The SAMMA Chronicles 2017: Nominee Guilty Listening Pleasures

Swedish pop group: ABBA
Swedish 70s pop group: ABBA

Johannesburg, South Africa: Introducing the ultimate blackmail source-list. Well, only in some cases… From Aqua to Enya, some of our local Metal celebrities from the SAMMA 2017 nominee bands have revealed their guilty listening pleasures for everyone to see. Metal in the forefront, obscurity behind the scenes. What is interesting to question is: do these somehow translate into the sounds we hear and love from the bands we support?

Rock The Metal Pot

We have some guys who stick to mostly Metal and Rock, although we may perhaps have our suspicions that they are just not revealing their guilty pleasures.

“Except for Mark who is pretty much ‘Metal or bust’, the rest of us have a pretty wide range of music we listen to. You’d be surprised at what you would find on our playlists at any given time. Plenty of blackmail material but we shall leave that for another interview.” ~ Robyn Ferguson (guitar/vocals, Adorned in Ash)

“Suicide Silence, Whitechapel and Carnifex – I recently got into these Deathcore bands but that’s where it ends. I’m not really a Core guy (except Grindcore) and it never influences my music. I keep the Thrash Old School and pure.” ~ Ash Seetharam (bass guitar, Disarmageddon)

“Influences range from bands like The Faceless, Deicide, Man Must Die, Killswitch Engage, Periphery, Slayer, Dying Fetus, Breakdown of Sanity… wow, the list can go on and on. Each band member has very different tastes in the Rock and Metal we listen to, so it all gets thrown in and you can hear it in our Music.” ~ Kevin Kirkland (guitar, Nerve Zero)

“I guess it’s not really guilty, but I know the guys aren’t fans of Djent and Deathcore, which was what my previous band was all about. ‘Purists’ will frown, but some of the most visceral riffs in the scene these days come from Deathcore acts, and odd time meters excite me. Our most recent song, ‘The Disciple’, has the catchy riffs and tastes of irregular timing that I love.” ~ Damian Buys (guitar, PSordid)

“My guilty listening pleasure would have to be Pink, early Nu Metal as well as Bullet For My Valentine’s one track, Tears Don’t Fall. Nu Metal definitely had an influence on some of my playing style.” ~ Tim Botes (bass/backing vocals, PSordid)

“I’m a big Muse and Cake fan outside of my usual Metal sphere, those bands have always had a really prominent bass guitar presence and intricacy, which has definitely influenced how we approach writing bass in clean sections of our music, where bass has a chance to pop out, keeping things interesting and heavy.” ~ Doug Jenkinson (guitar, Raptorbaby)

German 80s pop duo: Modern Talking

We have some fans of old school Metal, with a little mix of Pop and Rock.

“Not really guilty pleasures but I really enjoy old school Metal and Rock. Everything from The Doors, The Beatles and Queen to Sabbath, Zeppelin and Maiden. I love them all. Maybe not all of them have specifically influenced my song writing but they definitely all inspire me a lot.” ~ Shaun Manley (guitar, All We’ve Known)

“KISS, Journey, Ratt, Guns ‘n Roses, AC/DC and 80’s rock and Pop hits. Music that my wife and kids love, lol. None of them have influenced my song writing directly yet but anything is possible.” ~ Van666 Alberts (guitar/vocals, BloodBeast)

“We all have our guilty pleasures; from 80’s Synth Pop classics like Modern Talking, 90’s Grunge giants like Alice in Chains to Indy Rock bands like Grizzly Bear. They don’t really influence our sound. We look to bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Motörhead or Twisted Sister for inspiration.” ~ Raven Chaos (guitar, Deadline)

“Guilty pleasure has to be 70’s soft rock band Bread.” ~ Andrew Viviers (guitar/vocals, Monolith)

And then there are a few who throw in just a little something different to the Metal and Rock mix.

