NOTHING MAJOR with Los Castillos


In anticipation for NOTHING MAJOR we sat with the boys from Los Castillos.  Over one hour and a couple of draughts we discussed Castle Lager sponsorships, Band Name Generators, Electric Elephants, Jealous Joburg’s tiff with Cape Town, Justin Bieber, the malnourished music industry and all things Los Castillos. Not before they played me the latest Arctic Monkeys single which they thoroughly enjoy.


The Fuss – According to the internet Los Castillos is a translation of The Castles. Tell us How Los Castillos formed and what the significance behind the name is?

Ammar Karam – There’s a couple of versions and we’re not gonna say which one is true. One of them was that we all woke at a bar in Mexico called Los Castillos. It just so happened we started off in Jollys – one thing led to another and we woke up in [this]bar in Mexico.

Alex Collins – That’s the most probable story. [laughs]

AK – The second one is – The three of us were sitting at Bowls, and at Bowls they got the tables with Castle [Lager table cloths] on them. So we were like – what do we call ourselves? The Castles.

AC – We just wanted to be sponsored by Castle by calling ourselves the Castles.

AK – After [some]research we found that there was a Spanish band called The Castles. So we were like – fuck you, we going to call ourselves Los Castillos.

The Fuss – What is the meaning of the Electric Elephant?

AC – One of the potential band names that we had was the Electric Elephant. We found out there was a festival somewhere in Holland or Sweden called Electric Elephant. Sean designed the Electric Elephant logo before we even finalised a name. It’s something that sort of defines our sound I guess.

“When you feel an electric elephant in your pants, then you know we were there.”

The Fuss – What were the other names in your manual Band Name Generator?

AC – There was Nashville, Electric Elephant, Dead Elephant, Black Cadillac, The Castle and eventually we got to Los Castillos.

The Fuss – How long has the band been together? And is this the first musical project each of you members are involved in?

AC – It’s been a long journey.

AK – The four of us have been together as a band since September 2011.

Vedhant Maharaj – [That] is almost 2 years.

AC – Initially It was just Ammar and Sean playing drums and guitars in a room during 2009…

AK –In [Seans’] sister’s bedroom. That’s where the drums were. Me and Alex had a fortuitous meet-up at the [old]Bohemian or Back2Basix.

AC – We had this tall lanky guy – Ruan. [He] was our vocalist. We should probably have a song dedicated to him.

AK – We kind of do. We put up auditions and that’s when we got [Vedhant] on board.

AC – We did the whole sitting-behind-a-desk thing and these guys came in and sang to us. We had some people that just didn’t have the attitude or the pitch accuracy that we needed.

VM – There was that one fly chick that auditioned just before me.

AC – We considered taking her just cause she was gorgeous and she had a pretty decent voice.

AK – But then [Vedhant] came and blew us away.

VM – I blew every single one of them [laughs]. First thing I sang was, ‘With a little help from my friends’ by Joe Cocker.

The Fuss – We heard your recording of ‘Grassy Blue Planet’ with your old vocalist…

AK – Actually, there was also an in-between vocalist. [That recording] was not Ruan.

AC – [It was] Super Model Max.

VM – GQ man of the year.

AK – The best dressed member of the band. Ever. [laughs]

The Fuss – It seems your group struggles to retains a vocalist, What do you do to them?

AC – I think it’s the erratic temperament of the vocalists themselves…

VM – They were all divas.

The Fuss – You note bands such as Queens Of The Stone Age, Black Keys and The Jimi Hendrix Experience as some of your influences. What are some of the local bands you respect or  can allude to as influences of Los Castillos?

ACBLK JKS. If you listen to our music its kind of lately progressing to a more simpler but at the same time more complex kind of arrangement. We’re dumbing everything down but adding very complicated things in small packages – which I’m pretty sure we got from BLK JKS. Our upbeat kind of fields come from the indie side of Joburg [with bands like]Shortstraw for instance.

AKShadowclub with their raw sound are also an influence.

