Planting seeds and writing a story a page at a time: An interview with Orchard and The Insomniac Diaries
It’s kinda obvious now, isn’t it? We love interviews here at AudioInferno. It’s all shades of awesome interviewing bands. We admit we won’t always be doing it but there’s a sense of honesty with these bands and that keeps us wanting more. We see ourselves as fans, we freak out when we reach out to bands and they agree to have interviews with us. Do we scream like little girls? Maybe. Do we get star struck? Mmmmmm’ yes, we do. Very much so. No matter how big or small a band is, we don’t care, we feel lucky talking with them. So, imagine our luck when TWO band’s decided to talk with us, at the freaking same time. Had to drag AxlPif (Skippy Duran) along for the ride. He was my wingman and I was the ace. The bands in question are ORCHARD and THE INSOMNIAC DIARIES!
Patrick is gonna be representing ORCHARD
Jared and Nicholas are ging to be representing THE INSOMNIAC DIARIES
We chose a very different approach to this interview, we wanted to give it a real “one on one” feel to it, you know, fans of rock music interviewing bands and all.
Austin from AudioInferno: So Patrick from the Orchard and Jared and Nick, it’s a pleasure to meet you guys.
Jared from Insomniac Diaries: Likewise, yo.
Patrick from Orchard: You too, been quite impressed with your website and how you follow the SA music scene.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: I think the guys at AudioInferno live in SA now, honestly and it’s a hotbed for rock, it’s only natural we look toward SA.
Austin from AudioInferno: Thanks Patrick, we are grateful. So Patrick, you guys are upcoming as a band, how do you feel entering the rock scene? Same question goes to Insomniac Diaries.
Patrick from Orchard: It’s a really exciting time for young bands and the alternative scene in SA, the show promoters such as The Metalist and The Unscene have really got their act together, promoting bands and shows on all levels. There is a real diversity of bands performing as well, so the scene is fresh, with space for everyone. I’m really happy as well with the quality and price of recordings now as well, you don’t need a huge budget to put out a professionally recorded material.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Love that answer.
Jared from Insomniac Diaries: For myself it was exciting. Getting to know all the talented local musicians, making friends and playing awesome crowds. A little intimidating, at first. However, the scene is like a family and we’ve got a lot of help, inspiration and guidance from fellow bands,the way bands support one another is amazing.
Patrick from Orchard: Yeah, there’s not competition, we all want each other to succeed and do well.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Awesome! Now that there confirms what we always suspected at AudioInferno. We noticed how bands in SA related with other bands. We see bands, featuring other bands on their Facebook pages, too. Doing that proves it really isn’t a competition. It’s just doing what you guys love.
Austin from AudioInferno: Exactly Axl, I must commend you guys and all the other bands in S.A and in Africa, too.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Now we get the excitement of playing for a crowd big or small, can you guys please describe how it feels playing your songs or a cover on stage?
Jared from Insomniac Diaries: Nervous at first because we didn’t know what the crowds reaction to our music would be. But as we played more and saw what people responded to, we became more comfortable. Now to the point where it’s so much fun revealing new songs or doing a different cover
Patrick from Orchard: Aww man! There’s nothing like being on stage! Sometimes it’s great, if the crowd is digging it and the sound is good! The nerves build and build until you hit that first note, and then it’s just you and the music.
Jared from Insomniac Diaries: Definitely got to agree with Patrick there as well!
Patrick from Orchard: It’s always interesting playing your music out to see how the crowd receives it, you spend so long with your songs in the rehearsal room, so when you play them out you’re showing off your baby, you know?
Austin from AudioInferno: So what are the challenges you guys have and experience as a band?
Patrick from Orchard: The venues in Cape Town man! We have one beautiful venue in Observatory that we all love playing at, and then some places in the Northern Suburbs that have a good vibe, but it feels like it’s a different sort of band that does some of the circuits in town. I dunno, we should try and crack some of those. Stellenbosch also has some cool venues now.
Jared from Insomniac Diaries: Agreed. A lot of the venues I think are also quite far to travel to. Buckley’s and Rabbit are great to play but quite tough to get to.
Patrick from Orchard: Other than that, organizing band practices and gigs where everyone in the band has day jobs and overtime work gets a bit challenging.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Tell me about that! I can’t even agree on jam sessions with my buddies in Nigeria, I can relate with that too.
