[interview] Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions (B.D.C.L) – Catch them at Mieliepop Festival 2017

[interview] Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions (B.D.C.L) - Catch them at Mieliepop Festival 2017

Cape Town outfit Ben Dey & The Croncrete Lions (B.D.C.L) will be at Mieliepop Festival 2017, alongside an array of incredibly talented acts. This afro rock band from the Mother City will wow you with their amazing live performances, making them stand out amongst the rest. We had a short chat with the guys from B.D.C.L, this is what they had yo say:

BDCL is an Afro/Indie pop-rock band from Cape Town.
The band was co-founded by Ben Dey and Ongoma Mona in 2015.
BDCL’s unique sound resonates with audiences locally and abroad.Ben is a prolific lyricist who draws inspiration from the every day. His memorable hooks are held together by poetic verses that use commercial metaphors to express subversive socio, political and environmental themes. He spends much of his time outdoors (climbing, running, riding, surfing) and the music he creates aims to harness the nuanced rhythms of the elements he experiences. In a nutshell, Ben wants to make music that inspires and uplifts the listener.

Interview: Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions

[interview] Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions (B.D.C.L) - Catch them at Mieliepop Festival 2017

  • Hello guys, how you doing today? Its a pleasure to be featuring you on our platform..

– Hey, yeah we’re doing great, thanks for the opportunity.

  • Before we get started, can you please introduce us to the two members of Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions (B.D.C.L), tell us where in SA you guys come from and give us a short background on how/where you guys came together to create B.D.C.L?

– We’re actually more of a 4-piece band these days. Ben (guitar, vox) hails from Noordhoek, Cape Town and is the main songwriter. Ben met Ongx (lead, vox) a few years back and the two have been playing together ever since. Legend has it that Ongx used to cycle from his home in Khayelitsha over the mountain to Bens’ place in Noordhoek. About a year ago, the drum-and-bass brother element of the band came-in after Alex (drums, percussion) and Dillon (bass, backing vox) were found (also in Noordhoek) as suitable fits to the growing project.

BDCL initially emerged from the friendship and desire to write music that grew between Ben and Ongx. Bens’ poetic lyrics are driven by Ongxs’ jazz/blues/rock rhythms. If our road-trip conversations on politics and current affairs are anything to go by – we like to think of ourselves as proactive-critical thinkers who are tuned-in on modern life. I think we all find music to be our favourite way of expressing those thoughts and opinions.

  • Can you give us a short background on the name B.D.C.L?

– ‘Ben Dey & the Concrete Lions’ is a collective term for Ben and the musicians he plays with. The term ‘Concrete Lions’ came about through Ongx who, during a run-through of ‘One Day’, said ‘conquering lions’ but was misheard. Although a mondegreen, the phrase carried with it a deeper representation of the members of the band: we love the wild, yet live in an urban world.

  • How would you describe your music in 5 words?

– Ben-Ongx-Alex-Dillon-Fusion (we all kind of bring our own style to the table and mix it up together)

  • Where do you guys take inspiration from in your “sound”?

– Individually we all have our respective musical heros. Ben prefers act like Bob Dylan, Coldplay and U2; Ongx is blues to the bone; Alex listens to anything from German techno to Bach; and Dillon – well I guess he’s just in-between. I think we all developed our own styles – taking inspiration from our own tastes. When we write music together, its our own individual sounds coming together and (luckily, most of the time) sounding good.

  • What have been some of your highlights thus far as a band?

– We know that 2016 was possibly going to be the worst year of the 2010s (hopefully) – but in terms of our progression, 2016 was amazing. The whole year kind of sticks out as a highlight. We got new band members; went from playing at high schools, to playing at epic festivals like Daisies and Smoking Dragon; we were on TV (hi mom); toured with the Parlotones; toured the UK; got detained in the UK; recorded an EP… It been a great learning-curve for us thus far.

  • What are your thoughts on our local music scene at the moment and if there is anything you wish to see happen differently? 

– If we’re giving out special mentions, I’d firstly like to thank the individual people and musicians that we’ve met and collaborated with so far. Big shout out to our man from Limpopo, Innocent Mabushe. He flew down last year to Cape Town as an ad hoc member on our tour up the East Coast. Inno, thanks for all your time, patience, friendship and help the past few weeks!

Then another shout-out to Raiven Hansmann who’s not only been great to work with on our up-coming EP (out March, 2017) but has the piano fingers only Elton John could want.  And a general word of thanks and shout-out must go to The Kiffness. His no-fear attitude has kind of inspired us to start standing up for ourselves. Also, he’s given us some decent advise which we’re keen to start using. Hopefully one day we’re kiff enough to collaborate with him – I can only imagine what would come out of that!

[ticket comp] Jägermeister presents the Republic of Mieliepop 2017
  • 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?

– HELLS YEAH WE’RE EXCITED! It’s honestly been on of the greatest things ever about being in a band: you get to experience so many new festivals, many of which you never would have had the opportunity to go to. And while they may not be as commercial as the Oppikoppi’s or Daisies, they’re usually far better experiences which feel a lot more grounded and natural. It’s going to be our first time there, and we’re honestly not sure what to expect – but we’re all aboard this hype-train!

  • Anything that you guys are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?

– We’re currently in the mixing and editing phase of our up-coming EP, to be released in March/April. Along with it, we have our second music video following suit. It’s been another interesting learning curve (for everyone, I think) but we’re excited to see where this takes us. We never expected ‘Easy Love’ to take us as far as it did – I guess we’re hoping to duplicate and surpass that.

  • Where can we follow you on Social media?
– You can follow us on:
Facebook (Ben Dey & the Concrete Lions)
Soundcloud: concrete lions sound
Twitter: @BendeyCL
  • Thanks for your time guys…!!

Thank you!

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