Intervju Chris van der Merwe

Intervju Chris van der Merwe
December 13, 2008 Klemen Surk
V drugem decemberskem intervjuju pa smo med raznimi plani in potovanji ujeli Chrisa, ki trenutno v sončni Kaliforniji preureja svojo sobo v snemalni studio in seveda vse lepo pozdravlja.

Malo se predstavi, kako ti je ime, koliko si star, od kje si…

My name is Chris van der Merwe and I was born, May 25th, 1974 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Kaj si po horoskopu, a verjameš v horoskop…
I’m Gemini, but no I don’t believe in horoscopes. I believe you get what you think you’ll get, so if you believe your horoscope then you’ll probably get it…Kako je bilo odraščat v JAR?
We were just normal kids I guess, we used to hang out on the streets a lot and skate or down at the beach and surf. We never had any money, on the rare occasion that me or any of my friends actually got some money we’d spend it playing Ghosts ‘n Goblins at the arcade in the mall… The money never lasted long, so we’d usually spend the rest of the day skating the mall. When we were growing up, the only way to get music was to tape it off the radio or borrow records from friends Music was always the most important thing to me, I always had headphones on, listening to music. My parents have got some photo’s of me when I was a baby walking around with these big ass red headphones on listening to I dunno what, probably something from my dad’s private stash, the Beach Boys I guess, hahaha

Kdaj si začel surfat?
I started skating first actually, a short while after I was born, my dad moved us up to Johannesburg. There’s absolutely nothing to do in Johannesburg, at least when you’re 7, so we started out skating on the streets of my suburb on these old plastic skateboards. Urethane wheels were like a big deal back then, and of course grip tape hadn’t even been invented yet, so we used to fall a lot… really a lot. Around the same time, we started taking our summer vacations in KwaZulu/Natal at the beach, there wasn’t a surf scene where we went, but you could buy polystyrene body boards from the beach shop, so I started out on one of those. A few years later, we visited a town, I can’t remember which one, but it was also up in KwaZulu/Natal and I remember staring down on this right-hander point break and seeing surfers for the first time – I was totally blown away – I wanted it bad! I was just a kid, and we were about to leave to go back to Johannesburg, but I said to my mom: “Before the end of the year, I’m gonna start  surfing!”. For some strange reason, before the end of the year my dad decided to move the family back down to Cape Town and I bought my first surfboard, it was this 6’2 twin fin. I was only 11 or 12, so it was a big board to start on!

In kdaj si se začel ukvarjat z glasbo, igrat kitaro?
I was always into music, so my parents did the best they could and sent me off to study the classical piano. I didn’t totally hate it, it was cool, but there was something missing. Then when I was 10, Van Halen released the Jump album and I quit wanting to be like Michael Jackson, I wanted to be like Eddie van Halen and play the electric guitar bad! We only had this old gut-string guitar at home so my mom and dad showed me a few things on it, but I didn’t have money to buy anything until I started working when I was 15. Actually between buying new surfboards, it took me another 2 years to save up the money for my first electric guitar. Me and my friend both got one at the same time and we didn’t know jack about how to play them. In fact after we plugged the guitars into the amp, we strummed down expecting to sound like Slash from GnR and instead of hearing this monster rock sound, we heard this gentle clean guitar. We thought the guitars were broken, so we went to complain at the guitar store, of course the store owner was like: “Son, there’s nothing wrong with the guitar, you need a distortion peddle if you want it to sound like that”. After that, we just started playing in bands and playing gigs.

Kakšna je surf scena v JAR?
The surf scene in South Africa is really good. We got so many world class breaks and riders (world class girls on the beach too haha). But seriously you got so many different kinds of waves and conditions to choose from in South Africa, it’s crazy. Empty, crushing waves and seriously freezing cold water up the Western Cape. Some of the best waves and biggest sharks in the world in my home-town Cape Town. And you can’t mention South African surfing without mentioning J-Bay of course. KwaZulu/Natal has got warm water and some seriously crazy good waves in KwaZulu/Natal – they got a couple of sharks up there too, but for some reason they got shark nets and we don’t them in Cape Town, but we got more sharks… go figure…

Od kar te jaz poznam skos neki vandraš okoli po svetu, kdaj si šel od doma in koliko časa se že potikaš po svetu? Kaj te je gnalo, da si šel od doma?
It was never like I made a conscious decision to go traveling around the world. It kinda just happened, I remember surfing a great wave together with a friend one day with no one else in the water and I started thinking: “Damn this is like a dream, I’m in India surfing these great waves alone with a good friend, a few months ago I was doing the same thing in Thailand, a couple of months before that I was in Australia, a few months before that I was in France and next month I’ll be in Indonesia and then the Philippines – How did this all happen?”. I didn’t leave South Africa with any fixed plan, I knew I wanted to see a little bit of the rest of the world but for the rest I just made up the plan as I went along.

Kje si ujel svoj prvi val, a se še spomniš?

