Author: Vernon Vice
Website of origin: Heavy Metal Panic
Sonja – vocals, backing vocals;
Paul – bass, guitar, keyboards, programming, backing vocals, production;
Ronnie – drums;
Patrick – guitar
This interview was conducted by Vernon Vice of Heavy Metal Panic in cooperation with Heavy Metal Panic and Metal4Africa. Other items from authors of either website will appear on both websites prior to WinterFest’14.
HMP: Terminatryx, it’s an honor to be with you guys. Paul, legend, everybody says you’re the legend.
Paul: Don’t believe everything you hear…
HMP: Patrick, Sonja, Ronnie, welcome. With everything that has happened over the past few months, your album launch in the beginning of the year, in April I think it was…
Sonja: In April yes.
HMP: …you featured in a lot of media publications with the last one in Die Burger and then the Sunday Independent, Heavy Metal Panic, Metal4Africa…
Paul: Kultur Magazine…
Paul: But ja, Playboy was before that time…
Ronnie: I know, but I just had to mention that…
HMP: With that media exposure, coming up to Metal4Africa’s WinterFest’14, where you guys are co-
headlining with Maximum Carnage from Johannesburg, Strident and Ing. Do you feel it has placed you on a sort of a momentum?
Paul: They think we all have these buddies that just do it for us.
Sonja: And it’s really not the case, I think like anything else, it’s a thing where you have to make the right connections and you have to work your story to get any sort of attention…
Paul: …and you sometimes have to nag people to do it.
Sonja: Stop interrupting me please… anyways, so for me, I’m always happy when someone does something or features us or places us on a cover. That in itself is like you’ve accomplished something. It’s always when we get some attention in the press, that in itself, I don’t really feel it has a buildup. In the past we’ve had lots of press as well. It just adds to the whole thing of getting people to know who you are.
Paul: But it is not like we won’t do it or wouldn’t do it because we don’t expect there to be a buildup to it. It still remains alternative music which not everyone will get or want to get, they might like it but some people are too closed to even give themselves that option. But I think it’s just something that we always do whenever we, I mean, just like with our new music video as well, we just nail the whole press, Facebook, Twitter, everyone everywhere, so that people can actually know about it because what’s the point in creating these things.
Sonja: Yeah, Metal4Africa has got strict criteria; if you don’t make a little bit of a splash…they don’t really…
Paul: “WHAT’S HAPPENING, HAVEN’T YOU RELEASED SOMETHING YET? THEN NO SLOT FOR YOU.”
Patrick: That’s true, that’s true.
Sonja: That’s the right way to do it and that’s why Patrick has a thing that works really well. You have to work to get on that stage at WinterFest. It’s not friends sorting out other friends and that gives it integrity and credibility.
Paul: And you have to keep working afterwards because some young bands might think: “Hey, we got a slot at Metal4Africa, and now we’re sorted forever”.
Ronnie: It’s always a continuous process, I mean, self marketing, self promotion. We’ve got all the platforms now, Twitter, YouTube and as Sonja said, we’re very fortunate to have a lot of people surrounding us that helps us with things. It’s always a lot of hard work but things tend to come together and it’s sort of an organic process. It’s not really a big, or as I see it as the drummer, it’s not really a big build up, it’s always a constant. Because you always have to do things.
Patrick: You can also say that the reason why Terminatryx got a lot of press coverage for the album launch is because Terminatryx is in the habit of being in the press. Whereas a lot of bands expect that when they release something, that it’s just going to happen for them. But Terminatryx works hard to constantly stay in the spotlight so to speak, so when there’s something to really talk about then the press actually gets quite enthusiastic about it.
Paul: Just for awareness via all the press, whenever we post something somewhere, people are saying cool they are looking forward to it. For example, when the Winterfest event page went up, I posted it and some people said that they haven’t seen us before and they actually want to make it this time. That’s also encouraging.
HMP: Patrick, Sonja mentioned the buddy-buddy effect that people might think about. Now you are the event coordinator for Metal4Africa. The fact that you are playing for Terminatryx and it is at WinterFest, do you think people might say: “Nah, he’s playing for Terminatryx, and he’s organizing WinterFest’14…”
Patrick: Ja, people will make that connection, and it’s basically a symptom of the uninformed. People like to draw their own conclusions about things that they don’t specifically know about, so they’ll say: “that guy is playing in that band, why is his band playing, it’s obvious”. It’s actually not that obvious because I’m playing for another band, who also gets side lined for these events regularly and I mean, this WinterFest coming up is the sixteenth Metal4Africa event we’re doing. This will only be Terminatryx’s third time.
Sonja:This will be our first WinterFest appearance.
Paul: We’ve done SummerFest twice.
Patrick: The other band, Mind Assault, we’ve now sat out two years of this event, so there are rules in place and I mean a lot of people say: “How do we get on the lineup?” The bands I play for are subject to the same rules, that’s why we don’t play every single one, I mean, in theory we could do that, but in principle that would be quite…crap.
Paul: You also want to vary the lineup constantly.
Patrick: It’s about maintaining the integrity of something that’s supposed to have longevity. If it became “club elite”, where you know the right person or happen to be in the right band then I don’t think those Metal4Africa events would have continued for as long as they have. It has to have the trust of the community, this is something that’s legit and it’s not just for the select few.