Sean Ransom – Whenever we go to gigs, we all watch and try to take something out of the performances and styles.

AC – [When we] watch these small bands play, we get an opportunity to just watch them do their thing. [We watched] New Earth yesterday for instance…

AK – Oh, Wow. Those guys were pretty decent, Very very decent.

AC – [As well as] friends of ours that we just love listening to – Earl Grey and Croquet. Great sound and they bring out a CD and we can just listen to it.

VM – …and The Brother Moves On. Their showmanship is fucking cool.

AC – Its something that we definitely want to incorporate in our live performances.

VM – …just watch this space for some freaky shit that’s going to happen.

The Fuss – You have described your group as ‘playing the citys blues’. Did the decision to form a blues band come consciously or did the blues find you?

AK – It was a mixture between the two. I love my classic rock. Im a very old school kind of rock fan. I used to watch and enjoy all the live performances by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and the Woodstock [festival]. I was inspired by the simplicity  and ease of music back then. It had something which I think got lost over the ages and I’m just trying to bring it back. But I can’t speak for everyone.

SR – We all agreed that we all enjoyed that kind of sound so it was a natural direction.

VM – On one hand maybe it was a conscious decision [especially]the older material. But working with each other [since I joined]we’ve had an interesting dynamic where we kind of like being together.

AK – …we share similar tastes and a common goal.

AC – All of us do have our unique little branches and at some points we turn up and decide [that]this isn’t really our sound and we’d just scratch a song.

The Fuss – Talk us through the bands creative process? Who writes the music and which comes first – the melodies or the lyrics? Is it an organic process?

AC –Composition-wise Ammar writes all the songs. That’s how it started out. Then Sean fills in the gaps and eventually I would come in and just lay down the roots.

VM – …and then I rephrase everything.

AC – Ammar would also write all the lyrics and Vedhant would just look at them and change them up and go nuts on them.

AK – Obviously it starts off with an idea or a story. I try to always incorporate some sort of story into a song. It’s [starts as]a story and then the story lends itself to a groove, the groove then turns into a melody. I’d sing the melody to Sean and Alex would lay down the roots and Vedhant just fucks the whole thing up by changing the phrasing.

SR – Sometimes we do start with the melody.

AC – …we like to experiment. We wanted to write a song where the drums start and the vocals come in without any guitar or bass [so]we just did it.

AK – I was fed up. Everyone got to start but me. So [I decided that] I’m going to start this song.

AC – That’s also how we draw on influences. We look at how other bands do it. That [for Ammar starting the song on drums]was as idea I got from a band called Autolux. They wrote this great song where it was just this drum groove and then the vocals would come in and start singing a melody and then the bass would slide in. So we draw from what we listen to.

The Fuss – The prevailing theme’s through most of your material is the “Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n Roll” motif. Is your writing based on personal experiences or based on fictional narratives.

AK – One of our first songs, if not the first song [we wrote]is about a guy who rapes a hooker. None of us have done that in real-life. [laughs]It is a story that I feel happens everyday. I just thought I’d write a song about it from a different perspective. We wrote it from the perspective of the guy himself, Johnny B Badde.

SR – It’s a rip-off of the classic Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry.

AK – There are also songs drawn from personal experiences that I’ve had with ladies and what not.

AC – We write a lot about the frustrations that we have. You write them into a song and if the song comes out happy-chappy and people dance to your frustrations. Then its perfect.

AK – So it’s either a story that’s happened to us or we feel happens on a regular basis. Or it could be a random song about getting high and tripping.

SR – Which none of us do.

AK – Kids don’t do drugs its bad.

AC – Disclaimer. [laughs]

VM – When we make music we all bring it from our own [perspectives]. So there isnt one factor where we could say this is where all of our influence comes from lyrically. It [also]depends on who wrote the song and who was supporting them in writing.

AC – The collaborative effect makes the songs explode into something completely different.

VM – It just adapts. Songs get written by one of us and they get transformed by everybody else.

