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The Curious Incident Back In SA - Texx and the City

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The Curious Incident Back In SA 1 DEC 2014 / INTERVIEW (HTTP://TEXXANDTHECITY.COM/CATEGORY/INTERVIEW/) / WRITTEN BY JESSICA KRAMER

The Curious Incident has just touched down in South Africa for a nationwide tour promoting their new EP “Penny Lonesome”. With four band members representing South Africa and the Netherlands, England, Italy, and Indonesia, The Curious Incident is an eclectic mix of passionate, energetic and talented musicians. I sat down with lead singer and Cape Town export Cavey Roberts to chat about touring and life as a struggling musician in London, amongst other things. Jessica Kramer: I don’t generally ask this, but seeing as all four members of The Curi-ous Incident are from di erent countries, how did you all meet? Cavey Roberts: Well I’m South African, but I lived in The Netherlands for about six or seven years, and as I was leaving The Netherlands to come to Cape Town I got replaced in my little school by a friend I call Diaz. So we kind of knew each other, but not really cause I was in South Africa and he was in Holland, but we met up like once or twice when I went back up to visit. In 2009 he got a hold of me on Facebook and said, “Hey, I am coming to Cape Town for a year on an exchange, can I come live at your house?” So he came over and it was really cool, and over that period he was having band issues in The Netherlands and I was having band member in South Africa so eventually we were like, “Ugh, bugger it! Let’s go!” and we moved to London. But that was really tricky ‘cause I think every single musician in Europe moves to London to try to make it at some point. It just means that you have to hold down like four jobs and not ever sleep to get your music out there and it’s a good way to cull people who aren’t really in it for the long run. So we kind of started from scratch again about a year ago. We kept the same name but the music is di erent, the song writing is di erent and it’s getting some momentum so that’s exciting. JK: So when you toured South Africa in 2012 you had di erent band members? CR: Well it’s still Diaz and me, it will always be Diaz and me, but yeah we had a di erent guitarist and bassist. There are songs we wrote and played during that time that we still really love, but I think we have matured a lot since then. JK: Why did you and Diaz pick London as the place to go pursue this dream? CR: Well luckily we both have European passports so that kind of ruled out America, and London is just such a cool place man. It just has this amazing energy and there is so much going on. It’s so big and there’s so much to do all the time. It’s a blessing and a curse cause trying to get people to come to your gig you have to compete with everyone including like One Direction and Lady Gaga. So it’s a really interesting place to live, tough, but interesting. In hindsight, moving to a smaller territory like maybe Liverpool or Amsterdam would have been easier in some ways because then you become a big sh in a smaller pond. JK: How have you guys approached getting your music out there in such a “big pond”? CR: This EP that we are releasing in January kind of feels like the rst thing we have done. We had an EP like two years ago, but again, the songs were all di erent, the production process was a bit disjointed. This time we did it all ourselves and we’re really happy with it, so that’s a huge di erence. In terms of getting people to listen to it and stu is a bit tricky. I was at a music conference last week and those opportunities are amazing. I got to meet people like the GM of The Boarderline which is this amazing venue here or the GM of the O2, and that’s like gold dust you know. Those opportunities don’t always come around but when you get them you have to use them as best possible. In terms of something more

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grass rootsy, handing out yers in the street doesn’t really work. The problem with London is that people will come to your show, you get their numbers, add them on Facebook or whatever, but two months later they aren’t even in the country anymore. So unless you have really big blogs pushing you or someone to like champion you, it’s really di cult. That’s what we are aiming for. We just played on BBC Radio London so that’s a good foot in the door kind of thing to get the bigger people to pay attention. JK: Rad! How was that? CR: It was really weird but really cool. Hearing them introduce you on a station that is really awesome is really really cool. I could get used to that! JK: You recently played a gig in London with The Plastics. I’m assuming you know them from this side? How did that show come about and how was the gig? CR: Yeah from my musical endeavours in Cape Town. I used to play with them and used to see them loads, and I went to school with Pascal so we have been mates for a while. When I saw that they were coming here I was like, “We’re playing our own show, do you wanna play?” and they said yeah! It was really cool, we had a fun night. JK: So your EP launch tour is kicking o

in South Africa, what made you decide to do that here and not back in London?

