Full flex rock and roll from Cadillac Sun

Cadillac Sun
Cadillac Sun

Cadillac Sun is one of South Africa’s newest rock and roll troubadours who prefer to let their raw rock and roll sound reign supreme. Potchefstroom Herald caught up with the band to get to grips with their future plans, the reasoning behind their music, how rock and roll will not die and how music has influenced their lives among a list of other things in this Q and A.

  1. Give us a quick roundup of who each member of Cadillac Sun is and from where they originate in SA?

Emile Snyman, founder, guitarist and backup vocals. Lives and farms outside Fochville

Carl Heydenrych, vocalist and main lyricist in the band. Lives and works in Sasolburg.

Francois Jones, drummer, lives in Vanderbijlpark.

Hendru Basson, bassist and lives in Vanderbijlpark

2. You guys recently released your new single “Questions & Wine”. How would you summarise the song and what would be the main inspiration behind it?

Questions & Wine might be the bands favourite song to date. The song is about a complex relationship between two people that leave you with more questions than answers. We usually like to keep the meanings of our songs open so that each listener can interpret a meaning for themselves.

3. “Questions & Wine” opens with a groovy bass line and has a number of softer and louder parts. Is that something you purposefully wanted to include in a single?

The main groovey bass line lends itself a bit more towards a jazzy vibe, which was new for us. It was just a part of the writing process, we never really aimed at doing it that way, but it gives the song a real gritty edge and hopefully the listener can hear that. It might be something that we explore in the future.

4. Your first album had a real raw rock and roll feel to it. I can understand how your different influences (Wolfmother, Black Sabbath, Foo Fighters, Guns & Roses etc.) played a part in the album. Basically it hits you in the heart. How would you describe your music and what would you want listeners/fans to feel?

The Cadillac Sun sound would be a modern twist on rock & roll. We were all massive fans of the genre growing up and we take a lot of inspiration from others styles of music and newer bands as well as all the classic bands like AC/DC. We want our intense and raw sound to reflect in our recordings, so we hope our listeners get to feel the passion and raw power of the music.  If it gives the listener a sense of freedom and makes them forget about all the troubles of daily life. If a listener can experience that it feels like a win. This band has always been a passion project and it shows itself in all the material we have released and how are live performances reflect that sense of determination that we have as 4 musicians.

5. Cadillac Sun started as a musical project and evolved into a full scale band. Would you say it is important to have a vision as a band? What would be your vision?

It is extremely important to have a vision and to take action to realize that vision. Our vision as a band is to firmly make a musical statement that rock & roll is not dead and it still has a place in today’s market, especially in our country. We would also like to become one of the most prominent bands on the scene and we can only get that done through playing a lot of shows and releasing new music as much as we possibly can

6. Music is all about emotion in both the lyrics and instrumentation. How do you successfully combine those two elements as a band?

We have such a good musical connection with each other and every time we get together we seem to write more and more new material. It is key for any band to be on the same wavelength and we all seem to be. Communication is also key. Not just musically. We discuss in depth what song themes should be and each individuals take on a song. This makes it a very open and honest writing process.


7. What would you say differentiates you as a band in the music scene?

Our very honest approach to making music. We have always thought that that is the most important approach, especially in today’s fickle market. Too many bands write and make narcissistic music without feel. The number one aim is sales and that is not what we are all about.

8. If Cadillac Sun would be advertised on a billboard/bumper sticker, what would the slogan be?

Full flex rock & roll

9. Three favourite songs that you love to play live and why?

Rock & Roll is definitely one of the bands favourite tracks to perform live. It was also one of our fan favourites and it’s really a punchy track that gets a crowd going.

We also love playing an improvised blues song we play in each set that we just call “Slow Blues”. It is a totally improved piece and it takes away some of the constraints of a traditional song. It gives each individual band member the freedom to try and play something different every time we play the tune. Then we always end our shows with a cover of the Rage Against the Machine classic “Killing in the Name Of”. We all love this song so much. It really is an amazing song. Probably the most rock and roll song of all time

10. Best gig you have played in 2017 thus far and why?

Oppikoppi would be the one. That was one of the highlights of 2017 and the biggest performance in our short career so far.

11. Top 5 tips for upcoming bands?

  1. Stay true to yourself and your music
  2. practice practice practice
  3. Always pre prepare before you have any rehearsal
  4. Always be on time for all shows/practises/interviews
  5. Be nice to any one who enjoys your music, true fans are priceless
  6. We will throw in a 6th bonus one. Always be grateful and nice to sound engineers. If your attitude sucks towards them they won’t put any effort in making you sound good

12. Name one international artist (current) and one (local) artist you would love to collaborate with on a song?

We have been in talks with Albert Frost in producing one of our tracks with us, so that is pretty exciting. The other act we would love to get involved with locally would definitely be The Narrow. They have been absolute idols in the SA music scene and they can do know wrong in our eyes. On the international scene there are so many but one that band that would really stand out would be Rival Sons.Cadillac Sun the name is derived from one of their songs. From songwriting to live performance they might just be the best all out rock & roll band around these days

13. Great rock & roll has been few and far between these days. Do you believe that the future of rock & roll is in good hands?

There has been a lot of EDM going around these days. To us it always feels like a fad. Any tracks that get released get a lot of traction for 3 months and then it’s old hat. We feel that rock & roll will forever remain timeless. Why would you listen to a machine make you music when their is something real like rock is beyond us

14. Upcoming gigs? Any plans to make a trip to Potchefstroom?

The band is on a small hiatus right now. We hope to start invading Potch soon. We all have a magical connection with the place and would love to see more live shows being held their like a couple of years ago.

Look out for more gigs and our second album in 2018.

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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