Michael Lesar! THE Michael Lesar! He’s throwing a party and it’s going to be great. We got a chance to speak with him about his Let’s Twist Again oarty at The Good Luck Bar tomorrow. Natrually we sent Richard in to get the full lowdown on all matters from settling the Cape Town/Johannesburg conundrum, how to keep one’s dreads in check and how to dance!
Richard Chemaly (RC): I’ve been playing sax for 14 years and back then I go not action as the sexiness in music still seemed to be in 2 guitars, a bass and a drum. Today, however, not only have jazz and swing become more popular but the SA scene seems to be giving it a distinctly South African flavour. I think of you and your fellow artists, the rise of the Orbit, the increasingly youthful crowd at the Radium…and now we have parties, like Let’s Twist Again dedicated to the stuff. To what do you attribute this rise in old time music appreciation?
Michael Lesar (ML): I think the love for vintage music has always had a big following in the past its just that there were no events to support the sound its just more trendy at the moment. There are a few reasons in my opinion that attributed to the rise in old time music appreciation – Fashion has played a huge part with the 1930s and 1950s making a huge comeback 50s rockabilly culture at the moment is huge all over the world. In the Swing ( 1930s ) scene the birth of Electro Swing has had a huge impact in making the 30s cool again with huge bands and artists popping up all over the world.Its so much fun to actually dress up to a theme and party the night away to vintage music its a nice change to the norm for some people and also the music was just so damn good its so difficult to not want to boogy and shake your ass to the Charleston or the Twist!
RC: You’ve been around for awhile. I remember partying to your decks in Cape Town way back when I was in school. I usually ask artists how they remain relevant but with swing, I suspect it’s different because it’s still a novelty music in our discourse. I imagine finding interesting and old tracks to mix is important. How do you go about finding music to mix in the knowledge that your audience is still growing and somewhat fragile to the concept?
ML: Am i really that old lol! Well Electro Swing is way more that just a novelty sound at the moment its definitely here to stay there are lots of artists and bands releasing ” new / remixed ” Swing music all the time so its not that difficult to find. Its much bigger in Europe than in South Africa so yes it is a somewhat fragile sound i like to keep things fresh always making my sets sound different and fun i play a variety of Swing which consists of Original Swing, Swing Breaks, Swing House, Drum & Bass type Swing etc. Trying to keep things fresh has actually led me to launching my band Full Swing.
RC: Never have I had the opportunity to chat with somebody who went from Cape Town to Jozi. Usually it’s the other way around. What inspired the change of scenery and are you happier up here with us in the mountainless interior?
RC: Since you’ve been in the scene for as long as you have and in various places, perhaps you can help me out with some advice. I’d like to know what ladies and gents find more attractive on the dance floor. Is there only one Twist move? Our readers need your help on this one!
ML: Yes definitely more than once haha but they have a life of their own and usually just sway in the back ground to the beat best you get out the way if its a really good song lol!!
ML: I hate planning a set in fact i have never ever planned a set in my life as you don’t know whats going to happen when you on the dance floor, i will never understand how some people plan their set at home and then comes to a party and plays the whole set as planned from no.1 to no.10 it doesn’t make any sense you are after all working with energy which can go in any direction it also makes it more exciting and fun for me to not have a planned set, how ever you have to be prepared that’s the difference just know where all you music is and then wing it from there.
LETS TWIST AGAIN EVENT DETAILS
Date: 1 October 2016
Venue: The Good Luck Bar