Introducing Christo “Baas” De Beer

Baas De BeerIt’s time for the third installment in the Meet The Grind Radio Crew series on Running Wolf’s Rant. Today’s lucky Grind Radio personality is Christo “Baas” De Beer. “Die snor van SnorCity” is a proudly retro-sexual South African male who loves music more than sport. He’s a regular MC at events like Oppikoppi, STRAB, Park Acoustics and other events that clog up many of you reading this’ social calendar.

When he is not running his brand management company, running around on a stage, running his mouth on The Grind Radio, running through a DJ set or running to the bar, he does no running at all. Furthermore he loves to scuba dive (because there’s no running involved in scuba diving).

With a love for music ranging from Chopin to Slipknot, you’ll find him listening to some form of rock most of the time. Fokofpolisiekar tops his playlist, closely followed by bands like Foo Fighters, Metallica, Rise Against and such. When asked to describe his favourite music, he took a shot of Cuervo and said “whatever makes the moment more awesome”.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Christo “Baas” De Beer (one of my best friends and partners in crime in Snor City) and this what he had to say

So, Baas what do you like about music?

The way music can change things. From emotional states to creative processes and more. Music is feeling, it’s dealing, it’s a drug, it’s rehab, it’s everywhere at once yet only in your head. It belongs to nobody and to everybody simultaneously. Music is sacred, except that it is not at all.

Which bands / artists are on your list of the top 5 artists of all time and which ones are on your list of the 5 worst artists of all time and why?

Seriously, this is a horrid question. I will have to make picks based on the influence the had directly on me, since too many artists will be left out that need to be mentioned, should I do it otherwise. For instance, someone like Robert Johnson shaped a whole genre of music, but I don’t listen to him every day. Here goes (and I will type this once, seeing as I will want to change it immediately after that):

  • Fokofpolisiekar – They encapsulate my generation. They asked the questions we wanted to, the made the statements we were forbidden to. I also cream my pants in delight whenever I read Hunter Kennedy’s lyrics. In essence, Fokof is revolutionary poetry to the rhythm of rock and roll.
  • Beach Boys – Surprised? So am I, but I spent quite some time thinking about your question, and I realised that the first CD I bought, was a Beach Boys one. I had to save my ass off for it, and I do believe that that might have played a part in me appreciating music now.
  • P!nk – Damn, I surprise myself again. Seriously though, Pink managed to take over the pop scene, yet with a definite rock edge. She’s a brilliant vocalist, songwriter, performer and I don’t care if you judge me.
  • The Beatles – I believe it is with this band that the split between (what we would today call) commercial and alternative started happening. On the one hand, you had the most absurd rock and roll numbers, yet on the other you had songs that could today only be described as easy-listening. This is important, because a lot of tiny-minded individuals still argue about music simply because one is not the other, and the Beatles had both… thus proving that one band can indeed live on both sides of the track.
  • Nirvana – Like Fokofpolisiekar, but for the whole world. No Nirvana would mean no Foo Fighters, and that would just be shit.

As for the worst, I generally don’t believe in dissing bands/artists, but let’s just say these guys definitely feature.

Which SA artists / bands do you think need more recognition and deserve more airplay on local radio stations?

The list is long, but here’s the first ones that come to mind: Van Smith, Andra, The Black Cat Bones, Southern Gypsy Queen, Ballistics, Gerald Clark, Mrs B (RIP)…. I can’t continue. This is depressing me…

Honestly, I feel in general that the radio community in South Africa doesn’t give much of a fuck for the local bands. I mean, I could just list the entire line-up of STRAB 2014 here, and build a week worth of radio around them. It will be brilliant, but nobody does that. I mean, the Black Cat Bones won the Best Live Act Award in 2013 at the MK awards. Do you hear them on radio? No. Even a band like Fokofpolisiekar – you only hear the same 4 songs on repeat. How pathetic of radio in SA is that? Thank goodness for The Grind Radio.

Which 5 bands do you want to come to South Africa and why?

