Words: Chelsea Haith
Photographs: Th 13th
Shadowclub sat down with Archetype to discuss crazy gigs and the dangers of pineapple-flavoured lube
In between getting lost on the back roads of the Eastern Cape in Betty, Isaac’s trusty Toyota Corolla, and finding the best Mexican food in Grahamstown Shadowclub took a few moments to sit down for an interview. Jacques Moolman on vocals and guitar, Louis Roux on bass and Isaac Klawansky on drums are riding on the wave of a SAMA nomination for Best Rock Album and Best Engineer with the release of their latest album Goodbye Wild Child in November 2013.
Archetype: So you guys have been here [Grahamstown] what six or seven odd times, how did you get lost?
Isaac: You know what happened, I’m looking at the map and I drove too far on the N10 and then I saw a road that cut across to whatever this road was, so we cut across to this badass dirt road. Shame we saw some dude wheeling his bike and he had a puncture, but we couldn’t help him.
Archetype: So a car trip like that, twelve or thirteen hours, what did you guys listen to?
Jacques: We have the worst selection of in-car music. We have a bunch of iPods that have had the same tunes on them for years.
Louis: What did we listen to that was the worst song of the day?
Jacques: Imma Hustler. Imma Killer and Imma Worker. And then Vusi Mahlasela came on.
Louis: But Vusi Mahlasela is a legend though.
Jacques: He’s a legend to you. (Laughs)
Archetype: Do you guys have different music taste then?
Jacques: We’ve each got very vast taste in music; we’re not very close to what’s out there. We’re not very critical either, we like to joke about stuff but we like to be as open as possible. The world these days, music is about genre integration.
Louis: We did an interview where someone asked us what our dirty little secret song is and just to show you the range, it ranges from Britney Spears to Michael Bublé.
Jacques: I had nothing to do with either of those two. Actually Michael Bublé is a genius, he’s great. But Britney Spears fucking sucks.
Archetype: So what do you think about people who get very aggressive about the idea that ‘there is only one good type of music and that’s rock or that’s metal or that’s hip hop’?
Isaac: That’s obviously crazy.
Jacques: That’s kind of a ‘90s ideal, the ‘90s were kind of the last years in an era where everyone stuck to a specific genre in terms of fashion, music.
Isaac: There’s nothing wrong with someone just listening to rock ‘n’ roll because that’s what they love but for someone to say that rock is the only kind of good music is just mental.
Jacques: It’s also sad if people don’t explore, I mean music is a language. I’d love to be able to speak as many languages as possible. So that I could understand different cultures and it’s the same with music. Sometimes it takes time to get into a style of music but it’s cool to explore.
Archetype: What are you guys all listening to at the moment?
Jacques: I’m listening to John, whatshisname, he’s coming with… John Newman! I’m absolutely loving his voice. I got a record player recently and I’ve been listening to the Portishead record, to The Doors record.
Isaac: Fucking hell, I’m not listening to anything at the moment actually.
Louis: I’m listening to the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It’s the first time I’ve actually listened to anything. And it was CRAP. (Chuckling)
Archetype: So, what are your favourite pastimes?
Louis: Riding bikes and surfing.
Isaac: Watching movies.
Jacques: I love reading.
Archetype: What are you reading at the moment?
Jacques: I’m reading a book by…. Fuck what’s his name, uh Paul Auster. His book called Book of Illusions. It’s an old book of his but it’s cool.
Archetype: I was having a look at the cover of Goodbye Wild Child, the new album and there’s a photograph in a frame in the centre, is that Paul Wilson from Southern Gypsey Queen?
Isaac: Yeah, that photo is on my fridge. It was in a frame at his memorial and then I put it on my fridge.
Jacques: We thought it would be cool; it’s basically a shrine of all of our favourite possessions really. Stuff we’ve collected over time.
Louis: Ja, it’s got my first bass amp, JM first guitar, and some broken ass drums.
Jacques: There’s a head, a tiny little grey head that my dad made, he’s a sculptor.