“Currently on my playlist is All Shall Perish, Chris Daughtry, Wage War, John Mayer, I see Stars, Red, Fit for a King, Northlane, Demon Hunter, Bury Your Dead, A Day to Remember, Of Mice and Men, Mae, Dayshell and Slipknot. I am constantly drawing influence from lots of bands that I listen to, and I don’t believe that genre and style are set in stone. As musicians we should always be evolving, and shouldn’t be afraid to do so!” ~ Joel Dickson (vocals, Last One Alive)

Danish 90s techno-pop band: Aqua
Danish 90s techno-pop band: Aqua

“We really only implement our death metal and extreme music favourites in our band. As for guilty pleasures… hell does Aqua count? Hahaha… nah, we all got our own sub genres that we listen to.” ~ Dominic Vorster (bass/vocals, Bleeding Spawn)

“I like fast paced songs, anything from Melodic Death to Grind to Hardcore; but then I also love weird Jazzy [email protected]#$, a big favourite of mine being a band called Trioscapes. I draw a lot of inspiration from Swedish Death, and the one drummer that’s probably had the biggest influence in my playing is Adrian Erlandsson from The Haunted and At The Gates.” ~ Francois Meyer (drums, DevilSpeak)

“I love me some Earth Wind and Fire, they will transport you to boogie wonderland.” ~ Christopher Paterson (guitar/vocals, Monolith)

“alt-J and Twenty One Pilots.” ~ Gareth Reed (guitar/backing vocals, Riddlebreak)

“alt-J is cool because they’re so strange but yeah, I guess for me it’s the old stuff of Kings of Leon, also Twenty One Pilots. Oh and Gorillaz, does it count as a guilty pleasure if you don’t feel guilty? I’m a sucker for anything with a good bassline, and unfortunately that means a lot of embarrassing stuff.” ~ Roushan van Niekerk (bass, Riddlebreak)

“We have such a wide musical taste among band members. It’s actually surprising we can create songs that even make sense! Our drummer is a Prog fanatic and also loves bands like Steely Dan and Frank Zappa. Our vocalist has an obsession with Tom Waits and our guitarist, Nocturne, loves his 80’s New Romantics like Alphaville. I think our obscure tastes definitely influence our playing styles but not so much our song writing. We are influenced more by other Metal bands. But then ironically when it comes to sitting down and creating riffs, lyrics, etc. we will more than likely draw on our unusual musical preferences for inspiration.” ~ Lilitu Caprinae (vocals, Theatre Runs Red)

American pop/rock star: Pink
2000s American pop/rock star: Pink

What was that?

Some band members, on the other hand, demonstrate a little bit of a mix in the musical proceedings and possibly stray from the expected in some cases.

“Currently it’s a mix between Sweeney Todd and Ruelle. I believe all music becomes an influence.” ~ Mikey Hawtrey (bass, Aimed at You)

“Very bad 80’s music. The really cheesy fun stuff! Don’t judge me. Also, anything that has a killer guitar riff, no matter what genre it falls under. I feel that my love for this type of music has taught me how to have fun with the music we make.” ~ Sam MacKintosh (vocals, Aimed at You)

“Pink and Robbie Williams. From a showman perspective, these guys influence me greatly, as they’re phenomenal performers on stage.” ~ Lionel Cawood (guitar, Aimed at You)

“Movie and Anime themes.” ~ Mpho Ramathe (vocals, Aimed at You)

“I myself enjoy 70’s Prog and Funk, Jazz, Fusion and a multitude of non-Metal music genres just as much as I enjoy my Metal. I can say they influence my bass playing, not a particular track we have done, just my playing in general; it has me trying to play a bass line that’s not the guitar riff but more the drum beat, the groove. That’s not always possible in Metal though, but I’ll always give it a go.” ~ Derrick Leppan (bass guitar, DevilSpeak)

“In this band we don’t really believe in the concept of guilty pleasures, but to answer your question – Alvin really enjoys some Huey Lewis and the News. Sashan’s very partial to Elton John’s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, Yokim taps his toes to Daft Punk and I’ve been known to cut a rug to The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’. I think everything you listen to or even just hear finds its way into your psyche and somehow morphs its way into your music subliminally.” ~ Wayne Boucher (vocals/guitar, Deity’s Muse)

