelspruit, they didn’t have a place to stay, (total rock stars, right?), they ended up phoning Pierre’s cousin and asked if they could crash on his couch.

“After a tedious battle with the GPS we finally got to Sabie about 3 hours later. Once we settled in we went out for a drink an on the way back we have this super duper amazing idea of taking a detour through the tree plantations and wouldn’t you know it we got a flat tire in the middle of nowhere at 12:45 at night.”.
Just as we thought it couldn’t get any worse… The guys said that next morning heading back to Nelspruit, one of their car’s wheels fell of while driving…. YES Lowvelders, you read right. “And to make matters worse when the tow truck driver came the car’s battery was dead”.

Ouch.. that’s quite an… Xpierreience.

Ivan Meyer
The Xpierreience

All jokes aside, the guys said that their inspirations range between “Uncle Jimmi Hendrix, as well as The black Cat Bones with their unique Blues sound so its a huge honor to be on the same stage as them”. We are so Xcited to see you guys at Woodcrock 13.1!!! (okay, we will stop with the “X” jokes now.) Get your tickets here!

Pierre also said that “the best way to describe our music is like a hormonal teen, you never know whats coming, is it going to be some blues, some funk or some reggae.. We just don’t know… We just try to jam and whatever sounds cool we play”.

Xander Van Zyl
The Xpierreience

The guys mentioned that they usually write their songs in the spur of the moment, but like to occasionally get together and just jam and write songs. They are actually in the process of finishing their mixing and mastering of their EP: “The Morning After” (which will be released in September) and also have a single dropping on the 9th of August called “Mary Jane”.

I think we are right in saying that The Xpierreience is going places, and we are confident that they are going to be all over radios and festivals near you in the future! Take a look at their Gig Guide and contact details below:

The Xpierreience Gig guide

Call :
061 272 7910

Xpierreiencebookings@gmail.com

Soul Taxi

If you are a Lowvelder and you are a fan of music, you must have heard of Jaime Negrao.  The man who carried Gibraltar as well as Johnnie and the Latin Blues Express for years.  We all were in shock when they announced their breakup in late 2018.

However, Jaime is not a man that rests, he is a musician with a passion to leave the crowds in awe.  Hence the birth of Soul Taxi.

Soul Taxi, Rock Tot, music blog, lowveld, nelspruit, woodcrock
Jaime Negrao

Soul Taxi has a very diverse sound, you can easily find them at a Sunday afternoon gig performing soft Latin blues; right after you have experienced their magic on a Saturday night of Bob Seger’s old time rock ‘n roll.  In just a couple of months, they have already been receiving recognition, they entertained Nelspruit at the InniBos 2019 pre-show and rocked the socks off as the only local band at InniBos 2019 itself.

soul taxi, mpumalanga, nelspruit, woodcrock, rock tot, music blog
Soul Taxi

Jaime has always been known to experiment with different guitar styles, anything from Brian May’s “Red Special” tone to deep swampy blues.  His young and inspiring nephew Sunny, on the bass, is one of the young leaders of the Lowveld music scene.  He has done session work for Jonathan Peyer as well as Tuin and also had local music projects in the recent past.  The musical jack of all trades a.k.a Neil, whose vast knowledge of instruments stuns the crowd every time.  He can pull out a harmonica, wooden block, cowbell and heaven knows what else at any given time which gives Soul Taxi that special sound.  Wynand behind the drums, is like a metronome.  It will be difficult not to feel his many years of extensive experience behind the drums.

If you ever want to experience a soulful taxi joy ride, feel free to check out Soul Taxi at the links below:

SOUL TAXI

Facebook: Soul Taxi

Contact: 082 808 9727

Email: soultaxisa@gmail.com

Website: soultaxi.webs.com

Interview with Hollowbody

Hollowbody is a Bluesy Pretoria based acoustic duo with the love for old-school music.
Tomas Taljaard and Dirk Jordaan play original songs and covers – mostly “pre-war blues and vintage folk”, but you might also find the occasional bluegrass tune and some “foot-stomping swamp music”.

Hollowbody sings interesting and innovative music using combinations of a Dobro resonator guitar and a mandolin.

Hollowbody covers songs by Howlin’ Wolf, Leadbelly, Doc Watson, Dylan, John Hiatt, and many more. Their originals are composed with “more modern lyrical content but the same honest grounded feel.”

We had the pleasure of speaking to the lead singer, Tomas Taljaard.

I asked him some quickfire questions about Hollowbody- 

How did you guys get into music? What was that one thing that made you think “This is what I want to do”?

“This is a tough question and I don’t think I can answer it accurately. I suppose it’s just something that happened naturally. Some of my earliest memories are of me listening to some of my parents’ tapes.”. Tomas went on to explain that as a toddler, he would listen to artists such as Guns & Roses and The Rolling Stones. He carries on, “There’s never been one defining moment. But there’s an honesty in playing music and performing that I haven’t experienced through any other endeavour.”

What has been your favourite place to play? 

“We were lucky enough to play STRAB in May, in Ponta Malongane.”

He explains that the other half of Hollowbody, Dirk Jordaan, couldn’t make it, but that he was quite blessed to have Peter Toussaint and Dale McHardy join him on stage. He explains that it was an “Overall a life-changing experience.”.

Photo courtesy of “Hollowbody” FB Page
Dirk Jordaan & Tomas Taljaard

Tomas goes on to explain that they like to call themselves blues musicians if they had to describe their music style. As per the explanation, the band’s style draws heavily from the early 20th century and even late 19th-century swamp and delta blues, but also folk revivalist, country, bluegrass and all of these elements can be found in their songs. “We like to make music that comes from a time before machines became part of our everyday lives.”.

Photo: Helene Cilliers
Dirk Jordaan & Tomas Taljaard

Their plans for the future are to try to keep busy in and around their hometown Pretoria. Tomas mentions that he wants to “write new songs and play them as often as possible. That’s pretty much it”.

They are going to be at Kaapsehoop this weekend to play the Rocking the Trails festival at 15h00 – 15h45 on Saturday.

Contact Dirk For Bookings: 082 776 6856

Like their Facebook Page: HERE

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