Hellcats are a two piece, stripped down, bare knuckle rock n roll band from Johannesburg. They are Alessandro Benigno on drums and vocals, and Warwick Rautenbach on guitar.
The duo started the band in August 2014 and played their first gig as Hellcats at the famed Arcade Empire in Pretoria. They had one song when they were asked to play that gig, so they wrote 8 tracks in two weeks leading up to it and came out the gates swinging. That’s kind of how things have rolled ever since. Hard and fast. Their sound is is exactly the same, driving riffs and wailing vocals, with a clear 70’s rock influence. Filthy. Uninhibited.
In their short time together, the boys have torn through the local underground scene and have also held their own sharing the stage with giants like Fokofpolisiekar and Aking, to name a few, at venues all around the country.
Hellcats are a live band. Their music is unashamedly raw and their live performance is full throttle energy. They’re a two piece with a colossal sound, and audiences respond emphatically.
The HELLCATS will be rocking Park Acoustics this Sunday, alongside blues legend Dan Patlansky, Mr Cat & The Jackal and many more, for a sun filled day with the gorgeous people in Pretoria. We have a short chat with Alessandro and Warwick from HELLCATS, this is what they had to say:
- Hello gentelmen.. how you going doing?
》Hi! We are fantastic thank u for asking! How are u?
- We are great thank you!! Do you mind giving our readers a quick 101 on who HELLCATS are? Who the members of the band are and what are your roles, as well as where did you guys meet up to form the band?
》Hellcats is a 2 piece band, consisting of myself, Alex Benigno on drums and vocals, and Warwick Rautenbach on guitar. The band kinda just happened in dullstroom actually, we were previously in another band, which we went away for a writing retreat where myself and Warwick stayed up for like two days and night’s trading of guitar riffs and basically formed our friendship then and discovered that we both digged the same music witch in turn I think musically attracted us together on a musical level. We screwed around one day before practice and made a song, that how Hellcats were born. We then we played a show at arcade empire the rest is a blur!!!
- How has 2016 been for you guys thus far? Any cool shows or experiences to tell us about??
》2016 has been great for us, as we got to play Oppi, which was one of our biggest dreams. It was kinda surreal for us as we didn’t expect so many people to dig our music and go bat shit like that!! I personally can’t remember the show coz I got way to drunk so kinda bitter sweet!!! Hahaha
- Where do you guys take inspiration from in your “sound”?
》Well, Wick and I are really into the same music! Wicks influences range from Bowie too Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, DFA 1979 etc. Myself, Zep is my thing, I love blues alot aswell, so we generally like the same genres of music, so I would have to put it down too 70s hard rock blues !
- 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?
》I can’t really express enough how lucky we are to be part of this fantastic evolution that’s happening to rock music at the momen, it’s great feeling and we hope it keeps rolling like it is. There are so many great promoters out there making shit happen for artists and I think that’s propably been one of the biggest fundemental changes over the past few years. I think there are so many great acts coming out now and people are being exposed to that because the promoters are taking a chance on SA bands and music etc. Gone are the days, which I don’t mean any disrespect to the cats, where bands like Parlatones and Prime Circle are classified as rock bands and the heavy weights in the rock scene. There is a new age of rock-n-roll and it’s hitting our local people hard!!! So leka !
- Are there any local acts that you think need a special mention?
》Wow, where do we even begin…… Art Snakes, Ruff Magic, Sol Gems, Ray Gun Royal, Tazers, Pollinater, Bye Beneco, Velves, Deadly Bites etc. So many man, it’s cazy !!!!
- You guys will be rocking the stage at Park Acoustics this month… are you excited for this gig? What can we expect from your set at Parks?
》GOSH we are so humbled to be on the same bill as Dan Patlanksy and just to be part of such an amazing line up, so we are so excited!!! It’s again kinda surreal to be on such rad bills hahaha!!!! I guess u can expect Rock-n-Roll in its purest from, hard, loud, offensive & sweaty!!! We will bring the heat !!!
- Anything that you guys are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
》Right now, as we speak, Wick is working on his tan in ibiza!!! So at the moment we taking a month off, and then basically the day after he lands we play Park Acoustics. In terms of new music etc, we have so many new tracks we working on, so expect some new jams in our set!!!
- Where can we follow you on Social media?
- Thanks for your time guys…!!
》Thank u so much have a wonderful day !!!