Isaac: It’s cool if you look for a long time.
Louis: Every time you look at it you see something that you didn’t see before. Like there are tiny little details, jewellery hanging on a fox and that fox is someone’s thing and that piece of jewellery is meaningful to one of us.
IK: It was just nice to have a small tribute to Paul, not like a centrepiece, just a little something.
Archetype: Does the title have anything to do with him?
Jacques: No. He wasn’t a wild child at all. We were all pretty damn wild and we’ve become very focussed, we’re working a lot harder, working better as a team.
Isaac: It’s a nod to our crazy past.
Jacques: It’s a nod to the whimsy of our younger days I guess.
Archetype: So about those wild times, I read in February Rolling Stone published an article and it said quote unquote, that you, Jacques are “infamously fucked-up”. How do you feel about that?
Jacques: I didn’t even see that. That’s just a phrase in an article that is opinion. I don’t really take it too seriously. People enjoyed that, it was something to speak about, my years of abuse and the thing is, behind the scenes I really wasn’t THAT bad. I heard some mad stories and I guess it’s the fucking grapevine. I can certainly be kind of happy that I don’t have to
look forward to any of that again. It’ll probably come back and bite me in the ass again but I know that I’m not setting myself up for anymore of it. It hurts sometimes but I don’t take any media too seriously.
Archetype: Good life choice (laughter). So tonight will be fourth time I’ll have seen you guys live, but the first time was when I was 17. I was at this house party for someone who I think was called Byron and you guys pitched up and played, and it was so surreal. Shadowclub under the lapa in the communal pool area at a complex in Sundowner, Johannesburg, pouring with rain at about 10pm. How did that happen?
Louis: Oh, that, (all laughing) we were friends with him. It was a favour and then we got goodie bags, with sex toys. Thanks for the cock rings, Byron! That’s on the record.
Jacques: They did pay us for that show.
Louis: That fucking lube was weird though. That’s a messy experience: “Hey baby let’s try this out, WOAH, damn. Why does my bed smell like pineapple? Why does my bed STILL smell like pineapple?” (Laughter)
Archetype: Weirdest gig you’ve ever played?
Jacques: This week! This bachelor party, like super crazy religious. It was at this farm, which had a Mormon vibe, it could have just been a retreat, but the look of it was quite eerie.
Isaac: We’ve never experienced such crazy like fan/groupie energy.
Jacques: Every single one of those guys.
Louis: The venue that this gig was at was quite weird too; it had these kinds of moods in the decor. So there were churches and then in one place there was this medieval grandstand.
Jacques: With shields and swords. Dude, you didn’t see but at the one end of this field, there was this huge, I don’t know what you’d call it, an Armageddon machine, this ramp leading up to it and this skeleton of a factory with cloth draped all over it, it was fucking weird.
Louis: It looked like you’d go there to play Medieval Medieval.
Archetype: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Isaac: I’ve got a story, the craziest thing we’ve ever done, the three of us, was, we had this party, at my house-
Louis: No we had a gig the day before, but there was this storm, this crazy storm outside that we didn’t know about because we were inside.
Isaac: So, we play the show and then we had the afterparty.
Louis: Which we don’t do anymore but anyway.
Isaac: And then this afterparty went right through to the next night until 8 o’clock.
Jacques: And we were supposed to play a show. (Laughing)
Louis: Well we were supposed to go on longer but at 8 o’clock we were like, “Fuck dude, we better get our shit together and go play this gig.” So Jacques and I pull our guitars out and it was dink, dong, plonk, like fucking, oh my gosh, how are we going to do this?
Isaac: Literally fucked, like broken. And then Gareth, who was our booking agent at the time, phoned and told us the gig is cancelled. “A tree has been hit by lightening and fallen into the road and no one can get into the venue. Do you guys want to carry on, what do you guys want to do?” We were just like, Uh, um, no. No cancellation fee, it’s fine, we’re staying at
home (all laughing hysterically).