Austin from AudioInferno: Yea, I get what you mean Patrick, it can be challenging at times but you gotta do it for the love.
Patrick from Orchard: Yeah, make no mistake, all the challenges are nothing compared to the joy of making music with friends and playing original music in front of an audience.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Now this question may seem a bit off but I’ll explain it anyway, here’s the question: Recording a single IS a fun process. We know that most bands around the world take a personal interest in learning the ways to record a song or an album. Do you guys just walk into a studio, record and walk out or you talk with the producers, engineers or mixers, learning the way it’s done? The reason I’m asking this is because Nigerian bands seem to show no interest in understanding recording a song or an album. The question is directed to both bands.
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: I always prefer to know how far the boundaries can be pushed, so I ask as much as I can without trying to annoy the engineer. I think its important that you have some sort of knowledge about what’s going on, will better the experience in my opinion.
Patrick from Orchard: I’m very interested in the recording process. I have a bit of background in studio recording, and I work as a live sound engineer full time. Going in to record our singles we had been chatting to the recording engineer and producer about the best way to go about things, what steps they will take, etc. I agree with Nick, it’s vital that you at least have some understanding of the process.
Jared from Insomniac Diaries: Our bassist Marcita and myself both study sound engineering and music production so we help the band as much as we can in terms of that. In my experience it benefits the band a lot by knowing the trade. In addition, I’ve seen a few bands who do the same.
Patrick from Orchard: Amen
Austin from AudioInferno: OK guys so give me a brief history from how your bands met to how you started gigging.
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: The Insomniac Diaries pretty much started in 2013 after I left the band I was in with Gwyllion of No.15. We had a problem finding guitarists as a lot of them had commitment issues. Early last year, I met Matt (Guitar) at my high school and he introduced me to Jared, who is his older brother and we had a bit of a jam and it felt right. Kellie (Vocals) was in the band at the very start and we were in a band back in 2011. Early this year, after the departing of our long time bassist, we recruited Marcita, as I knew her through the Metalist ZA and everything has run solid and fairly consistent ever since.
Patrick from Orchard: Ok, Terry (Schwimmbacher) (guitar) had been writing music for years, and when he moved to Cape Town he hardly knew anyone but was keen to start a band. He got hold of Dimitri Burger (guitar) and they wrote a couple of songs together. They went through a few drummers and in the process found Ché (Mauritz) (Vocals) who worked with Dimitri. Another Gumtree ad and I joined after seeing the influences, and Terry brought his friend Mike (Davids) (bass) over a year and a few months ago.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Any experience with touring? The question’s for both bands.
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: As in touring to other parts of SA?
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Yes
Patrick from Orchard: Only as a roadie for MacStanley.
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: I’ve never toured with a band.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: I get that. Touring should be fun, I want to live that life.We noticed how much it helps boost a bands rep, going to schools to play a free gig for instance. Every band deserves to tour, please come to Nigeria when you guys start touring Africa, though 😑 .
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: We will try to stop by, will be fun.
Patrick from Orchard: I would LOVE that.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Gooooooood! I swear I’ll hold you guys to this.We need bands coming in here. Bad.
Austin from AudioInferno: Awesome, you guys have to come, we need a piece of SA metal brutality here.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Damn right we do.
Patrick from Orchard: Haha! We are not Brutalz! Much heavier bands than us around. I feel we represent a more melodic, Hard rock sound that sometimes has a bit of a metal influence.
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: Same here with us. Although, just a bit of a scoop on us… We”re working on some new material that’s somewhat heavier than our current material.
Austin from AudioInferno: Awesome.
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: We’ve watched a lot of heavier bands like Fuera, Devilspeak, Atlantic South and we feel its something we want to do and is needed.
Patrick from Orchard: Nice! looking forward to that.
Austin from AudioInferno: So what do you guys love in the rock scene because it’s all about the love?
Patrick from Orchard: Aside from the incredible music everyone is making, I love the community. I’ve met such great people just by going to shows and interacting with people I never would have met otherwise.
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: I love the passion some have for this music. I love the potential we have and the quality of the bands in the scene are insane. I love the vibes at gigs, I love the feeling of playing and watching live music, its probably one of the best things ever. I’ve met some really awesome people, like Patrick and Terry which formed into a strong friendship. Like Patrick said, we wouldn’t have met a lot of these people if we hadn’t been going to shows and being involved in the scene.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Totally random question: if you guys had any shot to play with two bands on a world stage what bands will they be? Both questions for both bands.