“I really like ballads. The singing is always filled with such emotion. This does influence our style during the progressive, acoustic movements in some of our songs.” ~ Jay Troskie (vocals, Disarmageddon)

“I like Folk Acoustic Punk music like a band called Ghostmice. Lyrically it does influence my solo writing, but not really for our Thrash.” ~ Desmond Cook (drums, Disarmageddon)

“I sometimes listen to more Industrial music such as Pain and Lindeman every now and then. I also listen to classical music such as Vivaldi and Paganini, but I wouldn’t call it a guilty pleasure.” ~ Daniel Gerber (guitar, My Columbine)

“I’m a sucker for Old School Goth Rock and can’t resist some good Proggy Jazz, guilty pleasures abound with those two. Yeah, I’d definitely say the Jazz influences me a bit, I’ll sometimes hear a
chord or phrasing that makes me think ‘Damn that sounds metal as [email protected]#$’, every now and again I’ll throw some of those into arrangements.” ~ Sven Borgstrom (bass, My Columbine)

“Paul Young, some of Madonna’s songs and the occasional Blues.” ~ Dave Dippenaar (drum, PSordid)

“My guilty pleasures are Twenty One Pilots, Cypress Hill, Awolnation, ICP and Massive Attack. I enjoy a variety of music, it depends on what mood I am in. My emotion alters my music, but yeah, I do get ideas and different perspectives from listening to other artists. That’s the great thing about music for me, one can relate to so many situations in life, while driving or at a party.” ~ Gavin Chadwick (guitar, PSordid)

USA Dubstep superstar: Skrillex
USA Dubstep superstar: Skrillex

Drum N Bass and Dubstep seem to feature in more than one playlist.

“I love my electronic music; Dubstep, Drum N Bass, etc. I can appreciate any music as long as there’s meaning and feel to it and I think it all has an all-round effect on the tracks.” ~ Vaughn Botha (vocals, All We’ve Known)

“I’m really into Bass music and Rap lately. I’ve always had a love for this music as I think there is a stigma of electronic music being DJs pressing buttons when many people don’t realise there is a lot more going on than that. So yeah, anything Dance music oriented or music that has a good beat.” ~ Dill Jones (guitar, All We’ve Known)

“I won’t call them guilty pleasures, I like anything with great rhythms, whether it be a good old fashioned Pop song (a la Sting), Jazz or even the occasional Dubstep breakdown. But, my heart will always be with Metal and Hard Rock!” ~ Anton Alberts (drums, BloodBeast)

“I have quite a thing for Dubstep actually.” ~ Drikus Behrens (vocals, My Columbine)

“We all enjoy different elements of different genres and they do possibly influence our writing. Our bass man Andrew enjoys Drum N Bass and Classic FM. 80’s Synth Pop is enjoyed by Ryno. Old school Rock N Roll, Blues and Classical is often enjoyed by Estiaan. The likes of Jethro Tull, Nick Cave and Kansas is on Theo’s list. Classical giants such as Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff is Leon’s guilty pleasure. I enjoy some Synthwave, Progressive Rock, Metalstep and 80’s pop.” ~ Shelby Green (keyboards, Spectral Realm)

Say what?

Here come some of those revelations about secret loves…

“Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Enya. Only MJ from an influence perspective and even then minor.” ~ Mike Pierce (drums, Aimed at You)

“Late 90’s or early 00’s Pop Punk. I’m embarrassed to admit it but it’s a genre of music I really enjoy listening to occasionally. I enjoy the simplicity of the music and lyrics. Although the music is ridiculously catchy, it’s the nostalgia it brings that has awarded Pop Punk it’s place on my playlist. When I was younger, the soundtrack to just about every cheesy teenage movie had a Blink 182 or Simple Plan song in it.” ~ Garnet Muller (bass, BloodBeast)

