Meet Pirates of Radio: the online band showing us just how easy it is to make music under lockdown life

There’s an online sound brewing and Pirates of Radio are ready to conquer the world with it. Their story begins in 2017, with a game of Chinese Whispers (Telefoontjie) and frontman Gideon Kretschmer’s revelation that bands didn’t physically have to be together to make meaningful music.

They do everything online, from writing to production – a true emblem for what it means to be a musician in 2020. Mapped out across Frankfurt, Dubai, Thailand and our very own Mother City, Pirates of Radio couldn’t have been better positioned to thrive under lockdown life.  

On a first listen you’d never guess the fragmented process behind their new singles “Beehive Riot” and “Swan Songs”. They classify their sound as #hopepunk – the softer side of punk, aspiring to use their unique approach for the sake of making interesting, inspiring music. 

Kretschmer’s will is what carries Pirates of Radio through the mayhem. Having worked alone for most of his career, he craved collaboration, and has since found a renewed creative fuel in making the possible out of something seemingly impossible. Gathering old friends together, including acclaimed Springbok Nude Girls drummer Francois Kruger, was just the start of this grimdark, mammoth journey.

With whiffs of a trademark South African rock, both “Beehive Riot” and “Swan Songs” go to show the synth-hued, whole-hearted talent behind these guys. There are also videos to accompany the singles, showing off a lighter side to the band’s heavy sound, from panda bears and joyous dance moves to riots in the streets and psychedelic anaglyphs – there are many faces to this group of international musos, and they’re pioneering a way forward for artists that might just become a welcomed norm in these crazy, crazy times.