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Metal heads are still the coolest musicians out there and Louis du Pisani is no exception.
This giant of a man has hosted his own metal show on MK called Ondergrond for a season which is now drawing to a close. DStv seems to have lost interest in the important channel, but a resolute Du Pisani is determined to carry on with the show. This has come with the blessing of the channel.
He has also formed a metal band called The Drift. They have just released the first of a trilogy of albums called Dreams of Deluge and when I spoke to Du Pisani they had just begun pre-production on their second album.
“We want to release the albums quite quickly because we don’t want to take too long and be over the hill,” he says. “However, having said that, we also want to do it properly.”
This is clear by the attention to detail with the artwork as well as the production of the songs on the album. This is very heavy music. Then there is the storyline; pretty damn heavy.
“With the first album we started in the middle of the story. There is a central protagonist who challenges the theological status quo of his world. It is not necessarily based on our world so the setting isn’t important. I was also careful not to use the word ‘God’.
“Anyway, the protagonist or nameless figure challenges the deity to show itself. What follows is a cataclysmic flood where the figure is the only living survivor. Now it is up to the survivor to work out if it was all voices in his head or if the deity did show itself via the resultant end of the world.
“The members of The Drift don’t necessarily listen to metal all the time. I prefer musicians like Nick Cave. But with this album and the theme it needed to be executed in a heavy manner. The water theme of the album lends itself to heavy music. I have a lot of songs about water. I am a Durban-born boy.”
At that moment a heavy storm breaks out. Ca-reeepy, or not?
Du Pisani continues unabated: “The entire concept is extremely tangible. It’s not set in any time or space. The main character is the voice in his head. We have a song called Ommerge which takes the omnipresent and merges it with the character and asks the deity to merge with him. The flip is the whole world martyred for the sins of one as opposed to one martyred for the sins of all.”
So what inspired this story?
“I read a lot of Frank Herbert who wrote the Dune novels. So many bands write about how their girlfriend sucks and their life sucks. I am a middle-class white man so I don’t want to write about misery.”
Du Pisani goes on to say he’d rather play a part in getting people to think than indulging in pretending that his life is hard, because it’s not.
With the second album the story begins in a location with a specific character who finds survivors from the flood living on top of a mountain.
“It’s a sinister version of Lord of the Flies because adults are capable of more bad than children.”