HMP: Being WinterFest and looking at this year’s weather, I have to mention this, it has been pretty @#$. What do you think will happen?
Patrick: We’re not too concerned, it’s quite funny, last year’s WinterFest’13 was the first time it ever rained on the day at the event. So touch wood it’s not going to become a habit of raining every time, but in the event of rain, it doesn’t really impact the event negatively. The bands are always on the inside stage, it has to be because Klein Libertas Theatre is in the middle of the dorp. It is an eight-hour stretch of live music, so to have them on the outside stage would surely cause the venue to be shut down.
Paul: They have the DJs outside but obviously at a much lower volume than the bands.
Patrick: We have the indoor entertainment area which is the live music and we have the outdoor which is the DJs, burlesque dancers and all sorts of odds and ends, merchandise and competitions. The outdoor area is also undercover, we’ve had previous years where we got a big tent to cover a very large area, but now they’ve actually build a…what would you call it…
Paul: L A P A.
Sonja: A canopy.
Patrick: Ja, they built a large canopy. Ja, we’re not really worried about the weather.
Paul: But also for us, we’ve played SummerFest twice and it was about 42 degrees each time and you’re inside and you’re wearing your coats and PVC and leathery stuff so I’m looking forward to a WinterFest.
Sonja: Yes, it’s going to be much more comfortable, especially with how we dress.
Patrick: It’s actually going to suit for what Terminatryx does to play at WinterFest’14.
HMP: What can we expect from this performance coming up?
Paul: About five from the new album.
Sonja: It’s mostly going to be new songs, but I think for the people that know us, the remixed version of Virus people like it. We always include things that we know that people are going to like, but we have added new stuff to expose people to. We were sort of contemplating on taking some of the new songs (like Medusa), out but Patrick made a good point in what he said, that people are not used to it because they don’t know it, so we’ve added it back to our set.
Paul: And also we’re including some of the remixed songs we play live, it’s a bit more electronic whilst heavy enough, we just want to be a bit more different. We’re already different than most of the bands on the bill but just to give the audience something that’s, you know, going from one metal core band to another you don’t often hear the difference. We just want to make it a bit more broader than a regular set.
Ronnie: Even those songs from the remixed album, I bring a live drumming element into it, so it will very much be a varied set list but it will have a very nice flow and it will still be very live and very powerful and that’s what people can expect, a good live performance even though there is electronic elements in it.
Paul: And if all goes well we’ll have our video rear projection sorted, we don’t always get to use that because most venues don’t have projector options. There’s not enough space or they don’t have projectors or we can’t put the screen up anywhere, so hopefully we’ll sort that out. It’s a synced up video rear projection that runs the entire set. Let’s say we play the song Shadow then the Shadow video will be on screen at the same time or any kind of weird stuff that we feel like putting up there.
HMP: Where do you guys see yourself in the near foreseeable future after Winterfest, because a lot of bands came from Metal4Africa and they went up a notch or two?
Ronnie: There’s still a lot, the album still needs to be promoted a lot. There’s still another music video that will be coming out…
Paul: Or five…
Ronnie: Or five or ten, so from what I can sort of see as the drummer, once again from the back, is just carrying on, on the path that we’re on.
HMP: You see a lot of things from the back.
Ronnie: I see everything but mainly Sonja’s ass. So I think it’s just sort of running with the album. It’s a strong album, the music video is strong and there’s great music videos coming and will sort of create its own traction, to have gigs that will go with it, so there is a year plan for it. When there is a show coming up like Winterfest, its part of a bigger picture, it ties in with a great music video and a great album and it’s a great platform to then come together. But the music does speak more volume.
Paul: The nature of the music is also kind of dark and dramatic and serious.
Ronnie: But we also do pay a lot of attention on the look, even though it might not be a lot of jumping around or crowd surfing, the look, we always discuss what needs to be worn and it must always be slightly different than the previous time. So we’re very aware and tentative to the look of it as well but obviously the main thing is the music.
HMP: Will you guys have merch at Winterfest?
Paul: Yes, we’re going to have our first album, our remix album, the new Shadow album probably about four different t-shirts, DVD.
HMP: Price range?
Paul: It will all be around the area of R100 per item.
HMP: Any last words from the silent man?
Patrick: Nee wat…
Paul: …that’s that then…
Sonja: If there’s one thing I want to say about Patrick, you can chase him around the block with mascara.
Paul: And nail polish…
Ronnie: …and contact lenses…
Paul: You can’t get a contact lens in Patrick’s eye.
Sonja: We’ve tried professional make-up artists, you just can’t get a lens in those eye sockets.
Patrick: Ag, it’s not my comfort zone. It’s not something I did much of growing up. But starting to play with Terminatryx, some years after I have already been performing elsewhere, that kind of stuff is a very new and foreign concept to me.
Paul: It’s also kind of like a performance and a production so you do these things to enhance it. You don’t always like it but it helps the performance, it helps the whole of it.
Patrick: Sonja was proposing black nail polish, which I’m fine with, but if I can’t wash it off immediately after I play, I will pull my nails out!
HMP: Thank you very much for the time. Best of luck for WinterFest’14 and keep yourselves warm.
Terminatryx: Thanks man, and we’ll see you there.
Terminatryx will appear on the WinterFest’14 stage at 23:20