De Profundis - Craig Land
27/09/12 || Averatu
This is a bit of a chat I had with Craig Land, the vocalist of De Profundis. While gathering info for my review of their album I realised we have something in common, we’re both from South Africa, only he had enough power of brain to relocate to the first world where busses have brakes. So here I shamelessly punt an expat.
Global Domination: Durban is a kak place, it stinks of ‘frot’ fish and is full of surfers. I’ve gigged there a few times. The only people who came to our shows where other musos who would stand in a bundle, “I can do that, I can do that”.
Craig Land: Haha – I haven’t been back to Durban since 2007, but yes, it seems to have been in steady decline for a while now, which is a pity. I’ve only ever lived in Durban prior to emigrating to the UK, so to me it is home.
Where do you live, and which band do you play in?
(GD: Live in Johannesburg, played in many kak bands no one has ever heard of)
I think a lot will have changed since I started attended gigs back in 1992. The scene, especially in Durban, used to be really small but very enthusiastic. There would ALWAYS be a pit, from the first note of the first song right to the end, even if the bands sucked. In those days there weren’t many bands in Durban, so we really appreciated bands from Jo’burg and Cape Town coming to play for us, but later some of the best bands came from Durban. Unfortunately very few ever got to record anything, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Anyway, most gigs nowadays, at least in places where gigs are frequent, are as you described – lots of standing around with folded arms, and maybe the odd bit of beard-stroking if a band are particularly good.
Would you need a good roady? I’d do it if you sponsor me to come over to the UK. I’m really easy going, I sleep well on couches, I’m pretty strong, I clean up after myself, and I have some sound engineering experience. (Kinda like most good pets)
We’ve never had the need for roadies yet. Our set-up is really well organised and we are super quick in getting up and running. However, those sound like excellent qualifications for a member of any good road crew, so when the time comes, you’ll be first on the list to call.
And now you’ll be touring with Immolation, lucky bastard.
We can’t afford to do the whole Marduk / Immolation tour, both financially and in terms of taking time off work etc. So our first date will be in Toulon, France on the 25th September, and our last show will be Munich, Germany on the 9th October. We have 1 member too many to fit on the tour bus, so we are hiring a camper van and driving ourselves. We did the same on the Rotting Christ tour of Eastern Europe last year, and that was difficult, but it should be much easier this time. We’re really looking forward to this tour as Marduk and Immolation are the biggest names we have toured with, so the crowds should be good. Also, we think there is a lot of crossover potential for our music to be appreciated by Death and Black Metal crowd. We’re also looking forward to making new friends, but we are never star-struck. Our goal with every show is to blow the other bands off the stage, regardless of who they are.
Personally I rate Rotting Christ. How long did it take to get into music in London? I understand the UK metal scene is not exactly vibrant or open.
It isn’t open – that is very true. It is all about who you know, and we have always refused to play by those rules – no doubt to our detriment. We certainly aren’t aligned to any clique. Call it old-school, or call it naive, but we still believe that cream will rise to the top, although the scene politics and back-biting certainly make it difficult to be noticed on merit and professionalism alone.
Music is in my blood, and it was in the back of my mind since arriving in 2000, but it wasn’t until 2005 that I did anything about it. The plan was to resurrect my old Death Metal band Malignant Saviour when guitarist Ken Pascoe moved from Birmingham to London. We discussed it, and I started advertising for musicians to get involved straight away. A week later Ken was living on a beach in Cornwall, and Malignant Saviour was dead. Roman answered the ad and we decided to start something new, with a couple of friends to complete the line-up. We developed completely outside any scene and at our own pace, and only played our 1st show almost 2 years later when our 1st album came out.
Should other bands be planning tours of India?
For the experience, I would say definitely. We have been out there twice now – once for a single show, and once for a headlining tour, and it was amazing. We played some killer shows to some really crazy fans, especially in the North East, and were so well looked after. Those fans have proven to be very loyal to the band too. They’re desperate for Metal over there and are very receptive to it. However, don’t expect to sell any merch as it’s just not done. Our tour manager was kicked out of the venue in Delhi for selling our cd’s!
Not being allowed to sell merch?? I would think any band should have a merch sale clause in their performance contract? These days it’s what keeps the wheels turning, and could be a big turnoff, they are probably losing out on seeing big name acts for that very reason. Anyway, how did the tour come about, did you leverage special connections, or is your girlfriend from there?
We applied for and got the Rock In India show with Iron Maiden in 2009. On the back of that we signed to Sony India signed us. So when we expressed interest in a tour, it was through contacts and sponsorship from the British Council that
Everyone I know who come from Natal eat hot food while I cry like a girl. Did you enjoy the cuisine in the land of Hindy?
I love hot food, and Indian is my favourite. However, we had to be very careful what we ate as we aren’t used to the food. Street food for us Westerners is a definite no-no. As is drinking the water. Even so, I think we all came down with Delhi belly at some stage, which is never pleasant.