Band Name: December Streets
Members: Tristan Coetzee – Lead Singer and Rhythm Guitar
Nico van Loggerenberg – Lead Guitar
Gideon Meyer – Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals
Waldo Boshoff – Trumpet and Backing Vocals
Corneil Clasen – Drums
Genre: Rock music met pop music and they had a baby. The baby of funk and reggae met that baby and THEIR baby is what you could be listening to right now!
Hometown: Pretoria, South Africa
Years performing: As the band is at the moment about eight months
Influences: Dance, rock, and indie music – a lot of new stuff that’s happening overseas right now. If it’s danceable, singable, and memorable – we’re keen!
How did the December Streets come to be?
Tristan and Gideon have known each other since high school, and the rest of us met during our university years – first playing in two separate bands, later merging to form the current December Streets, then Tristan ordered a wife from www.wifeforgegreencard.com and we got Nico by post; think they call that fate?
You guys have performed alongside some South African industry greats lately – what has that been like for you guys?
We recently performed alongside aKing, Prime Circle, Just Jinjer, Flash Republic and Jax Panic at a huge show at the wavehouse in Durban, and meeting and performing with such talent is something we don’t think we will get used to very soon. Playing at OppiKoppi this year alongside some of the biggest names in SA and internationally is also something every SA band dreams about! It’s awesome to meet some of these big names and realise that they’re just normal people, down to earth but with serious stage presence and experience.
What keeps you guys motivated and driven?
The feeling you get when a huge crowd of people suddenly starts to dance along to the music you’re making – that’s our number one aim.
How would you describe your band philosophy?
Write and perform music that you as a band and individuals can sit back and listen to (or dance to) yourself. If you find people that can listen, dance and even love your music as well, then you’ve hit the jackpot.
Who have been your most unlikely fans?
We’ve been a little surprised by some older industry people that have taken an interest in us as a band – we normally see our market as more the teenager/student scene, but support from the other side of 40 is awesome as well!
What was it like the first time you heard your single My Name on the radio?
It is something we never get used to; we still freak out every time we are on the road and hear our tracks on the radio. It’s a real reward as it shows that people out there want to hear us, and are requesting our songs.
Who was the first person to hear your guys single My Name outside of the band and its associates?
That was quite a while back, we tend to forget, but if it was you let us know…
What do you guys do when you’re not performing or doing band stuff?
At the moment we are all studying at TUKS (Pretoria), so we juggle the studies and music, but unofficially music is getting the preference. Waldo (trumpet player) is also rebuilding an old Volkswagen Wagon in his free time, which will feature in our new music video.
How would you react to someone you knew had illegally downloaded your album for free?
It’s impossible to illegally download our tunes, seeing as we actively encourage spreading and sharing the music. Every person who hears a song is another person that can sing along when we play a show.
What’s your creative process – how do songs manifest themselves, what’s the band like in studio etc?
We prefer to have our songs well worked out before we get to studio – studio time is expensive and we can’t afford to sit around trying to think up new ideas! Often, songs are born from jamming, simple playing along in a group to a new idea, with all of us improvising new parts. After being played live a few times, a track is normally polished enough to make it into studio. It’s all intuitive for us – we try to not over-analyse the music.
If you were president for a day, what’s the first thing you’d do?
Probably let them mint coins with our faces on it, sit back and enjoy the feeling of power. Maybe go see Mandela – just hang out. Like old friends. Tell Julius that our boots need polishing. Fix the economy and the education system, if there’s time before lunch. After that we’d like to take it easy and maybe end the war in Libya, bring peace to the Middle East and free Burma from the military.
If you wanna have a good party in SA – where’s the best place to go?
Somewhere where there is a beach, a beach bar, good friends and a sunset, and of course December Streets.
Whose the sexiest SA celeb?
That’s a very close fight between Kerry McGregor and Lee Ann Liebenberg. A fight probably best settled by excessive mud wrestling….
Where to from here? What’s next for the band?
Playing as many shows in as many as possible places in SA, getting our new single Fire through the Window as much airplay as possible (music video for that single will also be on TV soon) and then as Pinky and the Brain always say, “Try to take over the world!”
We have lots of new songs that we’re busy polishing and refining for you lovely people – trying new things, and evolving soundwise.
Upcoming gigs and festivals:
28 August – December Streets will be headlining the Battle of the Bands in Hatfield Square, Pretoria
23 & 24 September – Vrede Fest in Johannesburg and Pretoria
Connect with the December Streets: