Photo Credit Marnus Strydom.
The last band that we have the opportunity to chat before Park Acoustics this Sunday is the 4-piece Blues Folk Band, WOLFGANG MARROW, who will be in Pretoria for a good day out, alongside Dan Patlasnski, Tidal Waves and many more… Let see what they had to say
The blues has never been shy of its guttural dirty attempts at spilling guts upon the stage. Being from the not so Free State has its pros and cons, easily shocked (which is what every artist wants) but try unhinging those well stapled and glued views of what music should be…Wolfgang Marrow is a button band, sown onto a very old jacket that does not often get worn…but when it is fetched from under the pile … well sonny you aint never felt more at home, the blues is home, all worthy rock bands owe a little of their spit and polish to the blues…Wolfgang Marrow pays homage to the grand daddies of the rock world.
Slide guitar, whiskey drenched vocals and songs about how the “women done gone” Louw Cronje on the lead guitar, harmonica and Vocals, Little Sandy on rhythm guitar and vocals, Danie Otto on the bass with his experimental nuances and Bernard (Tiki) Britz murdering the drums. Sandy and Louwki write all their songs while nose deep in bitter politics, ghost stories and bad advice.
Four dirty little white kids trying to resurrect ghosts.
Interview: WOLFGANG MARROW
Photo Credit Rebecca Schwim
MA: Hello gang.. How you all doing this fine day? Amped to be chatting to you..
Hi hello there, we are super honored to be chatting to you today!
MA: Before we get started, can you please introduce us to the members of Wolfgang Marrow and where in SA you guys come from? How/Where did you guys meet up to form Wolfgang Marrow?
We are a bunch of small town kids, we all met in Bloemfontein (although most of us are based in Joburg now).
We’ve known each other for many years and so it was probably inevitable that we should end up together in this arranged marriage.
The band members are all kids with day jobs, unfortunately we have to subsidize our dreams . Our
drummer is an industrial physiologist who also teaches the drums to students at Grey College in Bloemfontein, his name is technically Bernard Britz but we call him (as does everyone else) Tiekie.
Then there is our brand spanking new bassist Mr. Benjamin van Wyk who is an engineer by day. He’s technically a guitarist (he taught our guitarist how to play when they were just horny teens) and has played for acts like The Dead Will Tell and The Dead Beats in the past.
Louwki Cronje is our front man on guitars and vocals but in the daylight hours he is a super nerd geologist at a place that I am assuming does very geologisty things.
Myself, Sandy Little, is an art lecturer and co-writes the songs with Louwki which I then sing aggressively at him on stage in a dual vocal type style.
I used to write and perform folk songs about tax invasion and the mustards stains at a few gigs and tiny festivals, Louwki who had a history of punk bands and other guitar adventures , would sometimes do a bit of lead guitar over my tunes…I secretly adored him but I thought starting a band would be easier than telling him that I super liked him …it might be the only reason I’m still in the band, trying to woo my best friend, but honestly I think the band was formed from our mutual love of Blues and our addiction to destruction and chaos.
MA: Can you give us a short background on the name Wolfgang Marrow?
The name Wolfgang Marrow was spawned in an old poop green Datsun parked behind a church, Louwki and I used to get paid to take Ben’s (our bassist) little sister to ballet, we didn’t want to waste petrol so we chilled in the parking lot with a beer and listened to the classical music that the tiny leotards were dancing too…we then mused that Mozart, had he lived in our day and age, would have probably been a bad ass punk bugger much like a slightly fancier Iggy Pop in a wig – that seemed to appeal to us in some manner , that and the fact that Louwki’s father always spoke of good rock n roll being something that you can literally feel in your bones…we could hardly call ourselves Mozart In Your Bones so we thought Wolfgang Marrow would be a better substitute.
MA: How would you describe you ‘sound’ in 5 words?
Our sound has actually received a lot of mixed reviews because we tend to love too many genres, we started out as mainly blues directed but then we were like hey punk country should be a thing, I guess now if I had to condense it to just a few terms I would say its ghost stories on slide guitar and over ambitious use of tambourine.
MA: Who/What are some of your musical inspirations?
We are massively inspired by our local heroes, The Black Cat Bones, The Slash Dogs, Cortina Whiplash, David Kramer and so so many Gods walking these plains. We obviously idealize bands like Led Zeppelin and the Pixies.
MA: 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?
The local scene is something so close to my heart, a world kept alive through a handful of die hard creatures, people that create the platform as well as folks who always attend the shows no matter what – it is a world were all your deprave strangeness is accepted and enjoyed, shared, and understood… I don’t want to use this platform to kiss ass but honestly we know the big buddies that give it all in this industry for bands … we need to know how lucky we are to have these people in the scene
MA: Are there any local acts that you think need a special mention?
There are so many local acts that need mentioning but I would like to tell you about a band in Bloem who are massively rad – namely those dirty Bloembillies, Down South. They have this brilliant dirty blues thing going on – they also hand make most of their instruments out of second hand items so it fun to look at as well.
MA: You will be coming up to Pretoria this month to play at Park Acoustics… Are you excited for this gig? What can we expect from your set?
We are massively excited about Park Acoustics , we literally couldn’t believe it when our manager told us about it, it is a big deal to us. We want our set to be broad in the spectrum of the styles we dabble in, but we will probably be focusing on some of our newer tracks.
MA: Anything that you guys are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
We are currently busy with pre-production on our new album ‘Small Town Ghosts‘, due early 2018. It will boast a wicked collaboration of art work between Marnus Strydom (who also happens to manage us) who is a lank skilled photographer and myself (I am an artist that specialize in drawing and digital art), we grew up in the same small town together and so we know the same secrets that they harbour. The songs on the album are mostly about our struggle to acclimatize to the big city and how the towns and farms that we are from seem to haunt us.
MA: Where can we follow you on Social media?
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about our baby , the band hahah , you can follow us on:
If you would like to see the band art then follow me over at Instragram on :@Angrylittlecrayon