The Old-timers are a punk outfit from South Africa, formed by good friends Dave & Don.Dave is originally from England and moved to South Africa with his wife and kids in late 2009 as full time missionaries, working with the needy and underprivileged in prisons, on the streets, in schools and wherever else God leads them.
[TMR] Hello to you from ´The Metal Resource’ Holland, how are things going there in South Africa ?
Depends on which side of the fence you are standing! We’re pretty good thanks dude
[TMR] Will you introduce yourself and the band please ! [name and instrument]
Dave – Vocals, Matt – Drums, Don – everything else! Matt lives in the USA so it’s just Dave & Don answering today.
[TMR] Tell us the brief history of ‘The Old-Timers’.
We are having a hard time remembering exactly when we got together – we are old-timers afterall! Around about May 2011 Don send Dave some rad punk tunes he’d been working on. Dave liked them so much he offered to put some lyrics to them. We released our demo in July of 2011. This attracked attention from a number of friends, including the team at Thumper Punk Records and we were signed to them in Nov 2011 for the purpose of releasing a full length record. It has been a whirlwind, everything has happened very fast.
[TMR] Are you guys full time musicians ? If not what kind of job or study do you do beside the band ?
No none of us are full time musicians. Don is a part time Pieman & full time Kids Pastor. Dave is an assistant Pastor doing missionary work to the underprivilaged. Both dudes are blessed to be husbands and fathers too. Having two boys each keeps us pretty busy!
Phew that is a tough question to answer in only a few words. Don was an operative of the Anarcho punk scene in Port Elizabeth back in the day, running a fanzine promoting the art and music scene of the town. He played in a number of makeshift garage punk bands but nothing serious. He has remained involved in music ever since and has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things punk. Dave grew up in a very musical home and has been involved in various ways over the years, including promoting and performing. Most notably he played in Dragged Out alongside ex-members of The Exploited and Voice Of The Mysterons.
[TMR] Why the name ‘The Old-Timers’ ? Is there a story behind it ?
It started out as a joke – poking fun at scene kids who are eighteen years old and think they know everything about music. Far to often at shows we’ve been told we are getting to old to be involved in the scene. So we just wanted to make fun of that, we know we’re not really that old. But as time went on we realised that it had a deeper meaning for us – we desire to point people to God almighty, the greatest Old-timer that ever lived, the ancient of days, and to encourage people to return to first principles.
[TMR] Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘The Old-Timers’? .. how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?
Don writes the music, Dave writes the lyrics (or at least that is how it has been so far). We don’t really have any special rituals that help us write, we just kinda get down to it. We find it helps to put it away for a while and come back to it so as not to get lost in it.
[TMR] How do you describe the music of ‘The Old-Timers’ the best ?
It’s foundation is just plain good ole fashioned ’77 punk, but with elements of indie, hardcore & youth crew thrown into the mix.
[TMR] How does ‘The Old-Timers’ stand in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?
Dave‘s lyrics are pretty much just about things that affect him personally. More often that not they reference The Bible and seek to glorify God. It’s hard to analyse exactly how this process happens but they are definitely influenced by the world around him.
[TMR] Describe your show, visual and musically.
As of yet we have never played live, believe it or not. Don & Dave live 12 hours apart by car and Matt lives over the ocean. If and when we do play live it will be epic! We like to have fun.
[TMR] For a lot of bands the lyrics are just a accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate ! ..can you tell us how that is for ‘The Old-Timers’?
We are definitely looking to communicate and message…our lyrics are not accidental but purposeful. We are seeking to reach a lost world with the good news of Jesus Christ and to glorify God through it all.
[TMR] Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of ‘The Old-Timers’?
When we were busy working on our demo, ‘Punk’s Not Dead, Nor Are We!’, Dave recorded all of his vocals in the shed behind his house. This took place over the course of about a month. What Dave didn’t realise was that the sound of his shouting was being heard by all of his neighbours. They were freaking out thinking that someone was losing their mind as they heard him yelling ‘HOPE! HOPE!’. One day one of the neighbours actually came to the door warning us that there was a crazy man in the area to watch out for! We have laughed about it ever since.
[TMR] And the worst thing were ? [if there is one]
Also while we were recording our demo, Don‘s computer crashed and we lost a number of our recordings so that we had to start again. Not a good day!
