Interview by: Ezelle Louw
That is right, this London based band has decided to grace our sunny shores for what promises to “rock your socks off”. With a very unique Afro / Latin sound these guys promises to entertain, introduce you to unique vibes and show you a good time.
Band members consists of Kyle (Lead vocals, Rhythm Guitar and Percussion), Jack (Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals), Diaz (Drums and Percussion) and Francesco (Bass, Keyboard and Backing Vocals). They took some time out of their packed schedule to talk to us and give us a taste of what we can expect. To the Capetonians who didn’t catch their shows here, they promised to be back as long as we invite, while the rest of SA can still look forward to a couple of shows. Keep your eyes open for The Curious Incident coming to a venue near you.
1) Are you guys excited about touring in South Africa? Have you toured here
It's our first South African Tour and we can't wait to play to some ravenous SA audiences!
2) Are you planning some sightseeing while you are here? If so , what do you have in
To be in, and not see, this country would be a crime. When ever we're not playing shows or hustling for the shows we'll be sight seeing. We've already done some running up Lion's Head and have driven all around the Atlantic Seaboard. We are also going to have a little sleepover on Table Mountain when we're back from the rest of the tour.
3) Which of the band members is born in SA? Is it good to be back?
Kyle: Me :) Its amazing coming back and being able to do what wel ove here. This country is just so sexy and so full of amazing people. I'm glad that I can finally show the rest of the band that I haven't been falsely hyping up SA from London!
4) Tell us who is the brain child of forming The Curious Incident? How did it
Diaz: Kyle started the whole thing rolling in SA with an eye to a move overseas. The initial band members didn't share that focus so Kyle had me hunt down some conspirators in London. The band officially restarted in London with all new band members in January 2010 so we've just had our first anniversary. We kept the name, some of the songs, oh yeah, and we kept Kyle.
5) For you as a band, who are your greatest musical influences?
We all take inspiration from random corners of life and music but as a collective we're influenced by the 60s (Led Zep, early Santana, The Doors) as well as their influencers from early soul and real R&B. Latin and African music play a massive part in our music as well.
6) Your band is named after Mark Haddon’s much acclaimed novel, “The Curious
Incident of the Dog in the nighttime”. Why so?
Jack: Kyle needed a name when starting up initially and he needed one quickly. His bookshelf came in handy. It seems to capture the mixed-bag, eclectic nature of our band quite well.
7) Which gigs are you most excited to play in SA?
All of them?! We're hoping to seduce a wider audience with our performance on MK Studio 1 on the 19th of Jan.
8) What can we look forward to in your performances?
Diaz: And I quote a fan who recently had an altercation with Kyle's stage-diving foot - "Some next level insanity!”
Francesco: And we think she meant it in a good way!
Kyle: We like to keep things interesting, both in how we perform and in the diversity of our music.
9) You’ve just released your self-titled EP. Tell us what inspired you guys during it’s
making and its vibe?
It's got a little of each of the 3 cornerstones of our music: the Afro, the Latin and the Rock.
In terms of the album artwork, there's a big nod to one of our favorite film's - Old Boy. Our EP is currently up on our Web Store (http://thecuriousincident.spinshop.com/) for pre-order. The real deal should be done by the end of Feb once our perfectionist designers finish the cover art.
10) Is there a song on the EP that really stands out for you? If so which one and
Definitely Sangoma. It's our stage favorite as well and we love its underlying (or overt?) mania.
11) What is the best thing about being on stage and performing in front of a
Kyle: When everything clicks into place you can feel the energy of the band and the energy of the crowd come together and become this beautiful monster.
Francesco: It's addictive!
12) Do some of you still get nervous to get on stage?
Jack: Good nervous
13) What is your best gig as a band that you‘ve played so far?
Diaz: Zula Bar the other night was amazing! The crowd's positive feedback for our first official show in SA overwhelmed the feedback from a petulant sound system.
14) Describe in short, your unique sound as a band?
Short - A Motown-loving African Mars Volta with dashes of Led Zep, QOTSA & early Santana churned into the energetic power of a thousand stampeding elephants.
Shorter - a mixed-bag band of multinationals fighting modern rock conventions with their Leopard/Snake Rock
Shortest - AFRO/LATIN/ROCK
15) How do you differ from other bands? What makes you unique?
Kyle: We're not trying, consciously or sub-consciously, to be another version of some already famous band. It's hard to be original - we're just trying to steal from others as surreptitiously as possible ;)
Jack: The way we mash different influences together and the energy that we serve it with seems to set us apart from many other bands.
16) Who would you like to share the stage with?
[in unison] LED ZEP!
Kyle: A duet with Etta James or Howling Wolf or Ray Charles would go down a treat as well!
17) Biggest moment(s) you have experienced as a band?
#1 Being selected to play at Canadian Music Week!
# 2 Having the crowd try and drag us from the stage (in a good way) at a show in London. The atmosphere was electric!
18) Tell us something we would normally not know about each band member? Spill
Diaz's mild OCD becomes exponentially more compulsive when it comes to housecleaning.
Francesco is only confident on the surface and, as a secret introvert,only likes crowds when he sees them from the stage.
Jack makes hip hop beats and epic film music in his spare time.
Kyle played Danny in Grease and, as one of his many hair experiments, had pink and black corn rows. [Not at the same time!]
