After taking the longest break they’ve had since their inception in ’09, Johannesburg-based alternative rock outfit Climate Control have taken the reigns and served up their sophomore full-length album, Equals Not.
The album is a product of over four years of material, shows, growth, and overcoming hurdles. Climate Control used the time away from the music to recharge its batteries and gain some new perspectives on life, goals, the industry, and priorities. Although following the departure of founding drummer Jacques du Toit, which was a substantial blow to the band, the new release has served as a beacon of motivation and excitement for what’s still to come.
Equals Not also marks a departure from the band’s production history, as it was recorded and produced by frontman Nic Gonzalez. All other aspects, such as album artwork and videos, were also handled by bassist Wesley Smuts & guitarist Luca Zeeman respectively. This is the first time the band have not recorded with long-time producer Clint Watts – a decision borne from a combination of both needing to make more strategic financial moves, and wanting to tackle the material from a different angle.
“We’ve pretty much jumped in the deep end with deciding to handle everything ourselves for this album, but it was the only way that really made sense for us to pick up the pieces and move forward,” says Nic. “The album name & material within are all stories and statements around the idea that life can and will mess you up in various ways, but that none of those experiences or that pain amounts to your whole story or who you ultimately are or become.”
With new drummer Ricky Dunningham in the fold, Climate Control are gearing up to bring a new energy to their live shows, and hope that the album resonates with & impacts listeners as much as it has for themselves.
We caught up with them for a short chat, discussing the new single and how 2018 was for the band, this is how it went down:
Interview: Climate Control
Hey dude, rad to be chatting to you gents again, how you doing?
Nic (Guitar & Vocals): Great, thanks man! Super excited to finally have this album out there. We’ve been grinding hard, so it’s really satisfying to let it fly.
Tell us, how has 2018 treated you?
Luca (Guitars): We’ve been away for almost 2 years, so we’ve been very low key this year. Our biggest highlight though was our comeback show with our brand new drummer Ricky, playing with Our Last Night. It was the perfect way to get things going again and the show was so much fun. Our other highlight for the year was putting together and releasing our new album. It was quite different to what we imagined it would be a while ago, and loads of fun to create.
Any major highlights in the year?
Nic: Dropping our new album ‘Equals Not’ and supporting Our Last Night again on their second tour to SA were both incredible landmarks for us this year.
I believe that you got yourself a new band member, is this right? If so, please do introduce us to him?
Wesley (Bass): Absolutely, Ricky Dunningham has joined the ranks as our brand new drummer. He and his previous band members (Urban Vitamin) have been good friends of mine for a few years and when he sent in his killer audition video, we knew he was the right person for the job!
What are your thoughts of our local music scene at the moment?
Ricky (Drums): Looking over the past year, and the year to come, there seems to be this newfound energy being channeled into the scene. At the forefront of these efforts are without a doubt the event organizers. The local organizers deserve all the praise for their tireless efforts; they are the heart and soul of the scene. And with companies such as Jam Packed Productions and Turning Tricks Entertainment, among others, consistently pushing towards a higher standard, and local bands following suit, the current state of the scene is encouraging.
Any acts/bands/artists that you think need a special mention?
Ricky: OneDaySky. They recently released a new single, ‘Georgia’, which people should check out if they haven’t already. It’s a phenomenal track.
You have just released your latest album, called “Equals Not”. What can we expect from this album?
Nic: Tons of emotion, energy, and some unexpected surprises. We’ve pushed ourselves pretty far with the writing and recording of the album, and hopefully that shows in how our sound has evolved.
Where can people get their hands on a copy of this album?
Luca: Equals Not is available on most streaming platforms. Give it a jam on any of these below!
Anything else you currently working on that we may be interested in?
Wesley: At the moment we are focusing on our new release ‘EQUALS NOT’ and spreading the music as far and wide as possible. There are some massive shows coming up in the new year, which we can’t wait to announce!
Where can people follow you on Social Media?
Nic: We’re on most social platforms, so take your pick.
Thanks for your time
Nic: Thanks for chatting with us. See you soon!