Saron Gas Band Bio
Formed in May 1999 – Saron Gas emerged onto the South African rock scene and rapidly established themselves as one of South Africa’s top emerging bands.
Comprised of three talented musicians – Shaun Welgemoed [vocals/lead guitar], David Cohoe [drums] and Dale Stewart [bass/backing vocals] – Saron Gas share influences in International bands – Black Sabbath, The Deftones, Creed and Silverchair. All three musicians began music at an early age and have played in a variety of different bands prior to the formation of the rock trio.
Saron Gas create music from self-experience. The vocals, written by Shaun Welgemoed, actively depict real life encounters, which further allows an audience to follow and relate to the band – a strong reason for their ever-growing South African fan base. The music is realistic, with great diversity per track – shaping the hard rock sound.
The band independently released their fist demo in late 1999, featuring the single “69 Tea”. The track was greatly received by radio stations nationwide – and climbed to number two on the 5FM charts – South Africa’s most profiled radio station. It is this single that first gained the band public support at national radio level, in various band competitions and at festival gigs – and ultimately lead to the interest of indie label Musketeer Records.
The band singed to Musketeer records in September 2000. Working with top South African producer Brian O’Shea, the band spent two months in studio, rewriting and shaping material. The result is the top selling debut album release – “Fragile”.
”Fragile” features a re-recorded version of top hit 69 Tea, with newly written second single – “Fine Again”. “Fine Again” has to date been well received by national radio – and reached number 4 on the 5FM national Chart. The new single ‘Take Me Away’ has recently been released and will be charting soon around the country.
The band actively tour the South African live rock circuit – with great response. December 2000 saw Saron Gas embark on the “Fragile” tour – a 14 day National tour of South Africa to promote the debut album release.
Power, strength and emotion are three words which aptly describe musicians – Shaun, Dave and Dale – and aptly summate the their musical creations. Saron Gas are destined to be South Africa’s biggest and most profiled rock export
In South Africa the limited market for music sales is such that promotion companies tend to haggle over the minis cal situation as though they are bargaining for the last cigarette at an auction for smoke enders. Unlike the United States, where individual record labels and artist management have a guarantee of at least capturing a few hundred thousand CD buyers amongst the 250 million people, here we have a paltry few thousand, which are very fickle indeed.
In a country where the slightest sound of an electric guitar sends the listener reaching for the off button, the trials and tribulations of an unknown South African rock band trying to get their name out there could fill a book. A recent email I received from the United States, saying that one of the SA rock bands they had been sampled with – the bands name will be omitted – was NOT HARD enough made me seethe with envy at the positions USA bands are in. South Africa just simply is not ready to rock, has it ever been? Linkin Park sold over 10 million albums in the USA last year, making them the biggest selling band of the year, they sold around 20 000 CD’s, figure may have grown since, in South Africa. Why is this? I suppose the population difference has a lot to do with it, but 20 000.
Even if an artist does sell large volumes of albums here, we can’t even manage to fill a stadium to capacity when the international band comes out here to perform and that is only for one night. In the UK, bands managed to fill 50 000 seats for three shows.
Is it that we are not conditioned to buy CD’s or go to concerts? It is uniquely absent in our collective consciousness and culture? Maybe. In the past we had limited stock of international rock bands on our CD stores shelves and even more limited access to the luxury of a live show, never mind a weekly live concert guide as they have in the USA, UK or Europe for that matter. In the UK it is common practice to buy concert tickets, heck you get to catch bands such as Oasis at a small pub over there.
But who wrote the rule that you had to see Oasis? What is wrong with South African bands such as Perez, Tweak or Zen Arcade? Due to the ignorance of the public, who walk straight out of a club the moment they realise they have to pay R30 to see a – Live band – and totter off the nearest dance Club to spend their money there, some of the best bands in South Africa have packed it in and broken up.
This brings me to a real South African success story.
Two years ago a little know South African rock band called Saron Gas, quietly went to the United States to perform a showcase with a large independent record label. The flights and hotel bills were put on the labels tab. What emerged from this important meeting was a seven album record deal, change of band name and relocation to the United States.
In most cases, this would be the last we ever hear of the band. In the past bands such as Tribe after Tribe and Evoid had ventured overseas after enjoying success in South Africa, never to be seen again.
Not this time.
