The Party Never Ends With Common Creatives

Losing half the members usually means the end for most bands but the party never ends with Common Creatives. Evan van Zyl chats to two of the original members of the band about their evolution and their brand new single, Apathy.



You’ve been to house parties in Durban. You know who Common Creatives are. I recall one of my first experiences watching them live; I was wrestling for a microphone in a pit, trying and sing along to their cover of Violent Soho’s Covered in Chrome. The Winston was full, and for the lack of a more suitable word, it was a vaab. I came to learn that all their shows were a vaab. Sure, they didn’t exactly bring the musical technicality of Mozart, but they knew how to have a good time and made sure everyone had it with them. It wasn’t long before they released their first single, Space Kings and it seemed like a natural progression, but I don’t think anyone expected the swift escalation to #1 on TUKS FM. On the edge of our seats, Durban anxiously waited to see what Common Creatives would do next. Unfortunately, what followed was a split, with two founding members (Ruan Olivier – vocals/guitar; Clinton Nortjé – Drums) booking out of the band. They went through a rough patch of finding new members and banding together again, and if you were there you know that it wasn’t always pretty.


Now I’m sitting in the kitchen of Khaya Records with Colin and Tyler, anxious to talk about coming out on top and their new single, Apathy.


Photo by Kelly Hall


DIY: So, how come you guys never stopped? Did you consider taking a break in between members leaving?

Colin: I think we were on a roll, and I guess we just wanted to play shows. We had the songs already written, we knew how things were and it was pretty much just trying to find people to fill in. We also got booked so much. At the same time as those dudes leaving, people kept asking us to play, and we couldn’t ditch all these shows that we had arranged already. So yeah, make a plan.

Tyler: Colin and I both really love music, so we wanted to carry on playing. We had also just started recording Apathy (the next single). I was really starting to enjoy the music that we were putting out. We couldn’t just stop.


DIY: Do you feel like shedding any light on why people left?

Colin: Both dudes had life responsibilities. Being in a band is hard work: Practicing every week, twice a week sometimes and if you’re playing a show that weekend…

Tyler: And if you have a working job…

Colin: Both dudes were moving forward with their lives and pursuing other things a little bit more.


DIY: Tell us about the new members of the band.

Colin: Oudskul Funk and Damien Roodt picked it up pretty quick.

Tyler: With Oudskul, that dude is just ridiculously good. The way he understands music is wild.

Colin: He just pretty much needed to learn how to play heavier. He got it fast, dude.

Tyler: It was just learning how to adjust his style and bring his knowledge to the band. It blows my mind, because Oudskul and Damien both dig jazz. I mean Damien played in a Korean jazz band.

Colin: And studies jazz. It’s taught me some tricks. His guitar playing style has changed since he started even. It’s more mature.

Tyler: They’ve made us better musicians. They’ve influenced how we write music, and what music we’re writing. Damien’s also writing music for us now and that’s from a completely different perspective that we’ve never had before.


DIY: Why did you wait so long to release Space Kings’ follow-up single, Apathy?

Colin: That song took as long as Bohemian Rhapsody to record. [Laughs] We did the scratch track pretty much as the band was starting to switch up members. Ruan came and did the scratch track with us, and the pre-planning, but ended up leaving the band as the guitar parts and the vocals were meant to be recorded. So we ended up asking Daniel (Basckin) to do the guitar parts. Wait, when did we start recording?

Tyler: Last year June, July.

Colin: Over a year ago.

Tyler: Clint came to lay down his drums, and that stayed on the track.

Colin: We kept going back to it, we did the guitar and stuff, but then we didn’t do the vocals for ages. Eventually we attempted it with like six people. [Laughs]

Tyler: You did the main vocals…

Colin: Then we got so much back up. That’s the most fun part of recording is getting all the homies in and screaming the chorus. We took too long though.

Tyler: It’s also because we lost members during that time.

Colin: It is kind of the love child of that whole change over. I want it to go away now though.

Tyler: Then we can release the new things that we’re working on.


DIY: Do you guys feel like releasing it is finishing off a chapter in Common Creatives?

Colin: I think so, yeah. It feels like we have to.

Tyler: I also kind of enjoy it. [Laughs] I’ve grown attached to it over the last year and a half.

Colin: I think it’s definitely some sort of closure that we’ll have after it’s out. I mean, it was the last Common Creatives song that was written with all the original members.


What are the plans for recording after the release of Apathy?

Colin: We’ve been talking to that dude who did the Life Below EP, Rudi (Greyvenstein).

Tyler: We’ve been writing and practicing, so we’ll do a bit of production on that, lay down some scratch tracks.

Colin: Again we’re going to work with Dan. He’ll handle our production and stuff. I like having a producer, because it lets everyone settle in, and it’s nice to have an outsider take a look at it and piece it all together better for you. Hopefully we’re recording with Rudi in the next month and then by December, hope to God that we’ll have an EP out.

Tyler: Next year we want to play some festivals, do a tour.

Colin: Play lots of shows!

Tyler: Make music, play music. You can probably much catch us any weekend, ever. Just go somewhere, we might be there.

Colin: We’re going to be on the forever hometown tour.

Tyler: Aweh. Love you guys. Listen to Apathy.



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