South African rock group The Kongos continue to make waves internationally with their eclectic approach to rock music. 2019 is set to be a massive year for the group who have revealed they will be releasing three albums this year. With ‘1929: Part 1’ out now, we get up close and personal with the group about the new selection of songs and more on their upcoming material.
Congrats on your new album! It’s the first of three records you’re releasing in 2019. Tell us a bit about where this approach stemmed from?
We recently were able to get out of our record deal in the US and have been sitting on a backlog of recordings, so we’re very excited to put more music out over the next 18 months than we have done in the past.
How has the band grown since the release of your previous album ‘Egomaniac’?
Each cycle we try to improve on our recording techniques and we feel like 1929: Part 1 is easily our best sounding album thus far.
The accordion is still a focal point for your music. Where did your love for the instrument stem from?
The accordion actually came about as a happy accident. We were recording our first album and on a song called “The Way”, we tried everything in a particular instrumental section and nothing was working. We had an accordion lying around, so we gave that a shot and it just worked, so it’s become an integral part of the KONGOS sound ever since.
What stories did you want to tell on ‘1929 Part. 1’?
On this new album we share some mythic allegories of epic proportions elucidating unifying principles.
You’re busy touring North America at the moment. What is the best part of taking your new music on the road?
It’s always great to be able to figure out how songs work on stage. Sometimes the recordings translate directly, other times you have to find a new way of performing a song to make it work in front of a live audience.
You recently shot and released your ‘Bus Call – Life On Tour’ – your eight-part documentary series. What inspired you to share life on the road with your fans?
We wanted a way to convey the longer story of our life as brothers and also show what the reality of tour life is actually like. It’s far more intricate than people think and we wanted to show fans what hitting the road is really like for us.
We’re hoping this new release means a South African tour is in the works?
Absolutely! We can’t wait to get back to South Africa this year or next for a tour – it’s been far too long!
Now that the first album of the year is out, what does the rest of 2019 hold for the band?
More touring, more albums, more recording, more writing and more podcasts. 2019 is going to be a very exciting year for us.
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