The label who decided to take on the band was none other than Wind Up Records, previously responsible for the success of international super groups Creed, Finger 11 and Drowning Pool, and now Evenesance making them one of the top independent rock labels in the United States.
Little know facts on the progress of the band, who now go by the name Seether include entering the Billboard Top 200 at number 92 with their debut album ‘Disclaimer’. The album spent 26 weeks on the charts as well as performing on some rather high profiled shows.
They have performed on The Tonight Show, The Jay Leno Show and The David Lettermen show, toured with Evanescence, where lead vocalist recently spoke of going to a karaoke bar with Seether’s lead vocalist Shaun, performed at The Ozzfest, toured with Staind, Creed, 3 Doors Down, and their album is about to go Gold in the United States.
The band is massive over there, but yet little or nothing of their recent millstones has been reported on their own home turf.
I’ll bet you did not know that their single ‘Hang On’ appeared on the Daredevil soundtrack or that ‘Out Of My Way’ is on the Freddy vs. Jason soundtrack?
Even more impressive is that television audiences will see Shaun present both The American Music Awards and Billboard Awards this year.
Australia had INXS, Ireland had U2, and we need to show the world, just as these countries did, that we can play with the best of them. Seether might be the ticket. On the verge of international super stardom, Seether is one of South Africa’s great rock n roll success stories.
Seether will be returning to South Africa for a home coming tour to say thank you to all their fans for their continued support over the last two years. They will be performing in the very same places where they originally found their fans as well as at an under 18 concert in Cape Town.
On a final note I would like to say that the quality of rock music that comes out of South Africa is superb even by international standards. Our bands try to write their own music and add their own sound to it. They work hard and tour all over the place to get their music heard, honing their craft. Listen to the radio these days, the song writing and musical talent is right up with the rest of them.
South African rock and pop is in dire need of support, if South African’s support them and buy their cd’s it will generate money to put back into the industry, then the bands will be able to afford to get decent recordings done and record labels will put more money into their marketing, this in turn will improve the over all state of the music industry and we will be able to enjoy top class talented artists. Until then we will always lose good bands due to lack of finance and never be able to export them and actually raise the countries GDP. By buying international product we are not only hurting the country by taking away possible job opportunities but we are actually giving our money away to other countries. Saying that the music is ‘badly produced’ is only the result of your not supporting it. So buy South African music and let’s try to build the music industry we already have.
* Entered the “Emerging Sounds Exposed” Competition in October 1999 – reached the Final Round.
* Interviewed in studio on TUKS Radio, after winning the initial round of the “Emerging Sounds Exposed” Competition on the 5th of November.
* Played live on the 5fm TDK Sessions on the 28th of December 1999.
* Played live in Mossel Bay on new year’s eve 1999 – Millennium Bash – along with Just Jinger, Jack Hammer and Sons of Trout.
* Playlisted on 5fm on 17/01/2000, with the track “69Tea”.
* Live telephonic interview with Ian F on the 18th of January 2000.
* Entered the 5fm Top40 February 20th 2000, highest new entry at 28th position.
* Featured by Barney Simon on the Fanta World Chart Show on March 3rd 2000.
* Headlined the “Rocker’s Rave” Festival in Haenertsburg, 25th March 2000.
* Opened for visiting UK band “The Mission” at The Shaft, Friday 21st April 2000.
* Played twice at “Splashy Fen” on the Blunt Magazine stage due to popular demand.
* “69Tea” reached Number 1 on the TUKS Radio Top30 – ±26/05/2000.
* “69Tea” peaked at Number 2 on the 5fm Top40 – 14/05/2000.
* “Empty” reached number 2 on the “Real Time” Modern Rock Chart.
* Completed a successful mini national tour covering the Eastern Cape & KZN
* Nominated to play at “The Winston State of the Nation” Concert – 8 July 2000.
* Oppikoppi performance: August 2000
* Woodstock performance: September 2000
* “Fine Again” playlisted on National Radio from 16th October to coincide with album release. Both Sony SA and Virgin SA have requested licensing deals after hearing this track.
To play as many live shows, tours and venues as possible.
To be South Africa’s next major exportable rock band.