AC – Our songs have a knack for always evolving and we never really say this is the complete structure. We’ll record them and say that’s what we recording. But [at]the next live show you won’t hear what you heard on the CD.

The Fuss – How many songs has Los Castillos written?

AK – Roughly 16 or 17.

AC – 20 even. We perform about 10 or 12 of them. There’s a lot that we kind of put back all the time, cause they just seem so daunting those tasks. We had a song called PNP a long time ago. It started on acoustic guitar and the drums would sit-up for a minute before anything happens.

AK – We’ve got 15 or 16 complete songs. The rest are songs we’ll get to but we need to maybe still get better as musicians and a band before we can tackle the task. We want this song to be the best it can be. So we want to get better so we can actually have the skills to approach it.

AC – The important thing is to test-drive them basically. Take it out to a show even if I’ts not finished and see how the crowd responds to it. There’s two tracks that we perform that are mostly just [what], where we just jam because we just  haven’t got a definitive structure [for them]. We kinda just look at each other and go ‘and now we end’.

The Fuss – The blues and rock ‘n roll sound has been making a comeback over the past few years with bands like Black Keys, Band of Skulls, Arctic Monkeys and Shadowclub locally. They even decided to release Jimi Hendrix’s posthumous album this year. Blues & Rock ‘n Roll is arguably one of the harder genres to play, tell us what set Los Castillos apart in this scene?

AK – What would set us apart from the Black Keys or any of the garage revival bands?… We [do]draw heavily from them, yes. But it doesn’t mean to say that we want to sound like them. We’re developing our own sound and vibe. We are all Joburg boys and we try to bring the ‘essence’ of Joburg out, and it’s a different vibe. We live in South Africa which is different to anywhere else in the world. So we’re always trying to be different, we’re not just playing the same old blues progression all the time and writing lyrics about women and wine.

SR – We don’t just draw from the blues, we draw from everything.

AK – …Hell, even Skrillex.

AC – …We’ve always said, ‘Let’s make dubstep with just what we have’. We find the little blues essences that other genres have and we take them and just explode them.

VM – It’s not so much that we’re a blues band or a classic rock band. We’re a band that works together. We like alternative music and we take a bit of indie drum beats. The songs that we’re working on now have that sort of African back vocal chanting sort of thing. It’s not so much we make blues rocks music, we make rock music and we pull from a lot of genres. Maybe certain songs sound blues-y but if you listen to them; they [may]have more pop in them  or even a bit of hip-hop. We just try to change it up all the time, we make what we like. That’s what we do.

AC – We still have a big vision of Irish-punk music.

AK – That will probably be our second or third album, we’re literally just going to write a whole bunch of drinking songs. Irish drinking songs based on pirates.

The Fuss – How often does your band rehearse, and who is that guy that is always late?

[Everybody laughs as fingers are pointed at Sean]

AK – Let me break it down for you. We’re all studying so we are all pretty busy during term. We try to get one practice a week during term. But during the holidays we can get 2 to 3 practices a week, which is awesome. And Sean is always late. And he owes us so much money in late fines. We made late fine [penalties]especially for Sean.

The Fuss – Whats the going rate for lateness? And how much is he indebted to you?

AK – R10 for ten minutes, and he owes us R60.

The Fuss – What are you guys studying, and do any of you have a formal academic background in music?

AC – It’s just me [studying music]. That’s why they keep me.

VM – I mean let’s face it; he is not a looker.

AC – Just a bassist. It’s ridiculous how little influence I have on this band as an academic music student. [laughs]

AK – I’m 3rd year engineering at Wits.

VM – I studied architecture and I’m graduating on Tuesday.

SR – I was studying architecture with [Vedhant] but next year im going into music.

AC – And you’ll hear it in the guitar riffs. Suddenly those solos will just pop. Like Zam Boneys from the Carniwhore’s.

AK – I think we should count them in as one of our local influences.

