Neil Breytenbach is a staple of the South African rock scene so come Sunday, it’s no surprise that he’ll be shredding at the Led Zeppelin tribute at the Good Luck Bar. I got hold of him and asked about his love for Natal, his musical history and people he’d like to colab with.
Richard Chemaly (RC): Bloke! You’ve been all over the world with Prime Circle and played with some of the greatest! What’s the coolest wisdom or skill you’ve picked up?
Neil Breytenbach (NB): I would say the cool thing about music is, it doesn’t matter that you getting older, as long as you keep yourself in good health you can always break it in music if you have the right product, timing, music, mindset & drive. We did a show with Iggy Pop recently and for an older man he truly still rocks the stage hard.
RC: You’ve got a ton of cool side projects going on. Tell us about RADA Unearthed and Cantrel. What’s the success been like?
NB: Cantrel is a rad ‘Alternative Electronic Pop’ side project of mine where I write, record & produce all the music myself and invite different vocalists to feature on the songs. I’ve recently reached Number 1 on some radio stations with my latest single called ‘Tough Life’ where I featured new rap sensation Velosity and he bounced some lyrics on the verses.
RADA is a charity project I’m involved in which stands for Rape Alcohol Drug Abuse. It’s to help set up centers where abused or substance abusive people can go to to get help. RADA unearthed is the record label side of it which helps up and coming artist to get onto a musical platform and release their music on the RADA unearthed albums while supporting a great cause.
RC: You seem to really love Pietemaritzburg, even giving a Tripadviser review on La Vita e Restaurant. What’s your connection with the Last Outpost…besides the great beer?
NB: I have a fourteen year old son named Jesse and Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas have amazing schools, so I’m glad to be able to give him a great education. I’m a local at La Vita Restaurant as my grandfather was from Italy, so I always love some great Italian food. The Midlands has amazing restaurants, coffee shops and hidden gems.
RC: With the tribute show, you’re going to be sharing the stage with some other awesome artists. Have you ever considered who you’d like to share a stage with one day who you still haven’t with? Who and why?
NB: As for a colab, it would be amazing to do something with Johnny Clegg, he’s been a huge inspiration and influence in our country. Might have to get him out of his retirement one day *smiles*
RC: For the life of me, I cannot find any record of you prior to Prime Circle? Were you the the inspiration for babies being delivered by the
stork or were you just in hiding? Was there a band before Prime Circle?
Neil : I studied music in Durban so I am a Music Graduate, Black Coffee was a student with me. After studies I wrote music for radio and TV adverts then had a rock band called Jimmy 12inch which was a very energetic rock band. We used to tour with Seether & Springbok Nude Girls. After that I did some session work with Pop Idols while touring with a band called Driverlane, our single Regular Flavor went to number one across SA and was the theme song on the Foot-skating 101 movie. Then Joined Prime Circle and the rest is History…
RC: Finally, and we have to ask this, what is your favourite Zeppelin song and why?
NB : ‘Black Dog’ that riff is just sick, it was way before it’s time. Total genius songwriters.