Friday, July 08, 2005

The Lost Boys Of Old London Town

The Lost Boys Of Old London Town
You've conquered the local musical universe. Critics and screaming fans hang onto your every riff, and the view looks pretty rosy from the top of the totem pole. So what now? Well, if you are Tweak, you bugger off to London, recruit a new guitarist and start from scratch with a new attitude and some monster tunes. Derek Lynch chats to Tweak just before they jet back into the South Africa to support Avril Lavigne on her up 'n coming tour.

How's London? Chris: It's got a good buzz - like Johannesburg on speed.

Why did you choose to go the UK route as opposed to America? Bugsy: It just seemed closer to home. There are so many South Africans over here and we know so many people that have come over for a couple of years and had a party.

Are you drawing mostly ex-pats, or are the Europeans flocking to the shows?
Bugsy: The cool thing about South Africans coming through is that they bring all their English friends. That's how it all starts...
Garth: It's great to have the ex-pat support because it gives us a little step up in the extremely difficult process of getting your name out there.

How do the European crowds react in comparison to local fans?
Garth: Before the move we played plenty of shows in the northern hemisphere and it's a completely different story to back home. In SA you can pretty much just feed off the audience's energy and enjoy playing. When you're gigging overseas in front of people who don't know the songs, you're forced to pull out all the stops to prove yourself, and so you up your game. You can't beat a packed SA club for sheer enjoyment value!

Mike's departure from the band will obviously have a major impact on your musical style – any plans to replace him on guitar?
Chris: We have a temporary replacement for him at the moment - Bugsy's old school friend Dylan Benton. So far we are just trying to get the songs down so we're not writing any new stuff at the moment. Will be quite interesting to see how different it will be if we write songs with Dylan.
Garth: We've definitely taken a musical turn for the better I think. That's not to say that I think our old stuff sucks, I love every single one of those songs. It's just that we're getting older and we want to push ourselves musically and try new things. As far as replacements go, we are still auditioning guitarists. Dylan is helping us out at the moment but the plan is to get one more guitarist so that I don't have to play rhythm. Because after six years, I finally realised that I suck.

What can we expect from Tweak in the future? Chris: Some hard-hitting tracks. The music has definitely matured and gone a bit harder, but in the end if you are a Tweak fan I think you will dig the music.
Garth: It's definitely a bit harder, a little less obvious. Everyone is pushing themselves in terms of what they can do instrumentally. It's still very much melody-driven, so I think our fans won't find it too much of a shock.

Any releases planned in the near future?
Bugsy: Yeah, we have a DVD/Greatest Hits package to be released in SA and a six-track EP for over here in the UK.

Have you had any media coverage in the UK yet?
Bugsy: Yeah, we did an interview with a local paper the other day. I dunno how it happened, but I just got a call one day and the guy was like, "Hi, can I write an article about you guys in our paper?" Weird now that I think about it. How did he get my number?

Are you all living in the same house? And how chaotic is that if you are?
Bugsy: At the moment we all stay in a really cool apartment in Islington. It's a bit hectic cause everything is lank claustrophobic and small over here. There's hardly any room to fit our gear in the place - let alone practice. We need to travel for an hour on the tube to get to the rehearsal room that we use. And the only time they can give us is from 9:30pm - 1:30am. It's a far cry from the cool little studio we have back home!

You guys are notorious for prank calls. Managed any good ones in London yet?
Bugsy: Ha ha! Nope. Done and dusted with that. We've all been arrested at least once so far and it's best not to f**k with the English police. Garth: I wish. My boss watches me like a hawk, so prank calls are out of the question. We did save a packet of vomit from a drunken bus drive for future use - we'll keep you posted!

Catch Tweak alongside Avril Lavigne on 8 May 2005 in Johannesburg, Durban on the 10th, and finally down in Cape Town on the 13th. Apparently the boys will also be playing their own shows here and there in between the shows with Avril. Keep your eyes out for dates to be announced soon... And watch out for their greatest hits package also out soon.


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