I was fortunate enough to convince one of the cool kids from Durban’s musical pride- Asleep In Transit, to answer a few questions for us. Computer nerd,bassist and skater ,Joshua Woolf ,so eloquently shared his views on the band,Durban and everything in between.
Hello Josh! Tell us a bit of random information about yourself!
J: Hi hello! I’m Josh!Professionally I’m a software developer (yes, nerd here). Most people think of software developers as people sitting in front of the computer for ridiculous amounts of time with coffee and cigarettes to make it through the dark hours. While this may be true to a certain extent, I see us as problem solvers. Apart from that I also play bass guitar in a band called Asleep in Transit and enjoy getting out of the house for a skate whenever I can, to hang out with my buddies.
Jack of all trades! Tell us a bit about Asleep in Transit and the role you play within the band
J: Well I went to school with some of the guys in Asleep in Transit back in the day and after taking a break from playing in bands for a few years, they approached me to play bass guitar for them. I didn’t really have too much else going on at the time so I decided to get involved and have been playing for them ever since. It was a nice time to come in as there was a shift in their musical focus and I was able to contribute to what I think is, a much more full and concentrated sound.It’s been quite a busy year in the band, playing a lot of shows and doing a fair amount of travelling.
What makes you think Durban is the city to be in right now?
J: If you had asked me this question a little while ago, I’d probably have told you that Durban is not the city to be in.
I haven’t ever really loved being in Durban, but over the last few months that opinion of mine has started to change. I don’t deny that there are other places I’d like to go to, but at the moment I’m very happy to be here. I think there’s a certain primitive element to Durban that you don’t really get with the fast-paced living of other cities. Sometime I have moments where I’ll just be driving along the M4 to or from work and with the lighting, at that time of day, I just look out over the ocean and all that surrounds us and realize that we live in a really beautiful place.
You couldn’t live a day without…
J: I tried to think of a clever answer to this, but I honestly don’t think there is anything that I require to make it through the day. I think I’ve become pretty self-reliant.
Where are some of your favourite Durban spots?
J: This seems to be constantly changing but currently I could give you a few.If I feel like getting out to have a few drinks, it’s probably going to be at The Winston. I’ve been going to The Winston on and off for around 8 years now and I like how it’s gone through a lot of changes over the years but hasn’t really changed at all from what it was when I first started my adventures there, if you know what I mean?
I have noticed that I’ve been spending a bit more time doing things in the daylight hours though.This usually consists of a skate at the beachfront or Stellawood cemetery with some of my friends. You’ll always find me at the I Heart Market when it’s on (though usually it’s to get some food and combat a hangover). Other than that, I don’t really stick to anything for too long and like to keep changing it up. I live in a house with some really great folks and we’re always coming up with good ideas of things we can do.
Describe your average weekend
J: To be honest I don’t really differentiate much between the week and the weekend anymore, but a typical weekend would consist of a Friday night out partying with my friends.Saturdays are usually spent lazing around the house, with a milder re-enactment of the previous night once the sun goes down. Sundays will ultimately end up in some kind of adventure. Occasionally those days all get mixed up and everything happens out of order.
If you could have any other job in the world, what would it be?
J: Well that’s something I think about a lot. Fortunately for me, I do love my job and the nature of what I do means that I could probably work in any industry as there’s always a need to improve processes and productivity.If I was to do something else though, I think it would have to be on the other end of the spectrum.I’d probably want to be an adventurer or farmer up in the hills or something- even then though, I’d probably put my brain to use to try to optimize my farming practices to have a higher yield of good crop. It’s a curse, this analytical mind.
Your hidden talent is….
J: I don’t really think I have any talents, I think I’ve just worked hard at most things I’ve done because I’m always up for a challenge. If something doesn’t challenge me I’m likely going to lose interest in it and move onto something else. I guess what I’m saying is that I believe anyone can be great at anything if they are willing to work hard at it.Sure there are some prodigies out there, but I don’t think they’ve got to where they are without any sleepless nights.
Preach,brother! What is your general view on local music?
J: This is a bit of a tough one. Our local music industry is quite interesting really. There are a lot of great musicians and a lot of people working hard for them to succeed, but with advances in technology it’s become a lot easier for us to get access to music of an international calibre. I think that this shift has led to local communities finding themselves a lot less interested in what’s going on locally. A lot of local acts are also happy to give a half-hearted attempt at music because of the pressure of international competition and end up with the mind-set of “we’ll never be that great”, which is probably true just because of economic factors limiting the possibilities presented to us. However,I would like to see a shift towards people working hard at making good quality music which they believe in and enjoy. I think if the focus is on the music, people will notice and the shows will start to fill up more often.
While we’re on the topic of local music, I recently had my attention drawn to a local act called Gateway Drugs (I think they hail from Cape Town) which I just can’t get enough of at the moment, give them a listen:
Single or spoken for?
J: Single, I’m not sure that anyone could keep up with me right now.
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