“Guilty pleasures… hmmmm… well, if I have to name one that has influenced me and that I still listen to, it would be the band Creed, hahahahaha. Mostly because of Mark Tremonti being a monster of a guitarist and their songs/hooks were written so well. Another band, if I have to be entirely honest, that’s a guilty pleasure to listen to everyone once in a while is Nickelback. There I said it!!! Haha. Also their writing is brilliant. I can’t say if any of it’s influenced any of our songs or sound, but they have definitely influenced the way in which I see music.” ~ Allan Lancaster (guitar/backup vocals, Dirty Moonshine)

USA Rock group Nickelback
Love em. Hate em. Love to hate em: Nickleback

“I like Spanish Flamenco and Classical music. I also enjoy Synthetic Minimalism, which is like repetitive tonal ambience, created with classical instruments and electronic synthesizers – mainly used in film scores. Classical music influences my guitar solos and Flamenco influences many of the clean progressions we have in our songs.” ~ Matt Jordaan (guitar, Disarmageddon)

“When I’m alone in my car I listen to Chiptune. It’s basically music created using the sound cards of old video game consoles. Since I’m an avid gamer, I like game music scores.” ~ Nick Muller (guitar, Disarmageddon)

“I have this pregnancy soundtrack that is really just random sounds like the ocean and wind etc. It’s really soothing and its awesome to spin when I wanna unwind. Otherwise I have this obsession with BBC2 talk radio… no idea how that happened.” ~ Bobby Addison (guitar, Last One Alive)

“Well, I love Electro Swing like Caravan Palace, and Rap. Currently into Run The Jewels. The fast paced vocals style does feature in the music. Dane is into stuff like Pendulum, Prodigy, Toto, Coldplay, Depeche Mode and Michael Jackson. Andrew loves Eminem and Michael Jackson. Nuri loves some old school Gangster Rap and Louis enjoys Reggae like Marlon Asher.” ~ Thomas Theron (vocals, Megalodon)

“Dixen is a Karaoke King and is strangely very familiar and well versed in a surprising amount of Pop music. Kyle has been known to dabble in Trance. Andy whips out the odd REM song every now and then. Tyran likes a bit of Bluegrass and Folk and often sneaks an Asaf Avidan track or two into the playlist and I’m basically still stuck in the 80’s and 90’s for the most part. I don’t think that any of the more obscure tastes directly influence specific songs but indirectly I think that and all of the other influences musical or not all have a profound impact indirectly on creativity.” ~ Dylan van der Merwe (guitar/backing vocals, Mezzanine Floor)

“I love listening to John Williams film compositions like the Star Wars soundtrack.” ~ Dave Mills (drums, Monolith)

“I listen to Soul music on the odd occasion but it hasn’t influenced my playing just yet.” ~ Paul Du Plessis (bass, Raptorbaby)

“I’m a bit partial to Tatu, Melanie Martinez and Ben Howard.” ~ Julian Vosloo (guitar, Riddlebreak)

“I’m a Childish Gambino fan. Also, I was at the Lady Gaga concert – not a huge fan, but got a free ticket so I went and ended up having the best time.” ~ Laura Atkinson (violin, Riddlebreak)

“I occasionally like to listen to a good old Maroon 5 song, but I don’t think it has ever influenced anything other than some poor life decisions. You could say that Gordon and I like to slip off to Doef Doef land every now and again, where no one knows our names.” ~ Jade Osner (vocals, Riddlebreak)

“Believe it or not I really like to listen to Enya every so often. There is a [email protected]#$ ton of non-Metal artists out there who are very talented. Nothing non-Metal I listen to will ever influence the band.” ~ Sammy Simegi (guitar, Sacrifist)

Irish singer/songwriter/producer: Enya

And a little tongue-in-cheek for random and obscure laughs in between…

“We strictly only listen to manly music, sticking to In Flames, August Burns Red, All We’ve Known and Katy Perry. As mentioned before Madonna is up there too, influencing us not so much musically but rather to be real men.” ~ James Roberts (Set for the Sky)