AC – We’ve always defined ourselves as punch-in-the-face music and I definitely see that in [The Carniwhores].

The Fuss – Sticking with the local scene, what are your thoughts on the local music scene and what are some of the challenges you have faced as a band?

AK – If we had [think of]the Joburg Music scene as a human – its still a baby. It’s still crawling and getting up on its feet.

AC – To me its like a malnourished man.

AK – Yeah it’s getting up and falling down constantly and it’s going to take some serious guidance and a good solid platform for it to actually start walking and then eventually start running and then start playing guitar.

AC – There are huge initiatives like radio stations doing things – [For example] Live@5 and TUKS which just takes [almost any]songs and plays them on their radio station. There’s movements like Bandwagon where we have bands playing on circulation every week. The problem is it is very unsaturated, it is thinly spread. If you go to a rock gig, you will get the most diverse spectrum of rock , as supposed as if you go to a America and you go to a rock gig – you’ll go to a hard rock gig or a pop rock gig or a soft rock gig. Here you’ll get some reggae rock band and some pop rock band and some band that plays with synthesizers and its just two guys on things [in one gig]. It’s weird, but it just needs to become more of a constant continuous thing.

AK – People think that Battle of the Bands is the solution and it really isn’t, because all you’re doing is pitting the bands to work against each other instead of with each other. What you need is something to group the bands. We’ve played with so many different types of bands, and it works – luckily. But sometimes it just won’t. We come on and play and we are really loud and aggressive and we’re fucking soloing and throwing shit at people and jumping off stage and then the next band is two guys and their acoustic guitars playing Bon Iver shit. It’s very different and we need to start coming together.

VM – The good things is there are initiatives, and they seem to be happening on the part of the bands themselves. For example, The Boosh by Shortstraw. We’ve also organised our own gigs. Its good because it’s getting bands to talk to each other. It’s not like – We’re Los Castillos so fuck you. We start interacting [with other bands]  and maybe start playing with them and building relationships. It’s not just our band that needs to be successful  – SA rock music needs to be successful.

AK – What pisses me off is that a lot of the bands that expect to be invited to play. You need to get yourself invited. You go there and you ask or organise – ‘guys can we play with you’. You try build relationships with other bands.

AC – With the whole digital kinda movement where DJs become the new bands,  it becomes harder for rock bands and instrumentalists to create the same kind of [show]. What happens is [bands]have to create a spectacle, they have to create a show, they have to make it worth people’s while to go out. If you’re playing what some guy can do by pushing a play button then you’re not a proper band. It’s a performance, It’s not [just]music. It’s a musical performance. And that I think is great, because that weeds out the shit bands from the great bands. Now you have lights, you have lazers.

VM – …and gimmicks, its always about the gimmicks.

AC –  If we wear masks on stage just to get people to go – ‘what the fuck?’. Then [thats]what we need.

VM – Those are the sort of things that make a statement about a band. It creates a healthy competition, because everyone starts putting pressure on themselves to get better. And that’s the good thing about the Joburg music industry. People are getting better.

AC – There’s definitely a drive.

The Fuss – Do you think there is enough happening to cultivate the scene?

SR – Not at the moment, I think it’s getting there [though].

AC – The way I see it; if no one actively does anything now and starts pushing harder it would take about 50 to 60 years for us to have the same competitive market as [in]Europe or the USA. But if we push hard now, we can do it in 3 or 4 years. We can have 70 to 100 radio stations each playing a very specific genre of music.

AK – It also comes back to the band’s attitude. It’s a circle. The bands have to get out there and work, [they]have to make sure the music is good. You have to make sure the performance is excellent so that people want to go watch you. And by going to watch you [not only are]they supporting you but they also support the place you’re playing in. Joburg unfortunately has very few places to play – you’ve got Rumours, the new Boh, Kingston on 4th, Tanz…

SR – Everywhere is closing down now.

VM – …with the SA music industry or just what people listen to and what’s popular – rock music is not the first choice.

AC – …its house and gospel.

