South African rocker and Rolling Stone SA writer/photographer Willim Welsyn recently translated his name to William Welfare for his debut English album, Shunt, after having released five critically acclaimed Afrikaans rock albums in the past.
“I always figured that if a 1000 Afrikaans people could dig my music in South Africa, then maybe a 100 000 people could dig it world wide. The only thing keeping me back was the language barrier”
Last year he teased at the album when he dropped the single and video for “4 Cups Of Dust” - which sees him and drummer Kyle Gray recording the album and then road tripping to SA’s most popular music festival, Oppikoppi, to cover the event for Rolling Stone magazine.
On Thursday 1st of May Welfare released Shunt and the second single, “Elephant Man”, a 70s inspired space-rock jam, with a video set in space scheduled to be released on the 12th of May.
“I did an online story about a gang of theatre cats who were looking to crowd fund their awesome web series, Nic Danger And The Rise Of The Space Ninjas. So I asked Nic Danger to shoot us a video using the same kind of esthetic. All I had to do was to pay for one of their costumes, which happened to be a purple alien penis monster named Cocktopus.”
Cocktopus also became the main antagonist in their glam rock; C-grade sci-fi video which sees Welfare and his band smoking a spacebong, getting teleported to a foreign planet where a nomadic female tribe helps them to conquer the penis monster.
Shunt was written and recorded in seven days in Welfare’s small hometown of Ladismith – which is about 300 km out of Cape Town.
“I snatched [drummer] Kyle Gray from his day job for two days, wrote the riffs and arrangements on the spot and tracked the guitars and drums live. No click track, no bull.” Gray enjoyed the impromptu project so much that he joined Welfare’s band on the spot together with bassist Gerhard Grobler – who toured and recorded with Welfare on his previous Afrikaans albums.
Welfare and his band will be launching the album at this year’s STRAB festival on the coast of Mozambique on the 22nd of May.