fredag 27. desember 2013

Metal Underground Botswana

Langt om lenge og lenger enn langt sørover, ned gjennom hele Vest-Europa, Nord-Afrika, på andre siden av Sahara og Sentral-Afrika, der ligger det et lite land som nesten helt er dekket av Kalahariørkenen. Botswana, omringet av landjord, og på mange måter så forskjellig fra Norge som man kan tenke seg. 

Da burde det jo følge at en kvinne fra Norge, meg, og en mann fra Botswana, Tshomarelo Mosaka A.K.A Vulture Thrust, har lite til felles. Logisk, men feil. Han og jeg er metalheads. Jeg har intervjuet ham om alt det som er viktig for folk som oss.

Tell me a little bit about Winter Metal Manias background. Why did you decide to make your own metal festival, and how did you go about making it happen? 

Overthrust is a rock band playing a type of Rock Music known as old school death metal. The band was formed in 2008 but became active in January 2010, it was started by Tshomarelo Mosaka aka Vulture Thrust –bass and vocals, Shalton Monnawadikgang aka Spencer Thrust –guitars (lead), Gakeitse Bothalentwa aka Suicide Torment –drums and the former member Balatedi Folai aka Bist who was the  drummer  by then.

Overthrust theme of songs is strictly about Dirty deeds in Life and Death. Ever since the band was formed in 2010, it has released a single album titled “Freedom in the dark” in March 2011 at Stux Daemon Studio in Gaborone, the song talks about things that happen at night. We are currently working on recording our full 9 tracks album which will be completed around February to March next year.

The event “OVERTHRUST WINTER METAL MANIA FEST” was started by Overthrust Rock Band in May 2010.It was initial started as an ordinary annual rock festival, its main purpose was to bring all followers of rock music in one place to associate, unite and re-unite and have all local rock bands performing. The festival was initially called “Kgalagadi Desert Festival” in 2010 when it was started but upon realizing that the name sounded similar to other people’s brand it was changed in 2011 to “Overthrust Winter Metal Mania Fest” meaning a huge massive winter rock festival organized by Overthrust Deathmetal Band. This festival is an annual National big Rock Music Festival held in winter either end of May or first week of June every year. It usually attracts various Rock Music Bands from all corners of Botswana and recently bands from outside are taking part in it e.g. Within Madness from Windhoek-Namibia.

This event usually attracts about 200 people and more than that. When we started it in 2010 there were about 60 people who had attended. In 2011 there were about 140 people. In 2012 they were about 250 people. In 2013 there were about 300 people.
So in the next coming "Overthrust Winter Metal Mania Fest 2014" we hope to have between 300 to 500 people attending the event.

The theme of Overthrust Winter Metal Mania Fest is “Ride and March against Poverty”, “Rocking against Alcohol Abuse” and “Healthy body benefits”.

Overthrust Winter Metal Mania Fest is developing into a bigger event each and every year; the following bands have been supporting this event: Remuda, Vitrified, Disciplinary, Skeletal Saints, Dust N Fire, High Voltage, Stane, Synader/Simple Sex, Wrust, Thunderous, Crackdust and Wraith. As years go by we have seen bands like Amok, PMMA, Ras Jesus and Within Madness from Namibia becoming part of it, it has now turned into some sort of Rockers or Rock Music Followers Holiday.

So far majority of people start to prepare themselves beginning of every year for this festival. So in winter Gantsi is a place to be. This is when Rockers meet their old friends from all corners of Botswana, this is when different nations all over the world meet in one roof interacting, uniting as one, cultural exchange and speaking the same language and that’s Rock “N” Roll. During this festival we have people coming from Southern Africa, Americas and Europeans mainly Journalists and video graphers and fans.

A couple of years ago I saw the first pictures of metal-heads in Botswana, but how long have you actually had a metal scene there?

The metal scene in Botswana started around 1990s by a band called Noisey Road and then Metal Orizon; we treat these Bands and their members as fathers or gods of Rock music in Botswana. Around that time this two bands were popular but scene was not that big as it is developing now, despite that, this two bands never gave up, they fought their way through with the support they had until the birth of new heavy metal bands which most them emerged due to influence from Noisey Road and Metal Orizon. Bands like Wrust emerged, then Stealth now Alive N Bolder, Nodd, Barren Barrel now Remuda, Stane, Vitrified, Crackdust, Skinflint, Overthrust, Dust N Fire, Amok, PMMA and many upcoming bands.

Overthrust was started in 2008 and became active in January 2010.With the number of bands increasing in our scene we have seen the rise of a sub-culture of metallars in our scene and we are usually identified as “Marock” meaning Rockers, this is because we have our own identity in the public, we usually wear metal t-shirt, most of our fans wear cowboy boots, leather pants and jackets, spikes, cowboy hats and tight jeans, we have rocker bikers riding cruiser bikes in our scene, we also have horse riders and they also attend our shows riding bikes and horses. We have all kinds of metal fans in our scene.

