One of SA’s best-known and SAMA-nominated Afrikaans rock bands, Glaskas have just released their 4th studio album. We catch up with the band to talk about the new release, ‘VERGANKLIK EN AFHANKLIK’ and more. Check it out…
Members: Deon Meiring (vocals and guitar) Lolke-Louis Claassen (drums and backing vocals) Francois Kleynhans (bass and backing vocals)
Label: Kanada Records
Genre: Rock (Afrikaans)
Years performing: +/- 6
Sounds like: How can we know?
Congrats on your fourth studio album – tell us a bit about the making of this album.
It was the first time we worked with Ewald Jansen van Rensburg and Francois de Klerk from Lightstain. So we approached the recording process in a whole new way which is always refreshing. Before recording we had already been working on the songs for quite a while in pre-production and then at Lightstain we put even more work into them. It was quite enjoyable to see the music progress over a relatively long period.
How does this release differ from your previous albums?
Mostly it’s more upbeat and definitely more guitar driven. The previous album was very focused on the role of heroes, but this one is taking a more personal approach to look at what’s happening in the world around us through our experiences of it.
‘VERGANKLIK EN AFHANKLIK’ is the album’s title. Tell our English readers a bit about this and what it means.
We think that the best translation is probably “Transient and Dependant” because it refers to how most of the things we deal with everyday are passing. In this album’s sense it’s an underlying theme of human vulnerability and how that makes us depend on others and other things. We think that although people might initially think of this as negative, there are actually good things that can come from these qualities, because somehow they influence the way we interact with our world and people we encounter.
How does most of your song writing happen.
It’s quite spontaneous. Mostly an idea or something I feel strongly about will start fascinating me. Then I either pick up the guitar to express it or write down a line or two. From there I just build it whichever way it seems to be going. Music helps me to order my thoughts and to be honest with myself and I think that’s where most of the songs come from.
What are some of the conventional and more importantly, the unconventional things that motivate the band?
Conventional? Obviously to see people appreciating the music. Our friends and family and other good music always motivates us. Unconventional? We really like to have fun on and off stage which might not always be apparent when you first hear our music. But we really enjoy playing around with other genres that we know almost nothing about – like boeremusiek – just to keep it fun and to do something completely different from what we’re used to.
What are some of the fundamental differences between being a South African English rock band and a South African Afrikaans rock band (besides the obvious)?
Afrikaans bands can jam at all these Afrikaans festivals and Afrikaans rock bands tend to play and stay with the Afrikaans people in a town, who are usually connected to a good source of biltong which is great.
How important are awards to you guys – do you place a lot of emphasis on receiving critical reception?
To be honest – not really. We’ve been nominated for a few including a SAMA which we are certainly proud of, however we wouldn’t say that awards are our main focus. We’re definitely not against awards and we think it’s great that there are ways to honour good music in our country, but ultimately we’re making music to share with people and that’s what we love to do.
Tell us about the band’s biggest bust up but what kept you together in the end.
We honestly haven’t had big fights in our band. We have had quite a few member shifts, but even those were very peaceful and we still have contact with previous members. In the end it’s mostly about where a person’s focus and passion is headed that influences your relationship with the band and the music.
Tell us about the band’s biggest jol.
We went to Namibia last year and stayed with some of the friendliest, most hospitable people. We were dancing in their bar area and what made it really great is that we were all choosing the songs the whole time so to us it felt like we had the best DJ ever since all our requests came true.
Who is a local female celeb you might find yourselves trying hard to impress?
Hmm…we always talk about how we would certainly welcome some more female artists to the scene. Sannie Fox from Machineri is so good at guitar that we’d be afraid just to talk to her.
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