I rode my first wave on a standup board when I was twelve, it was the our local beach break of the little beach town called Fish Hoek where we moved out to when we came back from Johannesburg. It’s a pretty non-impressive close-out beach break, but when I was a kid it was my home break and I loved it.

Pa tvoj prvi komad, a se še spomniš besedila?

In the beginning I didn’t write lyrics at all, I was happy just writing the guitar parts in our band back in Cape Town. Back then we weren’t exactly sure whether we wanted to play hardcore, punk or metal – but we knew we wanted to make a really loud noise… so we kinda threw it all together and made the loudest noise we could!  I think the first complete song I wrote was about those rich, spoiled kids who really piss you off when you’re a kid. You know the type, parents give them everything and they still moan about everything. Our band was called Shovit then and the song was a kinda fast punk song, if I remember correctly, the name of the song was Ritchie Rich and the chorus went something like: “All my life, I always wanted someone to give me all of their money” hahaha.

Kako to da si prišel v Slovenijo? Zhir kakšna punca?

Kje vse si že surfal in kje se ti je najbolj dopadlo?
I haven’t been to any really exotic places to surf, except maybe India, but my favorite sessions are always those where I manage to surf a break alone with my friends and just enjoy a good time. But the places that I’m always looking forward to go back to are Burleigh Heads Beach and the Superbank down in Coolangatta, Australia – Uluwatu in Bali, just because the wave really is that good – The Bubble and  Las Palmeras on the Canary Islands, Hossegor in France and if I had to pick a wave in Cape Town, I’d pick the Hoek, mainly because when I was a kid, just starting out, it used to scare the bejeezus out of me, but I kept going back to get punished again and again. I’ve got some friends though who have been to some truly way out places to surf though, they should tell their story! Mine really pales in comparison.

Zdaj je ful in da surferji tudi brenkajo na kitaro in pojejo, kaj praviš na to :)?
I think it’s cool, I don’t even mind the guys on MTV who jump around pretending to be surfers and skaters. Obviously surfing is really big business these days, and a lot people wanna look cool and make money out of it and I’m cool with that. But in the end it really comes down to what surfing means to me personally. It always comes and goes in cycles anyway, first surfing was really popular, then skateboarding became really huge and now surfing is big again, I remember there was a time when roller-blading was really popular but I guess that’s pretty much unexplainable.



Kaj je tvoja inspiracija za glasbo, kako to izgleda, od kje pridejo besedila in od kje pol melodija? Kako je nastal recimo Freaky?
The songs kinda come when they want to come and for me the inspiration usually comes at the least inconvenient time. I mean I can spend 8 hours playing the guitar and not come up with anything, but then I’m driving along the freeway and then a song pops into my head, and then I gotta figure out how to record it – I used to call my voice-mail a lot and leave myself messages a lot of songs hahaha I guess all my songs are pretty personal, I don’t sound very convincing when I just make something up. They’re just songs about things I’ve been through. I always like to think of it this way, if you put all my songs together, then you should have a pretty good idea about how I think about the world.Kakšen je odziv na tvoje komade, si zadovoljen?
Yeah I’m totally blown away with the response! It really wasn’t supposed to be like that cos I didn’t really start out with any big plan – I just wanted to record some shitty little songs I wrote. So I recorded them and people started saying to me: You know those shitty songs of yours actually ain’t so shitty… Now people from all over the world are contacting me and saying: Your music rocks, come and play a gig in my town! What can I say, if I can pull it off, I’ll definitely come and play a gig China, my pleasure.

Aja, a E-mule uničuje glasbeno industrijo :)? Se da kje zastonj posnet tvoje komade :))?
I think E-mule and the Internet is really good for musicians. I mean, before the Internet the music industry was controlled by just a few people and companies. Listeners had to listen to whatever they were told to listen to by the major record labels. That obviously sucked for everyone except the few musicians who were pushed by the major labels. Major labels don’t control the Internet like they controlled all other media in the past, so listeners now have a chance to actively find music they like. This is good for music and good for everyone else as well, except of course it’s not good for the major labels.

Zdaj maš nov single? Kako je bilo na Tenerifih, zakaj si snemal tam? Si tud kaj surfal?
Yeah my new single is called: This Will Be The Day. I basically turned my apartment in Las Americas into a little recording studio. It kinda worked out well, because from my balcony I can see the line-up so if there are waves I can stop recording and run down to the beach to surf.

Kdaj bo kak tvoj koncert v Slo :)?
We’re trying to organize some concerts for next year. There is a lot to do right now, so we’re just trying to get things organized properly!


Chris van der Merwe MySpace stran , kjer se da poslušat njegove komade.
Chris van der Merwe na Facebook-u.
In še online trgovina , kjer lahko kupite Chrisov nov CD – Freaky EP.

Comments (3)

  1. mm Author
    klemen 2026 years ago

    Blah >:( končno en k ne odgovarja samo z ja in ne 😛

  2. Ana 2026 years ago

    Chris… you talk to0 much ;D;D;D

  3. igor 2026 years ago

    Keep up good work, mate.. :D;D

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