Billy had a brief chat with Warren Vernon-Driscoll of Mobbing Bali. The got talking about how the band started, Influences and some pretty unusual waffle.
Mobbing Bali just released an EP titled Red Bull and we did a review here you can check it out if you have not already, Sit back and let us take you through the workings of a fascinating band.
Billy (Audioinferno): Thanks for making out time to talk to me today Warren. Let’s talk about the creation of the band. How did this start?
Warren (Mobbing Bali): Jared (lead guitarist) and I started playing in a band in boarding school in Durban. We called ourselves ‘Postcard’ after we finished school we moved to Cape Town under the same name but we eventually felt we outgrew the name. We met Ken and Matt after moving to Cape Town. One of our close friends suggested we call ourselves ‘Mob Barley’ so we tried it out and we got negative feedback almost immediately from people on social media.
So we decided to tweak it a little and changed to ‘Mobbing Bali’ which stuck. Long story short, Mobbing Bali was born out of the spoonerism of ‘Bob Marley’
Billy (Audioinferno): Cool stuff. I’m glad it all worked out. So far you have the Credo EP and the recent Red Bull EP out. Before we get into the music, I have to ask, how has this journey been for you and the guys so far?
Warren (Mobbing Bali): Well it’s been a long one. We’ve had two members changes since we moved to Cape Town. That’s how we met Ken and Matt, I actually met Matt at the university where I was studying classical music and he was studying Jazz Bass. He introduced us to Ken who joined the band first and about two years later Matt ended up joining too.
But every time a band member changes you lose so-called momentum in the band and the dynamic changes as you get to know one another and see what makes them tick.
So we held back on releasing an EP for years until we found the right combination of people and found something that we were proud of and believed in. Our so-called motto in the band is “friendship before music”, we focus on that and I believe that’s where organic music comes from in an ensemble.
Billy (Audioinferno): I can imagine. How has the South African music scene been responding to your unique sound? Particularly the alternative and indie rock scene.
Warren (Mobbing Bali): Well we think it’s going down well, we got a really great review on the EP which is a relief. We’ve found we have a good online/social media following but we only truly entering the scene now with decent gigs and good receptive audiences.
Billy (Audioinferno): That’s awesome. How would you describe your sound?
Warren (Mobbing Bali): We call ourselves ‘Progressive Indie’
Billy (Audioinferno): Can you shed a little more light on that?
Warren (Mobbing Bali): Well, we started as a textbook indie band moulding our sound around Two Door cinema club, the killers, Coldplay, civil twilight etc. But as we’ve grown into our own songwriting style, we find ourselves in the heavier sound of indie. We experiment a lot with classical music ideas, polyphonic textures in harmony and adding extra beats to time signatures to create irregularities in some ways we felt that was progressive so we label ourselves as part of the indie family but on the progressive side of the fence. *laughs*
Billy (Audioinferno): That sounds like some mad fun. Do you have any other influences apart from the bands you’ve already listed?
Warren (Mobbing Bali): Hundreds *laughs* , I can only speak for myself because all of us listen to very different music , Muse, Jack White and all his projects, The Last Shadow Puppets, The Plastics (SA band), Band of skulls, I’m a HUGE Queen fan, Led Zeppelin, Beatles etc.
Our drummer was a metal drummer so he listens to Metal; I know he loves a band called “Beast” also an SA band.
Our Bassist loves true 70s punk (The Germs, Sex Pistols, and others that I’ve never heard of)
Our Lead guitarist likes the Red Hot Chilli Peppers (John Frusciante times) Alter bridge is one his favourite bands.
Billy (Audioinferno): I really like how you have different backgrounds, it adds to the richness of your sound and I think it’s pretty obvious from the music you create. It’s really admirable work.
Warren (Mobbing Bali): Thanks, man.
Billy (Audioinferno): Is the band working on anything new?
Warren (Mobbing Bali): If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
Billy (Audioinferno): *laughs* Come on, a little hint would do
Warren (Mobbing Bali): We are writing new music, and exploring new ideas but I won’t say exactly what’s happening though. I will say I’ve recently started listening to D’Angelo and the Vanguard that I’m taking quite an influence from
Billy (Audioinferno): Now you have me all curious. I can’t wait to hear it. Are you familiar with the Rock scene around the rest of Africa?
Warren (Mobbing Bali): To be honest not at all, we taking baby steps and still trying to figure out SA *laughs*
Billy (Audioinferno): It’s alright, all in due time. At AudioInferno, one of our major goals to unify the African Rock scene. So many bands deserve to know each other and we want to be the connecting bridge.
Warren (Mobbing Bali): That’s an epic goal actually.
Billy (Audioinferno): Thanks bro, and thanks a lot for making out time to talk to me.