Taxi Violence

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Americans think that they invented rock and roll, but if they were ever to search for the embodiment of crazy onstage personality, illustrious guitar riffs, a little bit of blues and overall fucking awesome rock ‘n roll, they would have to drop their KFC buckets, switch of their tellies and fly to South Africa. (No offense to the Americans, it's all said in jest :) )

aKING bass guitarist Hennie van Halen once said that when you see this band live “you will want to grow your hair and start a band. This is noisy, sweaty rock 'n roll personified."

This is none other than Taxi Violence. A bunch of Cape Townian guys who, with their magnetic beats, can even make the most dyed-in-the-wool indie/folk music fan tap her feet to the rhythm. 

Taxi Violence is currently touring South Africa to promote their new album which will be released in May, stopping over in Pretoria’s Tings ‘n Times on Friday 8 April, and Jozi’s Town Hall on Saturday 9 April.

I caught up with lead singer George van der Spuy to find out about the band’s latest endeavours, how they lose their money and how they find inspiration...and Roxette.

But first, where and when did you guys start?
We started playing in bands from a very early age, all of us. Taxi Violence however started towards the end 2005 when we released out first 3 track EP, including a music video produced by our then bassist Loedi for only R400 at our rehearsal room in a military base. The video still looks good, except for the fact that we lacked fashion sense. We’ve come a long way since then but only really found our stride in the last two years.

Who cares about how you dress if your music rocks! How's band life? Do you guys live together?
Band life is great but can be difficult to juggle with work and personal life at times as some of us also own our businesses on the side. If we could do it full time and travel the world we would give it up any day!

Rian and Louis have been mates since school days and live together…in the same house. They were also in their first band together. The rest of us stay pretty close to one other.

Tight like tigers. So, what's the craziest thing the band has ever done?
This one time at band camp…that’s a difficult one to answer seeing as most of the crazy, or shall I say, stupid things we’ve done has been under the influence and thus we can’t remember too might be better that way. There are so many, where to begin?

We get told these things the day after…and sometimes you win a bet, but you never see the money….Just ask Elvis

I’m presuming Elvis Presley. What does music mean to the band?
I think I speak for everyone when I say that none of us could be happy without music in our lives, in some way or another. We would probably all be on anti-depressants if we couldn’t play music. It’s like a drug, you get hooked and it won’t let you go – and I for one, am fine with being addicted to it! Not a single day goes by that I don’t listen to music, I have to get my fix!
I shoot up with music too. What inspires the band?
The urge to write new music when you’ve played the old stuff so many times. To get an emotion or feeling out of your system, experiencing new things/people/environments, being on the road, not being on the road, getting drunk, staying sober – everyday life. Our fans inspire us too, all the time! Their enthusiasm is contagious!  

You are used to being onstage. What are some of the best bands you have seen live?
Nine Inch Nails when they were on their ‘Beside you in time ‘ Tour  - amazing production and performance, from the lights to the pyro to the visuals and the raw energy! Then there’s also Muse – insane musicianship. Can’t actually believe Matt Belamy can pull off those vocals live.

Muse is one of the best bands live ever! You can’t believe the vocals; I can’t believe he bedded Kate Hudson. Lucky bitch. What is your music guilty pleasure?
I know Rian’s is Roxette, he can actually play a lot of the songs on piano, ’Fading like a flower’ etc. but we all like Vanilla Ice! The whole band went to his concert when he was here; he blew MC Hammer out of the water!

Hahaha, I always get a kick out of that question. Any Final Words?
If only these walls could speak.

If you would like to know more about their gigs and tours, check out their website

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