Raptorbaby are a 5 piece progressive metal band from Pretoria, Gauteng. We recently caught up with them on opening for Canada-based Protest the Hero on their South African tour, gaining a new vocalist, and anticipation for the Emalyth Arts Expo.
M4A: Looking at your resume of gigs, Protest the Hero is one of the biggies, is it not? How did you feel when you were approached by Turning Tricks Entertainment to open for the band?
Paul: The feeling was incredible, I had always hoped I could share in the excitement of Protest the Hero with my raptorbrothers after they last toured here and I opened for them with Underbelly. It is indeed a dream come true.
Vince: Well when we heard that Protest were coming back for a second tour we all jumped at the chance to play with them. this is definitely the biggest show I’ve played in my career and I’m very grateful to Duncan Bell and Turning Tricks Entertainment for the opportunity.
M4A: Are you big Protest the Hero fans?
Doug: I’m a huge fan of Protest, and our approach to writing is much like theirs, flowing and winding progressions rather than simple verse chorus structures. The difference is that their musicality is insane, their guitarists make me feel like an ant trying to play a ukulele in comparison. To open for them is such a privilege!
Craig: Protest are a huge influence to me personally, their musicality and writing style is inspiration to how music should be captured in this … *clears throat* Genre. A fan through and through.
Vince: Honestly, I’ve been the biggest PTH fan since they released their first album Kezia back in the day. I hadn’t heard any music like that before hearing that album so they’ve had a huge influence on me and my musical taste.
M4A: Your vocalist Vince joined the band in January this year. How many shows have you performed since then and how has having a new frontman changed the band? Do people like the new Raptorbaby?
Craig: Vince has played 5 gigs with us so far and the energy this guy throws out every night, even at practice is something else. He has evolved the sound and the performance of the music beyond what I thought possible. A really important addition to where we are headed.
Paul: Vince has added a fresh energy and his talent and creativity inspires us to be more active and perform to the best of our abilities. It is an honour to work with him.
M4A: You released the single “Atlantis” a few months back on Soundcloud. What was the response to this track, and do you have plans to record more soon?
Doug: The response to “Atlantis” was huge, we weren’t really sure what to expect, but as the first song with Vince on vocals, it became clear to us very quickly during production that we were shooting far above our earlier material. All credit goes to Michael Kyriakou for doing such a great job on production. We’ve just finished working on two new tracks, Arena and The Lost, which we’ll be producing with Mike after the Protest gig, and we have an album planned for the end of the year. Our only obstruction to recording is time, we all have day jobs and families, so getting the scheduling right is a challenge.
Vince: Well we recorded Atlantis before even playing a show as the new unit. The response has been epic, and people really seem to dig the new intensity. We have 3 new songs we plan to record very soon, and since they have had inputs from the full band they really portray the new direction in which we plan to take the band.
M4A: You are one of the headlining acts of the Rapture edition of the Emalyth Arts Expo. Have you performed at this festival before?
Paul: Twice in fact, and both times were a pleasure! Sashquita Northey has proven time and time again that she is an asset to our scene, a fantastic organiser and the dream of uniting arts and music in the alternative scene seems to be a great success every year.
Vince: I haven’t performed at the Arts Expo before but I’ve only heard good things about the festival. Awesome venue and a truly spectacular line up.
M4A: What bands are you most looking forward to seeing?
Craig: I’m looking forward to seeing Oh God again, such a tight and powerful band, Hokum, Boargazm, Amber Light Choices and definitely Bile of Man.
Paul: The line-up is fantastic! Oh God!, Boargazm, Hokum, Conduit, Deity’s Muse… just about everyone!
Vince: Oh God, Red Helen, Boargazm, Hokum, Haggis & Bong, Sacrotrofia and GoatThrone.
M4A: Besides the bands, what else sounds cool about the Emalyth Arts Expo?
Paul: The art, the creative and free atmosphere, the sideline shows (fire dancing, sword fighting etc…)
Stream “Atlantis” below: