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Wickhead moves to California

2007-06-18 17:05

Local rock band Wickhead - whose new EP Sexita Chiquita blew our reviewer away - is relocating to Los Angeles, California on the back of an independent American distribution deal signed with Mozambique Records.

They've already earned some stripes in LA. In 2006 they picked up two Los Angeles Independent Music Awards: Album of the Year for A Crush On Revelation in the category of hard rock as well as Single of the Year for “Bright Lights Boulevard” in the same category. They were also nominated for Artist of the Year and performed an acoustic set at the ceremony.

The awards put them on the map. Interest in Wickhead spiked, and they managed to get US performance visas, valid for two years.

2007 kicked off with the release of their new EP, Sexita Chiquita which has received rave reviews nationwide (we also loved it, read our review).

Eric McClure, the guy who signed Wickhead for distribution in the US, formed the American label, Mozambique Records. McClure previously worked with musical legends such as Kenny Rogers, Deep Purple, Dolly Parton, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. Back in the day, his work was cutting edge; he was also involved in projects such as “We Are the World”. Band manager, Clint McKeon says, “America has always seemed to be the logical first step for Wickhead, and we’re very excited that the band has been presented with such a good opportunity."

For now, Wickhead have decided to stay with their management in SA. It will be interesting to see if their loyalty to those who did the groundwork for them survives the long-distance relationship.

Why do all the good ones leave?
It’s not because they can’t handle the crime but because they don’t make enough money here. Local rock doesn’t sell in South Africa. Gospel, Kwaito and Afro-pop are the big money-makers. Talented rock and jazz musicians are lucky if they sell 5000 records.

What's next?
Wickhead’s short-term plans include the recording of an international debut CD, for release end of 2007. Moms and fans don’t stress, they will be back in SA later this year to perform at the Woodstock 9 festival, and the Lifestyle Festival in Harrismith.

Catch them before they fly away...
27 July: At The Blues Room. Unplugged. (To be filmed and recorded for future release.) R50 entrance. Doors open at 20h00. For table bookings contact (011) 784 5527

30 July: At Zeplins for the Sun to Moon Festival. There will be three different stages and many other bands taking to the stage. Pretoria City.

Could local band Wickhead be the next to follow in Seether’s footsteps? Find out why SA rock bands leave the country.
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