Park Acoustics in association with Southern Comfort presents Aking, Klopjag and friends. As the year is slowly drawing to an end, we get ready for the second last Park Acoustics of the year with Aking, Klopjag, Georgetown, Bacchus Nel, Deon Bakkes and the Stolen Horses and Dj Legend. Comedy will have you laughing with Martin Davis(UK), Kraai Du Toit, Mojak Lehoko. Here is the lekker line-up for the day! 10:00 Gates open 11:00 Deon Bakkes and the Stolen Horse 12:05 Bacchus Nel 13:10 Georgetown 14:15 Klopjag 15:30 Aking 16:30 DJ Legend Sunset Comedy Stage 16:45 – 18:00 Martin Davis(UK) Kraai Du Toit Mojak Lehoko. With that said, I had a chat with Hennie van Halen from aKing. Hi there! I’ve been a huge aKING fan since your debut album, Dutch Courage in 2008. One thing I’ve noticed is there is distinct changes with every new release. Is that a deliberate decision or is it merely a reflection of where you are as a band at that stage? First of all, thanks for the support through all the years! Our sound has kind of changed along with our tastes in music. We all listen to a wide variety of styles and genres and every now and then we come across a song or a band that inspires us to try and create a sound that we haven’t explored before. In short, you could say it’s 50% self-indulgence and 50% changing tastes that influences our songwriting. When aKING started the musical landscape in South Africa looked a lot different than it does today. Has the change in landscape affected the dynamic of the band in any way? Perhaps a change in influences for the members? The biggest change in the music industry, not only in SA but the entire world, has been the advent of online music consumption. I think it has definitely changed the way we “market” the band. People are online for 8 hours a day, on average, looking at Facebook & Instagram. The best part about this change has to be the connection that can be made with our audience. You never used to be able to gauge what people think of your latest release until you play a show. Now you release a video online or a download link to your new single and within a matter of minutes people are sharing opinions and forwarding it to their friends. This would never have been possible before everything became digital. What are your opinions on the current state of the alternative music scene in South Africa? This question is difficult to answer because everyone has an opinion and to try and distill that into one cohesive thought is impossible. I’m assuming the question is set to be about a certain style of music being more or less popular in the mainstream. In my opinion, “alternative” music is alive and well in SA and it’s exciting to see new and interesting bands coming to the forefront. People seem to like compartmentalizing musicians. If you’re in a rock band, you can’t release a polished pop album, but a slow ballad is fine. An EDM producer isn’t taken seriously when he picks up a guitar, but most rappers have full bands nowadays. It’s this hypocracy regarding genres and styles that limits a lot of really talented musicians in achieving commercial/mainstream success. Your latest release, Morning After dropped in 2014. With Snake also being in Fokofpolisiekar, and them releasing Selfmedikasie and embarking on this huge tour, are aKING taking it a bit slower at the moment or are the other members still working it in his absence? The two bands have always worked alongside each other without the need for a back seat. We synchronize our calendars and try and accommodate each other as much as we can. Sometimes that means we can’t play shows on the same date in different cities, but those instances are quite rare. First prize is when we get booked to play the same event. Are there any young or up-and-coming local bands that you guys reckon people should take note of? There are too many to mention, but here are a few. Young Hands, Retro Dizzy, We are Charlie, Hardebaard, Moondunes Snake is obviously in Fokofpolisiekar and Andrew is in Thieve, but are there any other projects the members of the band are involved in? Hennie produces some minimal-electro in his spare time as well as working on a reggae project. Laudo has collaborated with a few other artists, featuring as a vocalist or songwriter or both. Morning After was released three years ago already. Have you started planning a follow-up yet, or what is the plan for the near-future for aKING? We are in the process of writing a new album to be released in 2018, but I can’t give you any more details than that. Just know that it is in the works! Thanks for the chat. We’ll see you at Park Acoustics this weekend.