Juan “Gendez” Venter is a pretty straight forward guy. He loves music, his friends, video games, sport and a braai (who doesn’t after all?). He was born in Pretoria, went to school in Pretoria, studied at The University of Pretoria and did his post graduate studies at The University of South Africa and is currently doing an international qualification in Purchasing and Supply.
Gendez is passionate about South Africa and its people. He doesn’t tolerate racism or discrimination of any sort. He loves Pretoria very much, but his favourite place in the world is Stellenbosch (in the Western Cape). He prefers pizzas instead of burgers, but a braaibroodjie is the king of all kings if you ask him.
He doesn’t like Oreos, except when they are crushed up into a McFlurry. He loves dogs – his adopted brother from a K9 mother is called Thor and his Chocolate Labrador is called Charlie – yes, like the Chocolate factory. He doesn’t like cats, especially ones that are laying around like they own the place (yes, fuck you Garfield).
Gendez is also addicted to popcorn and South Park. He owns a Xbox on which he plays games like UFC 2009, Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock, Mortal Kombat 9, Tiger Woods Golf 2007, WWE 2009, Gears of War. He’s also got a vinyl player (and his vinyl collection includes records from John Lee Hooker, Blue Oyster Cult, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Louis Armstrong and other amazing artists). Knowing this, it’s kinda hard to believe, but this guy is single…
Juan “Gendez” Venter is part of the Grind Radio crew and I recently spoke to him about music and a few other things, this is what he had to say.
Music is much more than something to colour in the background at a party or a distraction when driving in your car – or even the excuse you use to dance on a table when you had a sit down with Jim Beam or Jack Daniels. Music, to me, is personal, intimate and provocative. Music lets you be whoever you want to be – you can be the rebel, you can be the groupie, you can be the philosopher drenched in blues or you can even be the romantic. It’s safe to say music is a passionate affair.
Who do you think is the most over rated band of all time and why?
Hahaha, getting some of my own medicine. There are several bands that I think are overrated, or let’s say I don’t understand why people like them so much. So it’s not to say they’re bad musicians, I just think their music sucks. So I’ll give you 5: Placebo, My Chemical Romance, KISS, Billy Talent and Foals
Which international acts would you like to see performing live in SA and why?
I am a metal-head, so the majority of bands I’d like to see in SA are heavy bands. I’d love to see August Burns Red, Of Mice & Men, The Devil Wears Prada and Miss May I. On the rock and roll front I like the old school stuff so I’d love it if ACDC, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath or Cypress Hill (imagine that) can come to South Africa (Wishful thinking, I know).
Do you have guilty pleasure song? And if so, why do you like it so much?
Haha yes of course I do and I’m not afraid to admit it! “The Sign” by Ace of Base because, that song cures a babbalas just as fast as Creme Soda and a Wimpy Breakfast does. Then, I have a soft spot for rap music as well. “No Diggity” by Blackstreet, I don’t know why but, suspect that in my previous life I might have been Tupac…
What do you think of the state of the SA Music industry?
I think the South African music industry is healthy. If you take Oppikoppi as an example and the local talent that was on display, it’s safe to say that the South African music industry is stronger than ever. Where The Grind Radio fits into the frame is to provide a platform for South African artists so their music can reach the people. So when you go to Oppikoppi you actually know the artist’s music because, you’ve actually heard it on the radio.
Which local band do you consider to be one of the most underrated and why?
I think there are a lot of bands in South Africa that are underrated and that ties into my comments about The Grind Radio’s mission of providing South African artists a platform to showcase their music. Hahaha Henno, if it’s okay with you, I’m going to give you 3 bands that I think are underrated:
1. The Narrow – If you take a look at The Narrows social media profiles, they have +/- 6500 likes on facebook and a couple of hundred followers on Twitter (and yes, this makes me sad). A lot of people know about The Narrow but, in my opinion, not nearly enough. They are a world class band and with that I mean one of the best bands in the world (not just locally).
2. Red Huxley – They recorded their last album at Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, California (a studio that has hosted the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Artic Monkeys, Dave Grohl and Eagles of Death Metal) but, yet not a lot of people are familiar with Red Huxley. Red Huxley embodies everything that Rock and Roll is: guitars, drums, base guitar and vocals. No bullshit, just music!
3. Taxi Violence: The same goes for them as for Red Huxley. Good old rock and roll, no thrills no fuss!
Buy The Narrow, Red Huxley and Taxi Violence albums for your kids/girlfriend/wife/wives (for our Zulu brothers) or just for yourself.
When can people listen to you on The Grind Radio?
I co-host the ‘Hot and Heavy’ on a Tuesday evening from 7 to 9 PM, which is everything metal! On a Friday I co-host ‘Die Tondeldoos’ from 7-9 PM, when the playlist is a lot more diverse.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Juan “Gendez” Venter for taking time to answer my questions for the Meet The Grind Crew segment on Running Wolf’s Rant. You can follow him on Twitter via @juanventer12
Watch this space for regular updates in the Interviews and Music categories on Running Wolf’s Rant.