“Haha, that rogue Britney Spears track comes to mind (no names mentioned). Never influenced our tracks, just my self-respect.” ~ Gerhart Kalmeier (guitar, My Columbine)

“Abba, Roxette, Lady Gaga, Gregorian chants, Enya and Justine Bieber. Yes, definitely influences us. All the time…haha” ~ Wouter Botha (guitar, Maximum Carnage)

“Hmmm, I know Matt used to really like Katy Perry, I’m not sure if he still does. Brandon is a little obsessed with Titanic so I bet he gets his jam on to some Celine Deon. Matt, Erick and I also play at weddings so we learn and (therefore listen to) a lot of sappy love songs. We’ve played everything from Queen, to Michael Bublé, to Justin Bieber! Brandon and I are slightly obsessed with Kendrick Lemar, in fact his album To Pimp a Butterfly is probably my favourite album of any artist. Brandon even has an original copy! In general though, we all have pretty diverse tastes in music. It would take too long to list what each of us listens to, but to give a basic idea, some of us listen to Hip Hop, Folk, Jazz, Fusion, Funk, Soul, Psychedelic rock, Avante Garde Pop, Post Hardcore, Death Metal, Black Metal, Djent, RnB, etc. We’re all pretty open to different styles of music, and I’d say that everything we listen to influences the music we make, whether it be in terms of lyrics, melody, groove, harmony, etc. I don’t think you’ll hear much Celine Deon, Katy Perry or Justin Bieber in our sound though!” ~ Greg Van Kerkhof (bass/vocals, Red Helen)

“Every Morning by Sugar Ray . Work in a warehouse and you’ll understand, hahaha!” ~ Coburn Green (bass/vocals, Monolith)

“I really love Alanis Morrissett. Sometime when I feel my testosterone getting out of control I drop some Jagged Little Pill and eat lots of chocolate and watch RomComs. I don’t think this affects anything I do musically, which is ironic.” ~ Ric Shields (guitar/vocals, Last One Alive)

“Kern yer terk mer herher!!!!!” ~ Dave Freedman (bass/backup vocals, Dirty Moonshine)

“S-Club 7 for the win.” ~ Roy Epstein (vocals/guitar, Dirty Moonshine)

Manufactured pop product: S-Club 7
Manufactured pop product: S-Club 7


These guys stay true to music being an art form in general, no guilty pleasure to speak of, all music taken at face value and enjoyed for being just that, music.

“I don’t feel guilty listening to anything if I like it. Everything influence my style. I try to use a little of anything that works.” ~ Barend Chamberlain (vocals, PSordid)

“I enjoy anything that sets the emotional hairs a tingle. These days I’m way into Metal covers of movies soundtracks…and that leads to piano covers of movie soundtracks. Anything that resonates emotionally will get a listen.” ~ Lolke-Louis Claassen (drummer, Raptorbaby)

“There are so many but I don’t feel guilty for liking any of it. There’s probably a Britney Spears song that I’ve been caught singing along to.” ~ Gordon Bosma (drums, Riddlebreak)

“We listen to a lot of different styles and random bands, and it ALL makes it into Juggernaught.” ~ Jovan Tutunovic (guitar/backing vocals, Juggernaught)

“I wouldn’t say mine are guilty pleasures but I like anything that has good song writing. That could be Pop, Rap, Hip Hop, Blues, Rock or what have you. We really do try take influence from anywhere.” ~ Wez Hitchin (drums/backup vocals, Dirty Moonshine)

“My music collection varies in genre but can’t really say I feel guilty about any of it.” ~ Miggs Auer (bass, Last One Alive)

While I may be surprised that Dubstep and Michael Jackson came up a few times, I now have an odd array of earworms trying to fight each other for attention. One thing we can all agree on is that most of these SA Metal bands are on our lists of favourites.

Be there when it happens!

Catch the SAMMA official awarding ceremony on 1 July 2017 at Rumours Rock City starting at 16:00 to see who takes the highest honour for each category. To see all final nominees in each category following the public participation polls, visit this article.

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