Rock veterans Akkedis release new album
Akkedis have been part of the SA rock scene for 20 years, and after a long wait, the band has recently released their brand new album, Onder Ou Tafelberg. We spoke to guitarist and vocalist Arthur Dennis about this new release and their recently completed tour. The album’s title, the band says, “…pays homage to those who forged their lives in the streets of District 6 and can be heard in the first single from the album, ‘Musiek van Hanover Straat'”.
Your latest album, Onder Ou Tafelberg, has been seven years in the making. Would you say that being able to take your time with this release has enhanced your sound?
Yes, we had no rush, so we could use more instruments, even figuring how to play melodica, and I made up my own tunings on the mandolin. There are many differences from previous Akkedis albums, especially more slide guitar on the tracks, giving a blues feel to all our different genres.
Would you say that your sound has changed in comparison to your previous album?
The sound is different [because] we had [SAMA-award winning producer] Peter Pearlson guiding us in all sorts of directions. If it wasn’t for him it would have been a completely different album.
Does the band have a specific favourite song on the album?
“Ode Ana Ouma Grietjie Adams” is my favourite. It has a very distinct Griekwa sound. Rudi [Dennis, drummer] likes “Honky Tonk Swerwer” more (I think it’s because he can play slower on it!). AJ [Graham] leans more to “Bomskok Son” [which is] a very powerful track.
You went on tour to promote the album last month. What was the tour stop you most enjoyed playing?
The album draws on a variety of musical styles. How did you select which genres would be represented on the album?
I think we just wrote with varieties from previous albums in mind. Some were [influenced by] rock, some [by] more African music and some [by] real “Boere Capey” vibes. [We] put some reggae with the mix and there we went.
Watch a live clip of the track “Musiek van Hanoverstraat” here.