Last month saw the official release of Verdwyn from Straatligkinders, the band’s first new offering in six years. The album was recorded in their town of origin, Potchefstoom, as well as Johannesburg and Pretoria. We caught up with frontman Bouwer Bosch to shed some light on the process.
First off, congratulations on the release of Verdwyn.
Thank you very much. It’s been an exciting few months for us working on the album.
It’s been since years since your last offering, why the long wait?
Well, I think it’s a combination of life that happens and the time needed to be right. We had a great seven years before we took a break and we have achieved more than we could have ever dreamed off, so we all wanted to venture off and do different things. We always knew and said that it was not over for us, we just wanted to pursue other ventures. Music is a personal thing and we never just wanted to rush back into making music just for the sake of it.
This album was recorded in Potchefstoom, Johannesburg and Pretoria. Tell us a bit about the recording
Yeah we worked with Stefan Swart (Pretoria) on the more rock influenced type songs because we still wanted to write rock songs and always will, but the music industry has changed so much so we also wanted to write songs that are more relevant to the sound today so Ewald and Rudolph (Pothcefstroom) work with a new producer on the scene Carlo de Villiers (Cape Town) on some of the more pop influenced songs. You have to use people that are better than you in this industry and those guys are just better at a pop sound than us. Peach van Pletzen (Johannesburg) did two of the songs for us, his songs are the more raw emotional broken down type approach. Our whole mission was to work with producers that can really help to elevate the songs we wrote.
Music is a personal thing and we never just wanted to rush back into making music just for the sake of it
The album involved unlearning certain ideas about song writing and recording. So, what did you do differently this time around?
We actually recorded the whole album at my house first and that is were a lot of the first producing happened, so it was the first time doing it like this. We really took our time with the writing process which is the most important part. After we had all the songs recorded in our demo style, we could figure out what songs need to go to which producer. We have never done this before and it’s definitely something we will do again in the future. We also worked with different writers, from lyrics to guitar parts and drum parts, we wanted to be open for ideas that are better than ours. When you do music for so long you get to a point where you want to share it all, we wanted to share our sound with other writers so that they can be involve,d but also so that we can learn from them. We are not purists when it comes to music, it’s not just about us the whole time, its about the music too and by working with better writers than you it’s always special and encouraging, its free education.
The album’s inspiration is time, and how it changes us. What has been the foremost change to Straatlgkinders in the last 6 years?
On a personal level myself and Benjamin both lost our fathers and we both got married. Ruan our drummer got engaged and is getting married next year, so stuff like that really shapes you as a human being. I think by standing back and looking at your career as a band and figuring out what you did great and where you could have done things better also helps with getting back together, to just try and do things different this time. When you grow older you learn to unlearn as well, so I think we just grew as people and have a different outlook on music as a whole now.
its about the music too and by working with better writers than you it’s always special and encouraging, its free education
Which songs are you most pleased with and can you tell the story behind them?
Well, I’m proud of them all. I think Verkyker and WVK are both songs that challenge kind of my deepest inner conflicts that I have with myself. The one has got to do with death and how differently we would live our lives if we knew when we are going to die and the other one is about being an Afrikaner, figuring out my place in society and just trying to serve fellow South Africans with love and respect.
What is the one thing you will take with you from this experience?
That hard work pays off. We never wanted to tell people we are in studio. We wanted to do this on our terms, so in a time where social media dominates everything and life is about likes, hits, retweets etc etc we just wanted to write and record songs for ourselves first before sharing them with the world. There was something special about not sharing our story this time. But one thing I can totally recommend for other artists/bands out there is always surround yourself with people better than you, its free education.
we just wanted to write and record songs for ourselves first before sharing them with the world
Are you active on social media?
Yes sometimes too much. Mostly Instagram. Facebook is too personal and Twitter is too negative so I try to just do my thing on Instagram.
Where is the album available?
At the moment only online at all streaming sites, hopefully in a week it will be in the few Musica shops left in SA. We truly lived in remarkable times. We saw the cassette player come and go, the CD Walkman/Discman come and go, CD players come and go, now its just streaming left.