Straight from the HORSE's mouth

Is Africa ready for the Metal? LA band HORSE are set to hit SA next week for a three week tour, Lisa Steyn caught up with them.

Their sound is undeniably heavy but incorporates quirky, yet complimentary, electronic beats earning it the description of “Nintendocore”. Their most recent album is entitled Desperate Living.

If HORSE the band is the self-proclaimed “coolest band in the world” who is second

Well, we recently found out about Die Antwoord so I think maybe we are now relegated to that spot. NO! I think we are still number one. It is hard to say. Only time will tell how Die Antwoord handles the Hollywood limelight, something we are totally used to.

What have you been forewarned about South Africa?
We have been warned of the usual, you know, schistosomiasis, malaria, great white sharks, violent crime, hippos wiggling their ears, not buying land in Mozambique. We are all very scared to come there and we are bringing a suitcase full of American comfort items such as the book The Secret and The Purpose Driven Life by Pastor Rick Warren and Doritos. The only thing we know for certain about South Africa is that Michael Crichton wrote a book about the gorillas that live there.

Apart from gigging here, what are you guys looking most forward to?
Doing Larium and seeing what happens.

How did this tour come into being?
One minute you are doing an email interview with a man named Baden Moir from South Africa for his personal blog, a few weeks later you are sending him passport scans and he is buying six plane tickets for you to go halfway around the world.

Can you describe your sound as simply as possible?
I would say it is music with an aesthetic that you would probably find grating because it concentrates on complex melodic ideas in the instrumentation and rhythm rather than a vocal melody riding high over minimal instrumentation. But it still consciously addresses lyricism, harmony, hypnotism, emotiveness, temporal dynamics, resonance, playfulness, and colour and invokes plaisir and jouissance in the listener.

Why will people who have never heard your music enjoy a live show of yours?
either because they will like the music, because we can move our bodies a lot while playing difficult parts at the same time and are generally physically entertaining, or because of the things that will come out of our mouths between songs, or because they will be drunk.

If you really did max out several credit cards to fund your 3-month long Earth Tour, surely you are in a serious amount of debt right now?
We really did! Five of them and a $10 000 loan on top of that, for a grand total of $60 000. But, we also made money on the tour, because people occasionally buy things from us and we get money when we play shows, but we also spent more money than just the credit card balance. So in the end we spent nearly $100 000, and made back just over $99 000. So we basically took 7 people around the world, paying for everything, at a cost of about $100 per person. So the tour failed.

How are you funding this tour to South Africa and Mozambique?
After Earth Tour we decided we had paid our dues and showed everyone in the world we meant business, so now they could put up the money for our flights and lodging and trust that we would show up and fulfill our end of the deal. Baden Moir stepped in at that point, found an investor, sponsors, made some smooth business deals. Basically he paid for everything with the expectation that he will make back his investment if the shows are better than mediocre, and if the whole venture happens to make any money we’ll all split it up nice and neat in the end. But obviously, it’s not about the money, and never has been. I mean, it has, but really only because you need to buy food or something.

Are you hoping to make a profit on tour, what the objective of touring otherwise?
The band is a group of best friends who have known each other forever, not just some dudes who met on a message board trying to make it big in Hollywood or something. We enjoy traveling together and having next-level partying experiences in exotic locales with other like-minded individuals across the globe together. Pretty much the objective is to never go so broke that we ruin our lives or can’t tour anymore. Any money after that would be great, but it doesn’t exist for this type of music. Having an energetic crowd going totally crazy right in your face and going completely bonkers with them is why we keep touring on a style of music that can’t possibly make much money. It is about transcending existence.

Visit // for tour details.

Lisa Steyn

Lisa Steyn

Lisa Steyn is a business reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She holds a master's degree in journalism and media studies from Wits University. Her areas of interest range from energy and mining to financial services and telecommunication. When she is not poring over annual reports, Lisa can usually be found pottering about the kitchen. Read more from Lisa Steyn


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