Interview: The Lectric Monks

The Lectric Monks are a South African upbeat “Tarantino-rock” outfit from Pretoria, formed in the Spring of 2014.

The 5-piece includes, Francois vd Merwe (Rhythm and Vocals), Gary Peacock (Harmonica and Vocals), Henk Oosthuizen (Lead Guitar and Vocals), Finn Mackinnon (Drums) and Arthur Maslo (Bass).

Drawing from rootsy rock ‘n roll, folk, classical, blues, indie, jazz and psychedelic music, the band's image and sound evokes a nostalgic blend of music of the past with today’s modern styles, creating an upbeat dance experience for all, “a new kind of old stuff” as some have described.


The group’s first show was played November 1 st 2014, opening for Die Heuwels Fantasties and in their short time together, they have gone on to share the stage with the likes of Vusi Mahlasela, Francois van Coke, Fuzigish, Shortstraw and others.

After a nation-wide tour in December 2015, the Monks have gone on to rock festivals such as Mieliepop, Fete de la Musique and Capital Craft Beer Fest, and have been confirmed to play Oppikoppi this year. The Lectric Monks debut EP is underway and is set to be released this summer. They bring the energy!

I had a chat to the band about Oppikoppi and a few other things. This is what they had to say:

You guys have been going since Spring 2014, did you just wake up one day and decide to start a band?

Francois bought a ukulele, we started making music and 3 months down the line the band was started. It was a rash decision but we have no regrets.

So far, has it turned out the way you had envisioned?

Yes and no. When we started we thought we knew what was up, but all we saw was the tip of the ice berg. The music industry is more than just picking up a guitar and walking on stage. While we set ourselves ambitious goals, and managed to achieve a good few of them, the journey has been educational to say the least. We’ve learnt that the only way to get things done, is by GETTING INVOLVED and doing it.


The thing that I like most about your music is the fact that you’re kinda folky and kinda indie, is there a genre destination that you’re going for?

The music is ever evolving and maturing, so we pick up influences as we go along. Through the evolution of the band, we have always kept a constant thread of upbeat grooves and at the moment we have some fresh rootsy blues/rock ‘n roll flavour sneaking in, especially with the new material we are working on. It’s really a lot of fun combining all our influences together and seeing how far we can push our sound. We certainly don’t have a specific destination in mind, as long as music stays true to itself and doesn’t lose its fun factor, we are happy campers.

What do you want your fans to bear in mind when they listen to your music?

We are all about fun, we dig boogieing because we can't help it. We like to think our fans are thinking along similar lines.

You guys are playing Koppi for the first time, congratulations! Do you think this year’s is going to be any different from previous ones?

Thanks! It was one of the goals we set for ourselves, so we are super chuffed to have somehow pulled it off. It’s known for being quite a hectic festival but that definitely makes the vibe. Three of us are Oppi virgins so I guess, we hope it keeps it’s kick so it’s one for the books! Jollers gotta jol!


What song, from any genre or language, best describes the Koppi experience for you?

Tubthumping (I get knocked down) by Chumbawamba; it’s pretty dang applicable!

What other festivals have you played and are there any others you’d love to perform at?

We were fortunate to play at Mieliepop earlier this year and it was one of the coolest festivals out there! We’ve played some great day festivals, of which Fete de la Musique and Capital Craft Beer Fest were highlights. Festivals are the shit! It’s is a lot of fun to play in a setting where the audience are more involved in the music and keen party all night long. So to answer your question, we want to play all the festivals where the party is at.

Have you ever done any collaborations?

We Looooove collaborations! Every time we get the opportunity and someone is keen, we DO IT! Some artists include, Rian Britz (The Oh So Serious) on the accordion and Mpho Moloi (Urban Village) on the flute. Bag pipes, didgeridoos and all sorts of interesting musos have also shared the stage with us, in fact we always keep a spot open on our tech rider, just in case someone is keen to join us and add some fleva fleva!

If you could jam with any local musicians, who would they be?

If you could jam with any local musicians, who would they be?

You can find out more about The Letric Monks here:

Instagram: @lectricmonks



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *