The Honeymoon Suites Interview.
|Sugar: Which are your favourite clubs ?
Julia: I love the parties at Ganesh. They have really impromptu parties there.
Bood: There's this club in Jo'burg called Carfax that I used to really like.
Kevin: We really like Graceland because it's so damn kitsch. We are planning to play a gig there as a launch for our video. They have this huge screen and we want to invite everyone who helped us make the video. I haven't found a club in Cape Town that I feel comfortable enough in to just sit on a couch like a lounge lizard.
"We really like Graceland because it's so damn kitsch"
Click here for RealAudio of "Anonimity"
|Sugar: Tell me about your video.
Julia: We decided to do a video of our first demo "Luminous Anonimity" (delibret mispellling - ed.) and the amazing thing was that although we shot it in one day, on Workers' Day! the entire crew of about 25 people all worked for nothing. It was shot by Majita Films with Tim Green directing and Platon Trakoshis producing.
Kevin: We asked Stefan to design the costumes for the video and he designed something different for each of us. The clothes he came up with pushed buttons in our personalities that we didn't know we had! There were floor-length red fake fur coats and sci-fi outfits with turned-up collars. He makes you feel like a rock star. As thanks for his work on our shoot we played at his fashion show but we all dressed in black so as to not compete with his creations.
|Sugar: Why did you choose 'Luminous Anonimity' as your first single?
Kevin: We wanted to release something that could be played on radio and TV;one that didn't have swearing etcetera on it. I mean, we couldn't release our song called "Oh My God".
Julia: It's hard to pick one song that is representative of our style. If we have seventeen songs then this is one seventeenth of what we do. It was recorded at B&S studios.
|Sugar: I believe you performed at the Klein Karoo Fees in Oudtshoorn. How was that?
Julia: Well, we weren't invited but we just went to play and it worked out really well as it was the first time we all got to hang out together for a week and just play our music and practise without having to schlep our gear around. We met this Afrikaans ou who owned a casino that got shut down by the cops because his clients were all from the 'lokasie' and he had this rent to cover so we offered to play in the club for a week. He took the bar takings and we kept the door.
Kevin: He had these eight brothers; they had their own scrum. When they first saw us perform their mouths dropped open for a while. We would change our costumes every night. By the end of the week they themselves were dressing up as well and dancing on the tables. They had this old SA flag and a new SA flag next to each other on the wall. We did these long instrumental jams in the middle of our sets and other bands and musicians would join in.
Bood: We didn't get to play at the Kaktus thing but Dogtroep and some Jo'burg township musicians and some of the bands from the Kaktus thing came and jammed with us .It was very strange. The whole thing was like a church fete. They had this 'praise aerobics' going on. It was not a good place for vegetarians.
|Sugar: Are you all vegetarians?
Kevin: No, not the whole band, there are a few transgressors.
"they had this 'praise aerobics' going on. It was not a good place for vegetarians."
|Sugar: Did you get to meet Miriam Makeba ?
Julia: Miriam Makeba has always been one of my idols. We didn't get to meet her but I was talking to someone at the bar who was there when she got beercanned off the stage and I asked him what it was like and he just said yeah well some of the guys got trashed and they just threw cans and stuff at her. I told him she was old enough to be his granny and it was like the first time he realised she was actually a person. He thought she was just this black person but when I brought up the age and respect thing he changed his attitude.
|Sugar: What qualities do you look for in your fans and groupies ?
Kevin: Mostly hysteria, an ability to let go.
Julia: No inhibitions. We prefer fans who want to collaborate in our Performance.
Bood: Like those fans in Oudtshoorn who had their hair piled up on their heads in those beehive hairstyles, they looked like the Marge Simpson sisters.
Kevin: After one of our gigs in Oudtshoorn this woman of about 35 came up to me and asked if she could stick her tongue in my mouth. I was quite taken aback. It was my first lewd offer but I politely told her it was not appropriate in the casino venue. I'm quite an introspective person.
Julia: Bullshit! (laughs)
|Sugar: So what did she do?
Kevin: She sang me this song about a fallen woman that was her own composition.
Sugar: Did she sing you the song before or after she asked you?
Kevin: No, it was after I declined. I was very polite. It was very sweet and sad.
|Sugar: Who are your musical influences ?
