Skop, Skiet en Donnerby Yusuf Laher / 10.09.2009
Early into my Van Coke Kartel interview, before the first question even, I realised that trying to control Wynand and Francois, reign things in and keep it logical was about as likely as holding back an avalanche with my teeth. Drummer Justin Kruger just kind of sat there smoking, almost going, “Good luck dude, you asked for it…”
Wynand: Testing… Test tubes…
Francois: Test tube babies…
Backstage, I chatted to Wynand and Francois about their OppiKoppi show, their upcoming third album, Skop, Skiet en Donner, and a potential move to Angola. From here on in, I pretty much just sat back and enjoyed the ride, as Francois casually talked about getting Peach from Yesterday’s Pupil to produce the album and record most of the drum tracks, as well as the awkwardness of singing in English again. Wynand pretty much talked about whatever he felt like…
At this point, Francois grabs the dictaphone and starts beatboxing, with scratches. I wrestle it away from him and continue.
How did you enjoy your show?
Francois: It was cool. We just wanted to do something different.
Wynand: We started rehearsing about two weeks ago, so we were all a bit nervous or whatever, but I think it all came together.
Francois: I don’t think it was the tightest we’ve ever played, but it was fun.
And who is Gerald Clark?
F: Gerald Clark is a blues man.
W: We know Gerald Clark from Delta Blue. I think he was playing in bands before we were even playing in bands.
Tell me about your new album.
F: The album’s called Skop, Skiet en Donner and it’s gonna be released in March next year. Peach (Yesterday’s Pupil) is producing and playing drums on most of the stuff. Justin’s (Kruger) playing on a couple acoustic tracks.
W: We wanted to do something completely different.
You worked with Peach on 2-21 and the “Penis” song, and you also sang on Die Heuwels Fantasties’ “Sonrotse.” Have you been digging the way your voice sounds over electronic music?
F: Peach kind of gave me an introduction when we did that play or whatever (2–21), and I think his influence is going to be a big part of the album.
So nothing’s been written yet?
W: No, no… the whole album’s almost completed. We’re gonna start recording in September. We’re going back up to B-Sharp. We’ll release the first single before December, but the actual album will only be out in March next year.
F: After we’ve tracked the stuff at B-Sharp, Peach is gonna have two months to work on it.
W: Post production, basically.
F: Ja, ja… definitely.
W: The whole mission behind Skop, Skiet en Donner is to do everything the way we’ve never done it before.
F: We’re gonna get a lead guitarist in, stuff like that.
Do you imagine the album having a more accessible sound?
F: I think it’s gonna be a weird album.
W: A mix and match thing.
So you’re not intentionally cleaning things up?
F: I think some of it’s gonna be cleaner, but I think some of it’s going to be dirty.
W: Cleaner means we’ll pick up an acoustic guitar and put it somewhere in there, it doesn’t necessarily mean…
F: I think there’s a bit of pop on there. We’re specifically doing an English pop cover. Two English covers and one Afrikaans one.
And what’s it like singing in English again?
F: I’m getting used to it. It still sounds a bit funny, but we got a good response with “Cocaine” tonight.
W: People dig it, you just have to put the word cocaine in there.
F: I still think I sound a bit weird singing in English, but I’m going to sort it out before we track it properly.
W: It’s called Skop, Skiet en Donner ‘cos it’s fucked up… ha ha.
What else is there?
F: We’re also going to redo three of our older songs, acoustic versions.
W: So there’s six new songs.
F: Seven. Seven brand new songs.
W: Maybe 20 even, we’re not sure yet. We’re gonna break some boundaries here, it’s about time we moved forward. Ha ha, I’m fucking with you…
F: There’s also some rap on two of the songs.
W: And Justin’s screaming in the background. We decided, this album’s gonna be half rock, half hip-mother-fucking-hop, do you know what I mean? Liam’s (points at photographer Liam Lynch) an old hip-hopper, he’s gonna come and do some beatboxing on the album.
So that beatboxing earlier is actually some of your new material?
F: Ja, ja… That’s the first track on the album.
Are you going to be working with Kooler Box?
F: No, no. If we have to get anyone, it’ll be Liam Lynch… Jack Parow!
W: We’ll need different sponsors for a hip hop album though, Nike…
So, seriously now, Van Coke Kartel, still digging it?
F: Ja, we could play straight garage rock forever, we just want to do something different.
W: Whatever, it doesn’t matter. That’s why we called it Skop, Skiet en Donner, because it doesn’t matter. If people dig it, it’ll be fucking rad, if they don’t dig it, we’ll quit.
Quit your empire?
W: Everything, like, move somewhere else…
F: We’re moving to Angola.
W: We can do that.
Pic ©Yusuf Laher