When I got assigned to do a pre-Krank’d Up interview/article on The South Shore Ramblers, I hadn’t heard any of their music before and did not really know what to expect. To my delight, I got thrown into a festival of folky, communal music. I use “communal” only because I can’t help but picture everyone within earshot of the tunes to turn their heads, as if compelled by some invisible force and making their way closer to this celebration; drinking, dancing, singing… Much rejoicing.

Don’t assume just because the music is pretty accessible and easy to listen to, that the songs are thematically light-hearted though. As some of the members will explain below, much of the lyrics relate to struggles many people deal with on a daily basis. But I’m certain you’re already sick of my mindless rambling  and would much rather hear what the band has to say.

I believe none, or at least most of you didn’t know each other prior to the forming of South Shore Ramblers. How did you all meet and come to be part of the band?

As far as I know, they were all pretty much strangers except for Sean and Les, whom were friends from before. Martin had been around the music scene for many years and was recommended by the Banjo player at that time.

The original TSSR drummer and bass player left for their respective reasons so TSSR were on the prowl for some new talent. Dom was recommended by Sean who knew him personally. I (Kieron/Havi) was playing for another band that formed part of many gigs during TSSR early days, so once their previous bassist quit, they didn’t have to look far to find, the worlds okayest bassist. – Havi

Your debut album, Bare Knuckle Blackout has been out for just shy of two years now. What have been some of your most memorable experiences over the last couple of years?

Wow! There have been so many; from fighting with soundies, vomit buckets, braais at 3 in the morning, almost dying, fighting with members, losing gear, losing members, writing fun songs, writing hard songs, easy songs, pissing off neighbours (laughs) Just to name a few… Oh, and the one time Kieron and les went on a honeymoon and someone almost slept with a groupie. – Sean529

The Krank’d Up Festival is coming up this month and there’s many great bands hitting the stages. Will this be the biggest show you’ve played at, or have you played something similar before?

We were set to play 2 “big” festivals this year but they both fell through. HINT: Both of them have the word “stock” in the name. Krank’d Up, in a lot of ways, will be our biggest show to date. Not only do we get to play with Zombies Ate My Girlfriend, The Slashdogs, Truth & It’s Burden and so many other great SA bands but we also get to be on the same bill as Periphery and the mighty Norma Jean. Thank you Krank’d Up! – Martin

 At the beginning of 2016 we set out our goals for the year and Krank’d Up was at the top of our list of fests we wanted to play. We are beyond excited knowing we’ll be there with Norma Jean and Periphery! – Les

What can the fans at Krank’d Up 2016 expect from your set and do you have anything special planned?

A couple of new songs and maybe a familiar face or 2 joining us on stage. The rest is top secret 😉 – Martin

576 What are you most looking forward to about Krank’d Up 2016?

The vibe! Being a part of such a great festival that entertains a pretty wide variety of alternative music is always uplifting. – Dom

Your music is very catchy and easy to dance, and have a good time to. I imagine it to be great tunes to party on! Individually or collectively; what feeling or message would you like people to walk away with after hearing your music for the first time?

Each and every person will relate to it in their own way, and find a message in our music that best suits them. The underlying message to our music, especially the later tracks, is that life might not be as bad as it seems. We all have our issues but it’s how you thrive in times of darkness that really determines who you are. – Havi

Your music boasts some serious messages. Can you tell us where you draw these emotions from?

My lyrics tend to be very autobiographical. I find it hard to relate to others most days. Our music originally had more of a party-let’s get fucked up-drinking vibe to it. Recently we deal more with personal struggles like depression for instance. Oh and work related stress, don’t forget about the work related stress… I have always aimed to make gross poppy music. A catchy tune with some twisted lyrics that most people won’t even pick up straight away. I think The Smiths and Morrissey contributed to that way of thinking. A lot. – Martin

What kind of things do you guys get up to when you’re not making music? Or don’t you spend too much of your free time together, apart fro602m being a band?

Despite being strangers during the start of TSSR, we have not only become friends, we have become a family. Kieron (Kezza) and Leslie have been dubbed, “Kezlie”. Dom has a striking resemblance to Jesus, if Jesus had tattoos, tunnels and a lip ring (no offence to any religious peeps). Sean has the heart of Dennis the Menace, the smile of the Joker and the hair of a Lions Mane, making him the most mischievous little shit ever. Then you have Martin, although he doesn’t socialise much with us out of the band, he is that old man with an 18 year olds mentality, who could out-jol any of us. The banter you see on stage is the banter you will hear off stage, and the synergy on stage is the production of great friendships off stage. – Havi

Any words for your local scene?

Support great bands by going to their shows & buying merch. If you’re in a band, stay humble and don’t become self-centered pricks. It’s obvious I know, but these 2 things are often forgotten… – Martin

652Are there any major plans lined up for the near future? New material to be recorded? An awesome show or tour on the horizon?

With new dynamics and many hours in the practice room, we will be heading to the studio soon to record a new EP that will hopefully be accompanied by a music video, this will all be dependent on funds obviously. We have some great shows and small independent festivals lined up for the next year or so, where we will be sharing stages with some of SA’s greatest bands. We are hitting an eight Day tour in December – starting in East London and heading up the coast, toward Durban/Drakensburg. – Havi

If you’re keen for some banjo clawing, accordion squeezing, string plucking, drum bashing awesomeness… Be sure to get your ticket for Krank’d Up, I can guarantee you these guys, amongst many others will be an absolute joy the witness live!




Interviewed by: Willie Maritz

Date: 15 September 2016


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