PDBY chatted to Pretoria-based alternative cover band (for now), Winds of August, about their music journey so far and what fans can expect to see from them in the future. They describe themselves as a band “who enjoys incorporating anything from new and different sounds to the familiar classics”. The band currently consists of Esmarie Boshoff on vocals, Johan van Zadelhoff on guitar, Llewellyn Annandale on bass, and Alex Palmantouras on drums. Llewellyn and Esmarie are both from Namibia while Alex and Johan are from South Africa. Llewellyn and Esmarie are both music students at the University of Pretoria while Johan and Alex are full time musicians.
How did you get into music?
Esmarie: I got into music by listening to Shania Twain growing up. After that I was convinced you had to play guitar to be a rockstar, so I started guitar lessons when I was six and the rest is history.
Johan: When I was about 9 or 10 I just decided to take piano lessons. We had one in our house and my sister used to play and I was just curious to see whether I could do it as well. Later switched to drums ‘cause it looked cool and then finally settled on guitar and found the instrument I love.
Llewellyn: I started out with classical guitar lessons around the age of 12 but always enjoyed learning familiar pop songs to play and sing along with. I started playing electric bass guitar about four years ago and have been working as a session bassist for various artists in Namibia since then.
Who would you say you have drawn inspiration from in terms of your sound?
Esmarie: I listen to a lot of singer-songwriters as well as alternative rock, so I would say that definitely influences the way I approach music. I have also learned a ton from my fellow bandmates who introduce me to new styles and sounds.
Johan: I feel that we all have different music backgrounds, which I think is great. My music range goes from Rock to Folk, dips a little into Metal, back to Blues and just a little bit of Jazz. Our circles do overlap in some genres, but there’s a lot to be learned from my band members and so much room for experimentation, mix and match here, fiddle around there, and see what works or what doesn’t.
Llewellyn: My original influences were mostly punk bands such as Blink 182, Sum 41 and Green Day, but I went into a huge blues phase where for almost two years I would exclusively listen to musicians such as Robert Johnson, Son House and Eric Clapton. My tastes have broadened out quite a bit since then and nowadays I find I’m most inspired by artists such as Vulfpeck, Jacob Collier and Snarky Puppy.
If you could perform anywhere (both in South Africa and the world) where would it be?
Esmarie: I would love to perform at a big festival like Glastonbury, that way I get to share the stage with more amazing artists.
Johan: If we’re talking local, Splashy Fen and Rocking The Daisies or just a bit to the north in Mozambique, STRAB. Internationally, it might sound cliche, wherever the music takes us. As long as we’re around people who truly love music, I’d be
happy to perform anywhere.
Llewellyn: I’m a big fan of music festivals, so locally Oppikoppi and Daisies are big dreams of mine. Internationally I would love to be able to just see the world making music, so a few places I’d love to visit are Spain, Czech Republic and South America.
Where do you see your band in two years’ time?
Esmarie: I would love for us to be performing on larger stages and South African festivals.
Johan: On the road touring South Africa.
Llewellyn: I would love for us to have gotten some studio time in by then, so hopefully we would be on the road touring one of the newly released albums!
Who would you like to perform with from the South African music scene and why?
Johan: So many to choose from, for me personally bands like Fake Leather Blues Band, Pedro Barbosa, Die Horries and Zebra. They have great energy on stage, and I just always like to see them perform.
Llewellyn: Blues musicians such as Albert Frost and Dan Patlansky have always been some of my biggest South African icons, but I would love to share the stage with Crimson House and Desmond and the Tutus as well.
Do you have any projects coming up that we should keep an eye out for?
Esmarie: We are currently working on new and original songs that will keep the crowd going, but that will also be unique to our sound.
Where can we watch you perform?
Esmarie: You can catch us on 21 October at Sowaar Bar for a Cancer Awareness Benefit concert!
Johan: We are still in the early stages of performing, but we do the open mic circuit in Pretoria for now. Aandklas, Jarr Bar,
Sowaar Bar and Railways, with plans in the pipeline to perform at Fokof Bar and Whisk Wine Bar in the near future.
Check them out on Instagram: @windsofaugust_