Show and Tell Interview

Generic opening question: Where does the name Show and Tell come from?

The name Show And Tell was taken from the school activity where you bring your best ever ‘thing’ and show people and tell people all about it, so basically for us we saw it as us bringing something to the crowd, our most favourite things which is our faith, our love for people and our passion for hardcore music. At one point last year (2010) we were thinking of changing our name, but we decided to stick with Show And Tell. We agreed that changing the name would almost be like starting over, and we felt we had come too far to start over. In the end, staying with the name was a good decision for us, today our name is pretty well known across the underground music scenes of South Africa.

I heard that Dean (vocals) was actually making fun of ‘aggressive’vocals, when someone heard him and told him he is actually pretty good. Is there any truth to this? What’s the real story?

Haha, there is some truth to this. Prior to Show And Tell, Dean was in a punk band and they had this song called ‘The Flower Song’. It was a pretty chilled out mellow song but in the one part of the song it got mega heavy and Dean just messed around with deep screams etc. He told me he was just doing it for a laugh and never really took it seriously,
but people had come up to him after those shows telling him that he should get into ‘screaming’. He never really considered it seriously. He moved to the UK for 2 years and when he had come back he met our guitarist Gean, who then showed him bands like The Chariot and Norma Jean and from there, well look where he is now haha.

You guys all travel from various areas around Durban, and some of you travel pretty far. Gean is living in Cape Town now. What keeps the band together and all you guys amped enough to keep doing it?

Yeah, most of us live in completely different areas. Dean lives in Gauteng, Gean lives in Cape Town, Pat lives in PMB and Luyanda and I live in Durban, so we are all pretty spread out across the map, haha. Keeping everything together has been really tough, and at one point this year it seemed it would all come to an end, but I just kept booking shows and trying to make plans for us to see each other and to continue jamming together. Each member has fought to keep this alive and we all firmly believe that Show And Tell is something too special to give up on just yet! We do love what we do, and that’s playing hardcore.

The term ‘hardcore’ has become such a broad term nowadays. How would you describe your music to people, and what genre would you put it into, even if you make one up?

Today there are so many sub-genre’s under ‘Hardcore’ that is near impossible to keep up, haha. As far as our sound goes, it’s super aggressive, but maintains a melodic edge. I even struggle to put us into a genre, haha. We fit somewhere in the ‘metalcore’ ‘thrashcore’ area, we have been compared to Norma Jean very often. But if I had to put us into a specific genre I would say ‘metalcore’, it’s just really angry sounding music, with edges of melody and stuff. We do like to throw some singing in our music too.

I heard you guys got kicked off stage and banned from a music festival a while ago for breaking stuff. What’s the story behind that?

Haha! Arise Fest 2009/2010 (It’s a Christian Music Festival that happens over New Years). Show And Tell has always put effort into our performance as an actual ‘show’; we will always try get the crowd going and, well, we find that breaking things always seems to get a reaction out of the crowd, both good and bad. Before the fest we decided to bring some old stuff along, to break during our set – which was an old cymbal and stand, a wooden cupboard and an old bass guitar. So we played our set how we usually do, but in the last song we destroyed absolutely EVERYTHING! What started all the trouble was that Patrick (our drummer) had thrown the cymbal and stand across the stage, it slid off the end and almost hit the extremely expensive sound desk. It never hit the desk but it came super close, and this one dude who was running the whole thing came up on stage and shoved a few of us around, exclaiming, “You will never play on one of my stages ever again”. Later I found out that after breaking the guitar I had short circuited the amp and they were apparently mega bleak with me for that, haha. We were apparently banned after that, but later on in the year we were asked to play there again, so they obviously changed their minds, haha.

Show and Tell is an outspoken Christian band. How has this affected people’s reactions to you guys at shows? How have you found more conservative Christians’ reactions?

This band is pretty much a ministry based band, and we basically see it as a really good opportunity to meet with people on a different level. So often people will come up to us after shows and start opening up to us about where they are at in their lives, and it’s just really cool getting to hear what people have been through. Then we get that chance to tell them how we feel about certain things, and obviously mention how Christianity is a rad thing that frees us, rather than chains us down with laws and whatever the whole
misconception is on Christianity. Along the way we have met some pretty weird people though. We were playing a show up in PMB at a place called ‘Cliffys’ with some rad acts, such as Truth & It’s Burden and Towers. After our set, I was sitting outside cooling off and a lady approached me asking me if I even believed in God. So of course I explained everything about the band and how the whole faith thing fits in there, but she wouldn’t believe me that the music Show And Tell makes was worthy of being called “praise music”. She said that God hated that kind of music and that we should stop doing it if we wanted God to like us, haha! So yeah, we have come across some super strange people, but on the other hand a lot of ‘conservative Christians’ have actually come out telling us that seeing us has helped them to see their faith in a totally new light, which has been extremely exciting for us.

You guys have done quite a bit of local touring. Do you have any commentary on the current state of ‘underground’ heavy music in South Africa?

Touring is probably the most exciting thing a band can ever look forward to, even within our own country. I have toured South Africa a number of times now, and have seen the incredible diversity of the different music scenes across our beautiful country. As far as the state of our ‘underground’ music, I am slightly distressed to be honest. The bands that I have seen emerging lately just seem to be copying the sounds of their favourite bands and they are just trying to play what’s in at the moment, and they never really last. I just feel that the heavier bands coming out today are lacking originality, and just seem to be grabbing onto the easier generic sounds. On the other hand, there are bands that have the right idea about things and are in it because they really do care for it, I know they don’t play as much as they used to, but Go! Go! Bronco has personally been that band that has stood out. From day one, they’ve had the most honest outlook on being in a hardcore band, and I have such respect for them. They have never compromised themselves in according to the ever-changing music tastes in our local scenes, they’ve always done what they have loved, because it’s just who they are. Overall, I think South Africa could have a bright future in hardcore and heavier music, scenes could see a revival if bands sought to make original music.

What does the future look like for Show and Tell?

The future is bright, haha. We have got some tours lined up in the coming months. Show And Tell has worked extremely hard to keep things together, and we are seeing the rewards of our hard work and perseverance. I am so excited about our future, things have gotten really interesting and I urge people who are into us to keep an eye out for what we are doing, and for all the exciting news we will be sharing in the coming months. Show And Tell would not have such a bright future if it weren’t for the people who came to shows and supported us through our good times and our bad. And for the bands we’ve shared the stage with, guys who have been there with us, experiencing the same situations as us, they know it’s been so hard to keep stuff going but in the end it has been all worth it… and to say that we have a bigger and brighter future is just a blessing!

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