Take Me Away
12-28-99 – 5FM TDK Sessions
12-31-99 – Mossel Bay New Years Bash
03-25-00 – Rockers Rave
04-21-00 – The Shaft
07-08-00 – Winston State Of The Nation
11-24-00 – Boogie Nights Pretoria
11-25-00 – The Underground Bloemfontein
12-01-00 – Nile Crocodile (Pretoria)
12-05-00 – Buccaneers East London [TBC]
12-07-00 – Tapas Port Elizabeth
12-08-00 – Tin Roof Knysna
12-09-00 – Independent Armchair Cape Town
12-11-00 – The Station (Mossel Bay)
12-22-00 – The Jam Natal South Coast
12-23-00 – Burn Durban
04-07-01 – Montys Pub and Grill – Pietersburg
04-11-01 – Settlers – East London
04-12-01 – Tapas – Port Elizabeth
04-13-01 – Tin Roof – Knysna
04-14-01 – Easter Rock Festival
04-18-01 – The Jam – Cape Town
04-20-01 – Whammy Bar – Table Bay
04-21-01 – Indie Armchair – Cape Town
04-27-01 – Splashy Fen Festival
05-01-01 – Nile Crocodile – Pretoria
05-11-01 – Pietermaritzburg
05-12-01 – Bargo’s – DBN
05-30-01 – Sandton Levi ABD Unplugged Sessions
The Saron Gas “Wind it Up” Tour!
12-06-01 – Bargo’s Durban
12-07-01 – Millers Pietermaritzburg
12-13-01 – Tapas Port Elizabeth
12-14-01 – The Jam Cape Town
12-31-01 – The Superbowl Sun City [NEW YEARS EVE!!]
02-19-02 – Saron Gas changes Line-up & Name
Top SA rock band Saron Gas/Seether – is currently undergoing a line-up change.
The change of line up involves drummer David Cohoe – who returned to South Africa last week with family commitments.
The departing of Cohoe comes 2 months into the bands international career – whilst recording the new album in the US.
Saron Gas/Seether – will be sourcing a new drummer to join the band in the US prior to the album release, under the Wind Up Records label, in June this year. The band begins their nationwide tour of the US in early May
12-18-01 – Saron Gas Say Goodbye!
Top SA rock Band – Saron Gas will be leaving South Africa on the 7th January 2002 to begin work, in New York, on their new album. The album will see release on the Wind Up Records label in May/June 2002.
The band will be working with internationally acclaimed producer Ulrich Wild.
Ulrich Wild has previously produced and engineered for bands such as: Deftones, Incubus, Static X, Taproot, Sting, White Zombie, and Pantera to name but a few.
Saron Gas will be leaving from JHB international airport on the 7th Jan at 11:45PM. The band will be doing a last meet and greet for fans from 9:30PM.
The Saron Gas Lion Lager Wind It Up Tour is the last time that Saron Gas will tour South Africa, before moving to New York to begin their international career in January 2002.
12-03-01 – Lion Lager Wind It Up Tour!
The last Saron Gas South African Tour! before the band leaves for the USA in January 2001.
Top South African rock band Saron Gas have just concluded an exclusive 7 album artist deal with US label: Wind Up Entertainment. Wind Up are best known for their success with Creed, Finger 11 and Drowning Pool, and are rated as one of the top independent rock labels in the United States.
Saron Gas will be relocating to New York in late 2001 and will immediately add the final touches to “Fragile”, their smash South African debut album. This will include their new hit single, “Gasoline”, which is due for release in South Africa in September 2001.
Saron Gas, and South African Label , Musketeer Records, began negotiations with the US label after the South African trio performed a showcase in New York in late June 2001.
Formed in May 1999 – Saron Gas emerged onto the South African rock scene and rapidly established themselves as one of South Africa’s top bands. The band independently released their fist demo in late 1999, featuring the single “69 Tea”. The track was greatly received by radio stations nationwide – and climbed to number two on the 5FM charts. The band singed to Musketeer Records in August 2000. Working with top South African producer Brian O’Shea, the band spent two months a the Farm Studios, rewriting and shaping material. The result is the top selling debut album release – “Fragile”.
Immediately following release in South Africa, “Fragile” was sampled to various international companies. These included majors – Sony and Atlantic, as well as worldwide studios like George Martin’s (of Beatles fame) and Air Studios in London.