Bood: I was about seven when I started writing songs. It was 1977 and I was listening to my parents' music. They were listening to stuff like the Bee Gees, the Carpenters, Abba and Neil Diamond. That's where my inspiration came from.They weren't into punk and that stuff.
Kevin: I always liked Roy Orbison because he looked so cool dressed all in black and wearing the same funky shades. He stayed in character for like 30 years and didn't evolve with the times. Very emotional and beautiful, he was the Nick Cave of his time.
|Sugar: Which SA bands do you like or have you followed?
Julia: The Bluenotes, Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks, early Stimela…
Bood: I like Prophets of Da City.I used to hang out with the Genuines.
Kevin: Nine and the Kerels. I also really liked IBM (Bood's early band, International Beat Machine).
Julia:Yeah, I really like Brenda Fassie She's got soul.
"After one of our gigs in Oudtshoorn this woman of about 35 came up to me and asked if she could stick her tongue in my mouth"
|Sugar: What's been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Julia: We were playing at the Magnet and I found myself stuck all the way at the one end of the end of the stage on my own with my keyboard while all the action was happening down the other end. I was stuck in the corner with my immovable keyboards and all the others were like ten metres away.
Bood: Mostly the usual technical problems and bad sound. We went through a stage when Kevin used to read the words.
Kevin: We had been playing for about two weeks and were doing some gigs at the Lounge and I had this music stand with the lyric sheets on it and I used to read the words.
|Sugar: What interesting things have been thrown at you on stage?
Kevin: Leopard print underpants and money. Someone once threw a blank cheque at us.
"We sometimes have vodka and vegetarian oysters..."
|Sugar: What are your star signs?
Julia: We've got four Geminis in the band. I'm one of them.
|Sugar: What music are you currently listening to in your car?
Kevin: I'm listening to the tape Stefan made for his fashion show.
Bood: My friend made me this mixed tape called "Sweets for the Suites". it's got some Everything But The Girl and some trip-hop on it.
Julia: A friend gave me this tape called "Miss Perfumado". It's an Italian/Latin combination …sort of samba and salsa.
"What interesting things have been thrown at you on stage?"
|Sugar: What song would you choose as the first dance at your wedding?
Kevin: One of our own songs called 'Tremble". It has an opening line that goes "In dreams I walk alone".
Julia: Ha! Stating your independence from the beginning, hey.
|Sugar: Do you have something to share with the Truth and
Kevin: Yes. I used to march in the cadets at boarding school in Worcester. I left school in Std 7 and the headmaster made sure that the army called me up. I supported the ECC campaign and did all I could to stay out of the army.
Bood: I was declared a G4* by the doctors (*medically unfit for military duty).
"I told him she was old enough to be his granny and it was like the first time he realised she (Miriam Makeba) was actually a person"
"I always liked Roy Orbison... he was the Nick Cave of his time"
|Sugar: What's your favourite drink?
Julia: Guinness in Ireland and Castle milk stout in South Africa.
Kevin: Yeah, Guinness. I'm just too poor to afford it. We sometimes have Vodka and vegetarian oysters…..
Julia: To lubricate the vocal cords!
|Sugar: How would you describe your band and its music?
Kevin: It's full of "gees" and emotion. There are not enough decent girl bands so we dress up. We wear all kinds of costumes. We are also performance artists, we are street players, jugglers, fireblowers and stiltwalkers. Our music is full of innuendo. It is sexual and mostly very romantic.
Bood: I have a fear of shyness so we draw on a wide range of influences. It is … un-angry music.You get musicians who complain about the raves because that's where all the audiences are going, but you can play that music with your hands and some of our songs are pure techno.
Julia: We would love to go and play in the townships as there is a lot of African rhythm in our music and … (we suspect ) they would love it. In Woodstock the kids come to our rehearsals and walk around singing our songs because they know all the words. Our parents can also enjoy our music. We feel music isn't something to be listened to with your eyes closed.That's why we dress up and create costumes and build sets and use all our skills because we believe people want to be entertained. The interaction with the audience is what fuels us.
Kevin: Joie de vivre, androgyny and sci-fi. Everything we play has to have a sense of humour as well as a kind of Elvis-y schmaltz.
