Fokofpolisiekar’s drummer shares a few classic stories about the band’s 16-year-old selves

This weekend Fokof descend upon their home away from Bellville, Pretoria, to throw a monster Sweet 16 jol that they’ve promised will be their biggest to-date. Godt.

Over the years we’ve interviewed or featured almost every member of Fokof. Except Snake. Somehow he’s managed to elude us. Until now.

And in the spirit of all things Sweet 16, we made it our mission to take Snake back to his high school days – and to also dish the dirt on who was a bit more studious, who was popular with the ladies but most importantly, who was awarded Mr Bellville at their high school beauty pageant.

What was your high school nickname and who gave it to you? And on another note, where does “Snake/Snakehead” actually come from? 

I think my nickname in early high school was probably “Jakes” and when myself and Wynand became friends (around the 11th grade) he started calling me “Snakes”. This later morphed into a whole bunch of variations because (of the claustrophobic nature of starting a band) you spend a lot of time together – some of these include Snakeface, Snakehead and more abstract ones like Baconface later emerged. Snake/Snakehead are the ones that stuck it seems. We continually come up with new nicknames for each other, though. Too many. Waaay too many…

Describe your favourite 16-year-old outfit.

Around the time I was 16 in ’98/’99 it was probably a good pair of (baggy) Dickies pants, some All-Stars with striped athletic socks, some skate-brand’s T-shirt and a charity shop zip-up athletic jacket from the 70’s or 80’s. Oh, and a stud-belt and wallet chain, so you can better scratch your friends and family’s cars when leaning on-and-around them. Take all of that, round it off with big brightly coloured spiked hair (using shaving cream) and add more ball chains than a Bathroom Bizarre, and you have a look that scared the bejeezus out of my high school girlfriend’s dad.  

Did you spend more time in class or detention? 

Our school didn’t really have detention. I got given a lot of extra homework for misbehaving, though. As a whole I was pretty good at school – even made 1st team chess in grade 11. It was only after that that I started skipping school more and more. I think in my Matric year I was in school for less than 40 days. Good times.

In high school, which role did each band member play? So like, popular guy, rugby player, introvert, person whose house you always braaid at?

Oh, this is a fun one. I think myself, Hunter and Johnny didn’t really fall in a specific stereotype or group. I don’t think our school, DF Malan, was really like that. Our jocks weren’t even real jocks, or they just really sucked against schools that played proper rugby. We were friends with the jocks, academics, stoners and geeks. I think for Francois and Wynand, going to Bellville High, it was different. Frannie was definitely a bit more of a jock and a popular guy – he played first team rugby and he was also awarded the title of Mr Bellville at their high school beauty pageant/popularity contest! Wynand started of as an rugby/athletics guy and then got really into acid and Death Metal. From all the stories it sounded like he was pretty badass.

How old were you when you had your first kiss – and who was it with?  

My first kiss only happened in like the 9th grade. It was with a random older girl (with a tongue ring) in Onrus Beach’s camping site. I never saw her again after that. Don’t know what that says!

Who in the band was more popular with ladies at school and why? 

I think Francois and Wynand were way more suave with the ladies and had way more early experiences in the ways of the woman by then. Hunter I think would take 3rd place in terms high-school girlfriends. Myself and Johnny had girlfriends at certain points in school but we were way more into weed and punk rock. 

What’s your most embarrassing 16-year-old moment? 

There’s not really anything that stands out. Everything is pretty embarrassing at that age. I did get “pantsed” by a friend while talking to a girlfriend once if that counts for something?

What your proudest 16-year-old moment? 

It definitely was playing my first show on guitar in a club (Purple Turtle) with my band at the time. It’s either that or it was hooking up with an older girl who I had crush on since the beginning of high school. Pretty big stokes for a 16 year old.

What was your go-to pick up line? 

I don’t really believe in pick-up lines. I did however see a guy in high school use this line/trick on girl successfully. He claimed to the girl that he could kiss her without touching her. She then, curiously but sceptically, replied ’surely thats not possible. He then asked her if she was willing to wager a bet? If he pulls off this incredible feat of physics she must buy him a drink and, likewise, if he failed he’d buy her any drink of her choice. They shook on the terms and then he just proceeded to lunge into her, touching tonsils for like 20 seconds.  “…but you touched me?” said the girl with a smile after the kiss, to which the guy replied, “Yes, I did…  so what do you like to drink?”

Pretty bold. I don’t know if that would fly in todays age, though.

Is the band going to dress as their 16-year-old selves for the show because lets be honest that would be dope. 

It would, but Tweak already beat us to that when they had their Oppikoppi reunion show a couple of years back. Glorious 3-quarter shorts!

Tickets: R195 at http://bit.ly/fokofsweet16

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2319865531595589/