Prime Circle is regarded as South African rock royalty with numerous awards, six studio albums which have achieved multi-platinum status, several chart-topping singles and sold-out tours to its name.
Known as one of the most loved bands in the country, the group is also recognised on the international stage and has management in Germany. In the past few years Prime Circle has made strong inroads into the UK and European markets, gigging intensively and being playlisted on radio and headlining major rock festivals.
Since its formation in 2001, Prime Circle has demonstrated unmatched staying power with a dynamic sound that continues to evolve.
I caught up with the band last week ahead of their show in Cape Town this Sunday 12th in De Waal Park
What is your purpose?
Our purpose has always been to play live and connect with people.
We are road dogs through and through, traveling and playing all around the world has been our privilege and dream.
What does music mean to you?
Music is our way of life, some of us are in studio all the time, some are plotting the next show and festival and others are writing songs all the time. It’s something that has chosen us.
Our music is about…
PRIME CIRCLE music has always been about trying to bridge the gap between life and song, to celebrate, motivate or commiserate with the world we live in. Having a connection with a story place or people is the true meaning to music.
What is your motto?
Live this life every day!!!
Fame is about…
Being able to do what you love as your job, Fame is a by-product of hard work and passion.
Retirement will happen when…
We are dead, and even then we hope our music will still be around for years to come.
I don’t do…
We don’t do helicopters, we’ve had to in the past and our lead singer Ross is terrified of flying.
I would love to co-write with…
We would love to co-write with
Paramore, kings of Leon, nothing but thieves.
Where do you go for inspiration to create?
We have written a lot of music on the road, either at a sound check or if we book a space where ever we are in the world, a lot of our previous album was written in Nuremberg in a rehearsal space before a tour and in Benoni at B# studios, so all over the place. You never know when inspiration will hit.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?
We love to tour, to get on a big tour with a bunch of dates all over the place and go and experience all the venues and people out there, see how our music has effected people, seeing the crowds having a good time to your music and connecting with you is the best feeling
The song you must do during every show?
Ghost, it’s a powerful song in that it’s about overcoming depression and changing the internal dialog we have with ourselves, it’s a song that’s help us a lot and helped others. We can’t play a show without it.
Any funny moments on stage?
From drummers falling off stage, to split pants and showing your whole ass to the crowd, dropping guitars forgetting words ( yes it happens) and stage dives gone wrong we’ve had our fair share.
My heroes are…
Our heroes are, and yes maybe corny but our families, it’s not easy to be with full time musicians, always traveling and being at parties and traveling around the world, having to hold the fort and look after the kids and responsibilities, our families are our pillars and we would not be anything without them
My style icon is…
We have never had the biggest style, we never really focused on that, we have pretty much worn black shirts and jeans for most of our career.
Which living person do you admire most and why?
We are all fans of a good friend of ours JP Nobrega, he is a local hero, he heard the stats of abuse against women, drug abuse and addiction on the radio one day in South Africa and decided, he was going to do something about it, so he sold a lot of his possessions and started the RADA foundation, it is a truly amazing charity that has since grown so much and helped a lot of people, a man of his word that built something to help others.
What is your most treasured possession?
Our most prized possessions, it must be our touring rig, our tools of the trade, it’s taken us years to collect the guitar gems and amps etc that we have, and to find the right balance of equipment to make our sound, that and a toaster in the night liner, always a good idea at 3 in the morning when everyone needs a triple decker ham and cheese
It’s your round; what are you drinking?
Three of us wine of any kind
One of us a Catembe
One of us is a sober cobra, so Coke Zero
Dream gig to do?
We would love to play Glastonbury, always been a dream of ours
What makes you stand out?
Our songs are our calling card, that’s all we can say, it’s the thing we hope that people remember the most about us
Milkshake Mike, Orbit and Norbit, Cheeky, it’s constantly changing with us, we are always taking the piss out of each other, there has been hundreds over the years.
If you were not a musician, what would you do?
Construction, businessman, surfer, builder, night club owner. We all had other things going on when we started, hard to think where we would be, thank god we don’t have to as a 9-5 was always hard for us
Pick five words to describe yourself?
We can describe ourselves
Loud, constant, complicated, funny, traveller.
Five must have songs on your Spotify playlist please
Fleetwood Mac- Go your own way
Queen- Crazy little thing
Gnarls Barkley- Crazy
Oasis- Don’t look back in Anger
Marvin Gaye- heard it through the grapevine
Greatest Movie Ever Made?
What book are you reading?
The instruction manual of a voice live 3
What song changed your life?
SILVERCHAIR- Anna’s song
Who do you love?
We live to play music, travel, eat, and connect with where we are.
What is your favourite Word?
F….k! It’s a very expressive word and we have mentioned it lots.
Top of your bucket list?
Dale is to have every part of himself tattooed, there is not a lot of more space
Marco, to have a Lamborghini
Dirk to play a solo with Brian Maye
Ross to learn how to scuba dive
Neil to surf every corner of the earth
Your greatest achievement?
We still always mention playing the 46664 concert and meeting President Nelson Mandela, truly a moment we will never forget.
What do you complain about most often?
We complain about each other mostly ha-ha, We’ve been together a long time so like any long term relationship sometimes we can get on each other’s nerves. That and really early flights, they suck
What is your biggest fear?
Heights, snakes, heights, spiders and heights again
Playing a new song and hearing people sing it back
On stage, I tend to…
We all have our own things on stage
Dale is an amazing drummer to watch, always standing up and playing and getting into it, Dirk and Marco are always a solid sound on stage, Dirk is the most consistent player and Marco is a true fan of bass tones and effects, Neil is an amazing pianist and mood setter always head banging and giving it all. Ross always digs deep to bring the stories to life and when we get together that’s what makes prime circle sound the way it does
The best life lesson you have learned?
Be grateful for what you have and try be present even when things are hard.
What has been your favourite journey so far?
We toured India a few years ago, it was a 1000 stories in two weeks, so much happened in such a little time and we got to see the entire country, what a place.
Do you do charity work, and if you do – what do you do?
We are working closely with the RADA foundation, go and check them out.
Wishes and dreams?
We hope to continue to bring out music that people can connect with and feel, to keep traveling and experiencing all we can in this crazy life of touring. See you on the road.
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