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An Interview with New Academics


New Academics are releasing their third studio album, “Growler Front” soon.  It’s one of the most anticipated releases of 2016. I recently watched them perform at Mieliepop and I have to admit that they’re definitely one of my favorite acts to watch live. I was lucky enough to hear some of the tracks off the new album and I’m really looking forward to hearing the rest of it.

I recently had a little chat to Joe Penn, the lead vocalist of New Academics about Mieliepop, their new album and few other things. This is what he had to say.

You played at Mieliepop festival for the first time this year, how was your experience?

Mieliepop was really great, a fantastic festival site with a core of fans who were definitely music lovers foremost, but who also put up some solid drinking performances as the weekend wore on. All of the people that we spoke to, or who came through with us, were blown away by the location and the vibe. Definitely a must for everyone’s festival calendar. And we had an awesome show there as well, really high energy crowd, was brilliant.

Can music fans expect an album launch tour for “Growler Front”?

We’ve opted not to do a tour, as such until the album has been out for a while and has hopefully seeped its way into the music collections of our fans. We are, however, doing two official launches: 6 May at Arcade Empire (Pretoria) and 20 May at Goodluck Bar (Johannesburg). We’ll be selling physical copies of the album on these dates, but also be selling them direct to fans who contact us after 1 April to request a copy.

In your opinion, which track on the album should be cranked up loud and listened to at maximum volume?

Hmmm…today my answer to that question is ‘Book of Matches’, so you can really hear the choir parts build up towards the end of the song. Tomorrow I may give a different answer.

Which SA city is your favorite to play in and why?

I’d have to say Pretoria, largely due to the tremendous support that we’ve got there from the guys at Arcade Empire, Park Acoustics, Tuks FM and other entities over the years. We have a great fan base there, who really go the extra mile to come through and participate in our shows.

The Johannesburg crowd are awesome too, given that they often drive all the way through to Pretoria to see us do our thing if we haven’t been on stage in Johannesburg for a while!

What is your favorite quote about music?

“Jazz isn’t dead, it just smells funny” Frank Zappa

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Joe and New Academics for this interview. I wish them all of the best with their future musical endeavors and I hope to catch them live at BOTH of their album launch shows in May.

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