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Slouching to the bar to be reborn... Sugardrive return! - Sugardrive: The Return of Rock Lazarus

2008-11-30 15:26

CHANNEL24: Why reunite Sugardrive?
Our motivation is one of wanting to have fun with the band again. On-stage so far, that is exactly what we have felt. In-studio, we want to make a back-to-basics album in terms of the sound, and songs that people will get first time.

CHANNEL24: Have you seen any signs of an evolution in South African rock music recently?
The second generation of local bands - post '94 - has been around for the last 2-3 years or so. But some of the musicians who formed the first wave are still around - Arno Carstens, Wonderboom, Karma etc. So it does seem to be expanding...there seems to be more money coming from sponsorship/endorsements etc. It's all good - except perhaps for the slightly high number of imitators of MTV-hackneyed American nu-skool. Blah...there's not enough innovation - just my opinion huh!

CHANNEL24: What do you miss most about the bad old days of the so-called "SA rock music explosion"?
I'm assuming that this refers to the post '94 period that saw the emergence of bands like Springbok Nude Girls, Lithium, Squeal, Sugardrive. To be honest, I go with the adage of "enjoying the journey"...and I'm still enjoying the journey. I don't regret or miss anything - it's all part of the trajectory...

CHANNEL24: Do you feel older and wiser? What's the biggest lesson you've had to learn?
Damn straight! I am older and wiser...but still not enough to assume omnipotence. The biggest lesson has been coming to terms with how the business end of the music scene works. It's basically all about ownership, and to a lesser extent, compromise...pay no attention however, and you pay a price...

CHANNEL24: Arno recently said it's impossible to make money as a rock musician in SA. Do you agree? If so - why bother?
Just because no-one's got it right yet, does not mean that it is not possible. Even as you try to make changes to the way that you might do something, there are shifts and changes in the proverbial big picture - as long as nothing is certain, anything is possible...
We're about to put out our second indie album...we plan on doing it well - we may succeed...does it always have to be about precedent or the lack thereof...?

CHANNEL24: How is your new material different from the old stuff?
Sand-Man-Sky was quite an ambient album, Elvis was our electronica moment. The new material is in stark contrast to both - roots-oriented, simpler song structures, 3-piece edge, definitely louder...it feels very new to the three of us, and that should count...

CHANNEL24: What are you listening to at the moment?
I'm not that impressed with most of the new releases in the rock scene. It's starting to get that whole corporate vibe about it. What is encouraging though, is that rock music is becoming so popular again. I have gone back to embrace my Reef albums...visceral, charged, it's got everything I want at the moment....

CHANNEL24: One final question: do you guys still live the whole sex, drugs and rock 'n roll life style?

Back in the late 90s Sugardrive were the darlings of the SA rock scene. A pioneering quartet with an edgy brew of guitar fuelled, electronica skewered sounds. Then the South African Rock Music Explosion imploded and their legacy seemed consigned to the inevitable archival cult scrap heap. But Sugardrive are back... and yes they're pissed off! Well, kinda. We asked lead singer Paul E. Flynn about enjoying the rock 'n roll journey and their evolution of a leaner, meaner sound.

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