Is it afro? Is it ska? Is it funk? Is it punk? Who really cares? It’s Captain Stu and it rocks! The guys would best describe their sound as “mongrel’ – we love whatever it is that made their hit, The Day, from their free 2010 EP, what it is. Their mellow summer vibe shouldn’t fool you – these guys have a serious energy on stage; their passion evident. It would seem their tenacity to make it in the biz after eight years has finally paid off – we bring you one of South Africa’s Local Music Stars – Captain Stu! Read more for our hilarious interview!
What’s make you guys get that feeling of awesomeness?
That feeling of awesomeness can only be achieved on stage or in the rehearsal room. Every now and then we’ll watch a good band and we’ll get a little of that feeling too, but mainly it’s on stage.
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to Captain Stu during a gig?
We once had a lead singer jump through a stage in Grahamstown. That was pretty funny, although the naked show in Port Alfred was probably one of the funniest.
Which city has the best Captain Stu groupies?
I’d say it’s a toss-up between Cape Town and Durban. There are a few places like Grahamstown and Bloemfontein that have been loving us long time, but definitely Durban or Cape Town. People love us hard there.
Do you have more pull now with chicks than you did 5 years ago?
I don’t think so. I’d imagine we might have a little more confidence now than in the past, and possibly there are one or two honeys out there who know who we are now, but chicks generally tend to see right through us for the high-school-music-room nerds we are.
Who are Captain Stu’s Ska Punk heroes?
As far as Ska Punk goes, the list wouldn’t even get started without including local bands like Hog Hoggidy Hog, Fuzigish, The Rudimentals, Leek and the Bouncing Uptones etc. We’re also all very into Sublime, The Cat Empire, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Mad Caddies, NOFX etc. There’s a long list of legends as far as we’re concerned.
What is the Captain Stu style?
The word that perfectly describes it, I’d say, is “mongrel”. We’re taking all kinds of genres, aspects of all kinds of different styles and just mixing it all up within the Captain Stu melting pot. If “mongrel” doesn’t suit you, you can always use the more cumbersome afro/ska/funk/punk/hop to describe us, but we’re just gonna go with Mongrel.
Which is the song you guys are most proud of to date?
That’d have to be The Day, the first single off our latest EP Free Music! We’re proud of it, not only because it’s the first track we’ve released which has had lots of prime time radio play, but also because it’s one of our most collaborative creations to date. When we write music, we usually try to get as much input from everyone as possible, looking at the song from different perspectives, trying out different ideas, and always as a collective. The Day has, to date, been the most collaborative of our compositions – we think that’s pretty cool.
What’s Captain’s Stu recipe for a good time?
Great music, friends, lovers, beer, dancing, late nights/early mornings, perhaps a zol or two and, of course, home cooked meals from mom.
The worst hangover cure you’re ever been told of?
“Take a deep breath, get off your arse and get over it.” We’re still not sure exactly how that one’s supposed to work.
What’s the craziest thing you guys got up to on your international tour?
Well we got up to some pretty crazy stuff on our little Australian adventure, as I’m sure you can imagine. The craziest time was probably one of the nights we spent in Byron Bay partying with this “Gypsy Death Core” band from Sydney The Barons of Tang. That was the night we found out that in Australia, a papsak is called a goon bag. We also found out that Aussie hipster-jocks are incredibly scared of wild and drunken South African musicians emerging naked from a stormy grey sea at 4 in the morning. They actually ran as soon as they saw us – we chased them along the beach for a while, but that got boring pretty quickly.
What’s been the theme for 2011 thus far?
Laughter and Colour and Free Music!
Who do you guys think is the most rock n roll chick ever?
We’re gonna go with 90’s Gwen Stefani.
You guys formed in 2003 as 6 pimpled teenagers playing in a garage. Did you think you’d make it this far and how many times were you guys ready to call it quits, if ever?
As pimpled and loveless teenagers we didn’t expect to make it this far at all, no. We certainly hoped we would, we definitely desired it and made it a goal for ourselves and that’s probably what’s kept us around for so long – the fact that we’re aiming at certain goals and we’re dedicated to seeing them accomplished. Of course there’ve been times when we’ve wanted to throw in the towel, we’ve definitely been through some difficult patches, but we’ve always suspected that nothing worthwhile comes easy so we stuck to our guns and here we are, eight years later.
What’s the best way to tour – by land or by air and why?
It depends on certain things, well, one thing – money. If you have it, you’ll tour by air because it’s quick, comfortable and painless. If you don’t have it, or there is no airport where you are going, you’ll do the car thing which can be a lot more fun, but it’s a long and uncomfortable road, and being cramped up with five sweaty dudes in a car for two weeks can get quite interesting.
What is the ultimate goal for Captain Stu?
Our ultimate goal is to quit our jobs and hit the road, tour internationally for as long as possible and write and record as much music as we can before we die. We’re not trying to be the most famous and successful band out there, we just want a viable career as musicians – we want to travel, play with cool bands, see the world… that kinda thing.
Whose got some of the worst habits in the band?
Everyone’s got bad habits really. From smoking, farting, bitching, moaning, nose-picking and McDonalds all the way to excessively disgusting and unPC jokes, alcohol abuse, emotional abuse of our fellow band members, swearing, bad driving, more McDonalds… the list is probably endless. We’re nice guys though… honest.
Which local celebrity scares you the most?
One word: Nataniël. He’s cool and creepy at the same time. Just how we like ‘em.
What made you guys release your last EP to your fans for free? A lot of South African bands claim that album sales locally are really dismal generally as it is?
Album sales are dismal all over the world, not least in South Africa – the record industry has been shrinking since the internet and the mp3 crashed the party. Nowadays one has free access to any music one wants, from the rarest, unheard of bands to the latest sensations – one can often download an album leaked onto the internet before its scheduled release. Knowing this, we decided to get with the program, aiming at digital online releases more than physical copies and of course, giving it away for free because a) the music reaches potential fans far faster; and b) because people are gonna be copying it free anyway. Why not give them our blessing?
Tell us about some of your upcoming gigs so our readers know where to party next with you!
We post all of our upcoming shows on our Facebook page as well as our blog which can be found at www.captainstu.co.za. We’re also on Twitter and Myspace so anybody who’s interested in checking us out and buying us a beer, visit one of those pages and find out where and when. We tour around SA regularly so the chances are we’ll be around your corner soon enough.
Photos by Michael Ashley Currin