Interview by Elmarie Kruger (@elmariekr)
Photo by Allister Christie
We spoke to Francois van Coke, headlining Park Acoustics this month! Super excited for the first Park Acoustics of 2017 – where Francois is also going to launch his new album “Hierdie Is Die Lewe”.
You’re releasing a brand new album this year. What has the recording journey for this album been like?
The recording process was quite easy, compared to my first album. I worked with a solid band this time around, I did not have that for the first album. They are now called, Die Gevaar, and they have been playing live with me since the release of my first album. I also worked with my dream team. Johnny de Ridder, my old chommie from Fokofpolisiekar and my bassist, Rudolph Willemse was the producer team. We were writing songs for about eight months before we hit the studio and we recorded most of it in Bellville at Soft Light City, Johnny’s space.
You’ve named your new album “Hierdie is die Lewe”. What made you decide on this title?
The album is about the human condition. What happens between birth and death. I just thought that is one thing all of us have in common, we are busy living our lives. I sing about love, hate, friendship, suburbia, South Africa, parties, the past, the present, the future and other stuff.
Which song from your new album is your personal favourite?
My favorite now is, My Hart. Probably cause it is my wife’s favorite. It is a fast, dance number with progressive guitaring and I am singing about our turbulent relationship with our beautiful South Africa.
How would you say the new album differs from your debut solo release?
It is quite similar in style. It is a rock album, but has other influences all over it. Everything that I grew up with or are into now. Country, punk, folk, even hip-hop. I am also currently very into the Traveling Willburys, Beatles and Beach Boys. So, I think that can be heard melodically. So, I guess that is different. Also the album has two different halves. So, if you flip it like a vinyl there will be two different experiences on Side A and Side B.
Do you think becoming a father late last year has influenced your music-making process or the way you view music in general?
This album was completely written before I became a Dad, but it has already changed the way I view making music. Everything is different now and I want to give the people around me, especially the people close to me, a good time. And make the music work for us and our lives. That is what is important. To be the best I can be, to people around me.
You’ll be performing at the first Park Acoustics event of 2017. What can fans expect from your set?
It will be energetic set with my band, Die Gevaar. We will be playing songs form my 2 solo albums, a FOKOF and VCK classic and some more.
What makes Park Acoustics a special or memorable experience to you, personally? `
I have been playing at Park Acoustics since it was just a baby and I have loved it all the time and seen it grow. I love Pretoria and I love the way Pretoria people appreciate live music. The Fort is a great venue and always a good time. Can’t wait!