[INTERVIEW] Big Spu of Dust n Fire talks about the 7th edition of the popular Botswana metal festival ‘Rock the Nation’

Rock The Nation is a 2 day Dust n Fire organised Metal Fest. It brings together a considerable number of local and other African metal bands. RTN fest is a celebration of Metal In Africa more especially in Botswana. RTN organisers want to inspire people and they are committed to performing an outstanding production, with the aim of delivering the highest level of enjoyment to the local metal community. They want to cultivate collaboration and cooperation of local and other African metal bands.

RTN has become an anticipated anchor event that artists and audiences rely on annually. It serves as a vehicle to introduce developing artists alongside established ones. It is an important event for local artists to meet, dialogue and network with other bands from outside our country creating numerous performance opportunities and new avenues for local bands exploration. The event is an annual gathering of Rockers to meet and spend some time with friends; an opportunity to find new friends; an aspiration to feel the atmosphere of being surrounded by metal public and interact with people with similar music tastes.

So we here at Audioinferno will be covering this event by interviewing all the bands that are to perform. We got hold of Big Spu who happens to play in Dust n Fire who also happens to be the event coordinator to tell us more about Rock the Nation 7.

Audioinferno: Who is on this year’s bill?
Big Spu[Dust n Fire]:

RTN 7 has 12 bands playing over two days on September 22&23. Some are playing both dates while others will join them on the Saturday. The time schedules are on our facebook event page. The bands are:

  • Botswana: Dust n Fire
  • Remuda
  • Barren Barrel
  • Samehunduans
  • Raven in Flesh
  • Evagren
  • Metal Orizon


  • South Africa: Adorned In Ash
  • Surdus
  • Ded End
  • Demogoroth Satanum


  • Mozambique: Norbormide
Audioinferno: Are you doing anything different this year from the other years?
Big Spu[Dust n Fire]:

This year is different from all the years we have run the event. The show has always been about highlighting the existence of metal and metal bands in Botswana and showcasing them on a national stage. But this year we are not only showcasing the local talent but equally we are showcasing bands from outside Botswana. RTN will raise awareness of the excellence of African Metal bands. Hopefully it will also help promote the bands and metal music in Botswana. We are now a fully fledged metal fest. Our mission now is to showcase Metal from all over Africa and the rest of the world in Botswana.

Audioinferno: What genres of rock/metal does the lineup span?

Big Spu[Dust n Fire]:

The line-up consists of most metal genres, from Old school, to Death metal, progressive, new metal, hard-core, death and black metal. The idea was to expose as much of metal as we could. We wanted something that would satisfy a typical metalhead, something that will awe a newcomer to a metalfest. We are as well metal fans and enjoy various genres.

Audioinferno: There have been a lot of losses within the Botswana over the past year. Are there going to be any dedications?

Big Spu[Dust n Fire]:

A lot of rockers have been passing on lately. This year seems to be the most intense. We too have lost Dust n Fire former bassist this year. We also lost the 2016 RTN MC and member of the organizing team. May their souls rest in eternal peace. Yes we are planning a dedication to our fallen brothers and sisters. We will observe a moment of silence with lights out and lighters on. Dust n Fire in collaboration with Remuda have a song lamenting these losses. We plan to perform it during the DnF set at RTN7.

Audioinferno: How did RTN initially get started, and what was the primary aim?

Big Spu[Dust n Fire]:

We looked at the Botswana music scene and saw that there was nothing going for us as rock/metal musicians. We met with other band leaders and decided to do annual events. We developed Rock The Nation Live Metal concert In 2011, with a vision to highlight existing excellence of live ROCK music within the country. Besides Metal Orizon’s Rock Against HIV/AIDS , which was a charity fest, there was no other event in which we could showcase out talent. Being the only rock/metal event countrywide, Rock Against HIV/AIDS could not afford many upcoming bands in their line up and most bands were collapsing due to lack of exposure.

We saw it fit to establish an event which will act as a showcase for local bands. We wanted a festival where all local bands will take part .A two day festival at the end of September would be suitable. Weather conditions are usually favourable during that month. Rock the Nation was born. It has been seven years now and it’s still going.

The inaugural event was held at the Orapa sports hall on September 24 and 25 of 2011. The RTN mission was to inspire, support and share the talents of the many metal artists who are fameless and whose music was waiting to be heard. Our mission still stands but was upgraded to include other bands from across Africa. The festival has been seed funded by Dust n Fire band since its inception.

Audioinferno: How did Palapye become the location for the show, as opposed to a larger population centre such as Gabarone or Francistown?

Big Spu[Dust n Fire]:

The initial plan was to host the event where our band is based. On our home ground. We did host the first show in Orapa, but entry restriction to the town proved difficult as some of our patrons were denied access into the township. We did RTN 2 in Francistown but it proved too far for some of the metalheads. RTN3 was in Letlhakane, the Dust n Fire home. The village doesn’t have suitable venues to host an event of this magnitude. We just couldn’t continue there. We tried an outdoor venue for RTN 6 at Masama Lodge and campsite but the logistics for hosting there are just too expensive for the band. So we saw it was not viable for the event and the band. We are back at Palapye for RTN 7. So it is now the home for RTN. We wont be changing the venue soon. We did RTN 4&5 in Palapye. Palapye is centrally place in Botswana. It is easily accessible from all corners of the country. Its even close to South Africa, just about 100 km from the border .The area has a big community hall that is just right for us.

Stay tuned to Audioinferno as we will be feeding you with more information concerning Rock the Nation 7 and watch out for the upcoming interviews.


Name is Austin, peeps call me Austinrock. I like to interact with bands. You DO NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained here \m/{*¿*}\m/ ...THERE...OK. I'm a huge Melodeath metal fan. I'm proud to be a METALHEAD. Metal isn't for everybody, it's for the chosen few. Most friends I have tell me they don't understand why I like metal, that it is too much noise. They just going to have to listen beyond the noise and the truth is they don't have to figure it out, it is either in you or it isn't. Metal is my morning coffee and it's my night sleeping pills...

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