Many of the bands on the Rock The Nation (RTN) bill are just beginning their career. This is where Metal Orizon differs radically. Botswana’s first metal band formed back in 1991, they need an introduction. Playing traditional heavy metal / hard rock, they released their début, Ancestral Blessings in 1999, followed by Myopic… Enslavement in 2001. In 2003, founding vocalist/guitarist Jarona “Spencer” Sekwababe sadly passed away. Eight years would pass until they released the follow-up Metal Örizon in 2009, with Dumisani Matiha the new frontman, on vocals and guitar. They are due to release an album this year, which is easily one of the most anticipated albums to come out of Botswana in 2017.
Audioinferno: My name is Austin from Audioinferno, please introduce yourself.
My name is Dumisani Matiha, i play the guitar and lead the vocals in a band called Metal Orizon.
Audioinferno: Have you ever played any National or International Fests before?
We have played in South Africa Motherfud and Walmer festival. Locally we have played a lot of festivals e.g Denswana beer fest, Mascom boosta bash, Bots 50 to 50 independence festival, Rock against HIV, Maun Woodstock Festival, Tlatsa lebala fest, Rock the Nation Fest, Wintermania Fest, March of the gods fest, Augustus Fest, Metal Grinder Fest and the list goes on and on.
Audioinferno: I see you guys have played many International Fests before?
Yes before I joined Metal Orizon, they played a lot but since I joined they’ve been very few.
Audioinferno: Nice! So I hear you have an upcoming album?
Yeah we do everything is at advanced stage, the album is Kings of Africa.
Audioinferno: What an awesome album name! Any idea for us on how the upcoming album art looks like?
The artwork has changed totally from what Metal Orizon had as previous album. It’s a very brutally nice piece of artwork whilst carrying a lot of African feel. It’s all about Africa.
Audioinferno: How many times have your band played RTN before?
If this one is the seventh, that would be 5 or 6 times.
Audioinferno: No specific digit?
Honestly I don’t remember because we started with this festival and it was by then maybe three bands, Dust n fire, Metal Orizon and Barren Barrel. We started this festival with three bands only and it caught fire.
Audioinferno: Okay so at the first stage of the festival, your band was not added to the lineup, why was that?
We asked to be included because we have friends coming over from Mozambique who would want to see us play live. We have business with them but I cannot go into details because we are at the infant stage.
Audioinferno: Awesome so I hear RTN have had different venues over the years, what’s your best venue?
The current venue is best because it’s in the middle of village and the village is almost like the centre point of Botswana.
Audioinferno: How would you describe your music?
Afro tribal heavy metal.
Audioinferno: 1st time I’m hearing that name, tell me more about Afro tribal heavy metal.
There is a lot of African feel in our music that’s our signature. We incorporate Botswana traditional rhythms with heavy metal riffs.
Audioinferno: Good so what are most of your musical influences?
Old school and new school, it’s unfair to pick new bands and say they are influences. I listen to various types of rock and metal. and for what it is worth I never bother about types as long as it goes with my taste.
Audioinferno: I hear you’re releasing your album soon? How soon?
I don’t have concrete answer about the release date but I hope end of September before RTN.
Audioinferno: Tell us briefly about Kings of Africa album because I know you recorded it in South Africa.
It has 11 songs the African (botswana) feel is more pronounced than ever. Look out for songs like Tormented and Uncertainty sang by our bassist. Uncertainty is a heavy blues slow jam. I have no evidence, Metal Orizon is not like any other band in the universe so we bring more of that to the world. In this album you will learn to headbang in African time signatures because that what we all are about. The lyrical content is about Africans in Africa. It gives views of a man living in Botswana not any other place but easy to relate with one’s own life’s miseries.
Audioinferno: Thanks. Do you think that there will be any challenging obstacle in the release of your album?
Hahaha our music path is paved with obstacles, it won’t be normal if there won’t be obstacles. We are living them everyday it is what makes us rock musicians here in Botswana to be what we are it shapes us.
Audioinferno: What is your take on the African Metal scene?
I think it’s slowly growing though I don’t know much about it except that one of Botswana. In Botswana it has spiraled down bands disbanding or taking a longer break whatever that is it has affected negatively on our scene. I am aware it’s going down in Mozambique, Kenya and as usual the South Africa metal scene has always been big. I like to talk about bands that do go on stage regularly not just names.
Audioinferno: And why do you think bands are disbanding?
They just disappear and you will never hear from members again.
Audioinferno: Awesome, so name 5 things you need to make RTN a memorable one.
To present perfect set, to hear the sick motherfuckers screaming Metal Orizon name in sweet agony, to change the stage to a military coup, leave RTN in a metal sovereign state. Break your teeth with serious riffing.
Support your local scene \m/