Dubbed South Africa’s new millennial boy band, Oh! Calamity consist of Brandon Holz (guitar), Luka De Wet (drums), Reuben Pieterse (vocals) and Josi Goncalves (bass guitar), and are so much more than your avergae ‘boy band’.
This group of friends are all gifted musicians with a natural flair for producing top notch pop-rock, and they write most of their own music.
How did it all begin?
“We met at school and became really close through our love of music and bands. This, along with Luka’s family connections to the music industry basically meant it was inevitable that we would land up starting a band and playing together at some point. Luka’s dad, Danny, introduced us to a bass player and we got together for the first time on New Year’s Eve 2014. We’ve been through a few personnel changes since then, picking up Ruben and Josi on the way, but that’s how it all started.”
Tell me a little bit about each group member?
“Josi (Bass) – definitely the noisiest one in the band. Always up to something and is probably the biggest ladies man in the band.”
“Ruben(vocals) – probably gyms more than he sleeps, and is definitely the party animal of the band. Really naturally talented at music and making the rest of the world feel short.”
“Luka (Drums) – The cool kid of the band. Will make the band re-do photos over until he is happy with his hair. One of the most naturally talented drummers you’ll ever meet. Luka always handles the delicate situations and is a lot more cool headed than most of us.”
“Brandon (guitar) – is the perfectionist of the band. The person who stops at nothing to ensure that we always sound good and produce good music. Brandon is the guy that will always put the band first to make sure that we are all in line and on track with the vision that we all strive to achieve – along with coming up with the original sound that Oh! Calamity has to offer!”
Why Choose the POP genre?
“I don’t think we ever really consciously decided on a genre – we’ve always been really good at making the music that we want to make in a way that connects with as many people as possible. Our music is the way it is right now because of the journey that we’ve been on to achieve this. Not only do WE want to connect with as many people as possible, we want many people to connect with each other through our music!”
Where does the name OH! CALAMITY come from?
“We got our name from a song of that name by a band called All Time Low. They’ve always been a huge inspiration to us and we’ve looked up to them since we stared playing together.”
The group played at Oppikoppis last year, and ‘were warmly received by screaming fans’ –
Tell me about your experience at OppiKoppi last year?
“OppiKoppi was awesome! It was our first major festival and we felt blessed to receive so much love and appreciation from everybody. It was super scary and we played so hard that Luka landed up in the medical tent, but it’s definitely one of our favourite memories. Nothing beats walking out onto a stage like that with your brothers!”
Tell me about your debut single “Perfect Stranger” – What is it about and why have you chosen this as your new single?
“Perfect Stranger is about those little moments in life when you catch a little bit of something special in a complete stranger – it’s a kind of narrative on intuition and the little things that you fall in love with about a person without actually knowing anything about them. It’s a special feeling – fleeting but powerful. We picked this as a single because it’s a pretty good showcase of our core formula – it’s less production heavy and more about the 4 of us and the basic elements that we bring to the party and we thought that would be a pretty good way for the world to meet Oh! Calamity.”
Give me a taste of the full album – The running theme of the album?
“We’d like the album to be a reflection of the search that we’ve been on to find our sound and direction. There are a lot of new sounds on the album and we’re really trying to broaden our horizons. It’s our first album and so it’s really intimidating – we’ve had a lot of new experiences recently and it’s felt very much like that moment right after you take the plunge into a really cold, really big swimming pool – both shocking and exhilarating. This is the energy that we’d like to showcase with the album. We’d like everybody who listens to it to know what the journey feels like, so much so that they feel as though they have been on it with us.”
If you could choose one song from your current repertoire, that represents the group at the moment, which would it be and why?
“Probably our newest single ‘Perfect Stranger’. Because we are still so new to the industry and have a lot to offer in terms of the different sounding ’pop’ that we are bringing to South Africa, we can be seen as the ‘Perfect Strangers’ of the music scene at the moment.”
Besides for the album launch, any other plans; gigs, etc?
“We’re hoping to gig as much as possible this year. We’d really like to extend our reach to other parts of South Africa and get on the festival circuit. We’re playing at The Wits Mountain Club on Friday the 9th Of February, and we have a lot in the pipeline following that. We also have another single coming out in the first half of this year, so keep your eye on our social media! Tons of exciting stuff happening.”