Johannesburg - South African rock band Prime Circle is currently on tour in Europe where they will make festival appearances along with the likes of Iron Maiden, Garbage, Slayer and Iggy Pop.
The tour is in support of their Let The Night In deluxe album, which has also been released in Europe. The deluxe version includes four new additions to the South African Music Award-winning album.
The band, which has been together for 15 years, comprises Ross Learmonth (guitar and vocals), Marco Gomes (bass), Dale Schnettler (drums), Neil Breytenbach (keyboards) and Dirk Bisschoff (guitar). Learmonth took some time out to talk travel with us:
First holiday memory?
My first holiday was in Durban with friends. It was my first time at the ocean and it’s still one of my fondest memories. I was very young and have loved the Durban coast ever since.
Favourite place in South Africa?
It’s hard to say, but I’d go with Cape Town as one of my favourite places in South Africa. The vibe and scenery are among the best in the world, though I do enjoy leaving the city and heading for the bush.
This might not count, but any time we’re on tour in a new country or city, I like to keep busy, and find it hard to switch off, so it’s always great to know that when we have a show coming up (either in South Africa or abroad), I look forward to the show, but at the same time I get to experience new places and meet new people.
What have you learnt from your travels?
I have learnt to be more open-minded and patient. I’ve also learnt how to pack a mean bag in preparation for small spaces, such as backstage and on tour buses.
Who or what is your ideal travelling companion?
My ideal travelling companions are my band members. We have been moving around together for so many years now that we have learnt how to live together on the road. That’s not to say that we don’t want to kill each other every now and then.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
I’m a road dog. I like to be on the move. However, I love going to the beach. Of course, judging by my complexion, it’s clear to see that I’m not a beach bum.
What is your greatest travel luxury?
Besides my phone, it would have to be books. The road can be long, and a good book is a must-have.
It tends to shuttle between motivational books and fantasy. The last thing I read was The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson.
Which place has seduced you?
Spain! It was truly amazing to me; the beautiful people, places and culture. I loved being in Madrid.
Your worst travel experience?
There are a few, but once we played a show in Oslo, Norway, and missed all the transport. We were departing the next day so we all had to sleep on the floor at a bus station guarding our gear and being harassed by security guards. It was a really long night!
The Nhow Hotel in Berlin. It has a world-class studio on the top floor and you can order guitar room service! They bring you a selection of amps and guitars to pick from and you can jam in your room.
Favourite walk, swim, ride or drive?
Definitely drive and especially through the Eastern Cape; some of the best views.
Best meal abroad?
We were taken to a Japanese restaurant in the middle of India. We had a Filipino waiter and we, being a bunch of South Africans, ordered some Jamaican rum and proceeded to have a curry that we’ll never forget. Best meal ever! Some of the guys had the American burgers, but they said they should have had sushi.
Where to next?
We are currently touring Europe and will be back in South Africa at the end of August or early in September.