Okay, I warned you, I have a quite a wide range of musical like…

  • Tenacious D – They are not the greatest band in the world…
  • Paramore – How else will Haley hook up with me? (If they can’t make it, send Pretty Reckless).
  • AC/DC – If you need to ask, you don’t deserve to know.
  • Weird Al Yankovic – I love musical comedy, duh.
  • Tool – Is that too much to ask?

Where does the “Baas” thing come from?

Years ago I had a small printing & design company, so I spent 12-18 hours per day slave-chained to my computer. I figured that must mean my computer is my boss, so I named it Baas de Beer. That became my network chat name, then gmail address and later on twitter handle. Along the way it edged out Kaerf (which was my gaming name). People started calling me Baas De Beer, and I just went with it. Now, it seems to have taken on a whole life of its own. And to any numbnuts who still think it has some pre-1994 racist connection, please remove your head from your ass (or keep it there). I don’t care…

What are your thoughts on the current state of the SA Music industry?

I am so super excited about it, I could give birth to a rainbow-riding-unicorn-on-a-Harley. In the past, you had maybe one or 2 exceptional bands a year that made name (and a whole bunch of shitty ones). Lately, it’s as if there’s at least one mind-blowing new act at every multi-band event I go to. The last one that just popped up out of nowhere for me, is Monkeys in Boots. What a band!

Sadly, production values in SA are still not what they should be, but that’s OK (for now). I believe the live music scene is on the rise, and that is after all where a band matters most. We don’t need to dangle the International Carrot anymore to have a decent festival line-up. Take a look at Mieliepop festival this year. No real internationals, but man, what a friggin’ sick list of bands!

What song are you currently listening to and what stands out about it for you?

At this very moment, while typing this, I am listening to a bunch of Tim Minchin songs. The man is a comic genius, lyricist extraordinaire and superbly talented pianist. Also, have you ever seen so much ginger on one man?

Baas De Beer 2

You must be looking forward to Oppikoppi this year, which bands are you looking forward to and why?

I am indeed! Of course I am stoked to see bands like Van Coke Kartel and Bittereinder and the internationals, etc, but allow me to highlight some of the others I NEED to see. The reason simply being that they make awesome music and deserve to have a ton of people in front of the stage when they are playing:

  • Albert Frost & Dan Patlansky – It’s Albert. It’s Dan. Together.
  • Bright Lights Big City – I just dig their vibe. And a humble band will go far.
  • Fake Leather Blues Band – Because you want to be entertained.
  • Jonathan Peyper – One of the most decent, hardworking and talented young muso’s at Oppikoppi
  • Juggernaut – Man rock. Fuck yeah.
  • Lucy Kruger – A voice so sweet, she makes honey taste sour.
  • Man as Machine – They could very well be SA’s next massive export band.
  • Schalk Joubert Band – Haven’t seen his solo/own show, but he is a brilliant muso, so I’m keen.
  • Squeal – Might fall under the obvious category, but still…
  • Stoker – Gareth Wilson introduced me to them, and oh boy…
  • Wrestlerish – This is apparently now their last, seriously last show.

When can people listen to you on the Grind Radio?

I’m on air every Friday 1 PM to 3 PM with the #FridayFunstart. Day-making tunes, guests varying from comedians to musicians and more.. and a lovely lady-minion in the form of DT (a black girl from Bloemfontein with an American accent and a mind as dirty as mine) – you gotta love her.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Christo “Baas” De Beer for taking time off from his busy work schedule and social calendar to answer these questions. I wish him the best of luck with his future endeavours. Take time to read his blog or follow him via @BaasDeBeer on Twitter, he always has something interesting to say.

In case you were wondering, the first photo on this post was taken by Justin Lee and the second photo was taken by Christelle Duvenage. Well, there you have it, the third installment in the Meet The Grind Radio Crew series on Running Wolf’s Rant. If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, feel free to share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is Caring.

Watch this space for updates in the Interviews and Music categories.

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Henno Kruger
Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant and co-founder of SA Music Zone
Henno Kruger

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