15 questions for Hunter Kennedy


15 questions for Hunter Kennedy

Hunter Kennedy of Fokofpolisiekar describes himself as a contrarian and a slacker. At 41, he feels for the first time that his head is screwed on right, he tells LAUREEN ROSSOUW.


1. What do you listen to in your car?

It varies! Propagandhi and Hayden Pedigo. Punk and drone folk. Wait, let me see what Spotify says… under recently played is:

David Kramer — Krisjan Swart

Billie Holiday — All of Me

Barbatuques — Baianá

Corook — if i were a fish

Slayer — Disciple

Oh, wait, you mean like podcasts? I sometimes listen to music and sometimes podcasts. My favourite podcasts are Mysterious Universe, The Higherside Chats and Danny Jones. The most recent Jones podcast with David Morehouse explains the physics of remote viewing. Mind = Blown. I also like listening to RSG. Its programming is fantastic. Stars and Planets is awesome. Love Dave Pepler too.

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2. What do you read first thing every morning?

The science and technology section of Google News. First thing I saw yesterday morning is Sam Altman is fired! Did someone say AGI?

3. What band do you listen to that you're embarrassed to talk about?

Mmm… I'm not really embarrassed about that kind of shit. Some of my favourite songs of all time are Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit and I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston. What some people would think is irreconcilable, but embarrassed about what! Who the hell can come and say something now?

4. What is the best present you have  received?

In terms of possessions… my wife gave me dagga once for my birthday. You can always treat me to weed. It was awesome! My good friend Nick gave me a signed Paul Simon Graceland record. I love that album and actually Pierre Greeff bought me a shirt at the 25th anniversary of Graceland in Hyde Park when we went to see him. I don't know… I do know! I didn't have an electric guitar for years then Fokofpolisiekar bought me a '78 Ibanez Les Paul (probably because Francois was sick of me borrowing his all the time. Lol.) My friend Bart always played on his dad's Les Paul when we were in Standard 6 and I thought it was the coolest damn thing ever. It's awesome to be able to own one of these guys. It feels so half meant-to-be. Heuwels gave me a Gibson Thunderbird bass. It's kick-ass. My dad bought me lung x-rays for my birthday! It was also great. So, we have marijuana, a Paul Simon record, a Paul Simon shirt, electric guitar, electric bass guitar and lung x-rays. Sounds about right.

5. And your pet hate?

I hate it when white people talk to black people and they put on half an accent. It's embarrassing.

6. Is there a movie you rewatch often?

Yes, a lot! Lol. I watch The Shining once a year. Although Stephen King wasn't that big of a fan of the film, I think Stanley Kubrick made an incredible movie. I watch The Goonies quite often. I must have watched Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused 300 times. I'm just raving about that movie. The dialogue is top notch. The NeverEnding Story makes the rounds every year or so. Lipstiek Dipstiek I watch every few years. Rosemary's Baby is, in my opinion, a master class in suspense. Although Polanski is quite a questionable character. I also check that movie every now and then. I often watch Hayao Miyazaki's films. Out of them all, I've probably watched Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away the most. I actually watch The Holy Mountain quite often and just love Jodorowsky's ideas. It's a damn hard watch but I'm still trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Lol. I feel like I'm forgetting something now…

7. Your favourite toy when you were little?

Oh, a lot! I'm quite a nostalgia nut. I'm just going to take it in order. A-Team (Mr T), Marvel Secret Wars (Magneto), ThunderCats (Tygra), He-Man (Scare Glow), Bionic Six (Eric Bennett), Dino Riders (T-Rex), Uncanny X-Men (Wolverine), Spawn (Spawn) and then it stopped. My favourite toy now is my Steam Deck.

8. Who are your favourite South African writers?

In no particular order: Toast Coetzer, Coenie de Villiers, Pierre Greeff, Francois van Coke, Laudo Liebenberg, Annie Klopper, Francois Breytenbach Blom, Deon Meyer, Jack Parow, Bibi Slippers, Deborah Steinmair, Kwesta, Sho Madjozi. My absolute favourite at the moment is Lauren Beukes. I hope to be able to write like her one day.

