Southern Wild, a four-piece Rock band from Cape Town was founded by long time musician David van Vuuren and joined by Julian van Rensburg, Alex Smillie and Dylan Hunt. They have just released their debut album Lead Role In A Classic Horror with Raiven Hunter as co-producer. Marelise Jacobs spoke to David about their album and pursuing what they love to do most - making music.
What is the meaning behind the name of the album?
David: There are two specific songs on the album, one being Lead Role and the other In a classic horror movie. Basically the album is a concept album, and it is based on that timeless struggle about how we all have the lead role in a classic horror. I mean that in terms of how we wake up and we are living through the mundane. A lot of the population are just trying to survive and not doing what they love. Having the lead role in a classic horror is basically penetrating all those thoughts and exploring all of those feelings. It is a very vast concept, it is not just about one thing but all of the feelings and all of the experiences one goes through in everyday life. Basically the album is about trying to find what you love and actually pursuing it against all odds.
Staying in that line of thought, I saw your Facebook post about what the struggle it has been in the past and keeping on doing what you love to do. I take it then you have broken through the mundane?
David: I am working a day job but I am also working towards music full time. Music is like a seasonal thing as well, it is difficult but I spend all of my spare time and work tirelessly after hours on my music, every spare moment I have. The thing is, as long as you are trying to work towards what you love in this life, at least then you are trying your best. That is what we are trying to do. The album is acknowledging the reason why you are on this earth, knowing what things make you truly happy and pursuing those things.
“...There are always these forces holding you back from doing what you really love, the album is about breaking through that, about fighting for what you believe in...” - David van Vuuren, Southern Wild.
Against all of these financial constraints that you experience, whatever circumstance you are in. There are always these forces holding you back from doing what you really love, the album is about breaking through that, about fighting for what you believe in. We are trying to say that the only way that we will find happiness is the acknowledgement that we all are in the same boat. Everyone thinks that their problems are their own, but that is not the truth. I feel like there are a lot of people going through the same thing, it’s not like my problems are unique to the world.
Raiven Hunter was the producer on the album, how did you get together?
David: It was special from the word go. I met him by chance through my cousin one night and found out he has a recoding studio called Popsical Studios. We worked together on filming some live sessions and that was very successful. We then realised if we are going to do an EP, we might as well to the whole thing. The relationship was really awesome from the start. We all have a lot of things in common and he became like a fifth member in the band. He would bring so much to the table in terms of his knowledge. We wanted to make an album that sounds very real, almost like having our live shows on an album and he really captured so beautifully. From being the head engineer he progressed to co-producer on the album, he really did add so much.
One of the songs on the album, Darkness at my heels, has a very melancholy yet beautiful vibe to it. What is the story behind it?
David: That was actually one of the first songs I wrote when I came to Cape Town. We moved from Durban and Plumstead was the first place we lived in when we moved here. We were catching a train to and from work every day. It is basically a song about our relationship and the struggle we were going through at the time on a personal level. Adjusting to a new city, being alone here in Cape Town. At that time we didn’t have much family here and it was like a whole new world. It was also about, as I said, just working in order to survive. The song is like a conversation with the person that I love and how we need to realise what we have and what we are capable of.