The Wild Eyes - Interviewed
The Wild Eyes get down to some important questions about Zoo Biscuits
We get down to some important opinions about Zoo Biscuits.
I’m biased in this article because I think the Wild Eyes are fucking cool and their show was great. But it’s okay, everything else still pissed me off, so don’t go away yet.
The Wild Eyes put on a show on the weekend of the 23rd the Wild Eyes appeared at Assembly, at midnight. They announced this weeks before on their Facebook page and I got totally excited about it - they performed last year at around this time to the acute excitement of a small crowd, almost all of whom were present for this year’s show. I went the show alone, because I am that Guy Who Goes To Shows Alone (except I am a lady), and made friends with the Other Guy Who Goes To Shows Alone (also a lady), purely because we recognized each other from last year’s show. Which we probably attended alone, I don’t recall.
Anyway! I had the giddy privilege of sitting in during the Wild Eyes’s rehearsal before the show to do an interview.
The Wild Eyes are Nikhil Singh, Gareth Dawson and Len Cockroft. LastFM tags them under "surf rock", "punk", "south african", and "synth". Well, LastFM is correct about them being South African. This is true. As for everything else, I don’t know so much. Anybody at all familiar with their album, Our Love Has A Special Kind of Violence, would pretty much not recognize the set they played at their last gig. Well, they’d figure it out, because Nikhil trills insane vocals and lyrics like a deranged soapbox evangelist with a synth keyboard, and you’ll get it eventually. When he spews out Elvis-on-helium lyrics for Nine-Year Old Sex Slave (uh-huh uh-huh SEX SLAVE), it’s totally the same guy freaking out those nonsense words from Kali Kula and Flamingo Drive.
Anyway I showed up just before their rehearsal was supposed to end and, I guess I kind of interrupted them. Which was kind of cool, because it meant I got a pre-listen of their show for the evening in a tiny room and it was way loud everywhere, and I got to be that dickhead singing along to the chorus at the actual show as if I’d listened to these song all my life.
They offer to start fielding my questions while they pack up, because they’ve run over their scheduled time and fear beatings from the owner.
Okay. You guys showed up last year and put on this impromptu show that seemed like it was organized, like, on the day. And then you didn’t do anything for a year. Have you been in Cape Town this entire time, or...?
Nikhil: Gareth had a baby.
Gareth: My wife had a baby.
Len: Nik’s been in Europe as well, tying up stuff...
G: That show was a little, well, coincidental, really.
L: Yeah we were all really just in the same place at the same time. And we can’t remember one of those songs.
G: Seriously. We had six practices, wrote six songs... and kind had to go with that.
N: We wrote one the day before, and put that on. It was quite rushed.
So you guys are doing new songs?
N: Yeah, they’re all new songs.
Are you planning on putting out a new album for it?
L: We kind of have enough stuff for it...
G: We wrote and recorded a new album and then kind of... started hating each other.
N: I never hated you.
L: I hate all of you.
G: Okay, we really.... liked each other so much, that we couldn’t be in the same room
So, are you guys more active in the UK then, than here?
N: We were there, and we were all in separate bands, actually. We did our separate things, and came back... there wasn’t really like a plan or anything... incidentally, we just happened to all be back here at the same time.
Alright. Do people recognize you, here?
N: It’s a small town! Everybody knows everyone.
G: It’s impossible not to be. It’s like a.... native village.
G: I live as far away from town as I possibly can.
N: It’s sort of like a sitcom. All the characters are just kind of... equally recognizable. everyone knows everyone.
G: Yeah, I think I actually moved into your (Len’s) flat when you moved out... before we even knew each other.
L: Yeah, exactly.
Okay. LastFM ranks you as being "very similar to" SA bands Taxi Violence and Harris Tweed. Thoughts?
L: We were talking about that the other day!
G: It’s like they’ve ranked us as being similar to, well, South African bands, rather than.... well, I don’t think we have that much similarity to Harris Tweed...
N: Yeah. No.
If you could eat any animal from the endangered species list, what would it be... and how’d you eat it?
N: I’m a vegan.
G: I’m a vegetarian.
L: I’m a.... reformed vegetarian?
(Wow. That one flopped.)
G: It’d have to be a, panda, or something.
You could cook and and taste it and spit it out, like tasting wine?
N: I’d eat the person who ate the panda.
G: There’s probably some endangered flower out there, somehow. You know that big flower that smells like rotten meat.
N: That’s like a three-course meal.
Which important animals are missing from the Zoo Biscuits line?
G: Zoo Biscuits? What? I don’t think I’ve eaten Zoo Biscuits, in like twenty years?
N: Did you get, like sponsored by Bakers or something?
G: Babies. Definitely missing from the Zoo Biscuits Line.
We ask each other a couple of goofy questions about bands and gigs in Cape Town. They ask what this article’s for, and I tell them we’re investigating things that don’t sound like Harris Tweed.
So, which bands in Cape Town do you actually know and, well, like?
G: I’ve been, well, out of Cape Town for so long, I don’t actually know any bands anymore. We played with the Revelators one time...
N: I think the last band I saw in Cape Town was Johnny Neon and they’re not even from Cape Town....
G: It’s kind of hard to find things you wanna watch, too. It’s kind of what happened elsewhere, a few years ago, is now sort of catching up to what’s happening here, and it gets sort of tired.
L: We’re trying to find gigs and things at the moment, and it’s kind of hard to find similar-sounding artists to play with.
G: Like, we didn’t sound anything like what we do now, when we started. We’re kind of more in an electronic phase, and, there’s not really a lot of stuff like that around here...
L: I think a lot of people also expect us to play the same stuff we were playing three years ago...
G: Yeah and that stuff’s a few years old. It’d be the same as going to a club and them playing what was popular three years ago.
Well, if you had to try and identify with a genre, what would you describe your sound as?
L: We’d actually be interested to hear what you think. What do we sound like?
Like Taxi Violence.
Okay, I mean, a lot of websites are really quick to describe you as a punk band, and I don’t think you ever really had a punk sound or feel.
G: Well that’s the thing, we’re being classified as a band for things we put out, like, five years ago.
N: Yeah well we have a political song now.
G: Yeah, we do!
N:Nine-Year Old Sex Slave.
G: Yeah, it’s political dance song.
Cool. Well, that’s pretty much the questions I have for you guys. Thanks for the interview!
N: Why did you ask that Zoo Biscuits question? That was really... odd.
G: Yeah were you just eating Zoo Biscuits one day and...
N: You know I suppose you could, combine the existing animals and make new ones.
G: Genetically modified Zoo animals.
N: (Thoughtful) You could... break off the legs off a zebra, and put that on something new....
L: Like that South Park episode, with Tom’s Rhinoplasty...
We end the interview and they ask if we would mind not using any of the pictures we’ve taken and instead using ones from the show. "I haven’t got my fancy pants on," Gareth explains.
The acts before The Wild Eyes are The Pretty Blue Guns and I forget who else. I showed up a little late. And they were Pretty Okay, but I really didn’t notice. I’m sorry. I really was excited about the Wild Eyes. The arrive and leave without any introduction or farewell and the crowd is a pulsing people-ocean of fleshy dancing for the entire set.
They’re cool, these guys. Follow them on Facebook or MySpace. Talk to them if you’re in a band. They want friends to play with.
*Dear Taxi Violence and Harris Tweed: we’s just funning, ’kay?
Listen to some of their stuff on their Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/thewildeyes
And their Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Wild-Eyes/127506502825