Captain Stu’s “Space O Rama” Interview & Brand New Music Video “The Day”

Cape Town based rockers Captain Stu have just released a new music video for their single “The Day” watch it above. So to commemorate this occasion we decided to have a sit down and find out what makes the band tick.

So Captain Stu? Let’s start with the name, how did it come about?

The name comes from the movie ‘Dude, where’s my car?’ The climatic scene of the movie takes place at a video game arcade called Captain Stu’s ‘Space O Rama’. That’s where we picked it from

You’ve got an awesomely unique sound, how would you describe it, and who are your major influences?

Our sound is mainly a mix of Ska, Reggae, Funk and Jazz and then we add in elements of hip hop and a bit of African flavour as well. We’re basically trying to create a blend of music that is accurate to who we are and what we are about. Happy music is what we do. Our major influences vary so much as individuals but as Captain Stu we probably take the most influence from bands like The Cat Empire, Sublime and Fat Freddy’s Drop.

As you said earlier a lot of your tracks have a slight African influence. What made you decide to stay true to your African roots and not just go the traditional rock route?

It’s definitely very intentional. We’re all Cape Town born and bred and we’re very proud of our heritage. Why not let that shine across in our music if it feels natural? No one can deny that Afro-influenced music is fun to listen and dance to. As South African musicians, it’s another genre we enjoy and understand fits nicely with what we’re doing.

Do you think keeping a unique sound has been beneficial to you guys as a band or has it made it harder for you to break into the mainstream?

There have been certain points in Captain Stu’s existence where we’ve had to decide whether we want to go for a more mainstream sound or not. We’ve always decided not too and I think that it’s been very beneficial for us. We’ve always stuck with what we set out to do and have not compromised just because of potential success. It’s very difficult being an independent band without radio play in this country but somehow we’ve managed to pull it off for 7 years. So that in itself is reward enough I guess.

The South African music scene has got to be one of the toughest. Its packed with talent, small and often overlooked by international markets. How do you guys find it as a band trying to fight for attention in such a tough market?

It’s super, super difficult but as I said before, we’ve somehow managed to pull it off. I guess there aren’t that many bands in this country that play the style of music we play. That probably helps a bit. And with the bands that do share a similar sound to us, we’re friends with all of them and we’ve always been willing and keen to help each other out. I think those kind of relationships are most of the reason an independent band in South Africa can last for a long time.

A lot of local acts [especially in the electronic music scene] seem to be signing to smaller international labels, is there a lack of interest from local labels?

Generally, yes. There seems to be more interest in rock bands from local labels. South Africa doesn’t really have the infrastructure for labels to operate properly though.There’s just not enough money. Maybe the international labels can teach our local labels a thing or two and shit will get better here. We don’t really see the point in labels though.

You’ve just launched a new music video, whats the concept behind it?

The video is basically us just having fun and missioning around our home town dressed in costumes, not taking ourselves too seriously. It’s good fun!

We’ve featured a lot of local music videos here on Dont Party and we’re always amazed by what you guys all manage to achieve on often extremely limited budgets. How did you guys tackle the making of this music video?

Basically we wanted to get something out there and we didn’t have any money. So we pulled in a favour or two and rented some cheap gear and went on a mission around Cape Town for two days. We shot in 18 different locations around the city without permission. The director, Richard Bolland, is an old friend of the band and he works in multimedia so he owns his own camera. That helped a lot.

You’ve already released two albums were these private or were they under a record label?

Completely independent and self funded

Tell us about the EP coming out on Friday [November 5th 2010]? Where can our readers get it?

The EP we’re about to release is by far the most professional recording we’ve ever done. We worked with a producer named Neal Snyman who blew out minds. It was awesome working with someone who is so good at what they do. We had a few member changes last year so this EP is the first thing we’ve released since changing vocalist, drummer and trombonist. We are releasing it for free download from our website. . You can also get it at any of our shows.

You’ve played some major gigs over your careers, what stands out as the most enjoyable?

Both our CD launches so far have been amazing. Most festivals are awesome to play, especially Splashy Fen. But I think the one that stands out most is when we got to open for Maroon 5 and One Republic at the Coca Cola Dome in JHB in 2008 to 13 000 people. That was epic!

The “Rock Star Lifestyle” is it alive and true in South Africa? Give us an example!

If when you say Rock Star you are implying arrogance then there are some dudes out there who have big heads and piss people off. We try to steer as far clear as possible from those cunts. If you’re more referring to partying like a rock star then I think it is very alive and true in SA. Especially when most of the bands you play with have become friends. Parties get way out of hand. It’s impossible to pick one example

You can catch Captain Stu tomorrow night at Zula on Long Street for the launch of their new EP. Get it free at the gig! Check out the Facebook Event page here [CLICK]


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Co-Founder of Dont Party, Co-Owner and Director of Fiction Nightclub in Cape Town, 8Bit and Killcool. I dabble in design, online ventures and whatever comes my way.

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