Shout Hey hit the South African music scene with one thing in mind: not to let the boundaries of genres define them. With diverse musical upbringings, their performances vary from electric live shows to laid-back unplugged sessions, both demonstrating their constant experimentation with new sounds.
This local alt-indie trio, Shout Hey, have just released their new single, ‘Word of Mouth’, recorded with David Grevler at Anti Motion Studios in Johannesburg. The single is a follow-up of the band’s debut EP, ‘Can You Hear Me?’, just prior to their debut festival performance at Oppikoppi Odyssey.
Their first three singles from that EP, ‘End of the World’, ‘Bedsheets Are My Favourite Colour’ and ‘She’s Crazy’ were recorded with producer, Mike Wright of Gloryvale Studios and have been playlisted on many local stations such as Zone Radio, 2OceansVibe Radio, UCT Radio, EuroTrash Music Radio, Assembly Radio, TUKS FM, PukFM, MFM, Mix FM, VOW FM and Rock FM 91.9. They have also featured on The Rock Dimension with Gary Cool and their single ‘She’s Crazy’ aired on Jon Savage’s show on 5FM in early 2013. Their singles ‘Insomniac’ and ‘Hearts’ are currently in the SATop30 Charts on PukFM and MFM.
Shout Hey recorded the rest of their 6 track debut EP, ‘Can You Hear Me?’ at Anti Motion Studios with David Grevler, which was released digitally on iTunes in December 2013, followed by the release of the “Can You Hear Me?” physical copies. The single “Insomniac” was released prior to the EP release. Following the release, they embarked on a nationwide EP launch tour in January 2014, performing in JHB, PTA, CPT, PE and DBN sharing the stage with the likes of Beach Party, Jeremy Loops, The December Streets and more.
“Word Of Mouth” artwork was illustrated by the band’s close friend Rob Crawford, and features a few personal remarks and characteristics of the band members, including references to the band’s admiration for Blink-182, coffee, tea, cats, classy pipes, illustrations of the band members themselves and the notorious, ‘Tim is Tits’ tag.
We got to chat to these young guys ahead of them missioning to Koppi, discussing their musical journey thus far, as well as talk on this new single, hope you enjoy:
- Hey guys, how you doing? It’s awesome to be chatting to you guys!!
Shout Hey!: We’re great thanks, rad to be chatting to you too!
- Before we get started, do you mind introducing yourself to us and giving us a short 101 on who SHOUT HEY is and how you started out in music?
Matt: Well, all three of us come from different musical backgrounds – Matt is a classically-trained pianist, and Tim and Brogan both have formal teaching in guitar, but besides from that, our musical upbringing in terms of what we listened to is also very different. Matt grew up on a lot of jazz and classical stuff, and later he did the ‘90s/2000s British alternative rock thing whilst Tim and Brogan primarily listened to rock and pop, including some stuff from the ‘80s, but those styles have never limited us – we currently listen to a whole mess of genres from drum and bass to indie folk. The three of us actually began our escapades in a six-piece band that shall not be named, but Shout Hey! officially launched in October 2011. We kind of started out as a Blink-182 cover band, but gradually we started writing own music and covering songs by other bands we liked, and today we still try to experiment with different flavours when we write.
- Do you mind introducing us to the band and telling us where you guys met each other and who play what role in the band?
Tim: The band started out in late-high school, we were lucky enough to have played in a band prior to Shout Hey! Together, so we were comfortable with each other, we knew how each one of us wrote, worked, played and performed, and we’ve all grown musically together, and I’d say each member has definitely had some influence on the other.
Matt: The three of us met in school, we were all in the same year and shared similar interests, music being one of them, and like any teenager who looks up to guys like Tom DeLonge, Chris Martin or Olly Sykes, we decided to start a band. Initially, it was Matt, Tim and our good friend Jason, who played the drums, but he left in the beginning of 2012 and Brogan later took over from him, after himself leaving his old band. Otherwise, Tim sings and plays guitar, and Matt sings and plays bass and keys.
- What would you say have been some inspirations to your music? Are you guys always looking for new inspirations and ways of evolving as a band?
Tim: Our music tastes are constantly changing, developing, expanding and altering with the amount of bands and artists popping up all over the place. We listen to everything from Damien Rice’s ‘9’ to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto’s to Blink-182 to The Lumineers to Bring Me The Horizon to The Kooks. I say, we are influenced by everything and everyone around us.
Matt: Obviously the music we listen to is a huge source of inspiration, nowadays it is more centred on alternative stuff like the music of Dog Is Dead and Foals, as well as indie-pop stuff like Satellite Stories and San Cisco’s music, but we’re always open to new styles and influences. Also, we love local music, so we’re really inspired by local acts like Shortstraw, The Plastics and Al Bairre who have done really well for themselves over the last few years.
- What have been some of the challenges of being in a band and trying to make the cut in a ever growing South African music industry?
