Perfect timing – new single and video, and their interview ready to roll. Ladies and gents (and all those in between) – Ruff Majik…
Well, the easy answer in South Africa. Currently most of us are living in the province of Gauteng, but a bit scattered.
How did you meet?
Me (Johni) and Jimmy grew up with each other and tried a few punk bands when we were kids, and we had a few versions of Ruff Majik throughout high school. Then we teamed up with Benni for the last few years to create the Ruff Majik most people know at the moment. This new album however features a lot of friends doing different things, but it was mostly made by me and Evert (who me and Jimmy had a total man crush on back in high school). We met Evert at a sweaty bar gig one night in 2015 and have been friends/accomplices ever since. Cowboy Van is a new feature, but also a long time pub crawling friend. So basically it’s jut a rotating cast of friends we’ve met over the years when we were still in our grungy garage phase – no strangers allowed.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Depending on the version of the band, I guess you can say since 2008. But we really only got serious in 2015 for the first time. Before then we were playing house parties and working as waiters (bady I might add).
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Nowhere really. There was a failed TV pilot for a HP Lovecraft show called “Ruff Majik” which sounded kinda cool. But he was a questionable character so we decided not to associate ourselves with him. The name kinda stuck around, and we decided to fuck with the spelling to make it easier to find on Google (which worked out quite well honestly).
What are your influences?
Can I say drugs? Hahahaha, no I’m just joking (or am I?). A lot of the music is influenced by mythology, and a lot of it is influenced by tall tales from drunken escapades. Other than that I guess the main influence is other people’s music.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Well, right now we have to vocalists which is quite rad. But I find that when you get bogged down with trying to sound “unique” you end up just sounding like shit instead. So, we just play whatever feel natural at the moment without thinking too much about it.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Yeah sure – ghosts, ghouls, murder, heartbreak, the greek pantheon, sex-drugs-and-rock-roll, and occasionally angrily shaking our fists at God.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Lost count of the amount ages ago. But it’s a sweaty, high energy mess, glued together with a lot of flair.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Took an inhuman amount of shrooms once and had the worst time with the stage lights shining straight in my face – that was a wild one. But the craziest show was in Portugal, crowd gave us a joint that we smoked on stage and our bass player went for a swim mid set after handing the bass to a friend who took over for a song or two.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Wel, speaking for myself, I use Epiphone SG 400’s, played through whatever amp is loudest.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
The new single “Who Keeps Score” leading up to our new album “The Devil’s Cattle”.
What are your plans for 2020?
Well, the world is ending. So I guess we’ll drink a lot.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Right now I would love to be supporting All Them Witches. For an opener I’d want to take our friends in Caution Boy or Them Dirty Shrikes on the road.