Deep Fried Man

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

South Africa really does have a hell lot of talent when it comes to the music industry. And these days it seems that everyone wants to be a musician. Especially if you look at a certain South African music channel, which we will not mention here, with certain music videos such as Sexy Hoender (God save us). But luckily, there are still some people who are serious about music and serious about their talent. Enter funnyman Daniel Friedman. (Oh the irony!)  Don't know who this is? 

Some say that he was dropped on his head too many times, and that he only realised that he was funny after audiences laughed at him. All I know, is he is called Deep Fried Man.

I love this face!

The other day I had a deep fried ring finger. What's the story behind yours?
A deep fried ring finger? Where did they serve you that unusual delicacy? I'm guessing China Town.

The story behind mine... it's just a silly play on words. My surname is Friedman. A friend called Dave (it's always a friend called Dave) announced, years ago, that he thought it would be a good idea to call myself Deep Fried Man. He's a pretty pursuasive guy, so I said "Ok, Dave", and it just kind of stuck. I tell people it's because my music is tasty but bad for you. Really, though, it was just to make Dave happy. 

Ha, lekker Dave. I actually dipped my finger in burning hot oil while making chips, thus deep fried ring finger. But you've got an idea there. Your music is eccentric with lyrics such as "getting laid is awful tough when my jeans aren't skinny enough." Where does your inspiration come from?
That song, 'Maybe My Jeans Aren't Skinny Enough', is from a while ago, when my stuff had elements of humour, but was still pretty serious. It was a song lamenting how my stuff seemed so unpopular at the time, because it didn't sound 'indie' enough, but meanwhile you could argue it was very indie indeed, because it sounded completely different and was utterly independent from what was happening musically at the time. Really, though, I was just waiting to find my niche, which happened when I became a comedy musician and left the serious lyrics behind.

Have you had any formal training in comedy? You are as funny as hell!
No formal training in comedy. I was a singer-songwriter, playing to eight people at dingy bars like the Bohemian in Richmond. There was an element of humour to my stuff, but also lots of serious stuff about my many failed relationships. I realised that the comedy stuff was just so much better received, and had this epiphany when I saw Flight of the Conchords. 

I was like, why aren't I doing this? I realised that there was something liberating about writing music to amuse and entertain others rather than try and reflect the emotions within my soul or whatever. It's less selfish too. 

No-one actually cares about your angst unless you can sing and play amazingly well (which I can't). It took me many years to realise that. The only training available to comedians is to constantly gig and learn from mistakes. I am still very much in the learning stage of being a comedian. I have been relying on my songs and so many of the comedians I admire in SA can control and interact with a crowd so much better than I can, which inspires me to want to learn to do the same.
PS: Sorry for the serious answer, but ironically you'll find that most comedians are serious about comedy.

Flight of the Conchords have some serious talent. Ha! Get it? No? So, you have released Deep Fried Man is Not Amused. What's next? When can we expect to see it?
Deep Fried Man is Not Amused was a lo-fi, home recorded summary of four years of my life. Some very difficult times, mainly, if you look at all the titles you won't find a lot of positivity there. It was almost like I needed to get those songs out the way so I could move on to more positive work. I am happy with the album but it's destined to be largely ignored, which is cool, it's best for me to move on and live in the present.

I have been working on comedy stuff for some time with producer Andre Scheepers, who works with Tamara Dey & Tasha Baxter, but we're both so busy it's hard to say if and when we'll finish an album. In the meanwhile, The Red Bull Studios in Cape Town kindly recorded an EP for me when I was there recently, and you can listen to it here.  or on my Facebook page (with 2 extra tracks). 

Cool beans. Do you record your own songs or are you signed?
I am not signed but I have been in talks with a prominent SA label and if I do release anything anytime soon it will be through them.
Hope it's soon. This crazy country needs some comical relief! Speaking of crazy things, what is the craziest thing you have ever done? 
I have done many crazy things. I have run with scissors and drunk orange juice after brushing my teeth (the Crazy Monkey Team are a bad influence on me). I have strolled through the streets of Hillbrow with 'mug me' written on my T-shirt. Sometimes I go to the East Rand and skeef people's chicks just for the hell of it. I stay up past my bed-time and go to movies on a school night. There is no end to my insanity.
Really though? When I was a journalist I did a bunch of crazy things like spending a night on the streets of Joburg with homeless people and taking Ayawaska (which is like magic mushrooms times a thousand) for SL Magazine. But I think the craziest thing I've ever done was spending years sitting in front of a desk, every day from nine to five in return for a stable monthly pay-cheque.

Ha, I used to intern at SL. Thank mushrooms they never asked me to do that. What are some of the best bands you have seen live?
Beck, Bob Dylan, Mos Def and Ben Harper are four of my biggest heros, and while in Europe I saw them all live. It's strange though, that I saw better performances from bands I had never heard of in my life, like The Heavy, Little Dragon and Devotchka.

Maybe because your expectations are too high when seeing someone who's influenced you a lot. I also really enjoyed electronic guys like DJ Yoda, Chemical Bros, Soulwax and Justice. 

Back in SA I have been fortunate enough to see some amazing stuff. Dutch electronic band C-Mon and Kypsky and Dutch folk singer Lucky Fonz III stand out.

In terms of local stuff, I have weird eclectic tastes and have enjoyed anything from hip-hoppy stuff by Spoek Mathambo (and his many projects), Tumi Molekane from Tumi and the Volume to performances from folky guys like the late Syd Kitchen (Megan's note: Bless this man's soul and may he rest in peace), Rambling Bones and my friend amazingly talented Shotgun Tori. Neo Muyanga from Blk Sonshine doing his solo stuff blew me away. Goldfish are always fun. And Death Valley Blues Band and Martin Rocka and The Sick Shop are the two rocking-est SA bands in my opinion.

Some main bands you've got there. Any Final Words?
I leave you with a quote from best-selling author Paulo Coelho...
‎"You best get ready, because I'm about to say yet another really profound quotable quote that sounds really deep and spiritual about love and life and truth and beauty. My books sell millions of copies, bitches" - Paulo Coelho

For more information, go check out Deep Fried Man's twitter page, yes and follow him, or his facebook page. Ps, he said that if I don't mention this, he would hunt me down and kill me. Apparently he is an evil man, or so says his song Pure Evil - a new offensive song by Deep Fried Man! Peace motheruckas.


Tracy and the City said...

Brilliant Megan. This Kentucky Fried Chicken Guy is awesome. lol. Listened to some of his songs, still have a smile on my face.

Jenna said...

This is such a cool post!!! - I've never heard of him before but he sounds awesome and I will def be checking out his stuff!


I am Megan said...

Thanks for the feedback guys! I've seen him live and he is even funnier then.

angie said...

he is awesome! love watching him!

Mia Roets said...

Just discovered your blog via my blog. Super post. DFM is real funny. ROFL.

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