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UNITYHXC.COM | Interview with Neshamah

  NESHAMAH | South Africa

Can you introduce yourself as well as your band

Matt : Hi i am Matt from Neshamah, a band form Cape Town South Africa, the band is: Jen Roomes on bass, Russel Aitkenhead on guitar, Justin Kruger on drums and Ryan Van Rensburg shares the vocal duty with me

How long has the band been around ?

Matt : We have been together for about 6 years

It's rare to see hardcore bands in South Africa, tell us more about the scene in your country.

Matt : The hxc scene is quiet good. We get somethin like 300 to 500 kids per show and something like 2000 as far as fests are concerned. It is very mixed concerning the kind of music cause hxc and punk bands are at playing. There are some zines and distros pooping up as well so thats cool; more zines = more scene; i suppose:-\

People in France are surprised to know that there is a hxc scene in south africa, are there lot of shows??, zines, distros? Are here a lot of bands over here?

Matt : We have the knife fight festival wich i suppose is south african equalivalent of hellfest with all the best undergournd bands playing.Sows happen mostly on weekends her week shows dont go down well for some odd reason but almost a show to go to every weekend not saying the quality of every show will be good but there are shows none the less. Concerning zines there is silent screams who also have a distro as for radio shows; there is none that specifically play hardcore music but a few that do alternative music and we get airplay on those. As for hardcore bands we have a few besides us these are: pulled from six feet, crossing point, reason to live and a few others in the country that are popping up..

You have different hardcore style or mainly "metalic" hardcore like Neshamah?

Matt : There is no reason to live wchich is more tough guy, crossin point are more like snapcase stuff and pulled from six feet I would say is more metalic.

Is it difficult to book show and/or to play in SA ? Is metal music is appreciated by people?

Matt : No not really, everything is at arms length and as well if you have been doing it for a while you know who to trust and who not to, venues are lacking i think thats a worldwide problem hahaha

Matt : yeah the heavy stuff is apprecaited we are really well supported, our new cd has recently sold out of first pressing so we are happy

What s the discography? Are you the only SA band who played in usa and other country?

Matt : Yes hardcore band abroad

Matt : We were the first southern african band ever to play the cornerstone festival in usa

What s was the response of kids when u played this big fest? It was the first time u went to usa? Do you think played at this fest was a turn for your band ?

Matt : Awesome we could not belive it they went mad, dancing all around, we couldnt believe it that some people even knew the words, awesoem response. They were really excited especially cause we were form south africa, it was the second time we have toured there, and yes it was definitely a good turn for the band.

Do US hardcore bands go to tour in SA ?

Matt : No unfortunately not, its to out the way i think, i wish theywoul dcome cause theya re missing out on some really passionate hardcore kids

Do you have an explanation why they dont come ?

Matt : To far out! The way costs to much money, its too risky to try to cover airfare and all that stuff

About the music style of neshamah, it reminds me a lot christian hxc bands of take hold records, solid states (Underoath, Few Left Standing... ) are they your influences?

You are also a christian band and you assert this religion

Matt : mm yeah in a way, i suppose, i would say zao and norma jean are our influence as well as botch, coalesce etc we just write music we dont try to sound like anything. We write what we are happy with and take it from there, we are believers, i wouldnt say that we are religous i think religion is what kills a persons spirit, chrisitanity in its purest form is a awesome thing to happne to someone but when the chruch corrupts it and makes it all religous with man made laws its really becomes a negative thing for some people.

What do you think about associating religious belief and music? There are more and more bands who do that, who assert their beliefs.

Matt : I think, its cool , as long as you dont force people to agree with your ideology.

Matt : Music is music and i dont think, you should push your message onto a audience, rather let your lyrics and lives do the talking

What s the main message of Neshamah ? what about the lyrics?

Matt : Our main messge is personal and its only normal for us to sing about what is important to us wich for us is God and the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Matt : Its funy, people will be ok with krishna or any other belief system in hardcore but soon as its christian tey get there back up, kinda funny

What is the meaning of the word Neshamah ?

Matt : it is the hebrew word for breath of God

Is neshamah is XXX band ?

Matt : yeah we are sxe

What is the meaning of this way of life for you ?

Matt : For me its personal, just to better myself as a person thats all. In fact its to live a healthier lifestyle

Only health reasons ?

Matt : As i said to better myself as individual

Be sxe may be an act to fight against all "shit" of your consommation society, not to be slave of that; ou rconsommation society

Matt : To some, sxe has so many different sub cultures if itself; for me its just a personal thing.

What about persons who broke the edge ?

Neshamah has been christian and sxe for 6 years

Matt : Thats there life, the path they choose! for every decision there is a condition and for every choice a price to pay! yeah we have been christian and sxe for 6 years already

What do you think of the worldwide situation actually ?

Matt : I think it sucks; i hate politics and its people who use normal people as pawns for there own selfish desire

what about the globalisation?

Do you think there s a god on earth when you see all disasters in the world, in particular the tsunami?

Matt : hmmm....i dont think there is a God on earth but definitely one up in heaven,;-) it sucks the tsunamis you really have no choice but to react in asking where was God in all this.Its hard but its by faith you have to do all things and accept thing sometimes.

Matt : as for globalisation what do you mean ?

I mean, when big factories buy small; when all things turn to profit; when money aim is the only thing that counts etc...

Matt : oh ok.. i think its good to make money to live and all, but when its becomes like you say its unfair and wrong.
I don't like that at all when you hurt other to gain more money its wrong

Let's talk about somethingelse, how do you describe your music?

Matt : the newer stuff is more melodic and rock n roll and metal influenced than the older stuff, i would describe it as hardcore rock n roll, with breakdowns.

You have some guest appearance on it; tell us more abt this guests

Matt : Yeah we do, One guy is hanu who helped us record and produce the cd he is in a band called the narrow they are like progressive rock band and ryan from the slashdogs they are a rock n rollpunk band both bands are really good friends of ours; thought it would be nice to have them featured

Both bands from South Africa?

Matt : Yeah both form south africa pretoria to be exact about 1000kms form where we live.

What are the feedbacks about your new stuff ?

Matt : very good all the responses have ben really really awesome! We are happy, we have sold out on our first presing in south africa, so we are happy.

Matt : we are looking for a lisencing deal in europe and america,but for now,its everwhere in south africa all cd stors and ditros as for america its avialble at revhq and interpunk we stil need distro for europe

What's your plan for the future ?

Matt : we want to do a tour around South Africa in april and then a european tour in june/july , then record a ep.

The band is your mainly occupation? a job besides Neshamah ?

Matt : No myself and Jen our bassist runs full time, Josh, he works in a skate shop and Ryan is a artist and Justin is a manager of a music store.

What do you think of hardcore bands who sign on major records labels like killswitch engage, hatebreed.. do u think, it's a contracdiction with the hardcore ethic ?

Matt : No i dont; i think if you can take your music and message that big and make a living out of it, why not; if you have worked hard and deserve then i have no problem with it. Those bands you have mentioned have worked hard and deserve the thing they have gotten.

Is it your aim with neshamah ?

Matt : It can be, if it goes well it does, if it doesnt then it doesnt. we are happy with what the band has achieved in the past years especially being from South Africa

i have no questions anymore, perhaps you want to add somethingelse as a last word

Matt : Thanks for the interview Johan, keep up the good work with and your radioshow. Spin us on air as often as you can hahahaha

» More informations on NESHAMAH

  "The grass withers and it s flower falls"

Format : cd
Date : 2000-10-10
Label : S/p records

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