Both members picked up guitars for the first time in high school and like so many others started jamming riffs by Metallica, Blink etc. but this soon developed into a preference for acoustic guitar playing. To start off with, the motivation was purely to have fun, they never thought about making music for a living! PG says:
“Alwyn is quite the genius, playing drums and violin in high school but when he got to guitar; that was it! PG picked up a few chords and started entertaining friends every once in a while…”
The two first met at a performing arts company, and even though their musical partnership didn’t start immediately, it wasn’t long before BAD PETER was born. Alwyn first went to work in Thailand for 9 months, playing shows weekly with PG doing the exact same thing in South Africa. Upon Alwyn’s return the two realised that together they could create something special.
They say: “We really wanted to pick a name that has a meaning for the both of us.” So they played around with various combinations of song lyrics, where they’d lived and their names and surnames… They eventually stumbled upon Bad Peter by using PG’s surname which is (Bad)enhorst and Alwyn’s middle name, Petrus(Peter).
From playing mostly covers to gradually building a repertoire of original music together and gigging more and more, BAD PETER was soon travelling the country and winning fans on a daily basis. They were never going to go unnoticed for long, so when they signed a worldwide record and publishing deal with The David Gresham Record Company in November 2014, they were the only ones who were surprised.
BAD PETER released their highly anticipated debut single ‘Month of May’ in April 2015 and within 24 hours secured themselves a Top 30 single on the iTunes Chart in South Africa. Their 5-track EP, LET GO, was released in November 2015 and reached the Top 20 on the iTunes chart in South Africa. The duo found inspiration for their debut offering in day-to-day struggles and experiences and the influences of Country, Folk and Blues are evident in tracks like ‘Month of May’ and ‘On This River’ other tracks like ‘Brother’ explores African guitar sounds combined with melodic rapping and a theme of living together in this beautiful diverse country of ours. Their third single ‘Faithful Lover’ is a song about a one night stand, disguised as a love song! As a live act they quickly became in demand and gigged relentlessly, playing at major festivals in South Africa.
“We don’t like to limit ourselves to a specific genre. Being singer-songwriters gives us that freedom” says PG. “You’ll hear country, Latin, blues, African, pop and reggae sounds in our songs. We prefer writing songs that can make people dance, groove and feel good!”
BAD PETER is an energetic band that really has a passion for jamming, performing and making music live! They often tell one another if neither one of their guitars break during this performance they’re not giving it their all. This might sound like a strange thing to hear from guys playing acoustic but they love putting all their energy into performing, and that’s what makes them such a joy to watch.
According to the band, “It’s been the raddest, funnest 2 years of our lives and we couldn’t be happier. A thought that really blows our minds is that we’ve just started and we have no idea and can’t wait to see what happens!”
Interview: BAD PETER
MA: Hello gents, how you doing today? Its a pleasure to be featuring you on our platform..
We’re very well thank you, great chatting with Mixed apples again.
MA: Before we get started, can you please introduce us to the two members of Bad Peter, tell us where in SA you guys come from and give us a short background on how/where you guys came together to create Bad Peter?
PG – I was born in Kathu, a small town in the Northern Cape, not so small anymore though. My family moved around a lot when I was young, until we finally ended up in Centurion.
Alwyn – I was born in Ermelo, Mpumalanga. I lived there with my parents until 2006 when I matriculated. After that I went on to join a performing arts company in Pretoria where PG and I first met.
MA: Can you give us a short background on the name Bad Peter?
Initially we were called The Swinging Door haha. We got that from lyrics of one of our songs. Don’t know how we missed it though, but of course there was already another band in the US with the name. So we were thinking for a while hoping something spectacular will just come to us or happen to us, it didn’t. So we sat down, wrote down names of song lyrics again, street names where we grew up, places we’ve been to, things we’ve done and also our surnames and middle names. We ended up with Bad from Badenhorst, PG’s surname and Peter from Petrus, Alwyn’s middle name.
MA: I believe that you guys played mainly covers when you first formed Bad Peter but now have loads of your very own music. Are your shows a mixture of the two?
Yes we played almost exclusively covers in the beginning. We started out just wanting to jam without having written anything really. Playing cover songs are great, but we realised soon that we want to be playing our own songs, singing our own words, write our own guitar parts. So these days we’re happy that it’s not a mixture of the two. We try not playing more than 2-3 cover songs, most shows only one.
MA: Where do you guys take inspiration from in your “sound”?
That’s always going to be a tricky question. We’ve never really given any thought to our “sound”. But I guess a lot of it comes from our love for guitar, especially acoustic guitar. We love the Blues, Folk, Country, Reggae you know island music, but we’re also fans of pop music. We love artists like Jason Mraz, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, John Mayer, Brad Paisley, Kaleo, The Lumineers, Tommy Emmanuel. Listening some Hozier, Black Keys, Lady Gaga’s new album at the moment and Ed Sheeran.
MA: What are your thoughts on our local music scene at the moment and if there is anything you wish to see happen differently?
It’s nice to see so many guys following their dreams and jamming out on the scene! It truly inspires and motivates us to keep on working hard and to keep going at it. Also, it’s great to see the public coming out to support up and coming acts like ourselves, it’s the energy off which our live performances and creativity feeds. Although it’s a tough game, breaking into the scene, I wouldn’t want to change a thing. It builds character and you really learn how to reinvent and apply yourself as a musician and an artist.
MA: Are there any local acts that you think need a special mention?
We’re big fans of Georgetown! We just love their incredibly huge sound and those amazing old school/Mumford harmonies. We’re also fans of Jerry and the Bandits. We’ve been watching them grow into a fresh and authentic new act!
MA: You will be playing at one of the coolest festivals in SA, MIELIEPOP FESTIVAL.. Are you excited for this gig? What can we expect from your set at this years festival?
To say that we’re excited is most definitely an understatement. We’re incredibly stoked to be included on the main stage line up and we can’t wait to submerge ourselves in the fantastic energy that the Mieliepop crowd brings!
MA: Anything that you guys are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
We’re currently planning the recording and release of our second EP with producer Theo Crous. We’ll be releasing 5 or 6 new tunes towards the end of 2017!
MA: Where can we follow you on Social media?