VM – When people go out, there’s a small collective of people of [who support the scene]. The masses put on fancy clothes and go to Sandton to go dance to a DJ and pay six times the price of a drink because it’s fancy.They’re not listening to rock music. It comes down to what’s popular – whereas in the States there are a whole lot of bands and rock music is popular and there’s a huge collective of people who support it. It’s a novel thing in here.

SR – Whenever we jam on stage and there’s only 2 people in the crowd, we still play the same. We wont draw it back just because there’s only 2 people.

VM – That’s your musical integrity, that’s what that is. Even playing gigs where people are sitting down. They weren’t in the middle; but they knew we were there and they dug it. I think Pretoria [is keen]for some hard rock music.

AC – Wow, Pretoria loves the rock sound. Compared to the tight-knit streets, dark alleys and sirens of Joburg;  Pretoria just loves that organic intense vinyl rock sound.

VM –  I think its also an Afrikaans Rock ‘n Roll thing. The Afrikaans Rock ‘n Roll scene is just so big. They play good hard rock and people love it. Here, in Joburg it’s like everyone is a bunch of hipsters and everyone is listening to indie shit. And Indie shit is cool – but that’s not the only thing that’s there. Not everyone is trying to be a carbon copy of a Two Door Cinema Club or a Vampire Weekend. Sometimes you’re making your own music, cause that’s what you like doing. Its about tapping your sound. I think that’s what we’re trying to do.

The Fuss – Keeping with the geographical battles of the scenes. What would you say is the difference between the scenes in Joburg, Pretoria and Cape Town?

AC – Politics, it all comes down to politics. DA reigns supreme! [laughs]

AK –  Honestly I haven’t experienced the Cape Town scene too much. But from what I gather it is a lot bigger than the JHB scene. Band wise, there are a lot more CT bands than JHB bands and even Durban is kicking our ass.

AC – I went to a show last week, and there was a Cape Town band playing – Al Bairre. There is this purity to Cape Town music. There is a cleanness that you get from only living by the ocean and segregating Cape-coloured slums from the rich white people. Whereas here in JHB it is a lot more hyperdised. There’ll be grains from everything – inner-city blues, suburban boredom, Killarney fucking wasteland kind of sounds. [And] its all meshed into one city.

AK – And then there’s the Edenvale metal. There’s always an element of…not dirtiness – but a bit of a hate. We’re all experiencing this amazing city in different ways.

The Fuss – What are some of your favourite venues in Joburg?

SR – I love playing at the Boh[emian].

VM – The old Boh was home for us.

AC – The new one is showing some promise.

VM – The sound at the new one is way better. That’s for sure.

AC – And they have a pit, and I think we have the potential to fill that shit.

VM – They made that pit for us.

AK – As a band when I’m playing – my favourite venue is the new Bohemian because of that pit and the stage and the way the audience interacts with the artist. As an audience member my favourite would have to be Rumours [Lounge]. I just like it there. Personal preference – except its fuck[ing]far.

AC –  I used to love Cool runnings In Victory Park. Going to shows  there was mind blowing everytime, ‘cause the sound was great, the stage was great. Everything was made out of wood – the audience was standing on wood and the band was standing on wood so everything carried and your whole body would get involved in the music. And there was a great vibe and you had safe & secure parking [laughs]. But theres great places emerging nowadays – there’s Amuse Café which is a bit smaller and it’s more intimate and it has a lot of potential for a very deep audience-to-band connection. There’s this Greenside strip where you’ve got Odd Café and Tokyo Star; both also [ more suitable for] more intimate shows. The big sounds I think have to emerge in the city. Kitcheners is a good place to play, and Puma.

AK – PUMA! Oh My Shit!

VM – I think the coolest thing about PUMA as a venue [is that]it’s like a big fucking house party. So many people just go there, it’s fun, it’s intimate and it [attracts]so many different crowds and it doesn’t matter who’s playing or whether or not you’ve heard of them. People are just drawn to it. I think when Beast played not that many people knew Beast. And then I think Jakkals played that [same]night and I’d never heard of them but they had the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen. And the band acknowledged the crowd and the gig as one of their best.

