Retro Dizzy enters a new phase with new members and a return show announced

Retro Dizzy are one of the last remaining bands from Cape Town’s psych-rock scene. They started out in 2016, have three full length albums under their belt and have played to many South African audiences. 

I remember being blown away by Retro Dizzy when they first emerged on the scene. I wasn’t alone, because their catchy garage-style surf rock and crazy on stage antics soon made them mainstays of the local circuit.  

Retro Dizzy started as a 3-piece with Richard Liefeldt on vocals and guitar, Nicolaas Rossouw on drums and Stuart Dodd on Bass. They soon added Andre Vlok on lead guitar. Stu and Andre have recently left the band and new members have been added. I caught up with Dizzy’s frontman Richard Liefeldt to find out what’s next for the band.  

Nathan Levinrad: Retro Dizzy have been joined by two new members, Desmond Kannemeyer and Le Roux Hofmeyer. How about you introduce them and tell us about how they came to join the band?

Richard Liefeldt: Well, Desmond plays in almost every band in SA and we felt left out so we got him into our band as well. He has actually done stuff with us for ages, from jumping on for a cover or 2 or when our last guitarist left in a hurry. He literally learnt our entire set in about 20 minutes, I don’t know what that says about the difficulty level of our songs.

Le Roux was in the legendary local band, ‘The Valley’, and has been a friend of ours for ages. He actually once sang a song with us at a strange Gin Bar gig where Sihle Mkhize, my work-husband [Sihle and Richard founded events company Revival Co.], played bass and Pieter from Peasant came on for guitar.

We are so happy to have them both in the band, it’s actually hard to put it into words. For a while there I thought Dizzy was over and I would have to become an accountant or something. Next thing they walk in and it’s like we are a whole new outfit.

NL: With the addition of new members, have there been any changes to the band’s sound? And what influences do you attribute to the new sounds?

RL: I reckon there has been quite a big shift sonically. Nicolaas and I have always been fans of Interpol, DIIV and those sorts of bands and I guess it’s coming out more than ever. Le Roux and Desmond are into similar music so we are all just swimming in the same musical direction. 

From my side, the lyrics have changed quite a lot. I guess as I grow older & colder the subject matter that I deal with has changed and definitely how I approach a song. The past 2 years, since the last album, have been wild and mentally my focus has shifted and warped. In other words, I have no clue what will come out of my mouth next.

NL: Over the last 8 years, Retro Dizzy has played the biggest stage this country has to offer. What are some of your goals going forward into this next phase? And which stages do you hope to return to?

RL: We definitely want to tour more consistently and with more direction and purpose. We used to tour because we wanted a break from Cape Town, at least in my experience. The goals are pretty simple: Europe, Australia, America and anywhere they will have us. 

Locally we would love another crack at Daisies, we have played twice but it would be nice to return. The obvious one is Endless Daze, we definitely feel like we have unfinished business there.

NL: It’s been two years since the release of Automatic Expectation, can fans expect a new album any time soon?

RL: Not a fuck. I have been too busy playing with synths to write a full Dizzy album but I have been working on some new material and I will now take it to the band to find out if it’s any good. We do have a sneaky track or two that are nearly ready to record though, but who knows, time is a Western constraint.

NL: What have been some of the albums that you guys have been getting into recently?

RL: Fontaines DC is almost always playing when we are around. Lots of Interpol, Night Beats & Arctic Monkeys like always. Also Bambara, Shame, BRMC and Black Angels. Hell, maybe we should just make a playlist for you. 

NL: If you guys could choose one international band to open for, who would that band be?

RL: This would maybe differ per member but for me, at the moment it would be Fontaines DC but I would love to open for any of the bands I just mentioned.

NL: You guys are old dogs in the scene by now, who are some of the new bands that you are most excited about?

RL: It’s wild how that happened, when we arrived we were the youngest by a few years. It’s quite sad that a lot of the bands we started with aren’t around anymore. Does that mean we won? 

Moskitos, Hologram, Gaze, Blue Vow, Sold Ash & Los Suenos are wonderful. Tough Guy is alright, pretty average to be honest.

Retro Dizzy are set to play a show at EVOL on the 7th May supported by Stoker, Moskitos and the Psych Night DJs. Get your tickets here: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/173906-retro-dizzy-returns/#/