Among The First – Hitting The Scene With A Bang!

Written by Dee Theart (@deetheart)

Photography by Christelle Duvenage

It’s takes a while for a local band’s fan base to grow. The band needs to gig vigorously, tour extensively and be seen pretty much everywhere. This is not the case if you are the band, Among The First, though. Then you simply record a couple of tracks, start a Facebook page and the fans will start rolling in. Without a single gig behind their name, Among The First already have 6 589 likes on their Facebook page (by the time this post went live). But who are they? Where did they suddenly come from? And when will we be seeing them on stage? 

Among The First by Christelle Duvenage 

The post-hardcore/electronic band, Among The First, consist of Jaen (vocals), Christof (guitar and electronics), Edwin (bass) and Dylan (drums). These four gents were keen to share their story with SA Music Scene.

Where does the name Among The First come from?

Edwin: We have all played in numerous bands prior to starting this project and we came to a point where we wanted to break the typical local “hard-core mould” or “recipe” for writing heavy music. We have dreams of becoming the first local act in our genre to achieve certain goals/successes.


So seeing as you all have played in other bands before this one … why the shift to a new band?

Christof: I would say the biggest issue is that we don’t see eye to eye with most South African musicians. We’re not happy with the low quality recordings and the occasional Black Dahlia/Shivas gig. We’ve all been there and we’re breaking out of that cycle. The musicians we’ve encountered do not have the same mindset/vision, so we have decided to do everything ourselves and only then attract members who will actually contribute productively in their own way.


Before we get into your music, let’s get to know you guys a bit better first. Are all the band members full-time muso’s or do you all have day jobs or studying?

Edwin: Christof, Jaen and Dylan are studying, whilst I have a full-time job as a freelance roadie for numerous bands and work at a music shop.


Tell us an interesting/funny fact about each band member.

Christof: Edwin is black. That’s pretty funny; especially when cops think he’s my drug dealer and pulls me over. He has better manners than me though (I hope he doesn’t delete this). Jaen tends to reverse into things. Walls are his favorite and a while back he took a special interest in(to) my car with his bumper. Dylan is very English and doesn’t really understand Afrikaans. This makes him a target and is one of the reasons why Jaen still thinks his name is Dean.

Edwin: Jaen cannot concentrate at all. Even when he is on his medication.

Jaen: Christof tends to break things…not girls’ hearts, but he’s the type of guy who showers at your house, comes walking out with your shower door in his hands and says “Dude I think there’s something wrong with your shower door”.


Now that we know you all a bit better, let’s chat about your music. Who are your musical idols and influences?

Edwin: Locally I look up to bands like Straatligkinders, Bittereinder and Van Coke Kartel, to name a few. I love their honest approach to music, regardless if people like it not. On the international scene I am a really huge Jona Weinhofen (Bring Me The Horizon, I Killed The Prom Queen) and Nick Hipa (As I Lay Dying) fan.

Christof: My influences are drugs (prescribed) and music (Bring me the horizon, Abandon All Ships, Asking Alexandria, Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, Memphis May Fire).

Wylan: Of Mice and Men, Asking Alexandria, The Used, Bring Me The Horizon, anything I can drum to actually.


Among The First by Christelle Duvenage

What are your songs about?

Jaen: We like to point out people’s imperfections, so we mostly write about one another. We pretty much just write about how we perceive people, life and ourselves.


Tell us about your song writing process. Who writes the music and lyrics in the band?

Christof: A few people have asked us this before and they always seem surprised. I write the music, record it, and send it to Jaen. Then he writes the lyrics and works out some vocal structures/melodies. We then come together and make a rough track to send to the band mates. After everybody has given their opinion and the changes have been made, we re-record everything properly and then I’d spend a few weeks on production.


Who do you think will enjoy your music? Who is the typical Among The First fan?

Jean: Well, apparently people in the US and the UK like us more than the average South African. Half of our fans are US/UK based. A typical fan would either like us because of our take on hardcore/electronic music, or because they think Edwin is attractive.


If you could choose any local and international artist/band to collab with on a song, who would you chose? 

Edwin: I have a huge level of respect for local artists like Peach van Pletzen, Johnny de Ridder and Bouwer Bosch. We have been talking about contacting them for a collaboration track for our full-length album or even getting them to feature on a remix of one of our songs. A remix/collab track with Haezer or Skrillex would also be pretty cool.

Christof: Locally I would love for Dan Patlansky to do a guest solo on a track, and internationally I would want to do a collab with Dev/The Cataracs.


What are the biggest challenges for new bands in the SA music scene according to you? 

Edwin: For us one of the biggest challenges was to find committed members and local support. When ATF started out we got very little local support. It sometimes feels like people have their heads too far up their ass to even take a minute to listen to your music and give you constructive feedback. It’s like music has become a popularity contest locally, which is a pretty shit attitude to have.


Among The First is a band with a different, refreshing approach to the SA music industry. If this tickles your fancy, check out their Facebook page to get hold of their music. They are in the finishing stages of an EP and will hopefully be gracing SA’s stages from early 2013.


Social Media:

Among The First’s Jean by Christelle Duvenage

Among The First’s Edwin by Christelle Duvenage

Among The First’s Dylan by Christelle Duvenage

Among The First’s Christof by Christelle Duvenage

1 Comment

  1. suzette

    November 26, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I have supported this band since the very beginning and they have really made great progress!I personaly like them very much and listen to every song they post..I want to see them go big in the future!

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