What is the main challenge for a metal band in Botswana today?

We have several challenges as metal bands in Botswana, The main challenge is finance, many bands don’t have sponsors to finance band activities and most of band projects stop for a long time and the band end up disbanding.

Most members of the bands do music as part time as they are working in different organizations and this often disturb the activities of the band as most of time is spent at work.

Our country has a small population and most of people are not yet used to heavy metal but rock n roll and classics, so heavy metal is new to them and few number understands it but we not giving up, recently we have seen number of people increasing in our shows and many other people asking us about heavy metal and when we explain to them, that’s when they start to have an idea of what is all about heavy metal.

The sound system and venues are a problem as well, to hire a sound system is very expensive, the big good venues are few and very expensive and most of the time are booked, so we have to dig in our pockets to finance the band activities and projects and the expenses are always high than income BUT we don’t give up and we will never ever give up because we love metal, we live metal, we eat metal, we talk metal and we will die for metal. I always tell people that you know in metal we don’t run after money or benefits, they come last, we do it in passion, for the love of the music then money and benefits will come to us.

The other main challenge, according to my personal experience is that most people who don’t understand metal and the art in metal t-shirts regard rockers as crazy and evil. So because of this, some girls/ladies rejects us and tell us to quit being rockers first, then they will accept us, this is all because of lack of understanding, lack of confidence and other stuff in ladies of our society, I’m saying this with a burning heart because am a victim and my girlfriend dumped me after 7 years in a relationship together, the story goes like this,


(Me and my girlfriend started our relationship in August 2006 and ended it on March 2013)
“There say the beginning is usually the toughest and the weaker usually gives up before they could reach their mission"

The beginning of Overthrust deathmetal band had led to the competition of attention and support between the band and my girlfriend who was a hardcore follower of Hip Hop music and RNB. As The band was still in the process of building, lot of band activities took my time between 2010 and 2013 and this time my girlfriend was a little supportive when she was in good mood, as time goes I spent much time with band members doing band activities and drinking beers and wines in most of the weekends and most of the time coming late at home drunk and when the girlfriend complains I become angry. Well that was a bit harsh on her and I regret that but I ended up correcting that attitude.

As the girlfriend was a hardcore follower of Hip Hop music and me being a hardcore rocker, this lead to an underground tension creating minor conflicts between us. So my girlfriend will complain about the metal attire and playing of rock music in the house labeling metal as satanic music, noise and low quality music compared to her music but when she plays her Hip Hop music and RNB I did not complain.

These issues of life style differences became a very big obstacle in our relationship and this will often affect my metal friends when they have visited me, all this conflicts lead to minor fights. It was real hurting me a lot because my girlfriend couldn’t accept who I was, she was judging me but we loved each other very much when we started our relationship, she was even attending some of our shows to show support and maybe she was thinking that during our relationship I will change who I was and she became bitter, so all this frustrations showed out after 7 years.

Realizing that our differences were going too far we decided to end the relationship in August 2011 but came back together again in February 2012 thinking that the situation will become better but to no avail.

Sex in the house was cancelled as they were no more feeling of intimacy left, she refused to kiss me and have sex with me as a form of indirect punishment, so after 4 months without sex, sexual desires went a way too far and I couldn’t control them, so I started cheating on her by having sex with a different girl and this created even more tension. Now it was Rock N Roll, sex and Booze in my life was so stressed and I lost focus for 8 months but managed to beat the stress after all.

In March 2013 she left, she changed her contacts and the communication was completely cut. This is when I realized that for a relationship to succeed partners should have common or similar interests more especially their life style. They should support each other, respect each other and should not judge each other.

How many bands would you say are active in your metal scene, and do they play mainly Death Metal or also other kinds of metal?

We currently have these following bands which are active:
Noisey Road-Rock N Roll, Metal Orizon-African Heavy metal, Wrust-Death, Crackdust-Death, Vitrified-Death, Overthrust-Old School Death Metal, Stane-Heavy metal, Remuda-Heavy metal, Amok-Heavy metal, Skinflint-African Heavy metal, Dust N Fire-Heavy metal, Alive N Bolder-Heavy metal, PMMA-Rock N roll, Evergreen-Commercial Rock, High Voltage-Heavy metal, Shalton-Traditional rock, Disciplinary-Heavy metal, Esgent Zuende-Heavy metal and some bands have taken a break because the members have no chance to rehearse as they spent most of time at work in different places, some bands have disbanded, some new bands are still underground but coming soon.

Can you also tell me something about the metal scene in the nabouring countries of South-Africa and Namibia, if there is a lot of collaboration going on or challenges that make collaboration difficult?