AC – [More] Cape Town Bands [laughs]. I don’t think Cape Town bands realise how different their sound is from ours and how novel we see it as. When we hear a Cape Town band coming out and we go – ‘what is this? This is amazing’. But all they’re doing is playing music.

VM – I think Joburgers also know how to rock out. We’re party people, we’re not tame or timid or trying to be cool – we just need to dance. Life is so stressful here and we don’t have a mountain or the sea and we gotta release it somewhere and that’s the music.

The Fuss – You referred to a couple of venues closing down. With MK also closing its TV channel it seems the scene is taking somewhat of a blow or going through a lull. Do you think the problem lies with the audience/consumers or is it a problem with the content and quality of product we give the audience?

AC – I think it’s definitely the content and the quality. It’s a very South African thing to become victimised – ‘We’re South African we don’t deserve these kind of things, we’re not gonna try, we’re gonna ask people to pity us’. Instead we should just flip it 360 – ‘Oh people don’t like us? We’ll try harder. We’ll make them like us’. There’s scenes out there where people say, ‘come and support us’. You should never have to say come and support us. You should literally just say, ‘this is what we have’ and [let]people [say]‘I want, I want, I want’.

AK – That’s what we’re trying to do. Yes, we do say [come support]because we would like more than just the walls to play to. So we do invite people out to our gigs. But essentially we’re also trying to make sure after a gig, we go out to the people and ask – ‘What didn’t you like, so we can improve and make you come watch us again’. We’re always trying to improve. And in terms of MK’s closing down I think the FUSS should step in and be like – ‘hey, we’re a platform and there’s a gap to fill’.

The Fuss – [Laughing] Thanks, but this is about you.

VM – I think one of the biggest problems is that people don’t know how to rile around each other. It [just]seems like a competition all the time. For example; with this Bandwagon thing, we punt[ed]our gig but we didn’t give a shit about who was playing next – fuck. And that’s the biggest problem. We’re as much to blame as everybody else is. You’re not punting your music, your punting the rock industry, your punting the lifestyle, that’s what you’re punting. [Ammar & Sean] weren’t playing last week but they were there [to support], and we need more of that kind of shit. We must support each other. We’re trying to develop an industry. The thing is, bands appreciate [the support]and if bands appreciate it they try to make better music. We’re just starting to try work a lot harder than we have been previously.

AC – … we also need to realise that the listeners are actually your boss. The people that listen to your music are the guys that give you your money – basically paying your salaries.

SR – It’s also good seeing other musicians watching you play. Cause you feel like you’re actually doing something worthwhile.

The Fuss – Going back to what we like to call Jealous Joburg. What are your thoughts on the infamous battle between Cape Town & Joburg. And does it have a positive influence on the industry as a whole?

AK – The competitiveness between Cape Town and Johannesburg is well known. I think it’s just natural that we have that competition of which city comes out tops. Yes it is healthy, but we shouldn’t let it be the defining characteristsic. Music should not be defined [with]– we want to be better than Cape Town.

AC – We want to play in Cape Town. We want to hit them with the same style that they hit us with, the same shock value. One of my main influences from CPT is Taxi Violence, who are a great rock band. They have got very raw power. Taxi Violence reminded me of Queens Of The Stone Age. They drew from them and turned [it]into a more appealing sound to South Africans. We have such a prominent pop music ‘bombardation’. We’re just being bormbarded by pop music. I’d say 95% of the music that we hear in our daily lives just walking around is pop music. It’s not a problem; you just take that and turn it into what’s you. You take Justin Bieber and you turn it into a fucking Rock ‘n Roll track.

VM – Are we recording still?