Julia: We want to give people a complete sensation and all-round sensory experience.
Sugar: How do you come up with your stage names?
Kevin: We use our mother's maiden names and the names of our favourite dogs. You join them together and ……What was your mother's maiden name ?
Kevin: And your favourite pet's name ?
Kevin: OK! So you are Chippie Weinberg.
|Sugar: How about a brief history of the band?
Julia: We are all friends and live close by each other in Woodstock. I'm an architect and welder and designer. I stopped practising and completed a four year music degree at UCT in jazz composition and arrangement. This is my first band
Kevin: I'm from Cape Town and went to art school and studied fine art and jewellery design. Started my first band at art school.
Julia: We met at a blacksmiths convention!
Bood: I've been in a lot of bands. IBM, Richard Famous and the Magnetics, to name a few. I'm a set builder and I design and create our elaborate sets and backdrops. I had a whole lot of songs I'd written that we used but now the others are also getting involved in the writing.
"We use our mother's maiden names and the names of our favourite dogs"
|Sugar: Are you looking for a manager?
Julia: We are currently self managed.
Kevin: We are looking for a manager who must be wealthy, sporty and have no job. This could be an inspiring hobby. He must handle all the admin.
Julia: At the moment we all work 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, towards the success of the band, doing promos and advertising. If we had a manager we could put all our energies into creating our music.
|Sugar: Do you deal with any kind of social issues in your music ?
Julia: I think for the band the only issue we are dealing with now is our conservative society.
Kevin: Yeah, it's a society that's been led and allowed itself to be led.
Bood: Like in Oudtshoorn I found that people who listened to our tape would then look at us with disbelief, like how can people who look like that make music like this?
Kevin:Yes, they have these huge preconceptions about what music is about. They don't understand that there's an enormous amount of energy and hard work that goes into making this magical thing.
"We are looking for a manager who must be wealthy, sporty and have no job"
|Sugar: Do you have any examples of your lyrics, of lines that stand
Kevin: "I'm sick and tired of superficiality…"
Julia: We do have some very catchy one-liners.
Kevin: If you have something that you're trying to say, everyone in your audience is going to take it a completely different way. You're walking down the subway and you hear someone singing something you've written and they are singing something completely different and that's what they hear!
Julia: "Talk to me now ,don't talk to me later…"
Kevin: "If you don't respect yourself, how can you dig someone else ?" and "You call that suffering? See the people in the gym…"
|Sugar: What classical music do you like?
Julia: Ligetti for his textures and the sounds he brings out of the instruments, John Cage, early Beethoven…
Bood: Rachmaninov ! (peals of laughter). The 'Rach 3' because that's pure passion.
Julia: I mean, there's nothing more astounding actually than a huge orchestra when you see them live.The sheer power of acoustic instruments as opposed to the electronic instruments that we play. There's one of our songs,'Quality Babe', that we would like to use a string section for because it needs that kind of arrangement.
"The 'Rach 3' because that's pure passion"
|Sugar: I see you have a trumpeter, similar to the Nude Girls…
Julia: Yeah, Adriaan is the Nude Girls. He's incredibly vibrant and has a great interaction with Arno.
Bood: Arno is a quite a fan of the Suites.
Julia: They've given us a lot of support.
|Sugar: With your clothing and attitude is it a conscious thing to say
enough of the doom and gloom, let's party?
Julia: It's a natural thing.
Kevin: We all have this manic, joie de vivre, ecstatic feeling. Ours is very romantic music.
Single : Luminous Anonimity
Lyrics : Julia, Bood and Kevin
Music : Bood
Click here for RealAudio of "Anonimity"
Luminous Anonimity by the Honeymoon Suites
Fan Club : The Honeymoonies
C/o Julia Uranium
81 Fairview Ave
Email address : email@example.com
Band Members :
Kevin Parissien - Lead vocals
Julie Uranium - Keyboards, percussion and vocals
Bood Carver - Bass, Guitar and vocals
Jamie Cloete - Guitar, Bass and Harmonica
Eastern North - Drums and vocals
Douglas Armstrong - Trumpet, Percussion and Vocals
Ampie Stander - Trombone, percussion and Vocals
Chaz Singer - Sax and Violins
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