These people are golden, indeed!

Picture this: It’s the month of love and you’re covering Fire Through The Window’s close to a national tour for their new album at Unit 11 as prep for an interview with them the next day at The Corner Cafe. Okay, so it’s not the month of love, it’s the last weekend in October.. but my Valentine’s Day was as successful as Lindsay Lohan’s trip to rehab – any one of them – and I have a habit of living in the past.. so shoot me. Anyway, so I’d rather be at home bingeing on bad coffee and IT crowd reruns (the male version of ice-cream and E! True Hollywood Story) but here I am, working hard for Durban.

All these people look golden... but I look like a dirty trucker who has stumbled onto a photo shoot.

And then they take to the stage. Fire Through The Window’s frontman, I use that term very loosely, is a hottie biscotti with a voice that’ll melt your face and turn it into a syrupy type of goo only found in isolated regions of north-west Canada. The fact that she also hands out bottles of Jägermeister (their sponsor) from the stage might also have added to this one-sided chemistry but I’m not sure. Her name is Sinead. In fact the gig might as well have been a cappella. I get to have coffee with her the next day. Sure, Marc and Sheldon, also from the band will be there too but it’s nothing a little “sorry guys, the cafe is super busy on a Saturday. We’ve only got a two-seater open, why don’t you just hang outside” can’t fix. Boom! I suddenly feel like it’s February 13th and tomorrow is going to be a great day.

The next day…

The happy couple. Still.. someone could have told me.

Judd pulls out all the stops. He reserves that nice table at the back under the tree. it’s decorated all nice and stuff, and he’ll rip up the bill in our faces when we’re finished. He lets me know they’ve arrived, I call on the spirit of the bottle-nosed dolphin and get ready to bring my A-game.

Before the interview starts, I show them around the café and casually ask them about the back-in-the-day gigs and getting their name out there. Sinead gives me some earth-shattering information – “Ja, it was a bit different then. It was just me and Mark in the band and a lot of people knew us as that boyfriend-girlfriend couple that started a band.”

Sorry, what now?! This would have been amazing to know beforehand. If today was going to be my second take at a February 14th, then it just turned into a 2010 remake of Groundhog Day. Not only do all four of us have to sit around this small table but I know Judd’s not going to let this bill slide. Coffee and IT Crowd re-runs in T-minus 3 hours and counting.
Anyway, here’s the interview.

TwoSlice: Right this way guys, here’s our table just over there.
Sheldon: All the way at the back, kinda out-of-the-way?
TS: Um, well ja, you know. You guys are Durban locals. Didn’t want us to get distracted by fans the whole time.
Marc: Why’s the table covered in rose petals?
TS: Uh, haha.. ha? (huge awkward laugh) Gees guys, I feel like I’m being interviewed. No no, those aren’t rose petals (they are rose petals). The cafe grows edible flowers that they use as garnish. One of the kitchen staff was probably just cleaning them here as we walked in.

TS: So, anyway.. how do you take your coffee. We ask everyone that.
Marc and Sheldon: Milk first, lots of it and with two sugars.
Sinead: I just have hot chocolate.
TS: Of course you do… If MK had a South African version of Punk’d (It could only be hosted by Jack Parow. I can see it now) where would they find you?
FTTW: Glenwood for sure. This is our home.

TS: It’s been busy for you guys lately. What’s been going on?
FTTW: Well ja, we just wrapped up our tour for our new album “All These People Are Golden”, it’s been amazing. We really loved how the new album turned, we put a lot of effort into it – and all the album artwork and photo shoots for it have been just as amazing. We’ve already had a lot of great feedback.
TS: In terms of getting it out there, you’re doing things a bit different with this album though, aren’t you?
FTTW: Totally. We spoke to record companies and everyone’s saying they don’t have these huge marketing budgets like they used to and it probably has to do with the fact that, honestly, people just aren’t buying albums like they used to. Everyone is sharing stuff they already have with their friends. So we decided to team up with Hruki, the shirt guys. They do a lot of band merch and already have very effective distribution channels with guys like Look ‘n Listen. What we’re doing now is essentially giving the album away with our tees. If you buy a Fire Through The Window t-shirt, you’ll find the album inside.

TS: You’ve also been quite fortunate in that you’ve been getting tons of alternative exposure, especially TV. People are just loving your sound.
FTTW: It’s been insane! Our song was used for the first South African tv ad for the iPod Nano. We’ve also have a good relationship with the guys from Tevo; we were on their tv ad for the Shox and we’ve just wrapped up shooting a second ad for their new product, the Shox Solo – it’s essentially an mp3 player that utilises SD cards. So, super mobile and you can never run out of space. Our new album comes with it too.
TS: Not going to lie, I’m pretty jealous.
FTTW: You should be. Shooting those Tevo ads was awesome. We get huge exposure for the album… plus free pizza. Rad.
TS: Ar. Ey. Dee. It’s obvious you guys only have huge success ahead so which would you prefer – winning an MTV award or Kanye West interrupting someone else’s win and saying you should have won instead? It’s another staple question by which we judge bands.
FTTW: Taylor Swift should have stabbed him. Actually, we should totally, totally be the guys interrupting someone’s speech.
TS: That doesn’t really answer the question but it’s been a big weekend so I’ll let it slide.

TS: Ok guys bringing it back home – why Durban?
FTTW: This is home, you know? The people of this city make it. We’ve seen a lot of places and even when looking at a sick city like Cape Town, when we come back, this is the place that feels like home.
TS: No city is perfect though, any frustrations?
FTTW: I guess just a lack of venues and the apathy that sometimes seems to be here. Most of the time bands are putting on their own shows, it’s very do-it-yourself. Finding clubs who want to help out can be tough but its does give you a lot more freedom to do events like last night’s at Unit 11. (You see, the gig fell on Halloween so it was themed accordingly with the gig being called “All These Zombies Are Golden”. Get it?)
TS: What does Durban need from it’s Durbanites?
FTTW: Suppose, to try new stuff before they give up. Also just to give other guys a chance, a lot of times things are pigeonholed straight away which doesn’t really give anyone a fair chance. But there are people supporting, we just need more of them. There’s a misconception that the music scene is dirty and rough or something. It’s actually so relaxed. Such a cool scene! You sometimes get the feeling that people don’t even know there is another option to the normal generic club scene.

Sans dirty trucker

TS: Right now, do you think there are any artists who are underrated?
FTTW: Thomas Krane without a doubt and then Dance You’re On Fire who are touring here in early December.
TS: Ous, no-one said this interview would be easy.. same question but on venues..
FTTW: Well, the Willowvale a while ago was amazing! There are tons of venues we love though – Hotbox and Tings ‘n Times, both in Pretoria. Obviously Mercury in Cape Town as well, it has such history for us.

TS: Let’s wrap this bad guy what’s in the pipeline for Fire Through The Window? I’m talking near-future here…
FTTW: We’re shooting a video for our second single off the album called “Lonely Hearts”. We’ve got the Synergy festival just outside Cape Town and that’s massive- you got  Feeder headlining and tons of our best bands on the same line-up. Huge!
TS: Sweet! It’s been real hanging out with you guys! Again, those were definitely not rose petals. Just saying.

Head over to our download page and download Fire Through The Window’s new single “Golden” for free ek se. Once you’ve got that song stuck on mental repeat catch them at the Synergy Live Festival just outside Cape Town on the 28th of November and then back home at Unit 11 on the 3rd of December for the Vega Showcase Afterparty– it’s going to be way too rad.

TwoSlice Dré

Next up: New Holland