Gangs of Ballet have had a great 2013. They’ve been playing every festival that matters, touring all around and flying the (metaphorical) Durban flag wherever they go. After Rocking The Daisies the boys decided to spend a few extra days in Cape Town, so that’s where we found out which festival is the best and what tattoos they wouldn’t get.



You tweeted about your Cape Town visit and asked your followers what to do. Responses included ‘roll a huge one’, ‘visit your biggest fan’ and ‘go on a Muizenberg train trip’. Did you get to do any of these?

Hardus: Not those ones.
Jono: Those are still things we need to do.
Brad: We spent four hours playing with squirrels in The Company Gardens.
Josh: You just have to give them nuts. Lure them out.
Brad: At one stage I had a pigeon on each hand and a squirrel on my lap.

Does everyone have a tour duty? What do you always take with you and who is the worst when it comes to ‘Van Livin’?

Hardus: Merch guy!
Jono: Van Livin…we won’t go into that.
Josh: Jono is terrible at van living.
Brad: We’ve got a manager so he kind of…manages us.

You played Oppikoppi this year, you played Daisies, you’re playing Synergy. So in all honesty, which festival is the best?

Hardus: Well, we didn’t get to spend too much time at Daisies, so it’s difficult to say, but we had fun playing.
Brad: Daisies was awesome.
Jono: I mean they’re all doing their own thing. Oppikoppi has the dust, Daisies is green and beautiful… and windy.
Brad: The crowd was awesome; it was just such an amazing energy. That’s the main thing for us. We wish we could have spent more time there.



The coffees arrive and we have to decide which mocha belongs to whom and who ordered the flat white. oss now has insight to the boys’ coffee choices.

You took part in MK’s BandAid series with Gary Cool, where fans got to ask you industry-related questions. Anything unexpected come up?

Josh: I don’t think any of them were expected. There were some really good questions and I think there are not enough people asking those questions. It was really cool.
Brad: My favourite interview. It was really interesting. I think it’s nice to see people actually thinking about touring and management and all those kinds of things. It’s not just like jump in a van and do whatever you like. You just can’t afford to do that, unfortunately. It would be awesome if you could just jump in a van and play whereever you wanted, you just can’t do that nowadays.

Is it important for you to connect with your fans on a personal level?

Jono: Yeah, I mean, before we were in a band we were fans. I think it’s the only way you get going places. We’ve sat down with bands and asked them how to do stuff. It’s so much easier if you can ask someone ‘how did you do it?’

You invited fans to go up Signal Hill a while ago, to join you guys for a drink:
a. Did they pick?
b. Did they bring anything cool to drink?

Jono: There were so many people there… but we didn’t know any of them. No-one came for us (laughs).
Josh: No-one came.
Hardus: It was too short notice.
Josh: It’s quite unfriendly.
Jono: My sister was there.
Josh: In all fairness, people would have been a little mad if they did come, we were literally there for 10 minutes. We had to go to Gary’s interview. We didn’t plan our day very well.
Jono: But it was beautiful.



‘Hello Sweet World’’s success thrusted you into the international spotlight. Did you expect the response to be as big as it was?

Brad: It’s kinda weird, you know like, if you think back in the day, if you got a video on VH1 America, you cracked it. I think the interesting thing for me was we got a lot of hits on that video quite quickly, but the turn-over in the industry is so quick nowadays that we were just another band. Which is a little bit scary for bands coming up because, although there was some initial excitement, we didn’t have record labels phoning us saying ‘who are these guys?’ We’re part of such a huge pool. Everyone can do it themselves now and it’s just getting wider and wider. It was quite an interesting experience.

Would you get VH1 tattooed on you, to thank them for playing such a big role in your international success?

Josh: That would be a hell no.
Jono: We’ll draw it with a marker and wear it for a day.
Hardus: Would you rather get VH1 or Bad Boy tattooed?
Jono: That’s one thing I just can’t. Tattoos are a no-go, or maybe… nah, I wouldn’t.

I’ve read a few of your interviews and people really hate on Durban. Do you feel like you constantly have to defend it or are you patiently waiting for Durban to become a local music mecca and everyone to eat their words?

Brad: I think you have to be honest about what Durban is. We are the most Durban-proud people you’ll ever meet. I don’t think we have to defend it. There’s so much talent that has come out of Durban. There’s a whole creative hub, and it’s definitely stepping up. It’s not just music, it’s markets, a lot of artists and designers that are coming out of there as well. I know the music scene is shaky but it doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
Jono: I think they just need some fire under their butts, but it’s getting there.

What’s next for Gangs of Ballet?

Jono: Go home and have ‘n lekker dos. We’re working on some tours, so we’re going to be pretty busy. Everyone must come and say hello to us. We’re going to try to go to all these little places.

Click here to buy their latest release Yes / No / Grey.