BrotherBrother talk multi-instrumentalism and making foot-stomping music as a trio

At TATC we pride ourselves on showcasing the best in underground and independent talent, which is why we’re incredibly excited about the 5 Finalists we’ve chosen to compete at our first Band Or Bust competition in Stellenbosch on Saturday the 7th of March.

This week, we thought we’d take the liberty of introducing the 5 Finalists to you and first up is multi-instrumental folk-acoustic trio, BrotherBrother.

I caught up with Paul Avenant, Theunis van der Merwe and Roelof van der Merwe who have been making music and sharing stories since late 2016.

The three members are all originally from the Great Karoo (Beaufort West and Murraysburg), and their raw acoustic sound is primarily influenced by it.  Together they combine their vocals and multitude of instruments, including acoustic guitar, banjo, bass, harmonica, cajon and drums to create upbeat folk music with lyrics that always tell a story.

Texx: So tell me a bit about BrotherBrother – who are the collective members and where are you all from?

Roelof van der Merwe: We are three Afrikaans guys originally from the Great Karoo, with Theunis and I originally from Beaufort West and Paul from Murraysburg. Strangely enough we decided to make some music together in English. I am the lyricist and lead vocalist and I also play acoustic guitar and banjo,  Theunis van der Merwe is our bass player, rhythm guitar player and our second vocalist and finally, Paul Avenant can be found banging his head on the drums or playing harmonica and he is also our third vocalist.

Texx: How would you best describe the type of music that you make?

Theunis: We make music that is raw, acoustic, combined with three-part vocals and a multitude of instruments (including acoustic guitar, banjo, bass, harmonica, cajon and drums) to create upbeat folk music with lyrics that always have a story to tell.

Texx: For everyone coming to see you at Band Or Bust on the 7th of March, what can they look forward to at your live shows?

Paul: Our live shows are personal and authentic, with a focus on our short stories turned into feet stomping, memorable songs.

Texx: What’s been the highlight of your musical journey so far?

Theunis: Releasing our first EP and having it play on national radio and TV.

Texx: What do you think you bring to the Final 5 that makes you stand out?

Paul: Having a look at the other finalists I think that we are the only acoustic/folk band in the Top 5, so our acoustic sound, three-part vocal harmonies and lyrically driven songs should make us stand out.

Texx: Which act out of the Final 5 do you rate highly and why?

Roelof: In all honesty I haven’t heard of the other bands until the Band or Bust competition (and I think they can say the same about us), but after having a look online at all the acts I really look forward to the diversity of genres from the artists and seeing them all perform live.

Texx: Which part of the prize package is the most attractive to you and why?

Theunis: The opportunity to work with Theo Crous and Karen Zoid to produce a single, without a doubt!  The years of experience and knowledge that the two of them would bring to the recording of a single would be invaluable.

Texx: If you could pick any of the judges to drink with who would you pick and why?

Roelof: It’ll have to be Wynand Myburgh, because if you’re picking one of the judges to drink with, it will most definitely turn into a “harde” party if you pick Wynand.  So, as we say in Afrikaans “Wie’s bang?”.

Catch BrotherBrother at the first #BandOrBust on Saturday the 7th of March.