Interview contributed by James Goatfukk.
1. Metalized hails Bryan!!! First of all, it's a great honour
for me to have a chat with one of the oldest veterans from the South African
Metal ''scene'' Haha. Seriously, I was like ''holy fucking shit'' the first
time I laid ears on your former Death Metal band called INSURRECTION! I did not
think that a band from my own country could actually produce truly bone-sawing
and UNIQUE Death fucking Metal the way INSURRECTION played it, thus I would
like to ask you to please give us a little background on your past involvement
in INSURRECTION and how you got involved in Metal in the first place.
Thanks for the kudos James and always good linking in with the underground.
Personally it all started for me when I got a dodgy tape of Manowar and Iron
Maiden back in 1986. From there i was addicted to metal. I was pretty much sold
on trying my hand at playing something that gave me the same feeling of power
metal gave me. I grew up in a town called Springs on the East
Rand and it was here in 1990 where I picked up my first guitar.
From there it pretty much became a relationship. Now Springs was a very
backward town, so going out and partying was always a death defying act if you
were wearing a metal t-shirt. So basically I spent a lot of time practicing and
drinking with like minded metalheads, all of whom also started messing around
with instruments. Out of this Resurrection was born. We released a demo called
"A good day for dying" soon afterwards. Back in those days it was all
about tape trading so we managed to get some attention from outside the town
and had a song or two make it to radio. We then realised that the name was
already taken and so Insurrection was born. At about this time things started
heating up politically in the country and it was a fitting name. Soon after a
second demo called "Truth", our drummer moved away and bass guitarist
left and the line up of myself (leads and vox), Jimi (drums), Dean (rhythm) and
Morgan (bass) was born. Together we seemed to gel as both friends and musicians
and basically started bringing in all our respective influences. I was very
much into punk, psychobilly, thrash and death metal, and this started to mould
what I started playing. We then released a demo called "Trinity" and
after some great reviews, we started to take off. We then decided to add a more
African flavour into the material we started writing and that's where a fair
amount of uniqueness came to rise.
2. Did South Africa actually have a scene
back in the early 90's? If so, was it any good? How would you compare the scene
of that era to the one of today? Which bands from the old scene do you remember
and which ones would you recommend for our readers to check out?
I started going to live metal gigs at 16 sometime in 1988. Back then a good
turnout was 20 odd headbangers living the religion. The first real sign that
there was a scene growing was when Odyssey played at the Standard Bank Arena
and there was a pretty big attendance in the early 90's. From there on it
seemed to grow exponentially with Urban Assault playing on the skateboard tour
of Tony Hawk. Then there was Napalm Death, a true eye opener and an insane
mosh. A scene was born!!! Considering I was living in Johannesburg the scene was pretty cool. There
were always faithful attendees and everyone was headbanging and moshing. That
crowd participation was what made every effort that much better. Venues at one
stage didn't want us to play because railings were being smashed in moshpits
and people were getting injured. Despite this, the scene really grew to the
point where we were playing to at least 300 people a show. The biggest turnout
I remember was greater than a 1000 at a music fest at the old Doors in Johannesburg. I would say
that during this time there was great camaraderie between bands and fans alike.
I cannot say how it is in Jhb at the moment but I find that here in Cape Town there are too
many chiefs and too little Indians. Fan support is so segregated and there in
an air of elitism between bands. The odd thing I find is that there can either
be a good turnout or a shit turnout at a gig which indicates that some people
are more interested in partying it up than actually supporting bands. The
diehard fans are there but there are also those that shy away from watching
anything that hasn't come from overseas. Personally I have watched pretty much
every band that has come out of the area... I just sometimes wonder how many of
them can say the same. Metal to me is a lifestyle and I find that some of the
bands that arise are doing it for popularity and to get laid rather than to
live it. After the band ends you never see those guys again as if swallowed up
in a 4th dimension. I just truly hope that people will eventually see the light
and create a genuine brotherhood as we did with Metalmorphosis, Jaded Jane,
Retribution Denied, Sacrifist, Groinchurn and Pitt amongst others. I would
check to see if you can find any of those bands.
3. What was the reason for
INSURRECTION to split? Do you have any idea about any of the other member's
Well, in 1996 we started considering going overseas to try and make our
mark. By then Morgan had decided to leave the band so we were using Andre from
Sacrifist on bass. In 1997 Dean and I hopped on a plane to the UK to start
getting set up. Jimi, our drummer was meant to join us once he got his car
sold. Sad to say he never did, and Dean and I started to drift apart. There
were some very good opportunities on the horizon for us. We had pitched a
concept that a few bigger name record companies liked and it was a case of
doing a few shows in the UK
to see how it goes. It just wasn't destined to be and by the time I got back to
SA, Jimi was on his way to the UK.
