Groundbreaking Psych band, The Very Wicked on RAMfest and more…

Interviewed by Charlie Brown

“We really dug deep and made a point to listen to different sounds from across the world when we were writing these songs”,

Says Lucas Swart, one of the guitar players and vocalists of The Very Wicked.

With the full line up complete in early 2012, the band recorded three tracks and a music video for the first single ‘Winter Baby’, all available on their website,

“…we are now trapped in the state of anxious anticipation for what The Very Wicked come up with next – and there’s little price we wouldn’t pay to greet that day sooner rather than later.” –

According to Leo, The Very Wicked strive to make music that ‘hits from the inside out’. Armed with an arsenal of sounds, the psychedelic, hazy majesty of the band is a breath of fresh air in the South African music scene. As opposed to their previous band which had a more garage-rock feel (Pretty Blue Guns).

The band launched their “wall of sound” in September 2012, and were quickly booked to play local festivals Rocking The Daisies, Synergy and RAMfest, as well as to share the stage with Fokofpolisiekar at their annual outdoor Klein Libertas show. They also headlined the Rocking The Daisies after party at Assembly.

Their latest single “A Drop Of Water (For A Bucket Of Blood)” was featured on Belgian Psych Rock site “The Psychedelic Underground Generation”’s February compilation of psychedelic music from around the world.

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The Very Wicked by Mark Reitz

How long have you as band known each other and how did The Very Wicked start?

Lucas and Andre have known each other for years. It started as a reaction to not being able to play in our old band anymore, due to members commitments to their studies.


Lucy Kruger was not involved with the band from the beginning, how did she become part and what did she bring to the band musically?

Lucas met her and introduced her to us. She’s a fantastic vocalist and her knack for harmony helps us a great deal. She’s also just a very amazing soul to be around. And that’s important.


RAMfest has out done themselves again this year with an awesome line-up, what act are you as band most looking forward to see live?

I’m really looking forward to seeing The Future Primitives play on such a big stage, and at such a good time. And, of course, the Wild Eastern Arches. And Bilderberg Motel on the BOOM stage. And Beast. haha


Tell us about some of your favorite moments on stage and what would make your RAMfest slot a living dream for you.

If the sound is good on stage, it’s a dream. If the crowd is good too, it’s a wet dream. So anytime that combo happens, it’s amazing.

Because we’re playing on the Thursday, we’d just be stoked if there are enough people there and if they dig the music.


The Very Wicked

The Very Wicked by Mark Reitz

The Very Wicked are probably the leaders for all bands in the genre Psychedelic Rock, because of Andre’s involvement in Psych Night. Where do you see the psychedelic rock genre going in the nearby future?

I don’t know about leaders, we’re all part of a bigger, more colourful picture.

Psych Night has some exciting things in the works, so I definitely see Psych Rock getting a lot more exposure nationwide. There are more and more bands popping up that have a psychedelic nature to them, so that’s a good sign.


Except for the music The Very Wicked has a great following of visual artists, photographers and one of the Cape’s best videographers, Barry de Villiers. How did this great support system of fellow artists form and what does it mean to you being supported by them?
From the beginning, we wanted to keep it in the family and work with friends. In a way, we all do the same thing, just in different mediums. Music, film, photography and design are all tough industries, so we try and support each other as much as we can. It’s a push/pull thing….


Landing a slot at RAMfest for the band must be one of the biggest achievements to date, how do you feel about playing at RAMfest?

Feels great. Hopefully next year, we’ll be on the big boy stage. haha


After RAMfest what is the next task are you aiming to accomplish?

Our main focus is on making a debut album that we can be 100% proud of. We start pre production next month and are hoping to record in August/September.
So at the moment, we are trying to write as much as possible and figure out what kind of record we want to make. Things are coming together nicely, so far.


Some of the band members will be going to Austin Psych Fest, what are you planning to bring back from it for the South African public?

I am planning on bring Aimee Nash from The Black Ryder back and making her my wife.


Management, advertising, unique exposure and amount of gigs played all contribute to the success of a band. Who handles all the different aspects mentioned in The Very Wicked?

Myself and Lucas handle most of the management and bookings. Calvin is pretty fancy with the world wide web, so he handles our website and so on.


What can people expect from you performance at RAMfest?

We recently booked three shows that were all in different sized venues, to challenge ourselves and see how we adapt to the environment. It helped the band a lot and I think we are tighter than ever. So hopefully, just 40 minutes of glorious psychedelic rock n roll.


Name three can’t-do-without items you always pack for a festival.

Shades, shades, shades.


Do you think Psych Rock could be the next commercial genre to hit South Africa?

No. Thank God.

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The Very Wicked by Adriaan Louw

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