The live music experience is one that can be repeated, but never quite duplicated. The authenticity and uniqueness of a performance, is a once-off experience that simple says – “you have to be there”, in order to get it and feel it.
The argument that prevails in the modern paradigm is that most musicians will have to make their money on the road, in the form of concert tours and not album sales. Performing artists have to gauge the crowd and remain cognisant of the importance of sets going to plan, as it’s down to one chance with no extra takes. For bands such as The Diminished, rehearsals are absolutely vital in order to get the sequences just right. This monetisation model might not turn out to being such a bad thing for the Tembisa-based act, despite not having had the opportunity of recording a studio album as yet.
We were able to catch up with the busy band for a discussion. Among other things the group broke down the tag of being an “exclusively live band” and the challenges they face.
Lavatory Records: Please introduce The Diminished to the masses and tell us about the choice of name?
The Diminished: The Diminished is a live band from Tembisa 1632, consisting of Thulani on Bass, Feush on lead guitar, Siya on drums, Mfuno on keyboard, Human Child on vocals (R&B), Edsta on vocals (hip hop) and MK on vocals (reggae). We came up with the name The Dimished because we are still learning how to play as a band and we didn’t go to school for our art, so sometimes in our music you might hear a slightly diminished cord but we keep playing.
LR: Can you give us a rundown of all the individual members’ personalities & artistic contributions to the band?
TD: Our bass guitarist, Thulani, leads with band. Lead guitarist, Feush, brings the rhythm and rhyme feel. Siya, the drummer, is the youngest member and sets the pace of the band. Mfuno is on keyboard and adds a “volume”. Edsta is on vocal and is a hip hop artist, who performs real hip hop music. Human Child and MK who are also on vocals each bring different elements. They are both soul singers, with Human Child infusing the R&B element and MK the Reggae element.
LR: How did you all find each other and how was the group formed?
TD: Thulani and Feush started the band together. They actually started performing at the Open Mic Sunday Sessions (OMSS). From there they met with Siya and Mfuno. They later discovered Human Child, Edsta and MK when OMSS was hosting at various areas around Tembisa.
LR: How would you categorise the style of music you do?
TD: We don’t have a category for the type of music we do because we all come from different musical backgrounds, so instead of putting our music in a specific category we’d rather call it musical music. We make music that speaks to every music genre.
LR: Interestingly, The Diminished started performing live music before recording. When can the masses expect a studio album from the group?
TD: At the moment the one thing we’re struggling with the most is studio time. As a live band we want our music to be recorded without losing the live feel. So the challenge is that it’s either too expensive to record an entire live band or there are no proper studios to accommodate a full band. For now we’re continuing with promoting our music through live performances.
LR: Do you guys think that live performance is critical in being able to make a living in the industry?
TD: With music being so reliant on technology, a live band injects some rawness and versatility. It’s no secret that in recent years album sales have taken a knock, because of these artists are having to rely on live performances to make their income. So yes, live performances are critical in being able to make a living.
LR: What are your thoughts on lip syncing, fancy lighting and having choreography in order to put on a “good show syndrome”?
TD: Some of us enjoy the live feel of the music and lip-syncing is like meeting your audience half way and short-changing them. Each of us come from a hip hop background in some way or another and seeing rappers performing live hearing them take each breathe between each verse gives the music a real feel.
LR: What are the challenges and advantages of being in a group?
TD: The main challenge is that we each have our own things to do at times. So you’ll find some of us can’t make it to rehearsal, because we are doing 1, 2 & 3… but on the other hand, we’re like a family and we look out for each other. We treat each other like brothers and sisters so there is so much love between us.
LR: Any yet-to-be-revealed events and/or other projects in the pipeline?
TD: At the moment we are trying to hook up studio time to try and release a project. You can follow us on Facebook to find out when and where we will be performing next.
LR: Which special mentions would you like to shout out?
TD: We just want to thank everyone in Tembisa, those who have been coming to watch us perform, 4room creative village, StreetVybzes Wednesday, BKS Secret Sessions, Food For Soul, Lifestyle Market. Thank you!
Shout out to The Diminished for making time to speak with us. For more information on the band and their developments, follow them on their Facebook Page.