All a fuck up in timing I guess. These days Jimi lives in the UK and plays for
a band called Neverborne and Dean lives in Cape Town but his taste in music has
very much changed and I haven't seen or spoken to him in about 4 years. I speak
to Jimi all the time.
4. Did you have any particular vision
for the direction of INSURRECTION's music back then? What inspired you to play
in a Death Metal band in the first place? How did you decide for instance:
''Ok, this is the type of music I want to play''?
I guess it was a case of what music I could recognise most with. I loved
thrash but death metal was my passion. This was very true to the rest of guys
as well. The fact that death metal was also pretty limited back in those days,
made it all that more unique. Not everyone could get the guttural thing going
without it becoming monotonous so there was a niche. I just really enjoyed the
way it blended in with the music and all the other guys were very for it. Being
from Springs we were an angry yet friendly lot LOL. So growling and playing
really fast was always a good way of letting off steam.
5. I think it's safe to say that
INSURRECTION had a personal identity of its own; do you agree? If yes, please
elaborate on your answer, and tell us what you feel made INSURRECTION's sound
diverse compared to most other Death Metal bands in those days?
Agreed, it drew influence from more obscure acts blended with African flare.
The use of some of our local native languages added to that air. We were also
pretty big on the occult and we brought some of that influence in to create a
more mystic type sound. So, as jumbled as that all sounds, it seemed to blend
well for us. As for other death metal, the Americans were good at finding originality;
I just feel that after the first few legendary bands came out, newer bands drew
too much influence from those acts. Pretty much the same can be said about many
bands these days. I like quite a few, but love those who really stand out
because of their originality.
6. Which bands influenced the sound
of INSURRECTION and how did the idea came about to incorporate African elements
within your sound? From a personal stance, I can detect some touches from bands
like MALEVOLENT CREATION, SUFFOCATION, BOLT THROWER etc. Did any of the
aforementioned bands influence you in any way?
All the aforementioned bands did have a great impact on us. I am/was a
seriously big fan of those bands. The pinnacle of death metal for me will
always be Malevolent Creation's Ten Commandments. To be honest we were very
much inspired by that. I'd say some of the other bands that impacted us greatly
would be Sepultura (prior to Chaos AD), Morbid Angel (especially Altars of Madness not the crap
they've just put out) and Death. We decided to create a more unique element in
our music much the way Sepultura did. Being African, it would only make sense
to bring in elements of our continent and country into play. The most
recognisable South African percussive sound would be that of gumboot dancers
and it seemed like a cool idea to bring that feel in. So we went to the extreme
of adding in gumboot dancers and African drummers which we sat and recorded at
a flea market with a dodgy hi-fi and crappy mic.
7. What inspired the band's moniker
and how was it chosen?
After we discovered our first name Resurrection was taken it was a bit of a
bummer. It had a ring with the anti-religious theme we were going for and was
meant to be a play on telling people to wake up. When we decided to change the
name we wanted to keep the same ring in the name so that the change would be
pretty smooth. Luckily Insurrection as a name was falling into place as an uprising
against the political conflict in SA and was open to the religious connotation
as well. Logo was however always a struggle and we eventually decided on a
8. Did INSURRECTION get to play many
gigs back then? Who are some of the bands you've shared the stage with and what
were some of the best experiences for you as far as playing live with
INSURRECTION? Are there any funny or vivid stories you can share with us?
We probably ended up gigging most weekends from one side of Gauteng to the other.
Then there were the odd few tours to Pietermaritzburg and Durban. There were very few metal bands we
did not share a stage with and the list would be endless. We did however play a
lot with the same guys, usually Metalmorphosis, Sacrifist and Jaded Jane. There
were many great experiences; most memorable would be playing in Potchefstroom
where the police raided with at least 50 officers and a K-9 unit. Safe to say
there was a cop to every patron that night LOL. That night we did the trashing
of the hotel room thing where we lifted a box of streamers and built a
wonderful column from the ceiling fan to the ground....and proceeded to switch
it on!! Almost a fire that day. Others include our first gig which was to 600
people, drinking blood on stage (don't laugh....we were trying to be extreme)
while dressed in monk habits!! The drunken parties we had in the process have
all faded in my mind but I can guarantee you, those were some of the greatest
times of my life.
