New band on the Wits block, Playing Brave are not just your average boozing brood. Only six months old, their love for music shows in the way they speak, sing and act.
All Wits students, the band, which is an indie-garage rock genre, came together after meeting at a party where two of the members, Tish Singh and Stevan Johnson had already started playing acoustic music together a few weeks before.
Through Singh they met their bassist, Luke van Aardt and his “good mate”, drummer Ryan Deacon (who I must mention, is of Irish decent).
“Ryan is probably the best guitarist, drummer … you name it of the band!” said lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Johnson, “Ryan actually started out as a guitarist until we realised we needed a drummer.”
“And I was like ‘Hey, I can play drums too’ and that was it,” Deacon said.
Their music is inspired by art, contemporary cinema “especially films like Whiplash”, happy times and “of course break-ups”.
“We’re also inspired by other musicians, especially Josh Homme. He’s a phenomenal musician!” said Van Aardt
Playing Brave toured in Durban for a week recently and has also played at Cool Runnings, Smugglers and the Living Room in Maboneng.
The band hopes to eventually make it to the Oppikoppi music festival because it’s one of the “best local rock festivals”.
“It’s the best place to be as a musician,” Johnson said. “We also hope to get an album out soon as well.”
Deacon told Wits Vuvuzela that conflict and rivalry within the band is kept to the bare minimum.
“If we have an issue with someone in the band, we hash it out there and then,” he said.
“Ja, we don’t let it build up. We’re all mates!” said Singh.
To chill out the band enjoy partying together, square-mosh dancing and rocking out to music which is what keeps them motivated.
“We just do things that remind us of why we are doing this, I love it,” said Singh.
The band’s favourite food is “Ryan’s moms’ spaghetti bolognaise” and when asked about what one would find in their garage fridge where they practice, Johnson joked, “lots of Baileys and Beer”.
The band wants to appeal to “young, fun and alternative” audiences who are willing to “dance their asses off”.
“Truth be told, none of us really want to be studying, if we could really make it as musicians we’d make that our full-time career,” Johnson said.
The bands next gig will be on March 20 at Sundowners.