15th Dec2010

Your New Favorite Band: Desmond and the Tutu’s

by Todd

Hailing from Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa, Desmond and the Tutu’s are a gem of a pop band. TDOA writer Amy talked to the band and found them to be goofy, carefree and fun. Just the way we like our bands. Frontman Shane Durrant does the honors.

TDOA: So, I know who Desmond Tutu is (primarily because we share a birthday). How did you come up with this band name?

SD: We wanted to have a band name with the ‘something and the somethings’ formula. So after going through a few South African people we decided to stick with Desmond. Mango and the Buthelezis doesn’t really roll off the tongue.

TDOA: Clearly, you guys are “indie.” What do you think makes a good indie band? Other than, you know, not being on a major label?

SD: No, no, we’re South African.

TDOA: I can see from photos on your blog that your shows are pretty high-energy. Why do you think that is? What do you think makes you guys great performers?

SD: We love playing the music we make and that comes out on stage, it’s our fix. It helps that we enjoy the music we’re making. So its fun for us to play live so I suppose the audience can see that and then get amped. We try and make songs that will sound good live. Also wearing hilarious oversized performance hats gives us an edge.

TDOA: I can imagine that the music industry in South Africa is a blend of different cultures – can you comment on the scene there? Is indie thriving?

SD: There are some good bands. A bit of a shortage of great venues in areas like Johannesburg. SA bands like Isochronous, BLK JKS and Sweat X are doing pretty well.

TDOA: I love the letters to and from Desmond Tutu on your blog – how did that come about? Have you all actually met Tutu?

SD: Never met the man, a journo who interviewed him asked us to write him a letter. He is renowned in South Africa for being a really awesome guy so we were never scared of getting sued or anything.

TDOA: My favorite track of yours is “High Fives.” Who the hell is Darryl?

SD: An ex-roommate of Shane’s.

TDOA: I love the posters/photographs on your website – where can I order some Desmond and the Tutus merch?

SD: Well, you can’t really. We’re generally pretty bad at the stuff. You can order shirts off our Zazzle store and some other bits and pieces from Flake Records in Japan.

TDOA: More on that – do you guys do your own artwork? It rules.

SD: We do and thanks.

TDOA: What kind of relationship do you guys have with your fans? It seems to be open, and awesome.

SD: People who come to our shows have been coming for years, and our fans treat us very nicely and always dance and make us feel awesome, almost like a real band!

TDOA: COME TO THE US. This is not a question, so I guess I should say: DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO COME TO THE US?

SD: …Juna kief bra eks daar soos ‘n boef op ‘n krediet kaard…(roughly translated; if the opportunity arose we’d be there in a second!)

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/desmondandthetutus

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