Johannesburg is a wild city. The people, the traffic and shiny city lights give the biggest city in Africa, the character that we all love. The hustle and bustle of the city of gold is what makes the city what it is. Due to the large amounts of people flocking to city in hopes to win big, graft for their families and fend for themselves, subcultures have formed and the main driver behind the creation of these subcultures is music. Every corner of Jozi moves at its own pace and sounds different.
Beyond the shiny city lights and city’s hustle-hungry dwellers, exists an underground rock scene that is home many young people in the city’s suburbs. A culture exists, where mostly white youth, get to live out their truth. Within this culture, spaces and platforms which house this rock talent exist, and these spaces and platforms are the breeding ground for creative experimentation. The Bad Ass Execs, a band established in 2016, is an example of that raw talent that you often find in these spaces. The band makes music that soundtracks a generation characterised by youthful rebellion and in the same breath, references and pays homage to a style of rock music that was prevalent in 60s.
The band draws inspiration from skate culture, contemporary art and marijuana culture. Upon listening to the band’s demo tape which was released in 2016, you get to hear a very rough and raw sound. The execution of the songs is unique, and the lyrical content is simple but effective in communicating the messages that band chooses to challenge – freedom, overcoming challenges, living in the moment and patience. They fuse psych pop, punk and rock to create an entirely new sound which represents their ideals. With Jimmy Hazard on the guitar and vocals, Bradley Donaldson on drums and vocals, Leigh Lobotomy on bass and vocals, and Steve van der Sluys on the guitar, the band curates a truly unique acoustic experience.
The band may be regarded as underground as many people may not know about it, but they regularly perform in and around Gauteng. Their music and sound travels through their performances. The Bad Ass Execs are a band that are using their music to capture the life and times of a culture of young, urban South Africans.
Stream The Bad Ass Execs’ Demo 2016.