CR: Well, it’s summer time and there are beaches and a sun that will hopefully be shining [laughs]. We were thinking of coming earlier in the year but it was a bit tricky with all the festivals going on and stu so this seems like a good time of year to come. Hopefully if every-thing goes well on this tour we can make enough of a splash in South Africa that the bigger festivals invite us back and help cover some of the costs. With this tour we are taking that risk ourselves, but we are con dent enough in our music and our energy that we can do this. We still have that little bit of fear ‘cause we are putting on our own events but we are so excited. JK: Are there any gigs or venues that you are particularly excited to play? CR: One of our most fun gigs last time was in Potch cause there were maybe like thirty people there, but they were like, “Oh my god, this band is from London! They must be cool!” but yeah we just had the best time. We didn’t play in Stellenbosch last time so I am particularly excited for that one. Rumours in JHB is a bit daunting ‘cause it has a massive capacity. I’ve only been to Manilla Bar once and it was like 4000 degrees in there so that could be a good or a bad thing, as long as people still dance. But I think we are just really looking forward to the whole thing. Being on the road together, all crammed into a little car, making stu work. The thing we like the most is making new friends and having those experiences with people who don’t hate our music you know. JK: So the two new band members, have they ever been to South Africa? CR: The one was actually conceived in South Africa! I still nd it really awkward whenever his mom tells me that. But yeah, his parents used to live there; that’s our bassist Dan, but I don’t think he’s been. And then Mirko, he is Italian and he has not been and is very excited. JK: So are you going to show them all the sights and do cool touristy things? CR: Yeah hopefully. De nitely go up Table Mountain, climb Lion’s head, go sur ng so that’s going to be really cool. We are kind of waiting on one or two opportunities in terms of the tour schedule but we would really like to get a night or two at a place where there are animals, preferably ones that are dangerous. And oh my god, I can’t wait for South African food! JK: Tell me a bit about this EP you are launching? You said it feels like the rst thing you are doing as the band? CR: Yeah well like I said we had the one EP before and we didn’t really release that in terms of getting it on iTunes or Spotify or anything like that. Then we did kind of like a test single a few months ago called “Might As Well Swim”. We still really like the song and that one went up on iTunes and Spotify and we learned a lot in terms of the whole self-release thing through that process. This one is only four songs, so you can’t really tell a huge story, but the general feel of it is consistent. The rst single is called ‘Money’ and it’s very like up-tempo and tongue-in-cheek, and we tried to capture as much of our live energy in that song as possible. It’s always di cult but I think we almost got there. Then we have one called ‘Diane’ which is kind of an old school throwback to Motown, just in a more modern setting. ‘The Hunt’ is one we often end on and it’s this big kind of tumultuous ball of fun at the end of our set. And then with ‘Please Don’t Say’ we got to experiment with capturing the layers of a live set. It’s all got that energy and is consistent in that vein and I think it’s a really good snapshot of what we do with our electric set. JK: And this is all self-released and you guys are punting it independently? CR: Yeah we have this really cool rehearsal space/studio in Waterloo which is where we recorded it all. And then it was mixed and mastered by this guy called Heiku who did Haim’s “Forever” EP. As a band with guitars, that doesn’t get on radio all that often anymore. So we are trying to gure out how to step into that world and he helped a lot with that. But doing it all ourselves has taught us so much about the music industry and then hopefully one day, when we have a whole team round us we know exactly what each person is meant to be doing. JK: So apparently people can come to your gigs for free if they pre-order the album on iTunes – is that right? CR: Yeah! All the info is up on our site and Facebook page so people can check it out there, and hey that kills two birds with one stone right?

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