An Interview With Crimson House
Crimson House chats about new album and tour
Cape Town-based gypsy-jungle-rock collective Crimson House has just released their new album ‘Bounceology’. ‘Bounceology’ was written while the band was on permanent tour around South Africa. It is inspired directly by South African musical acts surrounding the ever-burgeoning music festival scene.
I caught up with vocalist Riaan Smit to find out more about the new release and their current tour.
Congrats on the new album, Bounceology. Tell me a bit more about the journey of putting this album together?
It’s been a long, beautiful journey. We’ve decided to take our time with this one and really put thought into each song and not just rush to put out another release. We’ve began this journey in 2017 when we started working with our producer and close friend Tony 2 Fingers. The first track we did with him was “Take a chance”.
We were so busy with touring that we could only get into the studio every once in a while. We used to book five days and record a full album, but now we really wanted to take our time. We came in one song at a time. We released a couple along the way to keep some momentum going (‘Pot of Gold’, ‘Medicine’, ‘Jo Bounce’ and ‘Unicorns’).
We’ve also worked around the schedule of all the collaborators so that we could guarantee their input and when the time came that it was ready, we made sure the artwork was the same quality as the songs themselves.
The journey of this album involved two years of touring, living together as a band, the coming and going of some members (though all amicably) and the endless joy of working together on a project this fun.
That’s fantastic! And who’ve worked with you on this one that you specifically want to mention?
Album art illustration by Elio Moavero
Backing vocals by Nhoza sitsholwana, Ann Jangle, Robin Botha
Drums: Christoph De Chavonnes Vrugt
Baritone Sax: Gareth Harvey
Alto Sax: Nick Becker & Tim Welsh
Tenor Sax: Tebogo Mokoena
Guitar: Arno Van Zyl
Bass: Jacques Jansen Van Rensburg & Andre Van De Merwe
Vocals and Guitar: Riaan Smit
Lyrics by Riaan Smit besides “Carmen” written by Luca Hart.
All music performed by Crimson House, produced and mixed By Antonio Cencherli @ V-Lab studios, and mastered by Simon “Fuzzy” Ratcliffe at Sound & Motion studios.
Brass Arrangement by Tebogo Mokoena on Unicorns, Mama Land, Bantu Bird, On the Prowl, Magic Charms & Free to Dream.
Wow, what an amazing collaboration of talented people. Which track on the new album is your favourite and which do you think will be a crowd favourite?
‘Unicorns’ are up there. It’s fun and feels good for everyone involved, and ‘b to bird’ just brings out such a caveman vibe, it’s super fun! ‘Jo bounce’ is always a crowd favourite because it’s just five minutes of joy.
Tell me about the title, ‘Bounceology’. Who came up with it and what exactly does it mean?
It was conceived by our Saxman Gareth Harvey. It’s the idea that it’s a lesson in bounce. Bounceology to us means that this album is a masterclass in the art of bounce.
Really cool! Besides other artists, what inspires you guys to go out and make music?
The good times. Every time we play, we have such a good time and everyone else does too. It helps us and the listeners to forget about our day and just have a good time, it’s a release!
You’ve just kicked off your tour. Which shows are you most excited about and are there any towns or venues you’ve never played before that you’re really keen to experience?
We are excited about each and every show, but we have never played PE and East London before, so if you have any friends out there send them our way!
Will do! Please share a link to one of your songs you think would give people a taste of what to expect at the shows on the upcoming tour.
Photo by: Paige Fiddes