BLOOD BROTHERS CAPE TOWN:
BLOOD BROTHERS PRETORIA:
Interview: Francois van Coke
Do you mind starting with a quick 101 on who Francois van Coke, the musician, is? Where in SA are you from and how did you get started in the music scene?
I was born in Brakpan, but luckily moved to the Western Cape early in my life. Grew up in Bellville. I fell in love with grunge music when I went to high school. It was all about Nirvana and Pearl Jam and the probably some of the punk stuff like Green Day and Offspring. Those bands made me want to pick up a guitar and that is why I started to play music. I have been in bands since I was 15. Played in punk bands after high school and started Fokofpolisiekar in 2003 with my best mates and that changed everything for me.
Was music always an inspiration in your household growing up?
Yeah, but nothing like the music I ended up playing. My Dad listened to opera and classical music and my mom listened to gospel music. They are both musical and my sisters are too. The first tunes I liked was filtered down from my sisters. Pixies, Johannes Kerkorrel, The Cure and stuff like that.
What were/are some of your musical inspirations?
I have mentioned loads of them already. The more currents bands I am into at the moment are Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes. But I am influenced by all music from Phil Collins to Sepultura to Justice.
The first band that deserves a mention is New World Inside. It was a punk band, we played a couple of festivals, released an album and toured a bit. Fokofpolisiekar started in 2003 and we are still active, we have made 3 full-lenghts and 4 EPs. Van Coke Kartel started in 2007 and ended in 2017. We made 5 albums and an EP. My solo career kicked off in 2015 and I have done 2 albums and an EP with that setup, also playing with Die Gevaar as my studio and live band. I did Oorlog Frankenstein for a bit in 2009 with my friend, Peach van Pletzen. We released a little EP. I have also been involved with Blood Brothers for 4 years.
What are your thoughts of our local music scene at the moment?
I think there are very few new rock bands around; that is a bit sad. Afrikaans pop music are thriving and hip-hop is doing well.
Any acts/bands/artists that you think need a special mention?
The Hellcats and The Stinging Rodgers.
You are once again part of the incredible production called the Blood Brother, which brings some of South Africa’s best musicians together to form what you can call a “super group”. This must be something special for you and the others involved? Can you give us a bit more background on the Blood Brothers?
Yeah, it is a special event every year. It is great to come together with like-minded individuals to make music and raise funds to help young people with cancer. Blood Brothers was started a four years ago to raise funds for the Vrede Foundation. I have been involved with the Vrede Foundation in various projects. It was founded by Henré Pretorius when his brother and my friend, Herman, was diagnosed with cancer.
You can expect a rock ‘n roll party with some great singers. Laudo Liebenberg, Ard Matthews among others are joining us for the first time. It is going to be an epic show with some of our hits and some of the music that influenced us.
Anything else you currently working on that we may be interested in?
Yeah, I am working on my big show happening in Pretoria on 15 September. It is called Francois van Coke & Vriende. I am currently working on 2 other secret projects that will be revealed before the end of the year.
Where can people follow you on Social Media?
*** Photo credit: Andre Badenhorst ***