New Die Antwoord Video (+ Interview)
South Africa's like Nelson Mandela, District 9 and Die Antword. That's like the whole history of SA.
Around the time of the Big Day Out we were invited to interview Die Antwoord for - that is, to film them being interviewed. Well, we turned up, waited for an hour or so, then were told they had finally arrived, but had decided they didn't want to be filmed after all. We did end up interviewing them (recording the only audio), and now we know why they didn't want to be filmed. When you've built a career based on a 'persona', you need to keep up the act. If you can't keep up the act, you need to make some good music - otherwise people will see right through you. Unfortunately, Die Antwoord can't be bothered doing either of those things. They were the most disinterested interview subjects we've ever seen. Here is the interview (and their new video).
Seeing as we're in Australia, do you have any Australian artists?
Ninja: Well I like Australian things. I've always liked Crocodile Dundee, The Castle. I like Chopper.
Yolandi: Kath and Kim is my favourite Australian thing.
Ninja: Kath and Kim are fucking Zef.
Have you ever watched Neighbours?
Ninja: Yolandi's a big fan of Kylie, actually.
Would you do a song with Kylie?
Ninja: Her style's a bit different now, maybe back when she was doing the 'Locomotion' stuff.
In reading your bio, it seems like the inspiration for some of your recent music is your experience in the past with the marijuana rights movement?
Ninja: They're talking shit. I did get arrested for marijuana protest but that's not why I started Die Antwoord. I got arrested cos I was fucking stupid.
Lil Wayne went to prison for a marijuana related offense. You don't relate to him at all?
Ninja: No, I don't relate to Lil Wayne at all.
So you wouldn't do a song with Lil Wayne?
You're signed with Interscope Records. Has that changed your life at all?
Ninja: Not really, no.
Have you been to the Interscope's offices in LA?
Ninja: I've been to Jimmy's [Iovine, head of Interscope records] fucking house in LA, next to Hugh Hefner.
How do you feel about Jimmy's house?
Yolandi: He's got really nice coffee.
Ninja: The coffee in America is really terrible, but Jimmy's maid makes really good coffee.
Yolandi: The phone rang when I taking a piss in the toilet and it gave me a massive fright, cos I've never seen someone with a phone in the toilet.
Ninja: Jimmy gave us a secret mix of some new songs to listen to, and he played it so fucking loud; like unnaturally loud; like I was nauseous for like half a hour from the bass. I think he was showing off how loud his speakers were. He has wooden walls like the Godfather.
Did you meet his son, Jamie?
Ninja: He was at the Lakers game. I just saw paintings of Jamie.
Did Jimmy give you any 'Beats by Dre' headphones? [Iovine is a partner in the Beats by Dre business]
Ninja: What do you think sir? We got like fucking ten of those things.
Now that you guys are getting big, and getting upgrades on airlines, do you think DJ Hi-Tek will start flying with you guys?
Ninja: He does fly with us ? he came with us this time ? but we're not getting upgrades. They fly us around expensive, but we're flying cheaper at the moment. We fly more lo-fi style. Every time we fly cheaper, we make two music videos out of the money we would've spent flying more expensively.
Do you feel like the place you want to make most of your music is South Africa?
Yolandi: Yeah we do all our stuff there.
Ninja: We're not that big, the way we see things. We're kind of just sticking our little heads out of the ground; we've emerged from nowhere.
Yolandi: We're not as big as Rammstein.
Ninja: Rammstein are fucking cool. I saw them last night. I haven't liked anything for so long until I saw them.
Yolandi: The fire!
Ninja: I was so sad this morning that it was yesterday and that it was finished.
Are you looking in the future to add flames and foam to your concert experience?
Ninja: Maybe at some point to add flames, but there's a lot of different things I want to do now. Rammstein blew my fucking brains open for what you can do for concerts, but our concerts are still kind of raw and hardcore, but it'd be super cool to explode the sensory experience like that. They're fucking amazing. I'm a huge fan all of a sudden. I always liked them from that one movie [Pussy]; that was the first time I thought they were pretty cool. After I saw them live I was like, "Jesus Christ, this is the coolest thing ever."
How's your South African base? Has it been growing? Is it stable? When you go back do you feel like you're a bigger deal now, or the same as always?
Ninja: We're pretty fucking famous.
Yolandi: We're a big fucking deal there. Probably the biggest deal that ever happened to SA.
Ninja: South Africa's like Nelson Mandela, District 9 and Die Antword. That's like the whole history of SA.
Is Nelson Mandela proud of you guys?
Ninja: Yeah, he's my fucking homeboy. I went to his house and he was like, "Wow, Die Antwoord, you guys are really doing it!"
Who has a nicer house: Jimmy or Nelson Mandela?
Ninja: Nelson Mandela is more played down, more chilled and shit. Jimmy's more pimped up, more gangsta.
When you when to Nelson Mandela's house, did he give you any gifts?
Ninja: No, he just said, "Well done you guys, we're really proud of you."
Yolandi: He's got this gift of remembering the names of every single person he meets in his whole life. He's met millions of people.
Ninja: He was like, "OK Ninja, keep it Zef". He speaks like Yoda.
Did he give you coffee?
Ninja: He doesn't drink coffee. He drinks herbal tea. They call it the red bush tea. He was wearing a Zefside t-shirt with the sleeves cut off when we got there.
DIE ANTWOORD'S NEW VIDEO, 'RICH BITCH'
Are you big in Japan?
Ninja: Yeah, we're going to Japan after this. That was a future prediction, that we'd be big in Japan. We're not really big yet but in the future we will be. We're launching our toy range there soon. There's this guy called Takashi Murakami, we're doing some exhibition thing with his galleries there. And we're doing a whole bunch of stuff with our Japanese friends. We love Japan more than anywhere.
Will Murakami make a statue of you spooging?
Ninja: I think he's already done that. Maybe he'll think of something new.
Will you guys be in a statue for Murakami?
Ninja: I don't know, we're just doing an exhibition at his gallery. We haven't spoken to him properly yet, we've just been chatting to him on the internet.
Which one scares you more, the Australian or the South African wilderness?
Ninja: I'm not really scared of anything. In Japan we went into the forest and we went beetle hunting. That was kind of weird at night. We found these massive big beetles, as big as your hand. They've got like a rhinoceros horn. They're called Hercules beetles, they're so cute. And then the grubs are as big as a big massive sausage. They're like big albino grubs. The only weird thing was at night the spider webs are as big as a wall. It was weird walking into those things at night.
But that didn't scare you?
Ninja: No that's pretty scary. I wasn't really into it. It was fun talking about it afterwards.
Now that you've been able to travel the world and experience things, where do you feel most at home outside of South Africa?
Nina: Probably Japan
Yolandi: It's all the same to me, it's just everywhere in the world we've traveled our concerts fuck out. They've been sold out all over the world. It's a mind fuck.
Do you have any crazy groupies?
Yolandi: In America during Halloween everyone dressed up as us, it was pretty fucking weird. We have like thousands of Zeflings all over the world. Chicks put in white eye contacts and wore gold leggings and went really off. It was pretty cool.
Anything else interesting that's happened, groupie-wise?
Ninja: It's the same thing, girls always grab your underpants and try to pull them off and flash their boobs the whole time. The same old thing. Groupies are groupies.