[interview] aKing – Crash test Dummies SA tour

[interview] aKing - Crash test Dummies SA tour_photo-by-Kent-Andreasen---HR

Photo Credit: Kent Andreasen

aKING is a melodic Pop-Rock band. The band was formed when Hunter Kennedy and Jaco Venter from Fokofpolisiekar, teamed up with friends Laudo Liebenberg and Hennie van Halen, joining their combined creative forces in making music that expresses their shared experiences and influences.

aKING`s debut album “Dutch Courage” (all the band members are Afrikaans) was released on 1 February 2008. The album was recorded at BSharp Studios in Boksburg and contains 11 original English rock tracks. Delivering three no 1 hit singles, “Dutch Courage” has been hailed as one of the best rock releases in SA in 2008. The first single “The Dance” was play-listed on 5fm and reached the no 1 chart position on the 5fm Hi 5 at 5 Chart, as well as the no 1 position on the following campus radio stations: Tuks fm, UJ fm, RMR, MFM, and Kovsie fm.

A video of “The Dance” rotated on MK, SABC 2, MTV Base and MNET. The video reached and maintained the no 1 position on MK Top 10 for seven weeks in a row. The second single “Safe as Houses” was submitted to radio stations nationwide in June 2008. The track was playlisted on 5fm, Highveld Stereo, Jacaranda fm and OFM. “Safe as Houses” followed on the chart-topping footsteps of “The Dance” by also reaching the no 2 position on the 5fm Hi 5 at 5 chart, as well as the no 1 position on 5 campus radio stations.

A video of “Safe as Houses” was on rotation on MK and selected DSTV channels. The video reached no 1 on MK Top 10 Chart on Sat 12 July.
Dutch Courage reached the no 3 position of Best Albums of 2008 in FHM March 2009 issue. (1st and 2n positions went to Metallica and AC/DC.)
aKING released their second full length album “Against all Odds” in May 2009.

Following the runaway success of their first full length album “Dutch Courage” “Against all Odds” is their next delivery of chart-topping power tunes. The first single, title track “Against all Odds” is currently playlisted on 5fm, Highveld Stereo, KFM, OFM, East Coast Radio, JacarandaFM, Red Cap Radio and campus radio stations nationwide.

“Against All Odds is as rare and beautiful thing that shifts our collective pop rock reality into to a space that aKING now dominate uncontested.” Jason Curtis, New Media Publishing

“Against all Odds” reached various no 1 positions on national charts:

No 1 – Highveld Stereo Homebrew Top 10.
No 1 – Kovsie FM (Bloem) Top 30
No 1 – TUKS FM – SA Top 10
No 1 – RMR SA Top 10 (Grahamstown)
No 1 – UJ FM SA Top 20
No 1 – PUK FM – SA Top 20
No 1 – MFM – Top 10

The third full-length album, “The Red Blooded Years” was released in March 2011.

“The Red Blooded Years reflects a band intently focused on releasing their best album yet, and shows
their growth with a mastery of their medium that makes listening a pleasure.” Douglas Rodger, MIO

The mixture of inspiration, influences and musical sensibilities, vary from new wave electronic to soulful country rock, to down-to-earth rock ‘n roll. The Red Blooded Years stands out as a young rock band’s coming of age. This album is still unmistakably aKING, but the sonic influences of their new member, Andrew Davenport are impossible to ignore. Fans can expect the raw Rock ‘n Roll edge heard on Dutch Courage combined with the three-part vocal treatment that created the sound of The Red Blooded Years. The band says that they are “eager to get back to their energetic rock roots but at the same time experiment with different production techniques.” These songs are a taste of what’s to come from aKING when they release their fourth album in 2014.

aKING is currently in the process of completing their fourth full length album, “Morning After”, due to release in the last quarter of 2014. The album is produced and funded independently and recorded at various studios in and around Cape Town.


Interview: aKING

[interview] aKing - Crash test Dummies SA tour

  • Hi guys… it is such a pleasure to be featuring you guys on the site!! Is everyone doing well today? 
  • Before we get started, can you please introduce us to the members of aKing?
Andrew plays guitar, Hennie’s on Bass, Laudo sings and plays guitar and I’m Snake and I play drums.
  • How/Where did you guys meet up to form this formidable partnership?
We pretty much grew up together in Bellville. Hennie and Laudo were writing some tunes together around 2006 and I started playing with them after I broke my arm jumping out of a van in Witbank while on tour with Fokofpolisiekar. The idea was that we jam until my arm was strong enough again to rejoin Fokof. We arranged some nice music and we figured that we would give it a serious go when Fokof took a break. Hunter from Fokof also later joined and left again after a couple of years when his responsibilities with Die Heuwels Fantasties became too much. This is when Andrew joined the band. We’ve been playing and drinking as this ensemble ever since!  
  • Can you give us a short background on the name aKing?
It’s a wordplay on pain and royalty. We also wanted to not be a ‘The’ band as there were so many of them at the time. 
  • Where do you guys take inspiration from in your “sound”?
For a lot of different music but I think there are a lot of melodic and classic rock bands that we agree on – Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Thin Lizzy, Warren Zevon, etc. 
  • You have been one of SA’s top bands, with so many incredible shows, albums, music videos etc. under your belts. What have been you top 3 moments as a band?
Ag, there have been so many. The overseas trips (Argentina, India, Dubai) have been great. Opening for The Pixies last year was a lifelong dream come true and when we won the SAMA for Best Rock album in 2015 it was n nice compliment to the work we put in on that album.
  • Our local scene has been growing positively over the past few years… What are your thoughts on our local music scene at the moment and if there is anything you wish to see happen differently? 
More venues, festivals and a national radio station that exclusively reports on the local scene and plays the music would go a VERY long way.
  • Are there any local acts that you think need a special mention?
Ag, we have too many friends in the scene, we don’t wanna pick favourites… Shortstraw


  • You will be on the line up, as supporting act to the Crash Test Dummies, in February in CT and PTA. Are you excited for these shows? What can we expect from your set?
We’ll be playing a pretty balanced set from music of over the last 10 years. We’ll also definitely be sweating and drinking.
  • Anything that you guys are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
We’re thinking about recording some singles to put out during the year.

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