Brandon Holz (guitar), Luka De Wet (drums), Matthew Brown (vocals) and Josi Goncalves (bass guitar) make up South African boy band, Oh! Calamity.
Their new track “Oxygen” has a strong commercial pop sound adding appeal to their fast-growing fan base. I caught up with Brandon Holz last week.
When are you happiest? On stage. Especially when I see Josi do his little rockstar jump, Brandon play with his shaker and Matthew looking at me and asking “bro, what’s going on?” Then I know we’ve had a good gig.
What does music mean to you? To quote a big inspiration to myself and the band as a whole: “Music is the air that I breathe. It’s the blood that pumps through my veins” – Billie Joe Armstrong. I could not agree with this more. Music is everything.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work? All the sweaty hugs that I get from my band after a show! I love it.
Are you famous? I wouldn’t say that we are famous, however, we have been recognised for being in Oh! Calamity and asked to take pictures and sign stuff sometimes. It’s always fun meeting fans that appreciate what we do – it makes everything worth it.
What do you think of Influencers? They’re dope.
What drives you: ego or humility? Passion drives me: passion to succeed in this industry, to perform better than I ever have and passion for the music and putting out a positive message to anyone who wishes to listen.
Any funny moments on stage? Every single time we play at Rumours Rock City. Last time, I hit my head on the light above the drum podium.
Which living person do you admire most and why? There are so many people who would make this list, but if I had to choose one, I would say Brendon Urie. Not only has he been able to stay at the top of his game with regards to making the charts, but also he has always been open about what he believes in and an honest spokesperson for the LGBT community.
What is your most treasured possession? Torn between my headphones, which I don’t go anywhere without, and my signed Fall Out Boy Save Rock ‘n Roll album.
It’s your round, what are you drinking? Definitely banana milkshakes.
Dream gig to do? There are many, but I think Rock in Rio or Coachella would be tops for me.
What makes you stand out? My ability to make absolutely any situation awkward.
Nicknames? Literally none, and it really bothers me.
If you were not a musician, what would you do? I would sleep a lot.
Five favourite SA albums of all time?
Yes/No/Grey - Gangs of Ballet Gangs of Ballet - Gangs of Ballet Run - Matthew Mole This City Needs a Hero - CrashCarBurn RadioControlledRobot - The Parlotones
What is your favourite word? Rancid
Give us some real proper slang and what it means Squeak some tekkie (dance).
Your greatest achievement? Surviving depression.
What do you complain about most often? Being tired.
Happiness is? Remembering that last slice of pizza from the night before is waiting for you at home when you get back from a hard day’s work.
On stage, I tend to? Do the occasional rockstar jump.
Where would you like to be right now? On stage with Oh! Calamity doing what we do best – putting on a great show.
Do you do charity work and if you do – what do you do? Yes, my band and I have done and hosted charities for the SPCA, Thabang Children’s Home for Children and a Hips Don’t Lie benefit concert.
Wishes and dreams? To become a successful and creative band that challenge the norms of music and play some of the best and biggest music festivals throughout the world and one day have Oh! Calamity hosts their very own arena/stadium show.
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