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For most bands that have been together for over a decade, if a founding member decides to depart it normally spells the end. Not so for Desmond and the Tutus. In fact, the now-trio seem to have a renewed energy and focus ahead of Mieliepop Festival. I caught up with infamous frontman Shane Durrant to chat about Nic Dinnie’s departure, their plans for moving forward and being big in Japan.
Timothy Kohler: First of all, Shane – congratulations for the birth of your beautiful baby boy, Rex! I hope that he’s settling in superbly with your daughter, Nina?
Desmond and the Tutus: Yes he’s doing really well, eating like a boss and just a generally chill little guy. Mom is healthy and Nina is loving big sister life!
TK: Now let’s get down to business. After 11 years, your bassist, Nic, has very recently left the band and moved overseas. How are you guys coping with the new dynamic and will you be looking for a replacement?
DT: We were really sad to lose Nic but fully support him doing his thing in life. Doug, Craig and I are starting to toy with new ideas again so only time will tell what kind of effect this has on us music-wise. Emotionally, we’re all shattered but our band whatsapp group will live on!
TK: You recently got back from tour in Japan, how are you being received there and how are you finding the reception yourselves? Considering your association with Flake Records, this seems like it wasn’t your first tour that side.
DT: We toured Japan for the first time in 2010 after connecting with Dawa from Flake Records a year earlier on Myspace -remember Myspace kids? We went over not knowing what to expect and were shocked by the fans reactions – we were getting recognised in shopping malls and things, we were like, “Wait, how famous are we over here?” The Japanese people are really passionate and sweet and we developed a really nice little following there. We went back in 2013 and then last year in 2016 with our buddies Shortstraw.
TK: We’re super excited that Mieliepop is coming up. Are there any particularly up-and- coming acts you’re looking most forward to seeing?
DT: I’m a big We Are Charlie fan and always love watching them. The Moths are also great and oh I definitely can’t wait for Rambling Bones.
TK: Considering South Africa’s festival degradation, what do you believe distinguishes Mieliepop, as well as the rest of them that seem to persist, from the rest?
DT: I love the size of Mieliepop, it’s really not too big so you don’t get the feeling that you are at some giant big festival.
TK: Finally, after your last SAMA-winning album and tours locally and abroad, not to mention a few of the most comically-relieving music videos, what’s on the horizon for Desmond?
DT: We’ve got a couple new singles coming out from “Enjoy Yourself” in the next few months. We’re also releasing an “Enjoy Yourself” deluxe edition that includes some fantastic new remixes so look out for that. We’re slowly starting to write new stuff so hopefully we can put out another album in the next 10 or 15 years.