Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Afrock - Anton Syndrome style

What's in a name??
The band was faced with the "daunting task" of deciding on a name for their unusual outlook on music and after numerous brain storming and rehearsal sessions, the name "Anton Syndrome", which is actually a rare symptom of brain damage occurring in the occipital lobe, was proposed by Chris. His fellow band members reacted by asking who Anton was and what syndrome did he suffer from.... after all; Anton wasn't even in the band. Anton's Syndrome refers to a form of cortical blindness in which the patient denies the visual impairment. In other words, the person is blind but completely unaware of his/her blindness. Yes we know,
confusing and strange ... but it all made sense once we looked at the metaphorical meaning for the band name.
Quite simply, we are all (to a certain extent) blind to what is happening around us, but we refuse to admit it.

The band had initially started out as an African-Rock outfit consisting of 4 members. The then band “Abalandi”, a unique blend of traditional Swati narratives fused with raw rock sensibility, consisted of Brian; Chris; Ramone (now with Arc Reactor) and Sibusiso. They played a few gigs and recorded a demo but the project ran its course and the band broke apart. Brian and Chris stayed focused on their ultimate goal to create a unique sounding outfit and began the recruitment of new band members. Darrell and Mat were well suited and up for the task. The band performed live at Ob'z Cafe two months after being formed and were greeted by a full house. Lyrics to songs were not yet established and the front man free styled the entire set. The band has been growing in confidence with every gig and they have pleased crowds at numerous venues in and around Cape Town. They were asked to perform as the opening act for Evolver 1 at the Cape Town leg of their country wide tour in June of this year.

‘Anton Syndrome’ has just released their Demo EP 'Closed Eyes' and are looking to record their first album very soon. Their fan base extends as far as Australia with a number of people calling for visits to Japan and Denmark. Their original sound and off-beat rock style provides an interesting combination of music genres ranging from traditional Zulu Meskandi to hardcore metal which is infused with punk and reggae to provide wacky twists along the way. The band feeds off audience energy whilst performing on a stage and Afro mayhem is born instantaneously. Brian, AKA Dance, often jumps off stage to party with the audience on the dance floor.... Wild, but the crowds love every second of it!

The band ....a strange foursome!

*Brian Kelly - on guitar, is a truly talented musician who hails from Newcastle (Ngagane) in KZN. He has lived and performed in England; Spain and France before returning to South Africa, Cape Town 4 years ago. His influences vary, ranging from reggae to metal but consider bands such as Boo; The Pixies; Iron Maiden; Smashing Pumpkins and Johnny Clegg to be some of the most influential. He has spent the last 20 years trying to create a new form of music and has always wanted to reinvent rock music in an African context. He believes that this has finally been accomplished with Anton Syndrome. Simply put “African rock music that actually sounds African, a new style of music, a new way of playing the guitar.

*Christopher du Plooy - on Bass, moved to Cape Town from Pietermaritzburg KZN in 2006. He is currently doing his PhD in Neuropsychology, Just in case his music career falls short. Nick Cave; Larry Graham; The Rolling Stones; The Cat Empire and Johnny Clegg form the basis of his musical influence.

*Mat Caldecott – on the mic and has his facebook profile frequently hacked. He grew up in the Eastern Cape, PE to be precise, and did a short stint in London before returning to Cape Town to pursue his dream of acting and singing. The Colin Farrell lookalike has brought an amazing dynamic to the Afro-Rock music outfit. His enthusiastic performances and love for singing is clearly visible on stage. Mila Kunis; Jon Bon Jovi and the late Stereophonics lead singer, Kelly Jones has his utmost respect. Ian Curtis from Joy Division and Anthony Kiedis from RHCP inspire his stage performance but he finds it difficult to determine which artists have had the largest impact on him.

*Darrell McLean- AKA “Hazard”, once referred to as "Pricilla - Queen of the drums" after standing in for the drummer of an all girl band, is the head case of the band and a perfect case study for Chris. Originally from Durban KZN, he relocated to Cape Town 6 years ago. He served as a body guard for SA Politicians; tried his hand at being a retail business owner, which he hated so he packed it in; is currently performing as a stuntman for film in his spare time and is generally an all round crazy marketing manager for a Security Company.... at 34, he is also the Grandpa in the band. His music influences are firmly rooted in 80’s & 90’s rock music. He hates unoriginal image based fake artists who cannot perform or reproduce the music they produce in a studio on a live stage.

Anton Syndrome will be hitting the scene hard in the next few months, so be prepared for something you have never heard before. Be sure to attend at least one performance at a live music venue near you….. After all, they do it for you!

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