PHOTO: Christelle Duvenage
(Note: This article was first published in Wapad on 14 September 2017, p.7.)
It tastes like soft caramel toffee, it feels like worn-in leather and smells like good coffee first thing in the morning. This is how the lively trio, Jerard Quaintmere, Kirstin Walters and Jason Chadinha of Jerry and The Bandits describe their sound. They are currently working towards recording their first full-length album.
Last year they played at OppiKoppi 22: For the lovely young taken to THE UNSEA! on the Skellum Stage and at this year’s Oppi we’ll be dancing to their happy vibrations at the James Phillips Stage.
I hear you’ve coined the tagline “indie with a bit of spice”. If you were spices, who would be what and why? Jerry – oregano because he loves pizza; Kirstin – coriander because she’s unique, yet still very familiar; Jason – thyme because he’s always on time ;). And all together they make the perfect spice to almost anything!
You’ve been in studio recording your new song “Hearts Run Wild”. Elaborate on the song – the inspiration/story behind it, what your favourite line is and describe its sound. Oh yes! Super excited about this one! The song has two meanings to it: our “hearts run wild” because they have a tendency to do their own thing and the second meaning is that the way we run our hearts is reckless. People will always try and bring you down and those people are metaphors for the ‘wolves’ in the song. The song starts with a warning that the ‘wolves’ are coming, but no one is listening because they’re all following their hearts that have a mind of their own. Chaos erupts. “Lie about how the stars don’t fall” – you can make up stories and lies but at the end of the day it was your heart’s choice and you will accept its fate.
What are the things you want people to think of when they hear the name “Jerry and the Bandits” (What associations do you want them to have with the band)? We want people to think of feel-good music, music that makes them feel something real and meaningful. Our latest EP, Fiction In Folktale, has a photo of our three pairs of shoes on it, we want people to walk with us in our shoes and to create their own meaning through our songs.
What is the biggest lesson about the music industry you have learned in your time as a band? To be patient and to never ever EVER give up (even in the beginning stages when you’re literally playing to just four people in the audience, all four being your family members who drove with you to the show), the hard work eventually starts paying off and all the crappy times become so worth it.
What is the most memorable OppiKoppi you have attended and why? Definitely last year, we had the most amazing crowd that made us play even harder. We had a big campsite with some of our best friends and Kirstin decorated it with lanterns, banners and fairy lights. Jerry went around Oppi with a bottle of cheap Tequila and handed out sips to anyone he walked past. There was a guy snoring so loudly in the campsite next to us that it felt like he was in our tent. The dust cough and dust tan post-Oppi definitely makes it even more memorable. Aaah good times!
Catch them at the place of “great music”, “dust”, “drunk people” and a “vet jol”, four things they associate with OppiKoppi, next to you in the crowd while the likes of Bongeziwe Mabandla, Nomadic Orchestra, Medicine Boy and Josh Kempen perform.
See their live performance on BalconyTV Johannesburg here.