AC – [laughing]  We’re recording on Tuesday at Wits. Are you ready for it? [Sings] “As long as you love me” [laughs]

AK – As a whole South Africa benefits from a more [diverse range]of music. The festivals do this quite nicely, where they bring different bands from different cities and host them all on one big stage. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be defined by competitiveness. It should rather be a case of – we’re all trying to make the South African music scene better. We all need to come together and start bringing to the show what our city gives to us. We’re from Joburg – we’re dirty, we’re rude, we’re loud and we fucking love to party. Cape Town people have the ocean and the mountain and they bring their own purity to music. Everyone brings their own thing.

VM – I think dynamics-wise as cities, they’re two completely different ball games altogether. Cape Town has bad shit, that people don’t acknowledge. Cape Town is SA’s gold and beautiful [mother city]and the sun is shining and everything is happy and perfect and there’s beautiful foreign girls walking around in shorts all year. Joburg is the hustle. People in JHB are living day-to-day hustling for their lives. They travelling to work and they travelling for hours. They not just travelling down a main road that links the entire [city]. It’s a lot more intense in Joburg and I think there is a lot more frustration in Joburg. A different kind of frustration to [that]which they may feel in Cape Town. This is reflected in the music. Its very dangerous to compare the two because they so different in every respect.

SR – That’s the thing about the SA music scene. It’s completely diverse compared to the rest of the world.

AK – And we should use that as a selling point.

VM – It’s weird. There’s a set mindset in SA about what good music is. But in Europe there’s a very broad spectrum of what they like, and there is a hunger for something new all the time. Die Antwoord is huge in Belgium and Amsterdam. But some people here don’t even know about them. They didn’t just take music, they took a whole culture – [ZEF], to another place. And that’s the thing, we’re adopting rock culture from somewhere else. It’s about becoming unique.

The Fuss – Just to lighten the tone of the conversation. If your band was to gain access to a time machine and you had the ability to go back in time and steal a song to credit it as Los Castillo’s material. What would that track be?

VM – Id go back to the time Alex Turner [from Arctic Monkeys]had the idea for this track. [laughs]

AC – This is a tough one. This is a mind game.

VM – This is like saying what’s the best song ever made. [laughs]

AC – Its an evil way to form the question.

AK – I’ve got one. Led Zeppelin – When the Levy Breaks. From their fourth album. Or Black Dog.

AC – I was definetly thinking you’d choose a Led Zeppelin song.

AK – I would literally transplant Jimmy Pages’ whole brain into my head.

AC – To be honest I would have liked to be that guy who started the boy band sensation. That guy in the 90’s standing like this in front of a microphone. It would be ‘Shape of My Heart” by Backstreet Boys. [laughs]

VM – Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. That’s my song.

SR – Fire by Jimi Hendrix.

AC – [Fire] resonates with Los Castillos. It urges you to dance. If we played it. We’d probably play it a tick faster. And make [Sean’s] fingers bleed.

VM – You know we had such a solid mix until [Alex] put [Backstreet Boys] in.

AC – [laughs]

The Fuss – Just to close things off. What are the future plans for Los Castillos?

AK – Short term. Have an album out by the end of July or mid-August.

AC – End of August or mid-September. [laughs]

AK – Medium-term. Play Oppi next year. It’s a bit ambitious, but I think we can do it. And long term would obviously be to have the Black Keys open for us. [laughs].

AC – We’ve got enough songs to record, so I’d say we will start tracking them towards the end of this month. We want to talk to righteous Mike [from Zebra & Giraffe]who did Shortstraw’s mix about doing our mix. He has a great balance between what’s popular and what’s authentic. Probably [then]send it over to the States to get it mastered just for that professional radio sound for just one or two tracks. The big mission is to just keep playing. Just to find venues that want to take us so we can keep playing because I think that’s the best practice you can get as a band. Eventually we’d like to play a couple of shows in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.

VM – At the moment we’re just having fun finding our sound. And it’s coming.

The Fuss – Any last words?

AC – We’re playing a gig on the 12th of July at Amuse Café. Come on through.

AK – And don’t do drugs.



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