Patrick from Orchard: Mastodon and Clutch.
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: Metallica and KoRn
AxlPif from AudioInferno: LOVE MASTODON!!!!! Metallica is my no.1 band of all time. We’re all buddies now!
Austin from AudioInferno: I feel I need to answer this too, Amon Amarth and Parkway Drive.
Patrick from Orchard: Haha! Group hug!
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: Metallica are brilliant. Saw them live in 2013. Jooooohhh, Mastodon… not a massive fan, hey. But I do respect them, they got skills.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: See that! I wrote an article on how they probably flew over Nigeria down to SA! That cut me deep.
Austin from AudioInferno: Hahahahaha, same here.
Patrick from Orchard: (Laughs)
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: (Laughs). I sometimes ask why some bands tour New Zealand and Australia and don’t come tour here! They’re so close.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: EXACTLY! Ugh.
Austin from Audioinferno: So my last question for you guys is what are your goals in the Rock scene in SA and beyond and please say a word to the Nigerian bands out there, sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement.
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: I wanna be able to put my music out there and let it help and inspire others as it inspires me. I would love to play massive stages, but all I care about is if people like this music, I’m finding pleasure in it, and it’s helping someone else. To all the bands in Nigeria, if you guys fight hard enough for what you love, you can make it, regardless of what others tell you. You get out what you put in, so put in that effort and your music and scene will bloom. Don’t do it just for you, do it for everyone involved in the scene and yourself.
Patrick from Orchard: This is a tough one, a goal implies an end to me. I just want Orchard to continue making music and being a band, and all that goes along with that. It would be amazing if one day we could only make music for a living, but that’s not the goal. Everyone that’s playing in a band has something to say, and Nick is right, it’s all about getting the music that’s in you out there, sharing your love and passion with the world. To the guys in Nigeria, no one is going to come along and give you a record deal! Use the resources, promote yourselves. Do It Yourself. Build your scene from the ground up. No venues? Play in someone’s yard! Play the music you love, and if you play it loud enough and long enough, someone will hear it, and love it.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Rightly said guys! My final question then… I believe a band that takes itself way too serious can’t be fun, there has to be someone in there that livens things up, “the joker” if I can call me that; so, in your respective bands, who’s the joker?
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: That’s so hard (laughs) we don’t have many jokers in our band. I wouldnt be able to say. We each have our moments I’d say. We keep things as fun as we can, while still working towards a goal.
Patrick from Orchard: ME! I work hard but I love laughing, and I always post stupid pictures in our WhatsApp group. Terry has a really funny cynical sense of humour, and Mike is one of the best storytellers I’ve ever heard.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: After this question, I feel we should give the bands a chance to talk about what they want to talk about, a chance to say something, promote a song or an event maybe, what you think Austin. After all we’re trying to promote.
Austin from AudioInferno: I’m with you on this Axl!!
Nicholas from Insomniac Diaries: In the coming few weeks we will be releasing two songs we recorded 3 months ago. We are hosting two gigs in the next coming months. “Tonight We Rise” on October 10th, which will feature The Fallen Prophets, Thread of Omen, Desolation of Silence, Devilspeak, Nethercyst, Orchard and No.15. Then “The Black Mass” on November 20th, with a line up still to be confirmed.
Patrick from Orchard: I would love everyone who hasn’t seen us live to watch the video we have up on YouTube. It’s really simple, but it sounds great and we are quite proud of it.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Looks like it’s a wrap then, yes?
Austin from AudioInferno: Yeah, I think that’s the end of the interview.
Patrick from Orchard: Awesome! Thanks guys.
AxlPif from AudioInferno: Haha, the pleasure is ours! It’s huge for us getting these interviews on. We are super grateful.
Patrick from Orchard: Us too, thank you.
We really hope people can appreciate this here, two bands side by side talking about the music they love. The notion of unity, evident in all areas from their answers to their follow ups and how they managed to compliment each other too, lending a voice to each others answers. Both bands made us understand things we usually guessed here at AudioInferno, both bands answered questions we weren’t even asking, they gave us more answers than the questions we asked. If you’re reading this, look out for these awesome bands, Orchard AND Insomniac Diaries.
Remain with us here at AudioInferno as we continue to shine the light on the African Rock & Metal scene.