Matt: Some challenges have included finances, for example. Being in a band is not cheap, and you shouldn’t expect to make a living purely off of record sales or live shows unless you’re extremely well-established. Apart from that, marketing and getting your name out there also requires quite a lot of tenacity and hard-headedness, and can sometimes be very daunting. And then, of course, the fear of failure – nobody likes to go one stage and look out at the audience and they’re all standing there with their arms folded, mumbling stuff under their breath or worse, when the barman is the only member of the audience
Tim: I think in an ever-growing industry, one really has to make an effort to stand out, whether that means pulling off a horrid publicity stunt or letting it just reflect in your music or adding cabaret dancers to your live show. Also, don’t be a douche.
- The local music scene has been growing in leaps over the last few years, what has you most excited about how things are progressing in SA?
Tim: The fact that more and more internationals are touring the country year after year excites me, because this means that SA is being put on the map, and this means that the opportunities for local bands to be ‘put on the map’ will increase exponentially, and so will the interest for foreigners to explore South African music.
Matt: What’s exciting is that more people are realising that South Africa actually has an established music industry. In the past, most average South African’s listened almost exclusively to music from overseas, perhaps knowing about a handful of local artists. Today, more local music is making its way to more people, so there is more awareness about when records are coming out, when and where bands are playing shows and just generally, people are noticing that these musicians actually exist. It’s always a great feeling to play a show and someone comes up to you afterwards and says, “Rad show!” because it means that there is support for the industry, from people outside of the industry.
- Can you give us a few of your career highlights thus far?
Matt: For us, a huge highlight was our nationwide tour at the beginning of the year, we had an awesome opportunity to play in cities across the country at some of the best venues in the country, and the whole experience was definitely worth repeating. Other than that, our getting to play at Jozi on Fire in June was another incredible opportunity, and there are a number of shows where we got to share a stage with the likes of Beach Party, Jeremy Loops, Wrestlerish, Desmond & the Tutus, Shortstraw, December Streets and other awesome local bands. And then obviously, we’re looking forward to playing at Oppikoppi in August
- You guys have just released your latest single, WORD OF MOUTH… Following the success of your previous singles, ‘End of the World’, ‘Bedsheets Are My Favourite Colour’ and ‘She’s Crazy’, what can we expect from this latest single?
Tim: I’m particularly proud of ‘Word of Mouth’. Not that I’m not fond of the others, I just think that with the release of each single we’ve developed more and more as a band, and I think ‘Word of Mouth’ showcases that. Also, a number of our influences can be heard in ‘Word of Mouth’.
Matt: We’re hoping for a good response, obviously, ‘Word of Mouth’ will hopefully precede an EP later this year or early next year. It’s different to our previous singles in that we have moved away from the sort of “unashamedly pop-punk” vibe to a more integrated, more varied sound that hopefully people will hear. It represents a movement from our previous music preferences, to a more rounded taste that is influenced by a wider range of styles. It’s also bigger in terms of instrumentation.
- Will you be doing any upcoming tour, to promote the single and the band as a whole?
Tim: The live debut of ‘Word of Mouth’ will be at Oppikoppi. We’ve got a Cape Town tour at the end of September, and hopefully at the end of the year we’ll be recording some more and going on another nationwide tour.
Matt: We will probably be doing another national tour towards the end of the year only, perhaps to promote the EP, the reason being because the band is split across Cape Town and Johannesburg, so it is only possible to play shows, rehearse and record when we’re all in the same city. But, we make do, thankfully we’re all pretty frequent flyers
- Are there any other projects that you are working on that we might be interested in hearing about?
Matt: Yeah, we’re hopefully going to get another music video or two out before the year’s done, and then obviously that second EP with a tour is also on the cards.
- Where can we follow you on social media?
- Lastly, if you could colab with any musician, dead or alive, who would that be?
Tim: Tom DeLonge. Or Cole Porter.
Matt: The Jungle Giants.
Brogan: John Lennon.
“From the first song in, they had the crowd hooked, specifically the group of (what looked like) teenage girls gathering in front of the stage. And who can blame them? Shout Hey has an irresistible stage presence. It feels like you have known them for years; just your best mates playing an exclusive gig after their world tour. They have mastered the art of balancing confidence and humility on stage, and that is what I like most about them.” – Jessica Kramer, You’re your Drink/Texx and the City
“You look at a band like Blink 182 or Muse, and they make it work. Shout Hey is no different, the energetic live performance they give can, according to me, be compared with other well-known South African bands such as Zebra and Giraffe or The Plastics.” – Ewald Cloete, Running Wolf’s Rant
“Shout Hey is an extremely underrated band.[They] play a very cool and accessible indie/pop punk fusion. As a three-piece band, these guys kick a lot of butt with their catchy tunes.” – Music Review SA
“Tim doesn’t have a puberty problem, Tim is 5 – hence the lack of chest hair.” – Gary Cool