Feature Interview

Bam Bam Brown: Welcome To The Show

I was first introduced to Kieron Brown when I was given a copy of Saintfearless’ debut album to review. I totally slated it. We become good friends regardless, bonding over late night Shack Sessions and Zula’s wooden bar counter and as Kieron further entrenched himself within the scene, I saw the quality of music that he produced evolve in front of my eyes. Bam Bam Brown is his most recent reincarnation and he has big plans afoot for his alter ego.

Okay Kieron, why Bam Bam? Are we throwing back to The Flintstones or is it more like a metaphorical musical gun going off?
The latter seems to be a fitting term for the explanation. Maybe it was a manner to deal always having my name spelt badly at shows or online. But yeah, I guess I feel I’m at a place in my career where I’m standing up and firing off my pistol. Everyone kinda has moments in their life in some way I guess. My pistol is firing for more than just me, that’s where the Wild Professors come in. Although I’d like to think there’s a little Bam Bam Flinstone in my music. Play nice, but play hard, ya know? And carry a big stick around. Use it to make your point. Bam Bam.

Your bio reads like The Wild West meets The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Does the music that make provide an element of escapism for you or perhaps you’d like it to for those people that come to your gigs?
To be square, that’s what it looks like inside my head. There’s all sorts of crystal gears grinding away and I’ve been gifted with an absolutely schizophrenic upbringing when it comes to the different genres of music I’ve been exposed to or involved with. But don’t take that for arrogance. I could sight read classical pieces at 11, now my brain won’t let me look at a quaver and know what it is. Zonk. I kinda want this project to amplify that. To use music and creativity as tool to connect rather than separate people, regardless of who and where and blah blah blah. And the gigs should reflect that. Leave your pretences at the door, and just come relax and have a good time, especially if you’re paying for it.

You started to veer into solo waters quite a while ago but with each new project and evolution, your sound has also been ever-progressing. What have been some of the key people you’ve worked and performed with that have changed the way you approach music.
Ah tough question! I’ve been at this for half a decade now, in my capacity. Right before I even started playing shows I would go up to the old Kill City and sit with George Van Der Spuy and would grind him for questions and wait for bands to come in to practice. Proper prawning. He let me hang around and I learnt tons from just hanging around rooms listening to rehearsals. Kevin Winder would tell me straight up when I sucked, and taught that I didn’t have to, which anyone can take from. But when Saintfearless split I was really exhausted from working my ass off in the scene, and took a break. I discovered a world of different genres in that time, electronic and otherwise, and couldn’t understand why all these kids, who shared school buses and hash tags, couldn’t simply just all play in the same playground. Again, The Wild Professors idea grew…

So, who are the Wild Professors?
So, this is where I need your close attention. The Wild Professors are anyone and everyone that collaborates with Bam Bam Brown. This could be a musician, designer, producer. Anything really. All good things willing I will have set this up as network which has an online stream of these Professors’ works in an ever growing, ever buzzing beehive of cool. Good people, sharing good things, for good reasons. It means I’m not constricted to a band, or a stage or song for that matter. It’s a people project, more than a music project. It’s an open invitation.

What’s the bigger picture for Bam Bam Brown? A lot of musos are throwing their hats in the overseas busking and performance ring, would that be something you’d be interested in partaking in?
The whole foreign exchange vibe is a great tool for us live musicians right now. In Europe, the infrastructure allows for musicians to build something of themselves much easier than down here. For now. I’ve got some plans lined up to hopefully be in Berlin by August. The massive network appeal is also so encouraging, but i want to use it as a platform for more than just myself. My friends, play with your friends, we play nice. It really is quite simple. And at the same time, I have to make a bigger me, to cause a bigger effect. Bam Bam, you know?

I’ve watched you rise up in the musical ranks from Saintfearless to Feverstone to all your rum-swigging solo gigs in between – what’s been the hardest lesson you’ve learnt about the musical climate in SA through the years?
Always check that the guardrail is ape-safe before engaging mount? Ah, you know, any musician will tell you the scene down here is hard. And it is, live music is suffering right now, and when the alarms go off, people scratch and claw to stay at afloat, and take each other out in the process. I had a bit of that too, tasted it, and spat it right out. I guess the hardest thing I had to learn was timing, patience and most of all, sincerity. In the noisy room that is our music scene, I feel, sometimes that’s most wholesome way to go about doing things here. F**k being a rock star, or a zef whatever. That just makes you another number. Make music, make love, do you.

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