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Vermaak | Entertainment > Musiek | Music > Rubrieke | Columns > Annie Klopper: Rockjagter

Mining for Gold in Bellville? Thieve's frontman Andrew Davenport tells us how

Annie Klopper - 2009-09-16

Thieve is a fresh Bellville breed which, even after only three live shows during the course of 2009, has everyone talking. On the eve of their debut release I met up with frontman Andrew Davenport.

So we all buy the Bellville Rock City compilation last year and on it we hear this killer track called "Last Day December". And even though this is an awesome introduction to a new band called Thieve, we have never heard them play before ... How did it come about that you were included in this compilation, even though you had no album out yet and weren't playing any shows at that stage?

The track on BRC is actually what started as pre-production on our first song for the album. It was at about the halfway point when we nervously played it for a few of our buddies one drunken night ... The boys dug it. Hunter [Kennedy] told us about this BRC thing he was putting together and asked if we could get the song ready in time. Snake [Venter] persuaded Uncle Albert [du Plessis] from Rhythm to fork out some cash money and we went for it. TeeJay [Terblanche] kindly agreed to let me sing into his expensive microphone while he pressed the record button, we slipped Philly [Erasmus] into Bellville Studios for a day, and BANG we had our first song fresh from the oven.


You were previously involved with Ashtray Electric, Philip Erasmus was in New Loud Rockets and Fred den Hartog, the guitarist, hails from Die Helde. What's the glue that bound you guys together?

Phil and I had been playing with the idea of maybe becoming best mates for some time and agreed that jamming together would only be beneficial to the process. We gave it a go and decided that our bleeding ears were a sign of great things to come. We heard about this young-faced virtuoso named Frederick den Hartog and immediately went about constructing a plan with which we could persuade him to join the ranks. As it turned out, all he really needed was someone to talk to. It was love at first sight.

The world of rock music is greatly built on the myth of originality, but Thieve's motto is "Nothing is original. Take what you want." Yet you're not a cover band. What's your take on "thieving" ideas and influences and is this where the band's name originated from?

We approached the project with the idea of embracing our influences as opposed to hiding them behind reworked riffs and altered lyrics. We became free to do whatever we wanted and it felt good. This idea developed into the whole concept behind the band, hence the name.

Where and from whom do you thieve influences? Art? Other bands? The streets of Bellville?

Ideas are floating all around us in the sky all the time. I'd be lying if I pretended to know where they came from. Influences are so varied it's really hard to pinpoint a certain one, but we all try replicate the things that make us feel good, whether it be art, music etc.


Despite various influences, you still describe yourself as mainly a rock ‘n roll act. What, would you say, is the essence of rock ‘n roll nowadays, and especially in South Africa?

The essence of rock and roll nowadays is not about guitars or blues scales, but more about getting people amped. For example, the electronic duo Justice could arguably be one of the most rock 'n' roll acts of our time.

You're releasing your debut album, Gold, this October. Tell us more about the title. Is it wishful thinking?

It's due for release on the 19th of October. It is indeed wishful thinking, yes, but who is going to believe in a band that doesn't believe in itself? It's not really meant to be taken that literally, it's more just us being stoked with a product that we worked really hard on. "It's gold."

Making music is hard work. What else takes time out of Thieve's members' days? Studying or working?

A couple of the members are finishing up their studies, but besides that, we pretty much get up to the same things as any other young suipgatte.

Let's pretend we're in a perfect world where the band doesn't have to work or study, is living in a mansion and starring in a reality show. Who lives in the mansion with you and why?

I think we'd have to turn the mansion into a backpackers just to ensure a constant flow of interesting individuals.

So where can we check you guys playing live soon? Are you touring with the new album?

We're playing Rocking the Daisies on the 10th of October, Stellies at Bohemia on the 15th, then it's a nationwide tour after the release of the album on the 19th.

Also check out Thieve's fanpage on Facebook.