The relationship and collaborations between our neighbours-South Africa and Namibia is a very good one, we, Overthrust, Wrust, Skinflint and Metal Orizon have played in South Africa along side with South African bands. The South African metal scene is big. During Overthrust Winter Metal Mania Fest 2013, this year in June we had invited metal band, Within Madness from Namibia and we were sharing stage with them in our base, Ghanzi-Botswana, they had also invited us for a show in Namibia next year, the Namibian metal scene is more like ours in Botswana, the only difference is that bands in Namibia and South Africa have good quality sound and venues. In general our relationship between Namibian and South African bands is an excellent one, a very good and first class. We Overthrust stay in Ghanzi, Ghanzi is a township near Botswana and Namibia boarder-Mamuno boarder, so we will be attending most shows in Namibia.

Are there a lot of women who are in to metal, and are any of them musicians?

We have few metal ladies in our scene but this days the number has started increasing in shows, we had one musician lady by the name Synder Queen, she was using a back track and then some bands were playing live instruments for her and as time goes on she just gave up and I don’t know why, we have metal ladies who are good vocalists but they have not shown themselves to us because they challenges starting their own bands such as finance, support from their boyfriends or partners who most of the time are against metal.

When did you personally start listening to metal, and how important has it been to you?

I personal when I grew up I was staying with my cousins and uncles who were listening to rock music, so I spent most of the time with them in their houses listening to metal in 1998 and I was 13 years doing standard 6 in Tsienyane primary school in my home village, Rakops-Botswana. They introduced me to listening to Iron Maiden and Cannibal Corpse, those were the first two bands I listened to and I loved them loved the album-Fear of the dark-Iron Maiden especially the track-Can I play with madness and the album Butchered at birth of Cannibal Corpse.

So as time goes on I became more interested in Death metal, I loved the growling part of it and those brutal harsh beats and started practicing how to do growling vocals, imitating Corps Grinder’s vocals and singing along as Cannibal Corps songs play. During this time I was becoming closer and closer to metal and when my cousins go out I sneak into their room and put on their metal attire, tight jeans, and half leather jackets cowboy hats and go around the street wearing them. I found Boston CD into my aunt’s wardrobe suite and I stole it, I also visited my cousins in Letlhakane and they gave me Cannibal Corps and Deicide Music and I immediately started enjoying Deicide more than Cannibal Corpse, When I was at a senior school I had a dream to start a metal band.

My passed my senior school and went to Botswana Police College to train to be a professional Police Officer and there one of my instructors-Kgosietsile Mmopi, in Karate(am also a first den black belt karate and have my own karate club where I train kids), was a metallar, my squad mate Masole Modise was also guitarist, he taught me how to play a guitar and I bought the acoustic guitar from him, I then met my cousin-our lead guitarist-Shalton Monnawadikgang  aka Spencer Thrust in 2008 and agreed to start a metal band together and when In 2009 I met our Drummer Gakeitse Botlhalentwa aka Suicide Torment and our ex-drummer, Suicide’s uncle Balatedi Folai  aka Bist and discussed the issue of starting a band, I had 1100cc black 1984 Yamaha motorcycle-eleven special chopper and I sold it to buy drum set ,bass, guitars and speakers, Then in 2010 January Overthrust was alive and kicking some goddam ass..Ha…ha…ha….introducing death metal to the township dwellers and within 3 months they knew who Overthrust was!

Metal has been very important to me and it contributed to my discipline and responsible attitude in my life, it taught me to do things by my own, it gave me as sense of team work, spirit and to express my feelings freely without fear or anything, it taught me to think for myself and do my own research and to believe in myself, I love metal.

Which are your favourite bands of all time, and which is your current favourite from Botswana? 

My favourite Bands of all time are as follows: Deicide, Mortician, Morbid Angel, Amon Amarth, Death, Possessed, Vital Remains, Obituary, Carcass and Deeds of Flesh. My favourite band in Botswana is Wrust and Crackdust.

I understand that Winter Metal Mania is a charity event. Do you pick a new charity each year, or does the proceed always go towards the same cause? Also why did you decide to make it a charity event in the first place?

In June, 2012 “Overthrust Winter Metal Mania Fest” was incorporated in to a charity event so as to help people in need in the community BUT specializing in raising funds and giving donations to orphan children and disabled children and needy children, we give then clothes, food and other necessary  materials.  The title: OVERTHRUST WINTER METAL MANIA FEST, remained in force. Also in 2012 we collaborated with Metal Head Botswana (MHB) to organize the event together, A Social Rock Club based in Gaborone. We liaise with Social and Community Development (S & CD) Department in Gantsi to help us identify those in need either registered with them or not.

MHB was formed so as to raise funds for those in need in the community, support community activities as well as to ensure the welfare of rock music  and its development  as well as to take Rock music to the people and making them understand what’s  all about rock music and style.

What are your plans for Winter Metal Mania in the future?

Our plan is to see Overthrust Winter Metal Mania develop into a very big event, we want it to be well known worldwide and so far the event is doing well.

Ingen kommentarer:

Legg inn en kommentar