Hail Bacon(!), the signature line of intergalactic space metal band Boargazm, is a slogan well known to many metal heads in South Africa. Having formed in late 2012 the 4 piece act hailing from Pretoria have completed over 5 national Tours, 4 international tours, and recorded two full length albums- The Aporkolypse and The Baconing. They have also performed at many of South Africa’s most popular festivals including Oppikoppi and Witchfest and opened for some amazing international bands including Sepultura and Fleshgod Apocalypse.
We caught up with the Pig Whisperers to find out more about the history of the band, upcoming shows and their plans for the future.
M4A: A little birdie told us that you keep a record of all your shows. How many have you played to date?
Chris: I can’t remember. 666 Shows.
Heine: 93. Some cool places include Mozambique, Botswana, Kenya, and Ecuador.
M4A: What have been your top five most memorable shows and why?
Heine: In 2013, Quitofest, and Nairobi Rock Fest. In 2014, STRAB, Oppikoppi, and opening for Sepultura. Those 5 have been my favourite so far, it’s just been a huge honour to play those because of the sheer size and sentiment, it’s a big challenge and great triumph for us, and it raises the bar for us each time.
Chris: STRAB, Oppikoppi, Botswana, Kenya, Witchfest, Sepultura, man, the list goes on… Every show has something unique and special about them.
M4A: Boargazm is arguably one of South Africa’s most popular metal bands at the moment; you guys are playing headlining slots at great events and selling your Hail Bacon shirts faster than a bacon burger stand at a redneck festival. Tell us a little about what you have done to get where you are.
Heine: To have a product from the start helps a lot, we’ve had an album and merch from gig 1, so that helps to get the word out there quickly, and generates some funds to tour. Touring is what helped us a lot in the start, constantly touring the coast and working very hard to have your gigs on a great standard. Also, it helped very much that the four of us have played and toured together for years in a band before this one, so the synergy was in place. We’ve had good friends help us out along the way when a member or two couldn’t make it for an important gig here and there, by filling in for them on numerous occasions. We’ve tried to keep it fresh as well with a fun theme and concept.
Chris: We have toured relentlessly and made our own albums. Keeping costs down and taking music to the people. You won’t hear this music as much on the radio, so through years of gigging/partying/networking it has paid off.
M4A: Continuously touring around the country has certainly contributed to your popularity. How do you go about putting these tours together and what is the experience like?
Heine: We are very fortunate to have an exceptionally good band manageress, Sashquita, who handles all our bookings, finances, merchandising, you name it. She is our 5th member and has been with us from the start. We usually plan everything together and then she does the dirty work. After that, you can imagine a holiday with your three best friends and every night is a great party with new faces in strange places, making great memories and friends along the way. Although it’s still hard work if you lug your own PA around and do the driving.
Chris: Sashquita Northey helps us out a great deal with the tour booking and management. Bands that play with us in the different towns also help out a lot with marketing, gear, etc. We usually travel with our own Backline and PA. Merch is very important, as the metal fans buy a lot, and this can help make or break a tour financially. The only irritation is that tours don’t last forever. Serious downers after every tour.
Heine: Our concept is basically a space opera about a battle between mankind and the pig-people throughout time, where our first album, The Aporkolypse dealt with the invasion on earth, and The Baconing is about a rebel uprising of enslaved humans on a hostile planet. The next one is called Armagammon.
Chris: We’ve written about 5 or 6 tunes, probably only need one or 2 more. We’re going to release EPs and more frequently. The Oracle told us to do it like this.
M4A: You’re playing the Emalyth Arts Expo on the Friday evening this year. Have you played here before? What has the experience been like at the previous shows, and what do you anticipate for this year?
Heine: We have played them before, each year better than the next. It’s really grown from a day gig feel to a solid festival. This year will be even bigger and better. I’m looking forward to seeing Orusta, the sword fighting spectacle. You have to see it to believe it.
Chris: I love the combination of various art platforms. It has grown steadily for the last couple of arts expos. Very excited. Shred, Art, Party. Awesome!
Heine: I’d have to go for the bands from out of town that I haven’t seen before. The Overmind, Ohgod, and Beeldenstorm. I’ve also heard good things about Blame The Architects. Gonne be fun to see our buddies from East London again, Amidst The Ashes!
Chris: Bleeding Spawn, Haggis & Bong, Theatre Runs Red, Raptorbaby and Red Helen.
M4A: The Emalyth Arts Exhibition often features some weird and macabre art pieces. Have you considered buying some of the pieces?
Heine: I have actually bought some pieces at the expo! Cicero (our bassist), has also displayed his work there.
Chris: I would love to buy some of the pieces, but being a full time musician makes it hard to buy anything other than booze and food. I support Cicero, hy verf mooi.