Almost Famous

Lounging about on sofas in studio aKing reflects on those Red Blooded Years ahead of hitting the road. Lena Ski gets the scoop.

Cover of "Almost Famous"
Cover of Almost Famous

Sounds like something like Almost Famous…

I’m not talking about some kind of movie scene. Think of it as more of a place, even better more of a space. The kind of space that embraces and encircles something timeless and yet the trend of the moment…

Hennie (van Halen) points out it’s not really a tour. “It’s just a string of dates really. I mean it’s not like we’re kitting out on the road in our own van. Now that would be flippin awesome…”

Well let’s just call it a tour regardless, shall we?  Though the idea of oldschool road trips in a van or a pimped up rockmobile are def the only way that rockstars should roll.

“It all comes from nothing

It doesn’t matter that we’re going nowhere

More a means than an ending”


Some people get it. Some people don’t. Most people admire it from afar. The promise of fame. The actuality of making it. Living the dream. aKing’s got some big ideas for the future, but they realise they have some big shoes to fill. Thing is, between you and me, I think these guys are getting there fast.

“It feels like we are starting a new band all over again. Even if this isthe third album, so much has changed. It’s like we are at the beginning again. We changed Management, changed band members, grew up and got a new perspective. Not to mention that music is forever changing. It’s a new experience.” reflects Laudo (Liebenberg) in between jotting down the final list of to dos ahead of the tour. ” … Everyone is just damn good. Everyone has up’ed their game. Everyone is making great music these days. It’s great but it also raises the bar so much higher. We’re just trying to live up to that. I really hope we can live up to that.” Laudo adds.

“Music means everything to us. It’s what we get up for. It’s what we live for … It’s feels like the closest thing to religion” adds Andrew Davenport, the newest of addition to the band.  Said like a true muso ! There’s no such thing as part time music. If it’s in your blood, it’s your number one commitment – even if you don’t know it.  aKing’s lucky enough to be able to see it for what it is and treat it for all it’s worth: A full time lifestyle. After all how many SA bands have a studio to call home???

“The title refers to our experience of growing up. I suppose it’s the themes of youth which sort of chronicles our coming of age, as a band and as individuals,” said Jaco “Snakehead” Venter. Andrew adds that it’s not just a collection of the bands experiences but also their own personal stories. “It’s like that feeling of being immortal where every things in your control. Rebelling against the rules. Doing your own thing. Acting out like a typical Rockstar. Then you grow up… Then you move on…”

The band really excited about their second single which is the first track on the new Album ‘Catch a Light‘. They had the basis for the track but they couldn’t get it working. Then they went on holiday and tried a new take on the track. They got it it the first try. They never touched it again, and it’s their favourite song off the album. It’s also a tone of a new sound. Still the same loved sounds you’ve come to appreciate from the band, but a glimpse into what could be…

Don’t stress. They’re not planning on selling out into another genre. They’re just fusing sounds and giving you more to love. It’s still rock. Yet with growing trends and electro stages, and the whispers of the death of rock, they’re just setting their feet firmly on the ground and doing their thang!

Andrew headed up to RAMFEST in Cape Town recently and has watched the Electro stage grow. “DJ’s used to be opening and closing acts. Now it’s a force to be reckoned with.” He’s also super proud to say that “I went to go see the international acts and our SA bands totally creamed them. There’s never been a more exciting time to be a South African band.”

Keeping it local, make sure you don’t miss the Kirstenbosch gig. Rumours of Dave Ferguson, Theo Crous, Inge Beckman and others treats who are celebrating the the final pinnacle show of the tour.

Speaking of special moments the band shared an amazing story about their favourite fan who never misses their shows. He’s deaf so he gets as close as possible, lip reads and picks up on the vibrations. Of course, every band also has there less then favourite moments too – and it seems they have their own over the top groupie who likes to kick up the dust and cause riot. Guess those kinda things are unavoidable if you’re next to almost famous. Must say they seem to be handling it pretty well.

Laudo wraps up the process as ” edit. copy.paste. tweak. retake. refine. press play. take two. play it over. record. edit… whatever it takes to make sure it’s perfect. So it sounds right. So you can finally say ‘we got it’…”

They might have that Rockstar factor,on and off the stage , but their level headed approach to the music industry and mantra of professionalism makes them slightly more serious then your average rockband.

The Media says:”The Red Blooded Years is a young rock band’s coming of age album. With their maturity and confidence growing, aKING is emerging from the safety of the familiar and exploring the uncharted territory of musical evolution.”

Me thinks: These guys are timeless. It feels all to familiar. Like they’ve been here before. They get it. They got it. Come to think of it Woodstock would have loved them… Dontcha think?

Peace. Love. More Music Please…. and buy local music (of course!) | Click here to read the Album Review

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