Infobox musical artist
Name = Fokofpolisiekar
Img_capt = www.violentecho.com
Img_size = 240
Background = group_or_band
Alias = Polisiekar, Die Bende
Origin = Bellville,
Alternative rock Punk rock
Years_active = 2003– present
Label = Rhythm Records
Associated_acts = Van Coke Kartel
Die Heuwels Fantasties
URL = [http://www.fokofpolisiekar.co.za Official Website]
Current_members = Francois Badenhorst
Johnny de Ridder Wynand Myburgh Jaco Venter
Past_members = Justin Kruger
Fokofpolisiekar (Afrikaans: "Fuck off police car") is an Afrikaans
punk rockband from Bellville, near Cape Town, South Africa. Due to the obscenity in the name, they are more commonly known simply as Polisiekar ("Police car").
The band was formed in April 2003, initially as a joke to shock the mostly conservative Afrikaans community with its name and also the notion of an Afrikaans punk band. All the members were well known in local underground music circles from their work in the bands New World Inside, 7th Breed and 22 Stars. They released their first EP, "
As Jy Met Vuur Speel Sal Jy Brand" soon after forming, and one of its tracks, "Hemel op die Platteland" made history when it became the first Afrikaans song to be officially playlisted on national radio station 5FM. Their first complete album, " Lugsteuring" , produced by John Paul De Stefani, was released in 2004, followed in 2005 with another EP, " Monoloog In Stereo" (Monologue in Stereo). In 2006 they released both an EP, " Brand Suid-Afrika", and, a new album " Swanesang", that included the hit single "Brand Suid-Afrika".
In late 2005, drummer Jaco Venter jumped out of a moving vehicle while the band was touring through South Africa. He suffered multiple injuries and was replaced by Justin Kruger, who was previously the drummer for Neshamah. He ended up working on their "
Brand Suid-Afrika" album, as well as some tracks on the band's latest album, " Swanesang".
After their first EP "As Jy Met Vuur Speel Sal Jy Brand", and an even more popular full-length album, "
Lugsteuring", the following album " Monoloog In Stereo" went in a more acoustic rock direction, contrasting the punk rock feel of their first album. However, " Brand Suid-Afrika" had the band return to their punk rock roots. " Swanesang", their last full-length album, is a mixed bag of punk and acoustic elements, featuring less controversial lyrics than their previous albums. They have also recorded a cover version of Depeche Mode's " Shake the Disease" for the South African Depeche Mode tribute album "Mode of Obscurity". In September 2008 the band released an EP/DVD entitled "Antibiotika", which was recorded at Belville Studio's in Cape Town. The EP features 4 new tracks, as well as a DVD featuring all of the bands music video's and a behind-the-scene's look at an upcoming documentary based on the band.
Fokofpolisiekar have performed at various venues throughout
South Africa, and in October 2005 the band they toured the United Kingdom. They also toured Netherlands, Belgiumand the United Kingdomduring November 2006. [cite web | url=http://www.rhythmrecords.co.za/store/comersus_getNews.asp?idStoreNews=4#idNews4 | title=Fokofpolisiekar European Tour November 2006 | publisher=Rhythm Records | accessdate=2006-10-10]
*Francois Badenhorst – vocals
*Johnny de Ridder –
*Hunter Kennedy – back-up vocals and
*Wynand Myburgh – bass
*Jaco "Snakehead" Venter – drums
*Justin Kruger – Touring
Even though the band has a unique sound, especially when compared to other Afrikaans bands, their more recent albums have hinted at being inspired by bands such as
Queens of the Stone Age. The bands earlier material is widely regarded as being heavily influenced by bands such as Alkaline Trio. At the Stellenboschlaunch of the "Monoloog in Stereo" EP, Francois Van Coke commented that they were very impressed with a Queens of the Stone AgeDVD that they watched earlier that day, although it was noted in a review of "Monoloog in Stereo" that the bands sound on the EP had evolved rapidly and had begun to resemble bands like The Get Up Kids.
The band mostly performs music that can be classified as either
punk rockor alternative rock, varying somewhat between albums and songs. A common theme throughout their music is commentary on all aspects of South African life, but in particular the socio-political situation Afrikaans-speaking South Africans currently find themselves in. The band also delves into the issue of religion and whether it still has any place left in Afrikaans culture, with songs ranging from what some might consider blasphemous, to introspective songs wherein the band question their own views on religion.
They have matured musically with every album released, with their early albums being very raw and punky, to the release of "Swanesang" which was a more alternative rock-styled delivery. Songs like "Heiden Heiland", "Prioritiseer", "Brand Suid-Afrika" and "Backstage" off Swanesang displayed a more mature style of songwriting, as well as more complex studio production (such as the use of a vocoder to fill out Van Coke's singing). Swanesang was recorded at B-Sharp Studio's in Boksburg, South Africa and was co-produced by Johnny De Ridder. The album was released in September 2006.
