Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Samantha Interviews George Bacon of H.H.H.

Hog Hoggidy Hogg kicked off a European tour last Friday and they are now going full throttle through some of my favorite rock clubs in Eastern Europe. It is 10:13 a.m on Tuesday in South Korea and I am waiting.. It appears that’s all I do anymore is wait, wait for critiques, wait for reviews and wait for interviews.


Hog Hoggidy Hog Hoggin' it up.

Hog’s lead singer George Bacon has a series of off key interview questions I recently sent him, as George currently resides in Berlin-we are now communicating via e-mail. 

I spent some time transcribing an interview that Keith Jones had done with George Bacon for the documentary Punk In Africa back in 2010 and he delivered an exceptional interview then. Now as George takes on a new set of interview questions from me I feel that he will yet again deliver a profound eye opening interview that will open the eyes of many when it comes to South African Punk Rock and the subcultural movement at large.


ST: Name a few of your biggest inspirations.

I tend to be inspired by people who aren't necessarily well known. It is generally the little guys that stand up to the big guys, they generally go unnoticed, but it is these kinds of people that I take my inspiration from.

ST: What are your favorite books?

I'm a bit of a geek in this regard. I generally just read non-fiction books, especially biographies. The rest of my band thinks I'm odd, but history just really interests me. The last book I read was Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom.
ST: What is Hog Hoggidy Hogg currently up to?

We're currently on tour in Europe. Actually writing this from the tour van. We also busy working on releasing another album. In the writing process at moment, but we're quite excited about what we've come up with so far.

ST: Does your music have any historical influences? What are they?

I'm not 100% sure what the question actually is, but I guess everything has historical influences. The whole historical situation in South Africa had a huge impact on our lives. My desire to rebel I can almost certainly attribute to the fact that I was brought up in a conservative police state. I burnt my army call-up papers, and I was fighting the system before I was even old enough to realise what the system was or even why I was doing it. This definitely had a profound influence on my life and resulted in my burning desire to go against the grain and without that there wouldn't be Hog Hoggidy Hog.

George Bacon onstage. Photo originally used in film, Punk in Africa.
(Photo by Jacqui Van Staden. Used with permission.)

ST: How has HHH's music changed over the years?

I don't really think it has. Our albums have always been slightly eclectic. In our naiveté we started off not wanting to be labelled in any genre and just take what we liked about all different styles of music and put it into one band and I don't think we haven't really changed that outlook. We obviously have musical preferences and we have certainly been labelled a ska punk band, but we've always been more than that and I guess that's what has enabled us to still stay relatively relevant for close to 2 decades.  I guess the only real way our music has changed is that we don't really suck as much as we used to.

ST: What are you currently listening to this second?

Listening to a band called Discoballs from Czech Republic, they are the band we played with two days ago and it's the only Cd we have in the tour van.

ST: Name three of your favorite musicians within the last 60 years-why?

My band always hates when I answer this question because they know one of them is going to be Axl Rose of Guns 'n Roses. Whatever people might think of him now, when I was a kid, he was my absolute hero. In those days in South Africa, we weren't really exposed to much music that the government didn't want us to hear and for me, Axl was the guy that epitomized standing up and lifting a middle finger to society. I guess it was more what he stood for than what he did musically, but as an adolescent being brought up in an oppressive regime, this really resonated with me. Jessie Michaels of Operation Ivy is another, he's probably been my biggest influence with regards to music style. Also his lyrics are brilliant - just the right combination of poetry and social commentary and I discovered his band at a time when I myself was becoming an aspiring lyricist. The most amazing thing is that he wrote most of these lyrics when he was a 19 year old kid and I still find inspiration in them today. Last but not least, I would have to say Cliff Richard. Yes I know Elvis was way cooler, but my mother raised me on Cliff and as soon as I was old enough to speak, I was singing Cliff Richard songs. My dad was a fan of Johnny Cash so I wish I had listened to his record collection rather, but it was my mother that controlled the record player and it was Cliff that made me want to be a singer ever since I was a toddler.

As I knew he would George delivered; like all great musicians George never misses a beat when it comes to interviews, promotions, tours and producing exceptional punk rock. George’s interests retain the same quality and ideas as his music does; four words come to mind, unique, avant garde and intellectual.

-Written by Samantha L. Thomas


 

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