9. What was the greatest achievement
for you with INSURRECTION? I mean, of course the band wasn't very well-known
outside it's home shores, but you still got great joy out of playing brutal as
fuck Metal, didn't you? For me personally, I would say that ''Umnikelo'' was
your greatest achievement, as it is one of the best Metal releases from this
Umnikelo was our crowning achievement and made its way onto 5FM and the
likes. We were interviewed on Portuguese radio where they played the whole EP
and interviewed us for about an hour. It was only meant to be for 15min. We
used to get mail from around the world, mostly from Europe
after a write up on the EP was done in Terrorizer magazine. We were extended an
opportunity to go on tour with Sinister and Vader but because things fell
apart...well you know the rest of the story. While playing, I loved every
moment of it. I pick up a guitar from time to time to churn through some of the
old tunes. I've also contemplated rerecording some of those tracks for shits
10. What can you tell us about the
''Umnikelo'' release and the main concept behind it? What does ''Umnikelo''
mean and who was responsible for the lyrics on that album? It contains only 5
songs, although the songs aren't exactly short, so I think it's relevant to see
it as a 'mini-album' - do you agree with me? Can you give us a synopsis on what
the songs ''Anointed in Blood'', ''Inkosi Sikeleli Ukufa'' and ''Freedom
Fighters'' are about?
Well when we started writing for that EP we decided that we wanted to introduce
the overseas metal audience to the sounds of Africa.
It is after all; the Dark Continent. We
decided to throw in some of the local language as well for good measure.
Umnikelo means sacrifice and it was used in the context of it being a ritual
mix of European magick and African witchcraft. I wrote the lyrics on the album
with the exception of "Ritual", which was done my Morgan. One could
say it was a mini album time wise. Looking at some of the albums around that
time you would find 10 song albums clocking in at about 30min. I wanted longer
songs that meander between different moods. Anointed in Blood is about the
political upheaval in the post apartheid era. There was constantly blood spilt
by lemmings while their masters were lining up to climb onto the gravy train.
"Inkosi Sikeleli Ukufa" is a take on the South African national
anthem Inkosi sikeleli iAfrica which means god bless Africa.
We swapped iAfrica for ukufa which means death. It was a song highlighting the
world's ignorance to what was actually going on in the country. From 1994 on,
we started seeing relentless corruption, unemployment rise, and crime soar,
especially the murder rate. What's worse is nothing much has really changed, in
fact more rampant nowadays. “Freedom Fighters” is about South Africa
having 2 political parties of the same race fighting each other because of
their predominantly tribal differences. In this era there was meant to be
reconciliation not factionalism, but was all done under the guise of freedom
fighters, a redundant term in a post apartheid country.
11. So now, years later, you formed
the band ING - what can you tell the reader about your latest band and what
inspired you to get involved in Metal again?
When I returned from London after seeing all
the bands I wanted to on my bucket list, I moved to Durban in 1999. Before I knew it I was in a
band with Henk, Jason (ex Desial) and Jaimie. We decided to call that band ING
and that's where it all began. Metal is really a lifeline for me and without it
I would shrivel up and die. So starting again was a natural step. At that time
I was on lead guitar and vocals and we were churning some of the old
Insurrection songs along with totally new material. It was heavy and fast and
still very much death metal. For me it was really cool to play with the best
muso's in metal in Durban
at the time. Those were some seriously talented dudes.
I guess the main difference is that Insurrection had more a serious theme to
it which predominantly covered the political and religious landscape at the
time. There was also a pretty big occult influence. ING is more geared towards
taking the piss out of everything. The days of taking everything so seriously
had come to an end. Now we prefer paying attention to how silly everything has
become. Politics, religion and culture has become so fractured that it's like
walking into a shopping mall that sells all the same shit, just with different
branding. At some stage you realise that if we take stuff too seriously, we end
up being old miserable bastards. After the Durban
chapter of ING, I ended up in Cape
Town. I had a well deserved break before joining
Sacraphyx on bass in about 2005. I was with them for about a year before we all
went our separate ways. At least I made a cameo appearance with them on the
Konkhra tour. It was then that Henk moved to Cape Town and we started ING again.
13. With ING, you recorded and
released your debut offering in 2009 titled ''It's a Sick Thing'' which is
quite a good first effort if you ask me! The style on your debut album is old
school Death Metal with a good dose of Thrash elements; do you agree? How would
you describe the sound of ''It's a Sick Thing'' to those who haven't heard it?
Are you fully satisfied with the material on your debut?
