If you’re into dirty, grimy, unapologetic rock and you haven’t checked out Pretoria’s JUGGERNAUGHT as of yet, you’re definitely missing out. Truly one of the most forward thinking South African rock bands around (in my opinion anyway). They really don’t prescribe to one particular sound or style of rock, infusing soundscapes from blues, funk, jazz and metal into their sonic palette. They label themselves as “Man Rock” on their Facebook page, which I thought was absolutely brilliant! It’s like they’re giving you a heads up… You better be wearing your big boy cohunes, coz shit’s about to get freaky!
The band started turning heads with their 2012 release, Bring the Meat Back. Their music is absolutely tenacious and has a unique vulgarity to it – with an almost amusing or comical theme and delivery to many of their tracks, it’s hard not to crack a pleasure-induced smile whilst rocking your body, bobbing your head and thinking “man, these guys are having a ton of fun”. As much as I thought BtMB was a great record with killer grooves and a real Rock ‘n Roll flavour, their latest release, Full Grown Woman was something of a different creature. More experimental and diverse, I feel like they turned up the funk on this one and there’s even a prog-rock feel every now and then, I found this album to be a real treat.
These guys don’t only do Rock ‘n Roll like the true-true, but judging from some of the responses you’ll see below – they live their lives with the inferno of Rock blazing in their chests… And their man-sacks! Check out what this quartet (too pretty a word to describe them, really) had to say to some of my curiosities which needed quenching ahead of Krank’d Up 2016.
JUGGERNAUGHT have been around for a while and you guys have played some pretty big stages all over the southern reaches of Africa.
Were there any shows or venues which you’ve played at that stood out from the rest?
The big ones always stand out. The Koppis and the Ramfests – the atmosphere and the big crowds are great. It’s also still a novelty playing huge stages, unlike bar gigs, you only get to do it a couple of times a year, so it’s always poes fun. As for memorable places, Botswana! If you’re in a rock or metal band, go tour Bots. It’s something everyone should experience; Hundreds of dudes dressed like BraveStarr going apeshit, INSANE! Other standouts: STRAB, Windhoek and small towns like to party hard generally.
With the release of your latest album, Full Grown Woman a couple of months ago, you guys really blew my mind. It seems like there have been some definite changes since your sophomore, Bring the Meat Back. What were some of the key forces that influenced you during the writing and recording of the new album?
Well, we got a new bassist, other than that nothing definite really. We always strive to write different music and not copy anyone, even ourselves. The album took long to write and record, partly due to many changes in our personal lives, so it naturally started sounding weirder and weirder the longer it took. We also recorded the whole thing ourselves, so didn’t really have time or cash constraints, which meant we could do anything we felt like – and we did. All night sessions on a plot with farm animals, psychedelics and Zamalek quarts can be pretty conducive to weird ass music (and taking forever to finish something).
Next thing on the agenda is the Krank’d Up Festival by the look of things. Are you planning on focusing on more material from Full Grown Woman or are you going to try do a nice mixture of old and new? (Without letting too much of the cat out of the bag).
A bit of a mix, but mostly ‘Full Grown Woman’, probably.
Are there any of the other bands performing that you’ve shared a stage with in the past or know personally?
Yeah, I’d say most. It’s a small scene, so unfortunately for them, most have come across an unsheathed cock’n’ball or two of ours.
If each band member had to be described in one word in terms of their style and personality whilst playing; what would it be?
Cheap, odorous, turbo, girth.
I know that international tour you are planning must be coming up in the near future. How long are you planning on touring for and where you heading? Otherwise, what’s next for you guys approaching the year’s end and 2017?
No definite plans yet, we have some PR happening overseas at the moment, so we’ll have to gauge how that goes before we make the plans, but South America or Europe seems most likely.
YOU CAN CATCH THEM AT 2:15PM ON THE MAIN STAGE
Interviewed by: Willie Maritz (More from Willie)
Shots Fired by: Portia T. Photography
Date: 19 September 2016
Follow JUGGERNAUGHT on: