By Vanessa

The Black Cat Bones need no introduction to us Lowvelders. They have been here several times, and we will once again be able to boogie our butts off on Saturday to their vibey tunes and magical stage performance. In my opinion, probably South Africa’s hottest band currently, they’re set to make us party like our insides are on fire.

The Bones consist of Kobus de Kock Jr. on vocals, Andre Kriel on guitar, Chris van der Walt on Bass and Gareth Bunge on drums. These guys are hot and relentless and they are rated as South Africa’s top live act at the moment.

Now, I’ve been an avid groupie over the years. I love music and I love live music even more. Every time I’ve been to experience The Black Cat Bones live, I’ve left the venue elated, enlightened and happy with a spring in my step and a smile on my face that will put the Cheshire cat to shame. They have it all: incredible vocals, thumping rhythm, intelligent lyrics and a stage personality that most bands can only dream of. To see them live, makes your chest swell with pride because our very own country produced this gem of a band and boy, are they going places!

Andre Kriel of The Black Cat Bones - photo by Small Town Music Blog
Andre Kriel
(photo by Small Town Music Blog)

They took some time out of their very busy schedule to answer some of our questions. Read on and get to know them a little better. Also, get an idea of what to expect this Saturday night:

STM: The Black Cat Bones: the name on EVERYONE’s lips! Please tell us where the name comes from?

BCB: Old School Blues folklore that talks about the ‘Black Cat Bone’ as a good luck charm – It’s also mentioned in a lot in the early blues songs by cats like Muddy Waters etc.

STM: “We’re starting a band, baby. We’re starting  a band!” Where did it all begin?

BCB: We’re celebrating 10 years in July. The band originated in Silverton, Pretoria (hence the title of the first album ‘Silverton Swamp Songs’) with Andre & Kobus playing renditions of traditional Blues songs and over the years developed in what you see and hear today. A sound still rooted in the Blues but wide enough to spill over into a vast array of genres.

STM: How long have you guys known each other?

BCB: Too long, but we’ve made our peace with the fact that we’ll be doing this till they lay us down someday, or at least for as long as folks out there are willing to tolerate us.

Chris van der Walt of The Black Cat Bones
(photo by Small Town Music)
Chris van der Walt
(photo by Small Town Music)

STM: Who does the songwriting and what do you mostly write about?

BCB: We write as a band, mostly about the realities of life but sometimes a fictional character might make an appearance. Storytelling, however, is the fundamental basis of our writing.

STM: What are your current album plans?

BCB: A 2-year writing and pre-producing process have finally culminated in us hitting the studios. It’s happening baby, it’s happening. We’ll probably kick off with releasing a couple of singles before the actual album launch sometime this year.

STM: In a perfect world, you’d want to be rocking full time. Alas, nothing’s perfect. So, what are your real jobs?

BCB: This is it! It’s all we do. It’s all we’ve done for the past 10 years… in a perfect world.

STM: Who inspires you? Who influences you? Who are your musical gods?

BCB: We’ve actually come to a stage where anything that has the ability to produce a sound, melody or some form of resonance grabs our attention and can be used as inspiration for the ‘next big hit’!

Kobus de Kock Jnr of The Black Cat Bones - photo by Small Town Music Blog
Kobus de Kock Jnr

STM: Band practice. NECESSARY! How often and where does this happen?

BCB: All the time, even while we’re playing gigs. As I’ve said, this is what we do.

STM: When you’re not gigging, what do you do for fun?

BCB: Drinking!

STM: Name your favourite bands/artists?

BCB: The same answer applies as to who our inspiration is.  Everyone and everything.

STM: Where do you see the Black Cat Bones in 5 years’ time?

BCB: Still gigging, recording and drinking.

Andre Kriel and Kobus de Kock Jnr of The Black Cat Bones - photo by Small Town Music Blog
Andre and Kobus performing in Nelspruit
(photo by Small Town Music Blog)

STM: What can people expect from one of your gigs?

BCB: Difficult one to answer. Different people have different expectations. We try our best to cater to all of them while still trying to keep it real for ourselves.

STM: Is there a specific demographic of people you aim to entertain?

BCB: We’ve been fortunate enough to reach all age groups across almost every walk of life. If you’re a lover of music then you’re a friend of the Bones.

STM: What collaborations would you like in the future? With who?

BCB: We’re working on something very special for the near future. A never-been-done collab that will have you sit up and take notice. Keep watching this space.

STM: Please tell us the dynamics of having a band. How do you manage to work together?

BCB: Mutual respect and a lot of drinking.

STM: What would be your ultimate dream gig?

BCB: To watch ourselves perform at a live gig.

Kobus de Kock of The Black Cat Bones - photo by Small Town Music Blog
Kobus performing at STRAB
(photo by Small Town Music Blog)

STM: Please describe your style of music to us in your own words.

BCB:  Country & Blues Rock ‘n Roll with a twist of progressive drum and bass metal.

STM: Where do you find inspiration?

BCB: From everyone and everything!

STM: You keep coming back to Nelspruit (and we’re not complaining!). Please tell us what you love most about us Lowvelders?

BCB: Some of our fondest memories as a band come from the Lowveld. Over the years we’ve made a lot of special friends and even wrote our second album while hanging out at Blue Moon for a couple of weeks. The appreciation of music is real, and you guys aren’t afraid to show it.

STM: We are so excited to see you this coming Saturday. Any words on what can be expected from one of SA’s best bands?

BCB: We’re doing 2 sets on Saturday which allows us to showcase the entire spectrum of our repertoire and abilities. A sonic journey of sorts…. Meaning we’ll go low and slow and then we’ll go hard and fast. ‘Ietsie vir ouma asook ouma se slim kind.’

You do not want to miss out on this spectacular live act this weekend. Get your party boots polished, practice your air guitar and let that hair down, because, with The Black Cat Bones, you’re going to rock ‘n roll until the cows come home!

Follow them on social media: FacebookTwitterSound CloudYouTubeInstagram and get their kief music on iTunes South Africa.

Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.