Hermanus-bred, Cape Town-hailing surf rockers, Retro Dizzy are one of the more wildly creative musical projects dominating our local music scene at the moment.
With two album releases beneath their belt, the latest of which sees their dramatic progression in the psych-rock direction, as well as a steadily increasing fan following, Retro Dizzy is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in their chosen field.
Skye Mallac: So I want to talk about your latest album, ‘Creatures of the Black Desert’. You must have been hard at work over the last two years to have released two full length albums in the short time you have been together as a band. The sound of this album moves towards a distinctly harder, heavier sound than that of your debut. What were you primary influences while creating this project?
Retro Dizzy: I guess as musicians we grew up a little since the first record and also the environment/mindset we were in when we made the second album was slightly darker and more focused. Also the bands we got into were harder with a big sound but our influences change the whole time.
SM: You all originally hail from Hermanus – how has the move to Cape Town influenced your music as well as your view of the music scene?
RD: The city streets and late nights have had an impact on us as both musicians and people. Hangovers and black eyes can change you a bit. In terms of how we see the music scene, it is a very exciting time. Some of the older bands have kind of died and there’s a lot of new bands coming through that are so creative and exciting.
SM: Retro Dizzy is a three piece band and yet you succeed in creating some of the most heavily layered, textured music I have come across, a tricky feat given your numbers. How do you manage that?
RD: Practice and Windhoeks.
SM: Let’s talk the Black Lips, who you count among your many influences and who you were lucky enough to play alongside during their brief South African tour last November. What was that experience like?
RD: They are the best. It was an honour and a big thank you to our big brothers at Psych Night and Vans. We owe a lot to those two collectives.
SM: While your sound doesn’t fall into one particular genre, it is primarily dominated by psychedelic stylings, a genre which is quickly gaining force locally with the likes of Psych Night. What made Retro Dizzy head in that direction?
RD: I don’t think we made a conscious decision to head in that direction, it just kind of comes out of us. Like I said earlier though, we have tons of influences that kind of revolve around.
SM: I get the feeling that most of your songs are very personal which leads to the question, who writes them? Is a collective effort or are particular songs personal to particular band members?
RD: I do (Richard, lead singer guitarist). I believe that if you aren’t honest in your song writing then no one will believe you.
SM: Although Retro Dizzy’s musical career hasn’t been all that long thus far, what are some of the iconic moments you cherish as a band?
RD: Playing with both the Allah-Las and Black Lips was amazing. Playing at Rocking the Daisies was life changing. And there’s a few personal highlights but we can’t tell you guys. [Ed’s note: Thankfully we’ve got great imaginations].
SM: Although I get the feeling you are quite laid back in your approach to music, do you have any long term goals for the band?
RD: We aren’t weekend rock ‘n’ rollers. We sweat, bleed, get hungover, stay up all night just to try make this band work. We don’t want to be ditch diggers. So our goals are to be the best band that we can be, write good songs, live every moment as if it’s our last, sing loud, play fast, never stop.
SM: On that note, where are we catch you and your music for a good show in the near future?
RD: 18th Feb- Bohemia Stellenbosch w/Stoker
20th Feb- Manila Bar CT DEATH PANTHERS Album launch
4th March- Manila Bar w/ The Tazers (JHB)
5th March- ASSEMBLY
19TH March- Dizzys Camps Bay
20th March- Yourstruly (Acoustic show)