George van Dyk

Contrary to the lung disease their name references, Black Lung is breathing fresh new material into the South African psychedelic rock scene and aims to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

Birthed in 2012, the band was founded by Dylan Rooibokkie (guitar vox), Justus Kotze (bass, vox, mouth harp, percussion) and Melissa Williams (drums).

The band describing themselves as “a group of skaters looking for an outlet”. As of 2014, the Black Lung lineup features Warren Fisher behind the drums, who played his first show for the band at Ramfest 2014.

“Being in a band with your best friends, for no other reason than just loving music and wanting to try our hand at it, has led to so many insane, great memories,” Rooibokkie said.

When asked about inspiration, it became clear that Black Lung is undoubtably built on friendship, and this solid friendship allows them to produce music in a manner that doesn’t appear to be contrived. “Inspiration is such a cool and weird little beast. Why make art? Why write that poem? I guess we tend to try not to put a finger on it too much. On a simplistic level, making noise with your homies is pretty inspiring already. We just let it flow from there,” he explained.

This personal, non-corporate approach to art extends to the true nature of the band in a more holistic sense, with the band describing its vibe as one that is full of love while treating everything around us with more respect and less contempt.

Tied in with this inspiration and philosophy of sorts is a strong will and determination to keep the South African psychedelic garage rock scene and all that it entails alive.

“In terms of our biggest dream, I guess it would be to keep the South African psychedelic garage scene alive,” he said.

This support of the psychedelic garage scene isn’t selfish in any sense; it’s heavily implied that the band isn’t necessarily aiming to be at the centre of attention in this scene.

“Our dreams also include creating platforms for new bands while supporting the amazing bands we already have, it’s all happening anyway,” he said.

Furthermore, the band expressed an ardent desire to continually progress from one strength to the next. Unsurprisingly, the band is currently working on its third full-length album. Rooibokkie made it abundantly clear that Black Lung is simply here for a good time that’s built on good vibes.

“We’re really not in it to ‘make it’, we just wanna play some songs and hang out.”

Photo: Supplied