The bands latest EP/DVD "Antibiotika" is a progression on the sounds the band explored with "Swanesang" while also hinting at the strong influence other projects like aKing and Van Coke Cartel have brought to the Fokofpolisiekar sound. The EP was recorded at Belville Studio's in Cape Town, South Africa and as with Swanesang was co-produced by Johnny De Ridder.
The band has been embroiled in controversy since its inception. Initially, radio stations were hesitant to play the band's tracks because of the profane "Fokof" ("fuck off") in the band's name. The nickname Polisiekar ("police car") was soon adopted by that part of the mainstream media who did not want to pronounce the full name in fear of objection from the public. The band's name is also controversial considering the crime situation in South Africa, a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world.
Much outrage has also been expressed by the
Christiancommunity in South-Africa over the use of allegedly "anti-religious" lyrics in many of the bands songs. Lyrics such as "Kan iemand dalk 'n god bel/En vir hom sê ons het hom nie meer nodig nie," directly translated as "Could somebody phone a god/And tell him we don't need him anymore," (from their hit song "Hemel Op Die Platteland") has been met with some resistance from Christian groups.
In 2004 the band were involved in a bar fight when a group of men recognized them and insulted van Coke, calling him a "faggot". [cite web | url=http://www.news24.com/News24/Entertainment/Local/0,6119,2-1225-1242_1552216,00.html|title=News24: 'Boers' rev up Fokofpolisiekar] Since then the band has earned a reputation for fistfights that often break out at their CD launches and gigs. Another example is the CD launch of Lugsteuring, where the band had to jump off the stage to help stop a fight. [cite web | url=http://www.news24.com/News24/Entertainment/Local/0,6119,2-1225-1242_1591182,00.html|title=News24: Fistfight at CD launch]
Controversy surrounding the band peaked in April 2006, when bass guitarist Myburgh wrote the words "fok god" ("fuck god") on the wallet of a fan while they were discussing religion. This occurred when he was intoxicated and near the end of the show. Religious leaders from all over South-Africa used various media (including radio interviews and letters to newspapers) to express their disapproval of the band's religious sentiment. This almost resulted in the band being excluded from the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival. [cite web | url=http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=13&set_id=1&art_id=vn20060311085359949C255809|title=IOL: Punk Afrikaans band suffers Christians' wrath] In the end the band was allowed to play on the condition that the words "fok god" not be sung in any of their songs. The band later asked the public to forgive them, as that would be "...what Jesus would have done". [cite web | url=http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=vn20060324062711169C877320|title=IOL: Controversial band can play at KKNK]
Some of the recent controversy surrounding the band came from their new video for the single "Brand Suid-Afrika" which hints at
homosexuality, alcoholism, racismand anarchism. Yet despite the controversy surrounding their music (and to some extent because of it) the band remains highly popular in South Africa, drawing large crowds wherever they perform. They are also one of the most requested bands on the South African music television channel MK.
On March 13 2007, Myburgh announced the hiatus of Fokofpolisiekar in the Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, saying, "All of us want to do our own thing, such as Johnny who wants to start producing, and Francois and myself who are doing our own solo projects."
Van Coke began performing acoustic sets in Stellenbosch under his own name in the last half of 2007, alongside Laudo Liebenberg, before they both set out on their own new bands.
Wynand Myburgh and Francois van Coke began a new endeavor, Van Coke Kartel with drummer Justin Kruger. Their self-titled debut album Van Coke Kartel was released in December 2007, with the follow up album "Waaksaam & Wakker" being released in September 2008.
Jaco Venter and Hunter Kennedy have formed a new band, aKING, along with Hennie van Halen and Laudo Liebenberg who performed with Van Coke on his acoustic sets. Their debut album, "Dutch Courage", was released in February 2008 and has gone on to be arguably the most successful of all the Fokofpolisiekar off shoot bands.
Hunter Kennedy, Johnny De Ridder and Pierre Greeff have formed a new group, Die Heuwels Fantasties, which has a electro-rock sound in the vein of Hellogoodbye. In December 2007 they announced plans to release their first EP through their own label, Supra Familias. Johnny De Ridder is also the producer.
Fokofpolisiekar still regularly perform at various concerts and festivals normally on the same bill as aKING and Van Coke Kartel. In September 2008 the band released an EP of new material after originally toying with the idea of releasing a "greatest hits" compilation. A lot of fans have questioned if the band are still on a hiatus or rather just being selective over the amount of shows and press they do.
* [http://www.fokofpolisiekar.co.za Official band website]
* [http://fokofpolisiekarvancoke.blogspot.com Fokofpolisiekar Videos]
* [http://www.myspace.com/fokofpolisiekarband Fokofpolisiekar MySpace]
* [http://www.fpkfans.co.za Fokofpolisiekar fansite]
* [http://www.last.fm/music/Fokofpolisiekar Last.fm artist page]
* [http://www.rhythmrecords.co.za/store/comersus_index.asp Record label & music download website]
* [http://www.geocities.com/kitaarmykruis/fokofpolisiekar.html Fokofpolisiekar guitar tabs]
* [http://fokofpolisiekar.wen.ru Fokofpolisiekar mobile wap site]
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