9. Who else would you like to work with?

I would love to do vernac rap metal. Not sure with who yet. I would like to do something like Afrikaans animé with Willem Samuel (Mengelmoes). I am keen to make an Afrikaans game if there are any devs out there who would be interested. Peet Pienaar! Koos Bekker — I wouldn't mind shining a spotlight on Afrikaans youth culture again. I wouldn't mind setting up a subsistence farm under the guidance of Bertie Coetzee (@bioboertie). I'd love to go explore Puma Punku or Göbekli Tepe or the Bosnian pyramids with my hero Graham Hancock or maybe scuba-search the coast of India for ancient cities. I would love to visit Chris Chameleon and make a documentary about him and how he lives now. Oh, there is so much more, I could go on forever.

10. Highlight of your life? Except your family.

Glad you pointed it out. Mmm… the bands I've played in are highlights for me. The early days of Fokof and Heuwels and aKING were so special. I don't want to go back but it was awesome to go on that adventure. To explore the country. Band practice in Marc Mostert's parents' garage with aKING. Pierre Greeff and I turning down a record deal from EMI. My time at The President under Peet and Hannerie for MK. There really are many. To release Toe Vind Ek Jou and Cooler As Ekke through mine and Pierre's record company. The mushroom trip at KKNK where Jesus and I played together in a band. My first solo show tonight was quite fun! University, the little time I was there, was full of highs and lows. Ah, yes. Lots of sunrises. Heuwels' trip to America was awesome. Me and Freddy and Thomas fucking around Carmel. I want to go live in Yosemite. It's so cool. Aurora borealis in a motel parking lot in Iceland. Crying my eyes out at Bruce Springsteen in Dublin. As a good friend Stefan Schoonraadt always says: “Today may be the best day of your life." I actually love the intimate moments the most, you know. We have already shared stages with Kings of Leon and fukn whoever, but it's quite a highlight for me now when my daughter and I lie and stare at the clouds.

11. What inspires you?

It doesn't take much! Lol. Everything? I guess not everything. But even shit I don't like inspires me to do the opposite. People. People's stories. Just stories for now. I cry quite easily at music and movies and books and poems and such. Charles Bukowski inspires me. Dolly Parton inspires me. Joan Jett. I think I like the outliers. The underdogs. Fat Mike from NOFX inspires me. Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba inspire me. A kid spray-painted acid rugby on the wall of a house here in my neighbourhood and it inspires me. Banksy's artwork that self-destructs in a shredder as soon as it is auctioned inspires me. Bob Marley inspires me. Counterculture in general inspires me.

12. What quality do you like least about yourself?

Sometimes I will help other people to my own detriment. Fuck knows why. Probably low self-esteem. I have trouble saying no to people, but I'm getting better at it. I wish I could be more comfortable on stage. I fukn overthink everything.

13. Who and what do you find sexy?

Mmm… the normal sexy shit is so boring. I like edge and ideas. Someone who is in the flow state is quite attractive. I like experience. I find knowledge and wisdom attractive. Sexy? I'm not even sure what that means. Sexy? Mmm… food is sexy! Who do I find sexy? Tank Girl! The comic. Does it count? I find feminism quite sexy. I think Diane Keaton is pretty hot if I had to choose someone from the Hollywood vibe.

14. What international publications do you read regularly?

The digital editions of Forbes, The New York Times, Wired, Futurism, The Marginalian, Poetic Outlaws on Substack, Palm Report by Poolsuite.

15. What are you looking forward to?

I look forward to the future. I look forward to being home. I look forward to writing. I look forward to seeing my family. I'm looking forward to vacation. And swimming and summer. And then I look forward again to the winter and the rain and the fire in the fireplace. I would have looked forward to putting up the Christmas tree but it's already up (it's November 20). I look forward to playing games. To reading my book. I usually look forward to the next meal. I'm looking forward! It's very exciting.

♦ VWB ♦

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