There is a little known fact that we had a release prior to "It's a
Sick Thing" called "It's a Hate Thing". This was a very thrashy
release and very much my first attempt at a home recording. Paul played with us
on that release and he was adamant that the vocals be thrash/punk. I tried my
best at it and it sounded like something but was all a bit off the mark with
electronic drums and my attempt at recording. Some of the songs on that release
found its way onto "It's a Sick Thing". I was very happy with the
tracks but still pretty inexperienced on the recording side. A lot of work can
still be done on that. On this release I did the guttural vocals again, and all
music was arranged by Henk and me.
14. You have told me recently that
you were planning to re-record some of the songs from ''It's a Sick Thing''
because ING have become more Thrash-orientated, and that you feel more
attracted to this style; is that right? What can you tell us about the new
direction of ING?
Now doing thrash type vocals, we are busy working on a new album that will
have no processed sound influence in it. I want all the guys in the band to
deliver their best performance and not sit afterwards and correct everything. I
find bands these days are doing drum replacement of their actual drummer and
not using real amps. It's one thing not having a drummer and then using a
computer to make drums and totally another story when you have one but sit and
replace him. To me that loses the whole humanity in a recording. So the idea
here is to have natural everything with the sound coming from real drums and
amps. Once we get that right we may redo all the old songs for release later.
We just want to get this album under the belt and guarantee it will be the most
aggressive stuff we've come up with.
15. I've seen some of your live pics
here and there, which tells me that ING plays gigs quite frequently or just
whenever the opportunity presents itself? Do you have a booking agent or do you
organize gigs yourself?
We usually organise our own gigs and get invited onto bills with some of the
other bands. It all remains pretty informal for us. Personally, until there is
a huge attendance at gigs in big venues, the exercise of organizing booking
agents seems somewhat redundant. Yes it's good to present yourself as
professional, but until sponsorships, endorsements and radio play start
inflating the scene, it's pretty fucking useless. Let's face it, booking agents
aren't really interested because what would their cut be on fuckall? LOL. If
you're doing this for the money in this country, you're just kidding yourself.
Expenses are always going to be greater than income. If you stick around,
you're doing it for the love of metal!!!
16. Doesn't it irritate you when
people at your shows just stand upright all stiff and just basically nod their
heads, as if they're headbanging?
Well you find those that nod their heads and those that go completely
fucking insane. ING has become synonymous with violence and there has been a
fair amount of blood and bruises. But a sad thing that I've started to see is
people who are only in the scene to prove a rebellious streak or image rather
than a passion for music. For me metal is a brother/sisterhood of like minded
maniacs and there is nothing worse than weak minded twits, trying to piss off
their parents, infiltrating our culture. We need them as much as we need a bad
case of Herpes!!
17. Many foreigners are under the
impression that the majority of white people from South Africa are all racists,
when in fact, it's actually not like that at all -- the media paints it that
way, so outsiders buy everything they hear on the news like sheep. If you don't
mind, please explain to our readers what's really going on in South Africa,
and who that piece of shit Julius Malema is... ING wrote a song about him,
right? What can you tell us about the song and what it is about?
Would these be the same foreigners that believe we have lions roaming free
in the streets of Johannesburg and Cape Town? I think in
general, the white people that are left in this country are starting to feel
disenfranchised. They are by far a minority at less than 10% of the population
and suddenly find themselves at the mercy of racist words spoken by the likes
of Julius Malema who has a made his hate for all white people pretty clear. He
has been the most vocal on how he believes all white people own everything and
that they are all criminals. This is the president of our own government's
youth league, the same league where all our future presidents come from. He has
done this with very little reprimand and continues to do so without actually
understanding the power of published words. We only need look north to Rwanda to
understand how misplaced words can start genocide. Personally, my share in the
economy is paltry compared to that of Julius Malema who is building a
multi-million rand home and whose watch cost the same as my house. Luckily we
have some sensible people in this country of all races, and Julius is certainly
not the voice of the full population. The fear here is that his words resemble
that of Hitler and if we do not take action against him, we can expect the same
outcome. This is why we wrote a song called Julius. If only to create awareness
between people who really don't give a shit about what's going on around them.
Yes there is a widening gap between rich and poor but to assume that only white
people are rich is a fallacy. We have rich white, black, coloured, Indian and
Chinese people in this country.......the vast majority of each group are not.
It is far easier for Malema to sit on a podium and point the finger at white people
because there is a charged history there. To do so to gain politically and
financially is nothing less than irresponsible.
18. An imbecile is an imbecile,
whether he be pink or blue; do you agree?
Agreed!!! An asshole is an asshole no matter what. We find them here in all
races and all cultures...usually driving a BMW!!!
