5 things we learned about local rockers Stoker while having a beer

We recently had a beer with rock act Stoker.

This 4-piece band released their self-titled debut album in January. Made up of two sets of brothers hailing from two small towns, Rawsonville and Malmesbury, Stoker is surprisingly chilled compared to their dirty rock n’ roll music.

This is what we learned while chatting to Chris Bornman (lead vocals and guitar), Jurgen ‘Borrie’ Bornman (bass and backing vocals), Redge O’Kennedy (guitar and backing vocals) and Morgan O’Kennedy (drums):

1) All the material on their debut album is brand new.

Yup, according to the band’s lead vocalist, Chris, they didn’t want to put any of their previous songs on their debut album. “We had this old set which we played for probably a year, year and a half. And we wrote one or two new tunes which we recorded and released as singles, but for the album we didn’t want to use any of it. That would’ve been the conventional way of doing it: you play all of these songs live, you record it and put it on an album,” says Chris.

Drummer Morgan adds: “Yes, we wanted to get rid of that stigma of you take 3 years to get all of the material together for your first album and then you have this awesome first album and your second album which you write in 6 months is bad, you know?”

2) They only fought over one song while in studio recording the album.

According to Chris, there was one song which the band didn’t agree on in the studio.

Morgan explains: “Pretty much what happened was, we had a guitar part, which we all played very well together. But then I for example went, ‘but this isn’t a chorus part, and if it’s going to be on the album we should change it’’ And then all of them had a different opinion. But then one of the most awesome things happened. In the studio that evening, like at 00:30 or 01:00 in the morning we just jammed because we were pissed off, and then we just jammed something and then, there it was!”

“So yeah no fights as in fights, more like creative tiffs,” laughs Chris.

3) There will always be an eerie undertone in their songs.

Chris can’t really describe the album sound in one sentence, but says there’s definitely an eerie undertone to the album, “even though it contains happier songs. We will never just let a song go like that, there will always be a sneaky false note or two. And I don’t think that it’s just the album, it’s maybe the band. It won’t be the chords G A D, it will be G A Dm E. Or something like that.”

4) Their love for rock music all started with the only rock n’ roll dude in Worcester.

Chris explains: “My brother Jurgen started taking guitar lessons in Standard 6 with this guy, who I actually only realised the other day, had a massive influence on us. Because he was probably the only rock n’ roll dude in Worcester at the time, and he started teaching us all of these fucking rock classics. And I only realised afterwards, when I was a bit older in high school, like fuck, I can play that song for 3 years already and this dude says it’s cool.”

5) They’ve never gone on a binge party before a gig or rocked up late for a gig.

Do they have any crazy tour stories? Chris answers: “We still need to play a bit more for such stories, we’re quite mellow before shows.”

“We just enjoy a lekker party, we don’t go out to like get fucked, but if it does happen, then it’s part of the job,” says Redge.

“We don’t even have to really try to do that, if you party with these two fuckers (Chris and Jurgen), then I have to call in sick on Monday you know,” laughs Morgan.

Just had an awesome chat with @stokerband! Interview up on Channel24.co.za soon

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