[TMR] Tell us a story about a day in your life… [for everyone personal
[TMR] Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?
Again sorry we’ve not played live….but we’d love to play with Flatfoot 56, those boys are awesome.
[TMR] First record you bought? [for everyone personal]
Oh no! Dave is embarressed to admit that it was Earth Song by Michael Jackson. Don on the other hand is much cooler – his first record was Suicidal Tendencies’ Self Titled record…INSTITUTIONALIZED, I’M NOT CRAZY
[TMR] What makes you laugh? [for everyone personal]
Dave: I like comedy movies for a good laugh. My kids are always cracking my up and I find that sugar tends to help the laughter flow.
[TMR] How do you prepare for a show? [for everyone personal]
Hmmm another question about live shows! We would prepare by praying on stage before hand…but we haven’t played live yet.
[TMR] What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? [for everyone personal]
Dave: My wife and I are are originally from Scotland. We spend out honeymoon in California and someone we met there asked us if we had shops in Scotland!
Don: The dumest question Ive ever been asked is ‘what is the dumbest question you have ever been asked’!
[TMR] Do you have a life philosophy? [for everyone personal]
Don: Try your best at everything you do and give God the glory.
Dave: I think for me it’s probably my fave Bible verse – ‘For me to live is Christ and to die is gain’ (Philippians 1:21)
[TMR] Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days? [for everyone personal]
Don: On the odd occasion I support local bands within my city, I love a good show and I have many friends who play in great bands through South Africa.
Dave: I still love to go to shows and get in the pit! Mostly it is hardcore bands I go to see these days.
[TMR] Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?
Don: In my area you can expect to see a live hardrock or metal band pretty much every week. One of the better known bands in my area are a pop-punk band called Sick Day September, who’s bassist can doa back flip whilst playing…their live show is excellent.
Dave: The scene in Cape Town these days is pretty lifeless. There aren’t any noteworthy punk bands here but we do have a few great up and coming hardcore bands. My friend JJ van Rooyen and I co-run a group called Cape Town Hardcore. We try to rally the troups and keep things alive when shows happen.
[TMR] What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
With labels like Thumper Punk, Handmade Overkill, Rottweiler, Veritas Vinyl and Caustic Fallout out there signing bands we feel there is cause for hope right now. We are a little biased but we feel that these labels could really mean that the scene will grow and be sustainable.
[TMR] What about your upcoming album ‘Soli Deo Gloria!’, please tell us about the songs, the recording proces, who did the artwork, etc. It is your second album? Is that correct?
Musically this release is a bit more varied than our demo, we are looking to encompass all elements of punk and early hardcore. The songs are simple and to the point, nothing fancy. It is our second release as such but it is first album. This has been a new experience for us, working on such a large volume of songs. We are trying to retain that sense of passion, fun, energy and rawness that we had on the demo whilst raising the bar on composition and quality. Dave Besanson (http://www.davebesansonoriginals.com/) is doing our artwork for us, he is awesome.
[TMR] The album will be released by ‘Thumper Punk Records‘, how did you get signed by them
Dave is pretty good friends with Dusty from Caustic Fallout. He loved our demo so much that he contacted David Aaron from Thumper Punk and asked if he’d be interested in helping us put out a full length. David was keen and the rest is history.
[TMR] What are your dreams and goals? [for this year or the near future] ?
As a band we have a three fold vision – Give glory to God in all things, have fun & minister to the fans. So we’d like to stay true to that vision as we move into the future. We are seeing a lot of awesome opportunities right now, God has really been blessing us, but we don’t want to lose sight of why we are doing this. This year we’d also like to release a solid full length CD that people dig in the spirit of early 80’s hardcore punk.
[TMR] What advice would you give to fellow bands?
Do your best, commit the rest! Entrust all that you do to God because he really will take care of everything in his perfect timing. And for goodness sakes please don’t think of your band as a way to make money and get famous…that is a sure fire way to lose it all.
[TMR] Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘The Old-Timers’ all the best for 2012 … Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?
Thanks so much for the opportunity, we’ve had a great laugh doing this interview. We’d like to take the opportunity to point people to our Facebook page. We’ll be keeping this updates as things move forward with our album release etc. Thanks
Picture below: Donovan & Dave