19. So ING's music should be seen as
an expression of unadulterated hatred and rebellion against what's morally
"accepted" within this scum society; is that right? Would it be valid
to say that there's some punk running in your veins? What would you say is the
main ideology behind ING?
Well we all have punk running through our veins, whether you like it or not.
If you have felt the need to tell someone to fuckoff like a boss or a cop, you
have it. The world has become way too politically correct. Our whole ideology
has been to have people go "ooooffff, he didn't just say that?". What
we have to say is meant to make people feel uncomfortable and externalise their
most inner thoughts. This may not be so present in all our lyrics but more in
the actual show. We make no bones about whom and what we hate.....
20. Tell me what the following songs
from your debut album are about: ''Martyr Master Blaster'', ''Fuck China'' and
"Kill, kill, kill, its Mohammed's will", Martyr Master Blaster is
about those suicidal maniacs from the Middle East
who blow themselves up in the hopes of martyrdom. It's not so much a dig at
them as it is urging them to carry on doing so. The entertainment value is
"Cheap Chinese imports make my fucking life a hell", Anyone who is
as much a gadget junky as myself will know that if it's manufactured in China,
it's bound to break just after the guarantee runs out. Conspiracy maybe, who knows,
but this is what happens when you decide to jail your workforce and have them
pump out half the world's electronic goods. And these are the same people who
have nukes and ICBM's..pfffft!!!!
"In the land of Canaan rise the infantries of Zion",
Jewish Nazis is about how Israel
has exerted force in Palestine
my returning every attack 10 fold. If someone throws a stone, they pull a gun
so to speak. Many innocent people have died through their bloodlust.
As you can tell, our subject matter is very much a mixed bag and doesn't
really attach itself to any particular side. It's more a case of encouraging
hate to sit back and watch the world implode. Cynicism at its best... but,
fucking entertaining LOL.
21. What are your thoughts on
conservative idiots that put censorship on Metal?
To be quite honest, if they can do it for Metal then they can do it for
pretty much every other genre of music. Metal may encourage a few to do some
pretty stupid things, and if they do, it purely highlights their lack of IQ and
understanding the difference between what is right and wrong. Guns don't kill
people, people kill people. Censorship arose out of the need to blame
horrendous acts on something. All they really need to do is look a little
closer to home to find those answers. To take this one step further, pop, rap, hip
hop, R&B et al encourage everyone to fuck mindlessly. With it comes the
spread of HIV and AIDS. Which genre of music is indirectly responsible for more
deaths? A weak argument I know, but valid when metal has become everyone's
22. What the hell does ING mean and
how was the name chosen? Is there any metaphorical meaning behind it or is it
just some random made-up name?
To put it in perspective, a name of a band usually associates itself within
a certain subject matter. We decided to go for a very open name where we can
explore a wide variety of subjects without being confined to anything specific.
In addition, you can appeal to a wider audience. To cut to the chase, all good
verbs end in "...ing", hating, drinking, fucking, killing to name a
few. It also lends itself to the chaotic approach that everything is nothing
and nothing is everything. Truthfully, we were all pretty fucked when we came
up with it.
23. Please list 10 albums you can't
Slayer - Reign in blood
Deicide - Deicide
Cannibal Corpse - Kill
Mad Sin - Survival of the sickest
At the gates - Slaughter of the soul
The Exploited - Beat the bastards
Sepultura - Arise
Soulfly - Dark ages
Slayer - South of heaven
Death - Individual thought patterns
24. If any maniacs or distros out
there want to get in touch with the band in order to get your material -- how
should they do this??
Well the easiest and most wide spread would be via Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/ingtheband, we are also on Myspace at
http://www.myspace.com/inghatesquad, and lastly we can be seen on Reverbnation
at http://www.reverbnation.com/ingtheband. Other than that, they can drop us an
email at firstname.lastname@example.org
25. I hope you enjoyed answering my
questions, as I don't have any more left... Tell me, was this your first ever
interview??? HAHAHA!! I wish you and your band ING success and hope I can smash
a beer with you someday! Of course, you are going to buy me the beer :) Last
unholy words are yours.
Awesome interview and thanks for entertaining all my bullshit. I've done
interviews before, but not one quite this extensive......brought up some good
old fading memories and thanks for that. I look forward to when we and your
readers can all meet and wave a beer to some good heavy metal. We aren't a
bunch of elitist twats. We are friendly and approachable. Come talk to us. All
we ask, is that everyone spreads the word and join us on these social networks
to keep up to speed with our comings and goings. Last but not least, we are all
brothers, fuck everyone else......Cheers \m/