The Indiego team had the opportunity of interviewing an exciting 2-piece band that is currently making waves in the Durban music scene. They are known as Abbey Grange, and this is what they had to say:
Indiego: Can you tell us a little about "Abbey Grange"? Who are the members of this band? Where are you based? How did you start off? When did you start playing as a band? How did you get the name? etc.
Cara: "We're a two piece indie/blues rock band made up of my brother Yuri and me. My brother is studying at the moment so we don't have time to make practice sessions with a drummer and bassist; so since we're siblings, it makes things easier, hence we remain a duo. We stay in Durban North and started playing as a band in 2013."
Yuri: "We picked the name Abbey Grange because of 2 of our favourite bands, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles. The Beatles, recorded many of their albums at 'Abbey Road Studios' and Led Zeppelin recorded at 'Headley Grange' so we combined the names into "Abbey Grange".
Indiego: What instruments do each of you play?
Cara: "I play the guitar and do most of the rhythm as well as a bit of keyboard"
Yuri:"Yeah, we both got into the guitar around the same time, I do most of the lead and riff stuff and some keyboard work too. We play drums with our feet. Cara plays bass drum, guitar and vocals, or sometimes I play bass drum and lead while she plays snare, guitar and does vocals. Whatever's appropriate for the song we're playing. We're always swapping, chopping and changing!"
Indiego: Are you two the only musicians in your family, or are there other musicians in your family?
Yuri: "Our cousin and uncle are musicians. Both of them helped me along my musical journey you could say."
Indiego: Are both of you full time musicians?
Yuri: "No, I'm busy with my studies in BSc Mechanical Engineering and my sister just finished her BSc honours in Mathematics"
Indiego: Are your parents/family ok with both of you following a career in music?
Cara:" Our parents are very supportive of our musical careers. They come to all our gigs. "
Indiego: Are both of you self-taught, or did you study music formally?
Yuri: "I'm self- taught, my sister did a one year correspondence course through Berklee College of Music "
Indiego: Individually, or as a band, which famous musician/artist do you admire the most? Why?
Yuri:"Jimmy Page, he's a musical genius and one of the most diverse guitarists in my opinion, he's a huge inspiration"
Cara:"Chris Martin, besides being a talented vocalist, the Rush of Blood to the Head album inspired me to get into song writing."
Indiego: What genre would you say your music falls into?
Yuri: "to be honest we mix up a lot of genres and you could say it's something between blues, alternative, progressive, indie, folk and rock"
Indiego: Do you write your own lyrics and compose your own melodies?
Cara: "Yeah pretty much, I do all the lyrics and vocal lines and my brother and I both write the instrumentals for the respective songs"
Indiego: Abbey Grange has a very unique sound; and although only two of you, you manage to produce a full band performance when you perform live. How do you achieve this?
Yuri:"It's always a challenge being the only two people in the band and we're always running around the place multitasking to ensure we have a full sound. For instance in a particular song, I operate the kick drum while playing guitar, and my sister does the snare drum (which we set up with a bass drum pedal exactly like the kick drum) on every second beat while singing and playing guitar, and then for the guitar solo she'll run over and take over the kick drum. It takes quite abit of planning because we basically have to compensate for a full band, but this is what allows us to be Abbey Grange and keep the audience entertained by our performance!"
Indiego: Any plans on adding other musicians at some stage (a bassist for instance), or do you want to maintain that unique sound with just both of you?
Cara:"For now we just enjoy being a two- piece and experimenting with the different aspects, but if John Bonham we're to resurrect from the grave we couldn't say no to that! Hahaha"
Indiego: Have you officially released any songs/albums? Are your songs being played on radio? Any plans for the future with regards to releases?
Yuri: "nothing official as yet but we recently started recording, basically, a live session series filmed in our lounge. We decided to do everything live because it gives the audience a feel of what we perform like on a set, it is a bit more difficult but we feel it adds a more intimate aspect. Here's a link to our Youtube page of our live sessions https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaWNF_BfbSUjgAcgDDQM6Xg/videos and our Facebook band page: https://www.facebook.com/abbeygrangeband
Indiego: How often and for how long do you practice?
Cara:" haha, to be honest, we hardly practice as a band. My brother is cooped up with his studies at the moment, so the only time we really get to practice is during his holiday breaks! It's hectic!"
Yuri:" Yeah, in my spare time I do jam out a few blues tunes by myself when I have time"
Indiego: How do you balance your music career with family commitments, religion, friends, and business?
Cara: "We're bound by Yuri's studying but besides that, it's easy and there aren't any issues at all.''
Yuri:"yeah, I pretty much don't do too much during the academic semester haha"
Indiego: Where are you currently based?
Yuri:" Durban north, in our lounge haha"
Indiego: Where and when was your last gig? When and where is your next gig?
Yuri: "The last big gig we did was at the White Mountain acoustic festival; it was great and we received a full standing ovation! We haven't planned any gigs because we're busy working on our live sessions at the moment, watch this space!"
Indiego: Are you planning on moving elsewhere to pursue your career?
Cara: "We'll see how things go, but not right now.''
Indiego: If you were given an opportunity to play in one music festival/venue in the world, which one would it be?
Yuri:" Glastonbury; my sister always talks about it, so I guess I'll go with that one!"
Indiego: What can we expect from Abbey Grange in the next 3 – 6 months?
Cara: "More material from our live sessions with some creative stuff and a lot of running around, multitasking and unorthodox executions!
Indiego: And last, but not least: what do you want to say to your fans or potential fans out there?
Cara: "We're super grateful to anyone who supports what we do. It's always an awesome feeling when people understand the music you're playing and appreciate it. We hope they enjoy the live sessions and we'll try to keep it coming.
Watch Abbey Grange perform one of their originals "Six Shooter":
(Photographs used in the article courtesy of Mediatek Photography and Nathan Roodt)
The Indiego Team would like to wish Abbey Grange all the best with their music careers and we will be following this brother and sister duo closely as they embark on their musical journey.