19) If you dare to say, what is your most embarrassing moment as a band,
presuming there is any?
That time we gave an embarrassing answer to that question probing about our most embarrassing moments
20) If we haven’t seen you on stage before, what would you say to us, to inspire us to
attend one of your gigs?
Kyle: The way all our elements come together at a live show is something that my biased self has not witnessed at any of the hundreds of concerts that I have been to. In the now famous words of John Travolta: "It's electrifying!"
21) After your SA tour, you are off to North America? Tell us more?
We've been chosen to play at Canadian Music Week in Toronto in March and we're giddy with excitement! The festival has acts from all over the world coming to showcase to potential fans and industry so it is a fantastic opportunity for us to get seducing. This is our first chance to get over to Northern America and is also a great foundation to build more tour dates around.
22) Can we look forward to a full length album soon?
Diaz: Before thinking about the album, I would like to expose our forthcoming EP to as many people as possible by touring and promoting it for about a year or so. But as it stands, we're always coming up with new and crazy material, so I definitely look forward to recording them and having a selection headache in terms of song inclusion for the full length album.
23) Are there any drawbacks for you guys, being musicians?
Diaz: You tend to come across people with a slightly negative attitude towards aspiring musicians e.g., that it isn't a realistic ambition, you won't put food on the table, you need to be very lucky, and so forth. And I can imagine how this sometimes affects and upsets musicians in their pursuit of a professional career. So the way I go about it is to simply ignore them and believe that, with hard work,when you have a goal, you can and will score.
Francesco: Nice football metaphor there D.
Jack: The only one I can think of, having studied music, I tend to think a lot of stuff is crap. When I listen to a band I know when they're playing something that hasn't really been thought out and I can pick up on most mistakes instantly. Seeing bands with two guitarists playing the same thing infuriates me; where is the imagination it that! In saying that, it's only increased my respect of bands that do things well, almost to obsessive levels.
24) Which bands have you shared the stage with, that you are proud of?
We've played stages that have previously been graced by PaulMcCartney, BB King, The
Rolling Stones and Radiohead.
In terms of bands that we've actually played on the same night as… (wink)
Diaz: Canadian hip-pop-hop band, Down With Webster who put on a great show
Kyle: Will & The People accompanied by a professional Burlesque dancer
at Madame JoJo's in London!
25) Is there a huge difference in playing in front of a crowd in London and a crowed
in South Africa?
So far we've only played 2 shows in SA… We'll get back to you at the end of the tour ;)
26) Where does the inspiration come from to write your songs? Who is the writer of
Up to this point, Jack and Kyle have shared the majority of the writing duties.
Arrangement, for the most part, gets everyone's tuppence and what starts as one idea often gets built and rebuilt until its full potential is discovered.
Kyle: Inspiration can come from anywhere - even some questionable political youth league actions have trickled across the pond as inspiration for Curious songs.
27) Where can we get a hand on your latest EP?
At the moment, two of our songs are being re-mixed to meet our quality control standards. Until they're done you can pre-order (the digital or physical) EP from our Web Store (http://thecuriousincident.spinshop.com/) our buy a "redemption card"at one of our concerts.
28) Do you guys enjoy studio time?
Jack: Studio time has a far greater reputation than it deserves.It's very glamorized. When you're at the sort of level Red Hot Chilli Peppers were at with their recording of 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' (check the film Funky Monks) or Led Zeppelin with Led Zep 4, then recording would be an awesome experience. More success will give us more freedom with things like studio time and the way in which we record, that's when the studio fun will really begin.
Kyle: So far we've been on super tight budgets when it comes to our studio time. We were lucky to be given an amazing deal and got our first taste of real studio time at Dairy Studios in Brixton where giants such as Muse, Florence & The Machine and Bloc Party have recorded.
Diaz: Apart from the lack of oxygen, I LOVE spending time in the studio!
29) We hope you guys enjoy your tour here in sunny SA! Will you guys come back
on a regular basis?
Francesco: As long as you'll keep having us, we'll keep coming!
Diaz: Only as long as you keep interviewing us ;)
30) Strangest request you’ve had from a fan? If there is any?
Kyle: I was asked outside our Zula show to give that person something, anything that belonged to me. They then turned down the lint from my pocket (which was all I had to offer) and suggested the clothes off my back instead. Hmmm
Jack: If you could call groupies "fan's" then I could give you a few…
31) How would you guys describe each other’s personalities in the band? Do you guys
differ a lot?
Francesco - The Dreamer
Diaz - The Cleaner
Kyle -The Schemer
Jack- The Ripper
Jack: Kyle and Diaz are much more involved in the organization side of the band, Fran and I are the hippies, though on a good day I'm found somewhere in between the two.
Diaz: We all have very different personalities, background/culture, and are influenced by varied styles of music. As a result have different interests outside of the musical vision and ambition that we thoroughly share.
32) What do you guys do in your spare time, if not making music?
Kyle: What spare time? ;)
Diaz: I like to watch a lot of soccer/football and spend time with my playstation. When the location/ weather permits, outdoor activities such as surfing, hiking, and traveling.
Jack: I think if you're serious about being a musician it's not just something you do, it's something you are. So in my spare time when I'm not making music...I'm probably making music.