In a matter of weeks, Belgian death metal band Aborted will be returning to South Africa after having performed here for the first time earlier this year at Witchfest 2015. The local promoter will be hosting two shows, this time including not only Gauteng but also a show in Cape Town. Durban was also to receive a tour date, but had to unfortunately be cancelled on account of venue closure. We were fortunate enough to get some first-hand commentary about Aborted‘s previous South African experience and what is expected upon their return.
“We’re not very familiar with things there, so we are very much looking forward to it. I know we were also talking about doing shark cage diving and safaris and all those things that are impossible to do over here; as much also actually meeting people, fans, and getting to know what the scene and life is like over there from first-hand rather than what we see online or hear in the news.” ~ Sven de Caluwé (vocals, Aborted)
Having spent around seven years living in and operating out of Israel before returning to Belgium last year, we wanted to hear from Sven about how what he experienced in South Africa at Witchfest compared to shows by the band at home.
“I have been a little out of touch with the Belgian local scene for a few years until I returned last year. I would say people are way less jaded and more stoked about shows and overseas bands in South Africa than in Belgium. This said, for us we have always had awesome shows in Belgium and we love our home crowd.” ~ Sven de Caluwé
Sven went on to describe how it differs to play in parts of the world where people are largely cut off from the main international tour circuits. He explains how, in central Europe or even in the US, people have so much choice available to them that they can get to experience what really matters to them often enough to not really need to get out and experience new things. This can be a great challenge for bands to overcome when trying to attract new fans.
“Where someone doesn’t really have the opportunity to see many international bands all that often, people that are not per se ‘fans’ of the band would still come and check you out.” ~ Sven de Caluwé
In comparing a festival event, like the Witchfest Urban Festival, versus a club gig like those which Aborted will play when they return to South Africa in August, we wanted to hear a little about the different dynamics in both performance and social aspects.
“We like both. The big stages and the festivals are cool, as you can run with a bigger production and it feels rewarding to play in front of big crowds. The club shows have their charm in the way that you are much more face-to-face with people; its more personal and it can get a lot more intense and fun in that way. We enjoy both but having the crazy club shows are really what we enjoy the best, I think.” ~ Sven de Caluwé
On the social front, Sven expects a big difference as well. At Witchfest, members of the band were seen mingling with the locals, even in the campsite. We asked if they enjoyed themselves doing so and if they would do again.
“Yeah, we did, of course! We drank and partied with people all night after the show. Before, we keep to ourselves and warm up etc, but once the show is done its easier to let go and enjoy whats actually going on around you. We always go into the crowd and talk to anyone because this is something a lot of bands forget: you are nothing without your fans. The fans make it possible for you to tour, sell albums, play festivals and what-not. There is no music scene without the bands and the fans; its just one big family to us and no one is above anyone.” ~ Sven de Caluwé
Of course, the final point of interest from us at M4A naturally would gravitate towards our local metalers. We wanted to know if Aborted had managed the time to see any local acts and if they had liked or mingled with anybody of interest at their previous visit.
“We did see a few of the bands on the day we played. I remember watching the band dressed in pig masks (Boargazm), and also the band that played right before us (Mind Assault). As far as the South African scene goes, I’ve known Groinchurn for ages. We didn’t really meet any local musicians; I don’t think they were hanging out much backstage. We met a few people in bands at the bar, all very cool dudes and we are stoked that we will get to see all the local bands this time around. It was a little tougher at Witchfest since all the internationals were friends of ours that we don’t often see, so we were also hanging out with them a bunch.” ~ Sven de Caluwé
And so as the build-up mounts for Aborted to return to South Africa, herewith the event details for both tour dates:
27 August – Cape Town, live at ROAR – facebook event page
Junkyard Lipstick, Beeldenstorm, Thread Of Omen
29 August – Gauteng, live at Bassline – facebook event page
Bleeding Spawn, Insidious Reign, Bloodbeast Diabolus Incarnate, Spectral Realm
Tickets for Aborted and other shows can be acquired directly from the promoter at their own Witchdoctor Productions website.
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