Last week we had the official release of a brand new Straatligkinders album, entitled Verdwyn. The album, the band’s first new offering in 6 years, comes after the release of the first single from the album, Wonder, on 2 November.

The album was recorded in the band’s town of origin, Potchefstoom, as well as Johannesburg and Pretoria from August this year. The first song on the album was written in June by frontman Bouwer Bosch, and immediately the music portrayed a new direction for the band. The band continued to write the rest of the album for the following 3 months, with recording taking a total of 6 weeks. For the album, the band chose to work with 7 producers, namely Ewald Jansen van Rensburg, Carlo de Villiers, Rudolph Willemse, Peach van Pletzen, Stefan Swart, Bouwer Bosch and Johan Oelofsenn.

“The inspiration for the album was time. How much time changes people, changes life and perspectives. How we grew as people.” – Bouwer Bosch.

A recurrent inspiration throughout the album was the life experiences of the band members throughout the last 6 years and all the changes which come with growing up. Straatligkinders describe their main challenge with the new album as the quest to marry their heavy rock sound with more popular pop angles and melodies heard on radio today.

“When it comes to music, it’s not about selling out, it’s about buying in so we decided to make music without compromising on our voice and what we want to say. Growing older you have to unlearn a lot of stuff from your younger years, so unlearning was a big part of this album with regards to the way we thought about songwriting and recording. We just open to do things differently this time.” says Bouwer.

Wanting to serve the songs rather than serving themselves, the signature Straatligkinders raw and emotional lyrics as well as melodies are still present on the band’s 6th studio offering. They are known to write with their hearts on their sleeves and have always prided themselves in their guitar hooks and big drum sound, as can still be heard on VERDWYN. Fans can look forward to catchy, honest, raw and relevant music – some of the most personal songs the band have written in their career thus far.

With that said, we had a chat with Bouwer from Straatligkidners…

Hey Bouwer. Thanks for your time ahead of the album release. A new Straatligkinders album… Christmas came early 😉 How excited are you on the release of Verdwyn?

Sheesh, we have not been this excited in 6 years. We worked for about 4 months on the album and that is a long time, we normally worked a lot faster but the time factor really paid off this time we feel.

What can people expect from Verdwyn?

Emotional lyrics, catchy melodies and just great producing from our different producers. The challenge of a 6 year break is that a lot of things change in die music industry, “rock” as a genre is not popular anywhere in the world so the challenge was to write songs that are true to yourself but also reflect how you can change with the times without losing yourself of giving up integrity.

The music video for Wonder looked like a ton of fun. What was the inspiration behind the video and the song?

I was always fascinated with that late 60’s era of television and music. So the idea was “what would Straatligkinders look like in the late 60’s” – that was the vibe for the photoshoot as well.

Streaming platforms are taking over the industry at the moment, making music more accessible to the world. Are you guys all for it or still prefer physical copies of albums?

We definitely prefer streaming. Your music gets to places where it was never been before. The fact that our music is in peoples pockets is something very personal. People carry your album with them wherever they go and they can share it more easily as well. Sharing is caring after all. Songs are business cards to get people to your shows so people can download songs but the can never download a T-shirt.

What has been the absolute best advice you have received on your musical journey?

Always surround yourself with people better than you, its free education.

After the release of Verdwyn, what is next for Straatligkinders?

We just want to take the songs all over the place. Start touring again soon and just be the best band we can possibly be again.

Any last words for the fans of Straatligkinders?

Thank you for giving us a chance to be musicians in the first place. Never forget that you are our employer.

Photos by Werner Botha