RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW SOUTH AFRICAN BAND BETTYS NUKLEAR
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band?
With the devastation and turmoil caused by a certain pandemic, in 2021 a group of four musicians with a dream came together from all parts of South Africa in search of creation. Betty’s Nuklear is on a mission to bring the South African music industry back to life, We wish to bring forth an experience that will make people forget about all the bullsh*t going on.
Introduce us to all the members and your musical history?
On lead vocals and the lyricist/ frontman of Betty’s Nuklear is Chad Abnett (9 years XP), a classical rock/ alternative metal influenced vocalist with a range that knows no bounds, no genre is safe.
On lead guitar we have our dark pop driven machine sir Dean Clarke (13 years XP), prone to shred.
On Bass Guitar we have the relentless Anthonie Botha (5 years XP), reigning from the dry Secunda, this blues/ hard rock influenced bassist adds to the grit of Betty’s Nuklear.
On Drums we have none other than Shane Carew (12 years XP), a drummer disciplined in the ways of jazz all the way down south to the most progressive metal that has ever crossed your ears, non-stop, high energy. Enough to make you think, enough to make your head bang.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
“Who is your greatest influence, or which artist influenced your band most?”
From a solo perspective it can be an easy question to answer, but from a bands perspective it’s nearly impossible. With constant influences flying in and out of the cauldron that is Betty’s Nuklear creativity it’s impossible to keep track of those things track-for-track. (I see what you guys did there)
Do you subscribe to any conspiracy theories?
Yes! Betty’s Nuklear is certain of the fact that we are not alone! We are on a mission outward! Give us killer planets and alien life any day of the week. This world is nothing but a phase. Look a little further, beyond the wool over your eyes.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Considering that times were tough in RSA (Republic of South Africa) we were all imprisoned with very minimal financial support, luxuries were out of the question. We had to use all we had to get the essentials. Most of our money went to keeping the stomachs full and the lights on. If there is anything that we South Africans are good at it’s surviving.
We have set up RGM USA sharing USA music with the UK scene and vice versa, what are your thoughts on the UK music scene?
Our stance on the UK music scene as well as the USA scene is quite neutral. We respect the power and influence that they have offered over the years. It has been nothing less of inspirational and motivating, we would love nothing more than to be recognized alongside world-wide acts.
We all speak the same language; we hope to put RSA higher on the list of musical contributions to the world. It can be done, we won’t stop.
What useless party trick do you have?
Chad (Lead Vocals) – My life is a party trick.
Dean (Lead Guitar) – The more he drinks, the more stand-up comedy you’re bound to hear (word-for-word re-enactments )
Anthonie (Bassist) – He has a really long tongue and has a tattoo of Peter Griffen on his ass.
Shane (Drummer) – Instant Shirtless Shane, just add rum.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
This is a tricky one, performing is the best part of it all and it’s quite difficult to pinpoint the moments all the time. We always have fun when performing, that’s why we do it! But to try and point out a moment I would say that it was the time we opened for one of South Africans most established rock artists, “Francois van Koke” in December of 2021 live at Reed Valley in Mossel Bay, Western Cape.
The nervous energy of our first “big show” was something to remember, the knots in the stomachs and restlessness days before. It’s all part of the magic that is performing art!
“If you’re not nervous, it’s not worth it”.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Just like all bands, we have things that need to level out in the beginning in order to guarantee us standing the best chance possible in the industry, but thankfully we have not yet had a bad stage experience, as mentioned before in other words, our performance is our element – it would take a lot to take that passion and happiness away from us, good luck.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Chad (Lead Vocals) – “Despite my on-stage persona, I’m actually quite the fan of my own space, quite the introvert actually, public speaking is to this day is my kryptonite”
Anthonie (Bassist) – The skinniest member of the band has not had a single vegetable in over 15 years.
Dean (Lead Guitar) – before seeing the light, Dean was a predominately pop and indie guitarist, but he’s better now.
Shane (Drummer) – Started playing drums in a church band.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
“We are here for you; we believe in you – let us be your projecting voice to the worlds you can’t reach. Just be stand there and leave the rest to us, Betty’s Nuklear is an experience – we don’t need to explain this with terms you do not understand. Just be present and allow yourself to be immersed. “
What makes you stand out as a band?
We are a committed group, dedicated to bringing forth movements of sound, not a track-for-cash situation, we want to create a fictional world where our music can live with no boundaries and offer that to all creatives and listeners ready to be immersed by our sound.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
The resistance to art and positivity in the world is disgusting! We have access to all the things we need to make everything that’s wrong about this world better at our fingertips, yet we use none of it. Happiness seems to be something people enjoy in private as if it’s the last can of beans in a bomb shelter. We have accepted this fact as a unit and have made the decision to place our ideologies and faith in writing concepts that are “out of this world” apart from the chaos, and into a new chaos, our chaos.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
Well, I’ll give you our favourite cover and our favourite original instead, one of each. Our favourite original track to perform live is our next single “Call before you Ride” which is a nice hard space punk adventure, and it just feels so good to let out at shows. We call it our “party song”.
Secondly, our favourite cover to perform would have to be Bull’s on Parade by Rage Against the Machine, it was the first song that Betty’s Nuklear decided to study and perfect. Metal hip-hop hits the right nerves you know? Betty’s Nuklear are huge fans of RAGTM and to do it justice as im sure we do is nothing short of an honour.
“You think I ain’t worth a dollar, but I feel like a millionaire” by Queens of the Stone Age.
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
Yes! And thank you for bringing that upi, we are super excited to introduce our debut single release titled “Bleeding The Summer”.
This is a track marking the birth of Betty’s Nuklear and the story of how they obtained their “Betty” in an unknown world that is dry and barren, a tale of a girl in search for an oasis of the soul. The story is visually metaphorical in the sense that there is nothing left to grasp that has substance in that world, in this story we are the substance and the girl is the starving world.
Talk me through the thought process of the single/album/ep?
This song was written in the midst of Betty’s Nuklear finding their “sound” so instead of having a solid idea of direction we went with what felt right, and in retrospect, we would not have it any other way. Now that we have settled on our sound (which has yet to be heard) we look back at it and realise it was fundamental to the band’s journey and set the tone for what’s to come.
What was the recording process like?
It was long and frustrating in all honesty, to source all the necessary moving parts to make it all work out where we come from proved to be quite the challenge, after a good deliberation and trial and error we finally formed a team that will be effective in streamlining the recording and capturing process of our future releases.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single/album/ep?
That art will always take the desired form if it’s backed with passion. I write then apply, this whole single was written without context and direction in mind, only once we started evolving and working towards the success of Betty’s Nuklear did the song find it’s place. Have faith is the lesson, trust in your art and it will trust your intention.
Would you change anything now that it’s finished?
No, no, no. This has been an awesome experience. The difficult times, hard work and the minimal pleasures all add to the journey of Betty’s Nuklear. Every fuck up we make now makes the road ahead more prosperous and clear for great things, we thrive off of the hard times 😉 that’s the SA way. All we can do is learn, regrets are a waste of grey matter.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Betty’s Nuklear is taking the remainder of 2022 to work on our next single “Call Before you Ride”. Targeting music festivals in South Africa so that we can have a bigger platform to rile up the masses and build a significant following. Along with the next single “Call Before You Ride” we will be working on writing and producing our first concept EP to showcase our range of sounds, title yet to be announced but “The Betty’s Nuklear Experience” is the no.1 contender for now.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Betty’s Nuklear is nothing but eager to have the world hear us out and jump on this intergalactic train asap! Follow us, tell a friend and share, share, share!