By Marley

What do you get when mix musicians from City of Heroes, Straatligkinders, The Dead Will Tell and Held On Till May? You get Centurion punk rockers, I Believe In Giants. The members in the band have in their respective persons performed at festival stages like Oppikoppi, RAMfest, Splashy Fen, Kranked Up, Aardklop and KKNK. They also have opened for internationals like Billy Talent, Underoath, Comeback Kid, Haste The Day, The Ghost Inside and The Ataris. And to add to that impressive CV they supported international acts Our Last Night from the USA and Like Houses from Australia on their SA tours.

Mouthful? Nope. I Believe In Giants is far from done with the world. They are a band that wants to inspire you before you even heard them live, just look at their name! The name is inspired by the idea that people should believe that they can achieve something great, always dream big. How can you not like them already? But now we know our humble city of Nelsparta has most probably never heard of I Believe In Giants and really it’s a shame. But! It’s all ending on 23 November 2019 when they are travelling the odd 300 kilometres between us and the capital to perform next to The Narrow which is part of The Narrow’s Fired Up Tour. For some who have travelled to festivals like Splashy Fen and such have heard these lads and they will tell you – A MUST WATCH!

But I say that about every band, right? Wrong! I’ve only had private shows…in my head…while listening to their awesome music. So like the rest of Nelsparta I can’t wait to see them live. I had the opportunity to have a quick chat to Jean Lombard the vocalist of I Believe In Giants (IBIG). To get your motors ready.

STM: I Believe In Giants formed in 2017 and since then you guys have supported some international acts that must have been the ultimate for you as musicians and a band?

IBIG: We’ve been really fortunate to have played with some really amazing bands in a short space of time. It’s always awesome supporting International bands to see how they run things and learn from it to improve your own setup and show.

STM: The members in your band come from so many different bands from Afrikaans punk rock to well let’s rock this joint bands. How does this influence you all as I Believe In Giants?

IBIG: Yeah all the I Believe In Giants members have been around the SA music scene for quite a while so that definitely helped give us a running start. It also helps to cut out a lot of issues band just starting out have in the sense that we’ve been there and done that, so we know the ropes by now 😊 Musically we get a great mix of punk rock with some breakdowns courtesy of Spencer’s heavier music background, to create some high energy music that we love playing live.

Rise & Fall
by I Believe In Giants

STM: At the beginning of October this year, you guys released your new video for the track “Rise & Fall” can you tell us a little more about the inspiration behind the track and/or video, please?

IBIG: The main theme behind “Rise & Fall” is a question of the importance of reaching your goals and dreams, doing what you love. Are you going to give it your all, or just give up…sink or swim.

The song is a statement, saying that we’re not ready to give up on ours. We are here, this is who we are and we’re giving it our all.

Nostalgia is a big part of who we are and inspires what we do – we reflect this in different aspects from our live shows to our merch. “Rise & Fall” is our favourite track to play and is probably the best representation of us, so we wanted to incorporate some of our other favourite things growing up. Therefore setting up the location like band practise in a bedroom, going back to where we all started, and just wanting to make a fun video by incorporating everything from Action Figures to TV shows/Movies and TV Games etc. – Ninja Turtles, He-Man, WWE, Mortal Kombat, Rambo, Hardy Boys and more. You also get to see a bit more of each band member’s personality and what we enjoy besides playing music.

STM: A little birdie whispered in my ears that you guys are busy writing material for your second EP that (hopefully) will be released in 2020 – how this going so far?

IBIG: That might be true yes 😊 It’s going well thanks, our approach this time is a lot more of a collective effort. We’ve got some bits and pieces and we will probably spend most of December working on finishing that.

STM: What inspires you to write?

IBIG: I’ve always wanted to portray a positive message though any music that I make, so a lot of my lyrics revolve around not giving up and following your dreams etc. We are in a position to inspire others through our music and if we can help make someone’s day a bit better then that’s a win for me.

STM: From what age did you realise that you want to play a musical instrument and that you want to be a musician

IBIG: I got my first Green Day cassette tape “Insomniac” in 1996 so that kinda got me into music. Only later in high school some of my friends played in a band, and that inspired me to pick up a guitar and start looking at playing music. I started playing in my first band in 2004 when I was 20. The other guys all started playing music when they were a bit younger, Hein (17), Arno and Spencer when they were around 11/12.

For me wanting to become a vocalist, bands such as New Found Glory and Simple Plan (their energy) and Finch (Nate’s screaming vocals) was a huge influence for me.

STM: I constantly speak to upcoming musicians, bands and artists – what advice would have for them?

IBIG: I think the most important thing is, it should be fun 😊 Unfortunately in our country it’s quite difficult for rock musicians, so if you don’t enjoy it, it’s going to be hard to stay motivated.

Then also do everything from your side as best you can to give yourself a chance to make it onto a bigger stage. Your music, logo, pics, social, everything needs to be on the same level.

STM: From someone who has never seen you live, can you describe your show to us, please?

IBIG: It’s all about upbeat positive energy and passion, childhood nostalgia and playing music for the love of it! So loads of smiles and bouncing around. Be sure to pack in your punk rock shoes!

STM: Will this be your first time visit to Blue Moon in Nelsparta?

IBIG: I’ve been fortunate enough to play there before with my previous band. Hein has also been there a couple of times, but it’s going to be a first for Arno and Spencer. It’s really an amazing venue, everyone is always super friendly and helpful, so we can’t wait!

STM: You guys are sharing the stage with legends The Narrow. How excited are you guys for that moment?

IBIG: It’s always awesome playing with them. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been working with them since 2010 through my clothing label New Hope Clothing. So it’s more like a reunion of friends playing some music, which is awesome, but every time I see them live I’m reminded of why they’ve been going for so long and been at that level, always an amazing live show full of crazy energy.

You can catch I Believe In Giants live at Blue Moon on 23 November 2019 with The Narrow, Son Of Hawk, The Color Blew and Back Stage. Tickets are R115 pre-sale via Quicket or R150 at the gate. You are welcome to camp and party all night long.

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.