Peasant: hardcore meets metal at SF17

Peasant 2016 press - by Jurie Neethling
Peasant 2016: photo by Jurie Neethling

Cape Town, South Africa: with the countdown to SummerFest’17 well underway, we are publishing a series of features on each band to appear on the line-up so that you can get to know them better. Today’s focus settles on Peasant, the power four-piece who are currently spearheading the city’s hardcore movement.

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Peasant became something out of nothing following the arrival of guitarist Pieter Jordaan in Cape Town after moving down from Gauteng in 2014. Formerly playing for well-known Gauteng band Conquerer, Pieter confesses to still having had an itch for live performance in his new living environment. After networking with mutual friends within his musical circles, work began on some demos and the band were ready for the stage by November of that year.

We asked Pieter what it was that he had come into at that time, arriving in a new city and starting from scratch, and how the scene looks now two-and-a-bit years later:

“I guess because we come from a hardcore background it felt as though besides Take Hand, there wasn’t really much going on in Cape Town at the time. Yes Sir! Mister Machine had just broken up and hardcore was very much a Joburg thing. At the time the idea was just to hopefully play to some decent shows in Cape Town, and I think from the onset the plan was to tour Joburg and Durban when we could, purely because they had more happening scenes than Cape Town did at the time. I think after the last couple tours we have done we can say Cape Town is pretty much on par at the moment with the rest of the country now which is awesome.” ~ Pieter Jordaan (guitar, Peasant)

The band has enjoyed some rich activity on the national scene, having performed with the likes of Comeback Kid and participated in no less than four national tours alongside international guests hosted by NoiseFix. The tours included Ashes (Belgium), Godmother (Sweden), Magrudergrind (USA) and most recently with Slander (Italy) all visiting South Africa.

“I guess the best by far was when we toured South Africa with Magrudergrind this previous July. It was a big deal for a band like us, and they’re such good dudes that its gonna be tough to top another local tour like that one.” ~ Pieter Jordaan

With so many adventures undertaken in the band’s relatively short live span, we wanted to find out more about the essence of what makes up Peasant. The name was originated by two former members, Pete (drums) and Byron (vocals) as as being reflective of some of the lyrical themes the band wanted to use in addressing certain issues.

“We’ve always had socially orientated songs about the city and its people, among other ideas, so it seemed to fit.” ~ Pieter Jordaan

Yet, even in this short time, the band has evolved, not only it’s musical style, but also with changes of faces where Pieter remains the only original founding member. The most recent inclusions being Keagan on bass, and a familiar face with Alain Marthezé formerly of Enmity taking up vocal duties.

“It seemed to happen around the time that we were undergoing a lot of changes in sound and approach, just before our tour with Magrudergrind, and I can’t say I’ve ever been more excited about making music with three people before.” ~ Pieter Jordaan

Pieter admits to the fact that all member changes come with their fare share of positives and negatives, and that listeners may also come and go at such times of change; however, he feels that the current Peasant line-up is strong. Already, the proof is in the proverbial pudding with the recent release of an EP titled III: No Love which he regards as a step forward from previous material. Peasant is also promised to be releasing yet another EP somewhere towards the middle of 2017.

In the meantime, we are excited to be welcoming Peasant back to the M4A Stage on 04 February for SummerFest’17. In spite of how closely related the music of Metal bands and Hardcore bands tend to be, the dynamic between the scenes is different in each city. Pieter feels that in Cape Town the gaps between genres seem larger and both Peasant and we at M4A are eager to see those gaps closed.

“I think with the Cape having such a good Metal scene, Hardcore is kind of off the map for a lot of heavy listeners in the area. With Joburg, because the overall scene is smaller, the bands are forced to play a lot more cross-genre shows up there which means a lot more of growth and exposure for both fans and listeners. Even though I do think it is changing slowly, it would be great for more of that to happen in the Cape.

With that said, we are very excited to return to another M4A show! The last WinterFest we played was a real winner and we encourage everyone from the Hardcore, Punk and Metal scenes to come check out how M4A does it.” ~ Pieter Jordaan

Peasant will play fourth out of the nine-band line-up at 19h15. Headlining the show will be the Cape Town based international Wacken Metal Battle winners of 2016, Zombies Are My Girlfriend, back to back with Pretoria’s Boargazm which has just returned from it’s South American tour. For other highlights, check out the full press release and join the official facebook event page for updates.

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