Wolfgang Marrow is a swampy blues band originally from Bloemfontein, but recently relocated to Johannesburg. They’re booked to appear at Mieliepop this year, and their Southern American-inspired music represents an important part in the festival’s diversity. We asked them a series of “A or B” questions to see if we could catch them choosing option C…
Black Snake Moan or La La Land? And why?
That scene — everybody knows that scene where Samuel L Jackson plays the title track Black snake Moan (originally by Blind Lemon Jefferson) — that scene alone is why so many of my fellow blues mates, us included, got into the thick dirty sadness.
Blues is a brilliant launching pad into rock music because it teaches you the calm understanding of basic simple truths. The irony of white middle class kids relating to the blues is not lost on us – one has to be so careful not to take the recipes and spin just another blues song about things that never touched your life — you can love the blues, use it even, but you have to speak from your own lungs. This took us a while to learn, but learning is the whole point.
Wolfgang Mozart, Wolfgang Peterson, or Wolfgang Van Halen? And why?
Wolfgang Mozart. We used to drive Ben’s little sister to ballet (Ben is now our Bassist). We were just students and we used to get paid to take and pick her up, but we didn’t want to waste any petrol so we normally stuck around the ballet studio waiting for her to finish. A lot of the music they used were Mozart’s.
We were sharing a sneaky beer and the topic came around to how Mozart was actually the most punk rock bloke, and how if he had been around these days he very well might have been a rocker. The three main loves in our band are blues, grunge and punk rock, and we could envision eccentric Wolfgang being into all those scenes.
Bone Marrow, Baby Marrow, or Sarah Rushman? And why?
Marrow like in your bones. Good music should feel like a physical experience – something you feel in your marrow… although there might have been motivation towards the name because it was also the name of my first car (a lime green Datsun named Baby Cucumber). Food topics are very luring because we are a very “eatey” bunch.
Mieliepop festival or stay-at-home weekend? And why?
Mieliepop Festival for life – our family is even tagging along – we would never sleep if we didn’t have to. Like Modest Mouse sang: “the good times are killing me “. We are so excited… just a bunch of small town hicks getting to play at one of the raddest festivals in SA… who’d thunk it.