After a three-year hiatus, alternative rock band Bonfire Buffalo are back on the scene with an emotive ballad titled "Remember Me". Pulling at the heartstrings of its listeners, the song still carries with it the quirky and eclectic sound the band are known for.
Bonfire Buffalo decided to release the song as a single saying it is apt for the tough times we are in. Bassist Carl Dedekind explains: “The song, simply put, is about keeping your chin up and holding on during difficult times, which is no doubt apt for the rough year the world has had. Also, the song deals with remembering the legacy of those gone.”
Despite the challenges the world has faced over the last year and those directly affecting the band, Bonfire Buffalo have remained positive and persistent hard workers. This has helped them to build a sustainable career. They aim to write music that’s got some meat on the bones and has longevity and “Remember Me” is exactly that.
Asked why it has taken the band so long to release a new single, Dedekind concludes: “Covid and lockdown have brought things to a grinding halt. On a positive note, we were able to use that time for songwriting and will hopefully start recording our new album soon.”
Formed in 2016, Bonfire Buffalo are a South African rock band from Witbank. Fronted by the quirky and elegantly charming, Ivy Ann van Rooyen with brother Ewoud van Rooyen on guitar and Carl Dedekind on bass, the tightly knit trio are changing the preconceived ideas of what South African music should sound like.
Drawing influences from across the globe - ranging from Pink Floyd to Mumford & Sons - the band choose not to be tied down by genre, defining their sound as eclectic and experimental.
I spoke to Dedekind last week.
The new decade means:
Another 10 years.
Fame is about:
Fake, crappy people.
Retirement will happen when:
A musician never retires.
I don't do:
We don’t do chords.
What does music mean to you?
Our music is about:
Our newest music has evolved into a visual representation of a parallel universe. The music isn’t deeply personal, we tend to focus more on what we find fascinating out there in the world. We are busy writing songs for our new album, which is more electronic but it will still retain melodic credibility with some rock elements. We’ll never give up on rock!
I would love to co-write with:
Where do you go for inspiration to create?
In the bush, because we’re isolated from people and any other distractions.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?
Being in the studio recording. Nothing else compares.
The song you must do in every show:
It’s always some poor bastard’s birthday song.
Any funny moments on stage?
This one gig we did. We didn’t have enough songs to fill up the show, so we just started to replay songs from our earliest sets and we kept saying into the mic: ‘Hey guys, this was requested to be played again!’ We ended up repeating like four or five songs but the people didn’t really mind, which was cool. In fact, when we announced our last song for the evening, one of the guys in the crowd shouted ‘f**k you, you’re not allowed to stop!’
Considering what we found out about our childhood heroes this last year, we tend to not really look up to people that much anymore. We think that most people might relate to that.
Which living person do you admire most and why?
Paul McCartney. He’s still jamming it at 78, which is great!
What is your most treasured possession?
I have this old voice recorder that I’ve been using for like 15 years. I still record my ideas on it to this day.
It’s your round, what are you drinking?
‘Giftige’ Ivy Ann van Rooyen Ewoud ‘Ewok’ van Rooyen Carl ‘Kaalvoet’ Dedekind Christo ‘Chillas’ Deyzel
If you were not a musician, what would you do?
A soap opera screenwriter.
Who would play you in a Hollywood blockbuster and why?
Tom Cruise. The man is dedicated, I think he will be able to pull off any role.
Five favourite SA albums?
Taxi Violence – Untie Yourself
Johnny Clegg – Cruel, Crazy Beautiful World
Miriam Makeba’s self-titled album
Hugh Masekela – Hope
Any album by Michael Saltino
What is your favourite word?
Any type of swear word. Nothing is as deeply satisfying.
Favourite fashion garment:
A cravat – Christopher Walken loves wearing them.
Top of your bucket list:
Touring the planet man! Isn’t it the top of every musician’s bucket list?
Your greatest achievement:
We received second place in the Folk-Singer/Songwriter category in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) for our song “A Little Sunshine”.
Drinking Milo on a rainy day with my labrador, Harvey, curled up at my feet.
On stage, I tend to:
I tend to move my hands around too much on stage.
Do you do charity work and, if you do, what do you do?
We don’t talk about our charity work, otherwise, it isn’t really charity work anymore, right. But we would like to urge people to donate to Doctors Without Borders. They are doing amazing work.
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