one small seed contributor Jocelyn Richter recently had the opportunity to catch up with Craig Durant, the drummer from Pretoria band Desmond and The Tutus. They chat about the new album, Mnusic, touring, and what it means to be a rock star.
The video for ‘Tattoo’ has just come out, what’s the reaction been like? Are you guys stoked?
We are really stoked! It’s rad and super simple and people seem to be enjoying it.
Mnusic is releasing soon, how did the production of the album go in comparison to your first?
Our first album had a kind of low budget, DIY feel to it, so for our second one, we decided to go more high production. We produced it in Greenside with Eric Broucek, who had done a few of our friends’ albums before. It was great.
The Infomercial and current website design, how did this concept take form?
We came along it by chance really, we wanted to rip off one of those pamphlets, but in a funny way. We were going for funny, but it came off weird, I think. We might have rubbed some people up the wrong way but it was never our intention to offend. We just thought it was a humorous take on a certain idea, and had a lot of fun shooting and editing. Shooting especially was super fun.
Is humour an important element for you when it comes to performing?
We’ve developed a personality for our band, if we tried to do something serious it wouldn’t go down well. Like if an emo band tried to be funny. No.
Your Facebook page says your interests are Jiving, where are we likely to find you out and about? Where are your favourite hang outs?
Usually whenever we play a gig, we’ll stay out for a while afterwards. Other than that, we hang out at my brother’s coffee shop a lot. Oh, and we like to go bowling.
Not so much the hedonistic, Rock ’n Roll lifestyle for you guys then?
We keep it pretty clean. In the early days none of us drank. Now we drink a little, but I wouldn’t call us alcoholics or hedonists, but we still like rock ’n roll! It’s pretty hard to play a good gig if you’re drinking, so we keep it clean.
Which local bands are you supporting at the moment?
What genres are your favourites and who have been your greatest influences?
We all obviously have different influences, but we all like dance music and surf punk.
And then of course, there are those bands that make you remember your late teens and driving in your moms car, like Bloc Party.
In 2010 you toured Japan, tell us a bit more about that. What are your favourite memories from the tour?
It was the best time of our career so far! Three weeks of being in a super foreign place with our best friends, playing every night, getting home super late, then waking up early for sound check.
The Japanese also love to buy memorabilia and scream and shout for you when you’re on stage, and after every show we were brought little gifts backstage. It made you feel like you were in a “real” band. That was REALLY cool!
So for the Mnusic tour – any plans for taking it overseas?
No plans as of yet, but that’s always the best part of releasing a new album: touring, so hopefully! We just have to organize it, I guess!
Finish these sentences:
Mnusic will… make you happy.
Damn all you… fortune cookies.
Make sure you always… pack an extra shirt for a gig. (Courtesy of Mic the bassist)
This little… piggy went to market.
Desmond and the Tutus might not be your typical rock stars, but they’re clearly doing something right.
Interview by: Jocelyn Richter via phone
Photography: Christelle Duvenage