A Quick Interview With Francois Van Coke

Francois van Coke 02Francois Van Coke is one of South Africa’s most renowned, interesting and influential musicians. He was one of the founding members of Afrikaans rock band F****polisiekar and is also currently the frontman and lead vocalist for Van Coke Kartel.

Hold On! Before we get into the history! Francois van Coke is playing a solo set at the Rise & Shine Festival (a one day music festival at Sandton Central Park on the 8th of June 2013) and we’re giving away Two Double Tickets to this show! To enter this competition Like / Share This Image on the Junk Mail Classifieds Facebook page. Plain and simple. Now, keep on reading.

FPK was formed in Bellville in 2003 by Van Coke and 4 of his friends (Wynand Myburgh, Jaco “Snakehead” Venter, Hunter Kennedy and Johnny De Ridder). Their sound was fresh and very different from the Afrikaans rock pioneers that had traveled the same road before. In the ten years since their inception they have reached cult status in South Africa – the band has basically become a household name.

In 2007 FPK were in a status of hiatus. The band decided to take a break from their hectic touring schedule. During this break period Van Coke Kartel, aKING and Die Heuwels Fantasties were born. Since then all three of these acts have grown into three of the most hard-working musical acts and have become household names in South Africa over the last few years. I’m speaking under correction, but all four acts of these acts have won more awards than your average musician in the country – Van Coke Kartel alone won three MK Awards this year and last year.

To date FPK have released 3 full length albums and 3 EPs. The band also released a Best Of Album in Late 2012 to celebrate 10 years in the SA Music industry. To date Van Coke Kartel have released 4 studio albums and Die Heuwels Fantasties and aKING both released three studio albums. Love them or hate them, these acts have had a huge impact on the SA Music scene over the last 10 years. FPK, aKING, Die Heuwels Fantasties and Van Coke Kartel have played at almost every major festival, town / city and live music venue in the country.

I recently had the opportunity to have a quick chat with Francois Van Coke, this is what he had to say

When it comes to writing, playing and performing music, what drives you the most?

I write, play and perform music because it is what I do, who I am and I can’t see myself doing something else at the moment.

Francois Van Coke 01Which local artist(s) do you consider as the biggest influences on your music?

If there was no Springbok Nude Girls, Koos Kombuis and 7th Breed, I would probably not have played music right now.

You have performed all over South Africa. How would you describe playing in the following cities in South Africa? Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Potchefstroom and Port Elizabeth?

Pretoria is a great place for live music. It also is the city where my bands, FPK and VCK have the biggest following. I love playing there and the support is great. Cape Town is home and obviously it is great if all your friends come out to hang out. Stellenbosch is a town, by the way. It is also just as close to where we grew up in Bellville, so I have been playing shows there since I was a laatie and we also have loads of friends there.

Potch is a bit like Stellenbosch, but we don’t get to play there that often. Probably once or twice a year, there are a lack of venues at the moment, but we have always had great shows there and the students go crazy. We have had good and crappy shows in PE in the last ten years, we also don’t go there that often, but we have a couple of good mates there. Venues have come and gome, but we keep going back.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently on tour with Arno Carstens. I am a big fan and we are doing a couple of acoustic shows around the country. We are working on a new Van Coke Kartel album at the moment.

We are at the final stages of writing and pre-production. Also, we are heading to The Netherlands and Germany in 2 weeks for a tour with Jack Parow. It also out tenth year as FPK, so we are playing loads of shows this year to celebrate it.

What are your thoughts about Rise & Shine festival?

I am excited to play the show. I don’t get the opportunity to do my acoustic set in Jozi very often. Excited to see The Black Cat Bones again. It is great that the festival is eco friendly, so I am doing something green for a change. Amped!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Francois Van Coke for taking time to conduct this interview and I would like to wish him and all the bands that have spawned out of FPK the best their musical projects and side projects. You can follow him on Twitter via @FrancoisVanCoke.

Please take note of Terms and Conditions of the Rise & Shine Festival Competition below:

  • This competition closes on the 5th of June 2013. Winners will be announced on the day at 1 PM on the Junk Mail Classifieds Facebook page and the @junkmailcoza Twitter profile.
  • This competition is NOT open to Junk Mail employees.
  • If the winner does not respond to the news of his/her prize within 2 hours, then he/she forfeits the prize and there will be a re-draw and new winner announcement.

Did you enjoy this article? Are you excited about the competition? Share this post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Your live music loving friends will love you more and besides, sharing is caring after all.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Competitions and Fun Corner Category on the Junk Mail Blog.

Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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