Competition Interview

Taleswapper for RE:

RE: are a pretty rock ‘n roll brand so it makes sense to feature bona fide musicians in their ad campaigns.

Their latest one features Soweto-based rockers Ree-Burth, ChianoSky and local singer-songwriter Taleswapper (aka Donny Truter).

I caught up with him earlier this month to get his take on being part of the RE: campaign and find out what’s brewing on his musical horizon.

1. You cross a few different genres but how would you describe your sound for those people who’ve never heard your music?

Taleswapper started out as quite cross genre especially in the first album “Triumphant Wounds” incorporating talking jazz and country and some folk, but the sound has moved more and more toward delta blues. There is a thick murky swamp in our music that keeps getting bigger…

2. You have collaborated with some really awesome local artists like Inge Beckmann, Jeremy Loops, Two Minute Puzzle and more, who has been your favourite to work with and why?

They are all very close friends of mine so it was obviously fun to work with all of them. I have a grand ol’ time with the boys from Cat and the Jackal and have spent years jamming with Andre G from Machineri… we even spent some time living together at “The Hof” it’s nice to see everyone from that crew is still working and putting in the hours!

3. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience shooting the ad for RE: Jeans where you were included with a whole bunch of local SA musicians and celebs?

I’ve done some TV work before and I must be honest I’ll never get used to being up at 5am… but that being said the cast and crew were all really up beat and easy to work with. Nagi Sakai’s direction was vivid and clear – had some good laughs between shots with local cats – and the crew made it a pleasure to be up at the crack of dawn. The RE: team was efficient and highly professional.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration from, who has influenced you over the years?

I started my career performing my poetry which is still quite a large part of the live performance. I was heavily influenced by music that was lyrically/poetically driven, so the beatnik generation, ‘30s blues men like Skip James and Robert Johnson. And I was also obsessively drawn to the great ballad writers like Harry Belafonte, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Roy Orbison. I’m mostly inspired by the darkness in music and in word… and simplicity.

5. You have played at Oppikoppi and Rocking The Daisies, where to next for Taleswapper? Where would you like to see the band in a couple of years?

We’ve been shortlisted for a few festivals this summer and have a couple of nice things on the go, for example the new album , and once that has been honoured, New York New York. Though I don’t think I’ll be able to steal Jacques du Plessis and JC Visser away from their commitments. America is my next stop for sure. I’ve been putting it off for a few years now to reach local goals I’ve set out for myself, so let’s see. Seems I always find reason in hanging around.

6. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

To speak every language on the planet including the ones animals seem to hide from us.

7. If there is ANY artist in the world you could collaborate with, dead or alive, who would it be?

To be a part of a Nick Cave production would be awe-inspiring. His work across the arts is in a league of its own.

Now to celebrate their new ad and campaign RE: has given me a gift card to the value of R1500 for one lucky person to put to good use at Woolworths. So, if this sounds at all appealing to you (and in all honestly if it doesn’t, there’s something seriously wrong with you) what you need to do is answer this question – name one of Taleswapper’s influences?

Then, leave your answer and a short motivation and to why YOU want this prize, by commenting on the bottom of this post. Easy peasy.

Competition closes tomorrow at 4pm and winners will be announced via email.