“The shows at The Viper Room and The 100 Club were great!” Deity’s Muse is a hard rock power trio from Alberton in Johannesburg with Tool-driven amp-stacked riffs and slow, clean-cut Hanu De Jong (The Narrow)-like vocals. The drums stomp hard – with unexpected off-beat intervals, leaving the Korn-like bass to growl around every corner.
“The shows at The Viper Room and The 100 Club were great!”
Deity’s Muse is a hard rock power trio from Alberton in Johannesburg with Tool-driven amp-stacked riffs and slow, clean-cut Hanu De Jong (The Narrow)-like vocals. The drums stomp hard – with unexpected off-beat intervals, leaving the Korn-like bass to growl around every corner. And with the right kind of ears you could almost decipher some Alice in Chains as an underlying influence.
Current members include Wayne ‘Longbeard’ Boucher on vocals and guitar, Sashan Pillay on drums and Alvin Boucher on the bass. Grafting hard beneath the radar of the commercial live circuit for more than a decade in South Africa, Deity’s Muse produced three albums and an EP (Life You Waste-2002, Paracetamol EP– 2004, The Eyes Don’t See What The Heart Bleeds – 2006, New Trends in Slavery – 2010).
The band recently returned from very a successful international tour where they even played at the world famous Viper Room in Hollywood. Some rumours of a famous American producer joining them for their next album have surfaced, so Rolling Stone chatted to frontman ‘Longbeard’ Boucher to find out what’s going on.
Deity’s Muse just came back from a recent international tour. How does an underground hard rock band from Johannesburg organise and finance an international tour?
A little bit of luck and tons of dedication to the cause really does go a long way. We’re very lucky in that we have a hardworking management team behind us who got the ball rolling for us on this tour. We funded the tour out of our own pockets with a lot of help from family and friends who truly believe in what we’re doing. Without their support this tour would never have happened. We also hosted a fund raising show before we left to help pay for our accommodation and we’d like to thank the guys from Agro, Only Forever, Hokum, 11th Hour, MK Ondergrond and the fans for their involvement in the event.
How did you guys manage to get a gig at the famous Viper Room in Hollywood and a gig at The 100 Club in London?
It all started when we sent our single, “I’m The Observer” to the Thom Hazaert Company in Los Angeles. Thom used to manage bands like Chimaira and Motörhead and was heavily involved in marketing the breakthrough albums of Linkin Park, Incubus, Korn, Staind etc. He replied and said he loved the track and would like to hook a Los Angeles showcase tour up for us. From there it all just snowballed. You can’t fly directly to L.A. from South Africa, so we decided if we’re going to be stopping in London then we might as well organise a show there too, and somehow we landed a gig at The 100 Club.
The shows at The Viper Room and The 100 Club were great! At both shows we had a very receptive crowd and we managed to flog quite a few CDs to the patrons afterwards. It was an overwhelming honour to perform at these legendary clubs. It’s the most professional set up we’ve experienced in a club environment so far. The sound was top notch.
You guys are currently play listed on MK’s Ondergrond. How do you feel about MK’s categorization when it comes to your genre of music?
I’m very confused by it, quite honestly. I find it very strange that our video gets played regularly on SABC3 and has tons of Youtube hits but for some reason we don’t get featured on regular MK play listing. Maybe they think we’re just ‘too heavy’ but then I’d say that maybe they just watched the video with the mute button on. I don’t know…[laughs]. But the underground scene has been very supportive and we appreciate that a show like MK Ondergrond is around. A great move on MK’s part in my opinion – so hats off to the channel for that. And no disrespect to them because without MK there probably wouldn’t be a thriving music video industry in our country.
I heard through the grapevine that you’re going into studio for your 4th album in 2013 and word on the street is that you guys got a famous American producer? Can you tell us more about the songs and about your writing process?
Indeed we will be and this time we’re incredibly excited because we’ve managed to get a distribution and licensing deal in North America for the album. Not only that, but Toby Wright (produced albums for Slayer, Kiss, Alice In Chains, Ozzy Osbourne) is coming to South Africa to produce the album. Thom sent “I’m The Observer” to Toby and he contacted us back saying he’d love to produce an album in South Africa for us. Talk about pressure! [laughs]. Anyway, as for the songs we’re still in the writing phase but we’ve got a few tracks ready. I like to come up with riffs and melodies and I carry a Dictaphone with me at all times. I take these half ideas to the band and we work them out in the band room for hours until we’re happy. It’s a 100% collaborative effort between us. We like progression in compositions and repertoire, so we try our best to never write the same song twice.
Would it fair to say that Deity’s Muse is on a mission to follow Seether’s footsteps?
As in ‘making a career out of doing what you love?’ – most definitely.
What I mean is: breaking the limitations of the South African music industry (like Seether did) and making it huge overseas? Any plans to tour abroad again when the new album is done?
In the current music industry it’s very hard to make it ‘huge’, but for Seether it was all about baby steps – and touring an album plays a major part in building the foundation to bigger and better things. We definitely will be touring the US next year in support of the album. Considering that the album will be available in the US, touring there is definitely the next logical step for us.