Are they VanFokkingTasties?

2012-05-03 09:27
I'm on my way to VanFokKingTasties' acoustic album launch at the Hillcrest Estate in Durbanville, and as per usual I get lost on the way there...

To clarify, VanFokkingTasties consist of Van Coke Kartel, Fokofpolisiekar, aKing and Die Heuwels Fantasties.

I'm half way to Bloubergstrand on the Vissershok Road trying to see through the mist and rain when I realise that Retha, my aunt who is my +1 for the evening, is giving me the wrong directions.

When I finally make it to Hillcrest Estate, I meet most of the lads at the restaurant. Hunter Kennedy, the bass guitarist of Die Heuwels Fantasties, remembers me from a previous interview and after a high five, he immediately starts smoking.

"You're only going to interview us at 17:00, right? So the rest of us can go?" asks Pierre Greeff, the lead singer of Die Heuwels Fantasties.

It just happened

So while they leave I ask Laudo Liebenberg, lead singer of aKing, why they decided to make an acoustic album.

"It's not really an acoustic album. We just reworked some of our songs with an acoustic guitar as a basic instrument," he explains.

Francois Van Coke says it wasn't even them that came up with the name VanFokKingTasties.

"Some dude made a logo of the name and we thought, 'fuckit, that’s cool', then we did a tour and decided to not ever do it again," he says.

"But then Die Heuwels had some time in studio but was too busy touring to write any songs. Pierre said we should all work together and since it was through their label (Supra Familias) anyway, we did it."

Laudo says "people should know that VanFokKingTasties was not something pre-planned before Fokofpolisiekar. It just happened."

Sometimes I wish I was a smoker...

This is also the first time that the lads of Fokofpolisiekar worked together since 2008.

"We've been planning to work on a full scale Fokof-album for a while. But we're too busy. I mean, Johnny (DeRidder) is so busy with his studio and have deadlines and stuff, while the rest of us might have some time off during the week to write songs.

"And Johnny is the one who writes Fokofpolisiekar's music so we'll only do it again if we can do it that way, since it's the way it should be."

At the stage Die Heuwels Fantasties are busy with their soundcheck. It is only supposed to last a couple of minutes – a few songs – but it ends up lasting longer and I'm sitting under the big tent with my aunt, uncle and cousin when Hunter and Pierre finally join me for their part of the interview.

"Do any of you smoke?" asks Pierre. "I want a lighter."

My aunt manages to get one out of a teenager who gets a high five from Pierre in return.

When Hunter finally joins us, he asks, "Do any of you smoke? I want a cigarette."

Sometimes I wish I was a smoker...

"Pierre and Fred (den Hartog) started doing acoustic shows together and it sounds great," says Hunter about Nare Kaskenades, which is one of Die Heuwels Fantasties' songs on the album.

"Yes, but that is also the way it was originally written," Pierre chips in. "The way it sounds on the album is the way I strummed it when I wrote it."


I ask them that if they could be any of the other members of the VanFokKingTasties-family, who would they choose.

They answer in unison: "Johnny!"

"Because he's fucking good and fucking cool," says Pierre.

"Yes, Johnny's got all his things sorted out, the rest of us are fucked," says Hunter. Francois chose Jedd "because he's a cool guitarist and a Jew". Laudo was diplomatic and didn't really choose...

I ask Hunter about the tattoo on his ring finger, and he explains that he "was drunk for a couple of months. It didn't take months to get the tattoo, I was drunk for months, and then it didn't work and now I hate it."

I recently read on Twitter that Hunter got engaged. "We said on Twitter that Hunter and I were engaged. For publicity," says Pierre.

But are you really engaged? I ask Hunter.

"Yes. But not to Pierre."

Never been happier

When I ask them if they are happy in their lives now, Pierre answers with the boring answer of how privileged they are and that things are going well.

Francois says he's never been happier before in his life. "I've said it many times since I got married, I'm the happiest now in my life than I've ever been. At the age of 31. Would have been cool if it could have happened sooner..."

Laudo says he's happy and making a living, but wants more. "There is still a lot of music that needs to be written. I've only now got my foot in the door and still want to see the world."

Hunter ends the discussion by saying, "Unfortunately you won't know what happiness is if you've never experienced the opposite of it. If you want to get philosophical about it..."

(Photos: Marieke Snyman)

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