Wham Bam! – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
WB: Unfiltered rock and groove with catchy dual vocal harmonies. if you grew up in the grunge era and also dig old – school rock & roll, this is your jam
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
WB: Wham Bam! is a duo consisting of Gideon Kretschmer (vocals, all the instruments) and Nico Tourelle (vocals) – Nico lives on a farm in the quiet Karoo in South Africa, and Gideon Kretschmer lives in the bustling city of Frankfurt, Germany. They’ve been making music together since 1996, when they started their first band SUNFISH, back in the hey-days of the South African rock music scene.
Nico moved to Taiwan where he spent a number of years performing and touring Asia as vocalist for a huge local pop/rock group. Gideon continued his music career in South Africa as songwriter and producer for a number of bands over the years, culminating in a move to his new base in Germany in 2018.
Over the years they’ve continued their creative connection – sharing ideas, writing and performing together (Nico wrote and performed on “It’s on fire” – from WonderWolf’s debut album “The Long Winter“)
Wham Bam! formed in 2019 when Nico shared a song idea via Whatsapp – Gideon loved the hook and quickly recorded a demo idea – a couple of rounds of remote collaboration later and their debut single “On Your Own” was born. Lyrics were written by fellow creative partner Ramon Rabie (an author and wordsmith extraordinaire living in Thailand) – this breathed new life and meaning into the track.
Our setup is quite unique – we live in different parts of the world and collaborate remotely. We’re part of new upstart German label HopePunk Records (https://hopepunkrecords.com) and as part of this creative collective we work with musicians across the globe, but also have plans to join forces in Germany and South Africa within the next year for some shows.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
WN: We love a wide range of genres, but naturally gravitate back to our grunge and rock roots, with Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age, AC/DC being influences. We try to mix that energy with more current pop/indie flavors to ensure it rocks but also grooves.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
WB: Our immediate focus is to finish work on our debut EP, and to work with our label to spread our tunes and grow an organic following of like-minded music lovers. Plans are also in the pipeline for South African and European dates in the next year. A UK/EUR festival slot would be a our first “dream” achievement.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
WB: Songwriting is split between Nico and Gideon, both being guitarists and vocalists, our years of writing together has created a natural rhythm of sharing and shaping. Our dual vocal approach is also our special sauce so we create songs that works with this sauce. Depending on the song, we also love collaborating with our creative partner Ramon Rabie on lyrics.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
WB: Currently we promote primarily via our label’s social channels and via the various streaming platforms, following a mix of organic and partnered promotion strategies. We’re keen to expand on this as we create more music though, growing an authentic follower base, not the easiest in today’s music scene – but we believe if the tunes are good the people will respond.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
WB: It’s a double edged sword – great for getting music out there easily and to a broad audience with no barriers to entry, but of course it has made it detrimental to band earnings outside of touring (which is now also impacted by COVID – online/live stream approaches are quickly moving in to fill the gap here, although monetising this in the right way is also a bit of a new challenge for artists)
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
WB: Gideon – so many to choose from but Thrice’s “Hurricane” or Alter Bridge’s “Watch over you” would have been cool – I love an epic melodic chorus.
Nico – for me its Video killed the Radio Star (Buggles or Presidents of USA version)
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
WB: Finding and connecting with a real audience in today’s social media madness is a bit of a frustration, also avoiding all the sharks in the scene is not always easy.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
WB: I think for both of us it would always be that first album we recorded and released back in 1997 for our first band – going into studio as a band and seeing and hearing the final product that we created was so magical.
Also talking and hanging out with fans of the band is also always a great moment.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
WB: We’re in studio putting the final touches on our second single “Fool’s Gold” – a catchy pop/rock anthem with massive crowd-pleasing potential – this will lead up to the release of their debut EP later in 2020.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
WB: We’ve just released our debut single “On Your Own” – a catchy rock & roll/grungy track, released with a fun lyric video – check out https://hopepunkrecords.com/wham-bam for all the info and links
Song links – https://songwhip.com/whambam/on-your-own
Lyric Video – https://youtu.be/e0bNS7VLuZs
Store – https://hopepunkrecords.com/buy