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Interview: OTIS - from Music 4 The Masses

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By Liny Kruger

Published Friday, 15 December 2017 07:27

Tell us a bit about your music career. Where did it all start and what were your highlights up to date?

I have sung in choirs and school plays for as long as I can remember. I was raised on Led Zeppelin, The Stones and Uriah Heep. Always appreciative of all artists but never limited to genre. When the rest of the 5-year-olds were fast asleep by 6 pm, I was laying next to my dad with our heads under the old radiogram listening, experiencing and hearing music that was definitive but not limited to the Rock of that era.Originally a drummer, I gave singing a go in a band that I played in about 8 years ago. The band broke up and the guitarist and myself stayed in touch and some time later reformed under a different name with a new guitarist and drummer. [sic]

How did Music for the Masses` Depeche Mode Tribute come about?

13 years ago a fleeting 'what if" thought crossed my mind. I was bored, from an audience point of view of seeing the same old songs being performed by cover bands regardless of where you went. I was going through a breakup and myself, a fire and 13 Amstel Quartz were partying alone along to Depeche Modes - One Night in Paris Concert. I thought, what if? 13 Years later, after toying with this concept in my mind and irritating the now wife for sure, I see Sean's post on FaceBook of a performance from the Spirit Tour and having a been aware of Seans work but not having worked together, I dropped him a mail, we got together and here we are!

What can fans expect from your set at Tribute Fest this year?

We have tried to maintain the essence of what the band is about as best we can without that instilled conservative South African nature. It's electronic rock. It has balls without the burning of guitars and trashing of hotel rooms. It defined a generation where it was cooler to wear eyeliner and black than ever before. We have made every effort to create and bottle the essence of the Depeche Mode concert approach to a mini-venue.

What is the funniest or strangest thing that has ever happened to you while on stage?

I've had guys set off fire extinguishers at gigs. I have had hens parties with the "about to be wife" dressed as a hot little nurse and her mates have all taped a babies bottle to her hand, the problem was that the teet of the bottle was in the shape of a penis, which was a little distracting each time she took a sip of her drink. Being in a band always has its moments and with Music 4 the Masses we hope to get people in the state of mind where they utterly feel they are at a Depeche Mode Concert.

Why do you think it is important to pay tribute to the greats? Do you think SA Audiences appreciate this?

I believe they will. There seems to be a mindset amongst international acts that they only consider SA once their careers are on the decline or their popularity is waning. I have a huge issue by way of the fact that they are happy to take our record sales but it seems as coming here is too much effort until the point where their careers wain and then we have to welcome them with cap in hand as though they were doing us a favour. Where were they for the last 10 or 20 years? South Africans are resilient by nature and if you don't want to make us part of your itinerary, then we'll do it ourselves thanks!

What are your plans for 2018?

To grow the show and hopefully the fan following. Perhaps get on the DM radar and entice them to come to SA...again. We are keen to take the show wherever there are fans, so let us know where you are and follow us on FaceBook at Music for the Masses.

Updated on:
>> Wednesday, 28 September 2022 10:01

Electro Pop


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