EXCLUSIVE! The return of Fetish & Michelle Breeze

In the late 1990s local rockers Fetish had the South African music scene rocking with their hot music, but after a couple of CDs, they vanished. Poof! Gone. No more rock tunes and no more Michelle Breeze who had fans in the grips of her husky, dark and broody voice. Then came the news – Fetish is back on the music radar and has just released a new CD, Little Heart, that will many new fans and delight older Fetish fans. The Beat caught up with Michelle as she tells us about the new CD, her thoughts on Die Antwoord and new rising stars to watch out for.

Michelle Breeze (Credit: Karla Da Silva/Just Music)
Ooh ooh ooh - we just love the song All Time Low. Tell us a bit more about the song story behind it, and why chose that song as a single? All Time Low always seemed like a natural starting point to the album, so we thought it would be a great introduction to the new album. I wrote the lyrics in the wake of the london riots. It was a huge reality check to the hatred and sense of division in the air. There was, I felt, an incredibly unfair backlash in the media towards the youth and the working classes. It made me realise which side I was on.
Looking back at Fetish from 1997 and Fetish in 2012, how has the band changed over the years? This question has come up a lot and it is always difficult to answer. Have we changed as people ? Absolutely. Are our musical influences and aspirations different. Yes. But the connection is the same. There is something magical that occurs when the five of us are in a room together, and this is the thread. Being in this band is good for our souls.
What lead to the initial disbanding of Fetish? Being in the music industry can be a demeaning horrible experience. I personally lacked the perspective to keep this from destroying what was good and what drove us creatively. I believe we all felt this is some way and eventually things fell apart.  
So, what lead to you guys deciding to re-connect and to record new music? Another thing I find hard to explain, as it happened so organically and so fast that we didn't have time to second guess our decisions. Digital forest studio, in Cape Town, contacted us about recording new material with them and it just snowballed from there. Before we knew it we had a full album and a lot of renewed enthusiasm on our hands.
What was the most difficult part of recording the new material. We recorded the bones of each track in one take, guitar, vocals & drums, and although this was liberating the energy literally floored us on a number of occasions. We underestimated how much we had to give and after days and days of this level of output I crashed. We had a difficult few days after that but then we got back on track.
For people who don't know the magic music of Fetish, please introduce them to your music. Five people just making the music we like, incorporating the genre's of post rock, shoe gaze and alternative.
I saw you guys way back in the late 1990's playing in Stellenbosch - awesome gig! What do you guys like of performing for fans? To get immediate feedback from an audience is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. If you can forget yourself in those moments and go on a journey with them then you feel you have achieved what you set out to do.
What’s your writing process. Give us a little insight into how you work. I often listen to electronic music as a blank canvas for lyrical themes. Once a few lines and melodies have come to mind I can then take these ideas to Dominic and he will build chords around them.
What do you reckon about the Die Antwoord phenomenon? I see Die Antwoord as a marketing project. To me it exists purely as a brand and what they have done with that is highly commendable. I have this opinion because I do not connect with the music in any way, however I am sure there are people who love the music and find it cathartic to them in some way.
What local music do you listen to, or would advice people to listen to? I think Lucy Kruger has a lot of potential. I'm watching her career to see where she goes.
When not performing, how do you relax? What do you do in your free time (if there is such a thing). To be honest I hardly ever relax. I always have numerous projects on the go. I love to learn new skills, it keeps things fresh.
Where can people find out about your next couple of gigs? Sign up to my mailing list at michellebreeze.com or follow me on twitter @michellebreeze 
With Fetish back making music, what does the future holds for you? We are about to sign a publishing deal in the States so we will focus our energies on making that work for us in the new year. Also a tour of SA, and some gigs in the UK are being planned, and we have just starting working on the video for our next single 'Merry Go Round' which we are very excited about.