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Interview with Marty du Plessis (Hiraeth)
Jad | February 17, 2021
Did you know that South Africa is the number one producer of Platinum? However, Platinum is not the only metal South Africa has been producing lately. Hiraeth is one of the South African Metal bands cruising their way into the Metal scene. The band, fronted by vocalist Marty Du Plessis, have released their first EP, displaying their massive sound and big potential.
We had the chance to chat with Marty Du Plessis and talk about her band’s music as well as other things.
Hello Marty! How are you doing and how has 2021 been treating you so far?
Hello! I’m doing well, regardless of the unsettling situation the entire world is facing. For me, 2021 started out with some Stroh-rum shots and being in the comfort of my boys! (My two doggies and my main pet, Gareth Reed. *giggles*) So it already can’t get better than that! My band, Hiraeth, is still going strong and we’ve got mad plans for this year. So suck it, COVID!
That’s the spirit! For our unlucky readers who haven’t yet heard about you, how would you introduce your band Hiraeth?
We’re like your absolute favourite, juicy burger layered with all your favourite ingredients. We’ve got the pretty clean lady vocals by Marty (it’s me! I’m Marty!) mashed with some heavy gain vocals/growls formed by the mouth of Gareth. We’ve got that proggy goodness and the groovy bass and drums. And of course, beautiful guitar solos and melodies that would make you cry in front of your girlfriend. Oh, and some breakdowns and fantastic opportunities to headbang your neck off! What more do you need?!
That sounds amazing. You recently released your EP, ‘Aeonian’, which is a very cool name by the way. How do you feel about the reaction the EP for from your fans?
Thank you. ‘Aeonian’ (A-ee-o-ni-an) means ‘everlasting’. We chose that name because of how it resonates with us all. Because music will always be everlasting, forever creating vibrations that will soar through the Universe endlessly. We are pretty overwhelmed by the reaction it got from our fans and peers! It’s our very first EP that we’ve released and we are extremely proud of the outcome.
You’re from South Africa and while I was preparing your interview I noticed that your band’s other vocalist, Gareth Reed, also plays for Riddlebreak, who I have also recently interviewed Roushan and Laura from. And that’s interesting because Roushan also plays in Sistas of Metal with Robyn Ferguson who I also got to interview. So I was wondering, how big the Metal scene in South Africa is, and how do these connections affect you as musicians?
That’s correct. Our vocalist, Gareth Reed, started Riddlebreak long before Hiraeth was even born. He’s also in another heavy band called, ‘Human Nebula’ and is also the frontman there. It’s safe to say that Gareth is a band-slut! (Although it’s poor taste to slut shame, in this context it’s used in good light) So we’re all friends and we all know each other pretty well. We often have gigs together too. The metal scene in SA is small (compared to most countries) but we’re thriving. The community can be close and you get to be friends with your fans as well as your peers. We all support one another as much as we can. There aren’t a lot of ladies in our scene compared to the males (not complaining, it makes us stand out haha!) But we are hoping to encourage some more ladies to be brave and to get involved, musically.
That’s lovely! To get our readers to know you better and from a different point of view, how about we play a little imagination game? I will give you a scenario in an alternate universe and you’d have to react. Ready?
I’m as ready as a ‘Karen’ is ready to see the manager.
😂😂 In a universe where your life is a series on Netflix, what song from Aeonian would you like to be its theme song?
That’s easy, ‘Alpha’. Only because Alpha’s probably my favourite song from our EP. I adore music that evokes emotion and Alpha does that very well. It’s heavy and it’s also just so beautiful at the same time.
In a universe where the senses of taste and hearing are mixed up, what would Hiraeth’s music taste like?
Remember that juicy burger I was talking about earlier? That’s exactly what it would taste like! Hmm, drool drips from my mouth just thinking about it.
I shouldn’t have asked this before dinner 🍔🤤 In a universe where the currency used is the person’s sense of humour, how rich would you be?
Is the person you’re referring to me? Well then haha, I’ll be a RICH BISH!
In a universe where you’re the Statue of Liberty, but instead of a torch you’re holding an object from the cover art of the last album you listened to, what would you be holding?
Well this is just perfect, I’ll be holding an Octopus! Just like Maynard James in his album cover of ‘A perfect circle – Eat the Elephant’. Sounds pretty rad, a statue of myself holding an Octopus. I could totally live in that world and make people believe I’m the goddess of Octopodes and destruction! Mwuahaha
That’s hilarious 🤣 In a universe where you are a stand-up comedian instead of a musician, what would be a signature joke you’d tell?
This one’s for all the ‘Lord of the rings’ fans out there: “What do you call a Hobbit that eats junk food?” “Lord of the onion rings” (haha! Rolls on my tummy while laughing out loud! Oh… Is it just me? Ok then)
Hahahahahaha 🤣🤣 Thank you for playing, Marty! Have you ever been treated in a sexist way? How would you face sexism and what advice would you give to young people who face any kind of discrimination?
To be very honest, yes I have been treated that way. Surprisingly in extreme cases, not by the men! (well, that i know of) This kind of treatment and behaviour mostly came from fellow women in the scene. Sexism doesn’t just come from the opposite sex. My advice? Take it like the woman you are and use it to your advantage. When people make effort and time to talk about you, good or bad, or treat you in a poor way then it means you’re doing something right! Otherwise you’re invisible, and who wants to be invisible? I have had many people come up to me and they all end up saying the same thing; “man, i was wrong about you. I’m sorry”
So prove them wrong! Do whatever you do so extremely well, that they can’t deny that you’re meant to be there. It’s the best feeling in the world. Another piece of advice, don’t let criticism manifest emotions or provoke you. When it’s constructive, listen with an open mind and handle it. If it’s not constructive and meant to harm you, own it. Own your faults, own your mistakes. They’re YOURS to own. You’re a badass woman and embrace your femininity. Being feminine is brave, not weak. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And if they do, well then slap em’ with a titty!
Great advice. What is your most treasured music-related memory from when you were growing up?
I started singing and going for lessons since I was 6 years old. My favourite memory is hiding under the table and closing off my ears with my fingers and saying to the teacher at the time “please stop singing. You’re hurting my ears!” Kids can be so brutally honest but they don’t mean any harm. I just enjoy knowing that I have had quality ears since a young age!
Thank you for the interview Marty! It has been a real pleasure!
Thank you so much for the fun, quality and exciting questions. I had such a great time writing answers for this interview! Thank you for supporting the women in the music industry and for making us feel special. Probably one of my favourite interviews to date! Much love from South-Africa! \m/