Gangs of Ballet

It’s hard to think of a Durban band that’s had a better year than Gangs of Ballet. They got signed, toured the country extensively and earned themselves the number one spot on iTunes with their debut album, yes/no/grey. As being in a band goes, that’s pretty much killing it. Brad Klynsmith answers our questions about touring, success and their plans for the future.


DIY: You’ve just started Best Day Ever tour with Zebra & Giraffe. What is like touring with another headline act as opposed to the solo tour you did earlier this year? Will you be looking to steal the show in front of a home crowd?

Brad: We’re stoked to be on tour with them, they’re really talented and super professional and the know the ropes of long tours so we’re really happy to learn on the road. We’ve become good friends the last year and the  inter-band vibes have been rad. Having said that, we’re not going to get on stage to be the second best band on the night and when it comes to a home show, ‘Durban Is Ours’.


DIY: Reaching iTunes SA #1 is kind of a big deal, was it a surprise after all the hard promoting or was it on your list of goals?

Brad: Surprise is an understatement. For it to go to #1 in 12hrs and being on tour meant we didn’t really have time to market it. We were literally  packing up gear after a show and we got a call telling us. Beyond  stoked!! I guess it’s like anything, when you put a lot of hard work  into something it’s always so rad to see something come of it.


DIY: What are your opinions on local music that’s getting put out these days? Is it all carbon copies of what’s being imported from overseas or is there a definite SA stamp on most of our music?

Brad: I think we are heavily influenced by the western world but the stuff  that’s still being produced is still of standard and particularly the  Afrikaans guys are producing some original stuff. Guys like Parow and  Bittereinder are just a few of them taking advantage of a uniquely South  African language and culture. Us English speaking alternate gents have  it a little tougher as we’re competing with the rest of the world but I  don’t think that SA music is on the back foot anymore.


DIY: Success for SA bands is hard to come by, even just inside SA. What do you think you got right to reach the level of success you have so far?

Brad: We still feel like the road to success is still a long one for us but I think so far all we’ve done is try be as strategic as possible with gig selection (said no to a lot of shows), we’ve set high standards for  ourselves and most important we haven’t half-arsed it and we’ve given it a committed go! Feels like that’s the problem with a lot of talented  musicians, they don’t give it a full go. Got to grow a pair and take a  leap.



DIY: Your album is currently available on iTunes SA and USA. Are there any plans to take Gangs of Ballet State side?

Brad: Yeah for sure. It’s really tricky especially when you have to use the  Rand and times all your costs by 10, but it’s important for us to start  looking at the bigger picture and starting to plan now.


DIY: Being on the road has been described as a pretty horrible time, with boredom and tension between bandmates boiling over. With upward of 15 tour dates on this tour alone how do Gangs of Ballet handle the stress of being on the road?

Brad: Yes tension is a real thing, eventually even simple asks come across as  picking a fight, ha ha! We’ve done a fair bit of travel together and as  long as you remember that mostly it’s not what you say but it’s how you  say it and take the time to respect each other’s space, you’re fine. Josh and I have definitely got the biggest mouths so we’ve got to watch that we don’t rile the other guys up. We take proper advantage of off days and  hit theme parks or rad touristy things in each city, but our best is  finding a good Foosball table. We’ll jam Foosball all day!!


DIY:  Now that you’re signed to a major (Universal Music), selling records and touring, have you quit the day jobs or is the band something you make work around your schedule?

Brad: No, we’re all in!! H just qualified as a chiropractor, so it would be  stupid for him not to use those 7 years of blood, sweat and tears – when we’re home he runs a practice in the mornings.


DIY: Who is your music aimed at and why should people listen to Gangs of Ballet?

Brad: We’ve tried to write songs that people connect with and as many people  as possible. In SA it’s tough aiming for one age group or taste  especially since our genre is the smallest slice of a tiny music  industry pie. We know not everyone will like us and we’re cool with  that. I would hope people would appreciate that we’re making music  unaided by extra back tracks live and we’re prepared to earn fans one  show at a time and not rely on the media to do that for us.


DIY: Lastly, what do you think of our drawing?



DIY: Will you use it for a band poster? Or even your next album cover?

Brad:  Hi-5 for the drawing!! Totally legit! Could totally check who is who,  wish there was more ginger in Jono’s hair and the Klynsmith beards. I’m  thinking we move this baby straight onto a collectors edition vinyl.


You can catch Gangs of Ballet at Live next Friday with Zebra & Giraffe. They’re on Facebook.

One Response to “Gangs of Ballet”
  1. xdoomx says:

    Rad interview. One of the better reads on DIY. Quality!

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