In April 2001 Frontline Entertainment Management – approached and sampled ‘Fragile’ to US label: Wind Up Entertainment in the hopes of gaining international interest and a record deal. Wind Up was suitably impressed with the bands profile, their music, and business structure in South Africa, as well as the quality and talent hailing from the band. As a result, Frontline Entertainment Management were able to secure a live showcase in New York with the Wind Up A&R team. The result – and exclusive artist deal!
Power, strength and emotion are three words which aptly describe musicians – Shaun, Dave and Dale – and aptly summate the their musical creations. It is indeed true that Saron Gas are destined to be South Africa’s biggest and most profiled rock success in the international arena
11-13-01 – Saron Gas Tribute Concert
Their debut gig was at the Nile Crocodile in Lynnwood, Pretoria. Their second, third and fourth gigs culminated in the finals of the third season of the RP Studios Emerging Sounds Competition.
Since then this trio have toured the country, had a number one hit on 5FM, released a CD and in 2002 head off to the USA on a seven album deal.
So it seems fitting that Emerging Sounds host a Saron Gas Tribute Concert at the Nile Crocodile on Saturday, December 1.
In action are five Pretoria bands plus one Johannesburg band – Cutting Jade, Rhutz, Syrup, Almost There, Dunnaway and Critical Deceit. Each band will as part of their set perform one Saron Gas track, but in their own style. Expect a Saron Gas medley from Cutting Jade; “Fine Again” by Critical Deceit; “Take Me Away” from Syrup, “Your Bore” by Rhutz; “Beer” by Almost There and “69 Tea” from Dunnaway.
First band is on stage at 20:30 with the last band starting its performance just after midnight. Entrance fee is R30 per person and during the course of the evening there will be lots of giveaways.
The members of Saron Gas will also be present to party with their friends and fans alike. The band will not be performing on the night but will mingle with patrons at the venue which gave them the opportunity of making their debut.
08-20-01 – Shhh!
5FM, Look & Listen and Powerzone are proud to support top SA rock Band Saron Gas
Listen to 5FM’s Barney Simon 28th August 2001, 10:00PM, for the big announcement!
03-23-01 – Air Studios – London to remix ‘Fragile’ album
Air Studios – London – have agreed to remix the new Saron Gas album “Fragile”. Chris Nuttal, Neil Ricotta and Jon Bailey (involved in last Travis, David Grey and Manic Street Preachers albums) are excited about the opportunity of working with the South African band – and believe the album has massive potential worldwide.
Air Studios have agreed to remix the Fragile album for a UK release. Although the label for release in the UK is still under negotiation, Musketeer Records [Saron Gas’s indie SA label] are confident that working together with Air Studios will prompt the albums success in both the UK and European territories.
Saron Gas were recently nominated for The Best Rock Album – SAMA 7, have entered the 5FM top 40 with their latest single “Take Me Away” – and can been seen live in April/May on their nationwide – Levis and Bondi Blu Easter Tour
03-16-01 – Saron Gas, Levi’s And Bondi Blu Easter Tour
Saron Gas are proud to announce the SARON GAS LEVI’S & BONDI BLU EASTER TOUR.
Working in conjunction with Levi’s and Bondi Blu – both premium South African and international brands – Saron Gas will tour South Africa, visiting music venues across the country in April and May 2001. Tour dates are listed below.
“The Levi’s brand sponsors music bands and events globally and we are very excited to be associated with Saron Gas as we have only ever been involved with Kwaito bands in South Africa” says Patricia Motswenyane, advertising and promotions manager for Levi’s in South Africa.
Bondi Blu is a dynamic, high fashion company that has become the leading supplier of middle market fashion sunglasses and accessories in South Africa. The company was established in 1992 and is South African based and owned. “Bondi Blu is proud to be associated with Saron Gas – a South African Band with such a strong youth following,” says Ian Schoeman of Bondi Blu. ‘It’s great to be a part of their Easter Tour!”
03-06-01 – Saron Gas to play Splashy Fen
One of South Africa’s most exciting new bands Saron Gas has signed up to play at 12th Splashy Fen Music Festival, which takes place from April 26 to 29 in Underberg in the southern Drakensberg.
Saron Gas featured at last year’s Splashy Fen, where they came as a pleasant surprise to the many who had not previously heard them.
Formed in May 1999 – Saron Gas emerged onto the South African rock scene and rapidly established themselves as one of South Africa’s top emerging bands.
Comprised of three talented musicians – Shaun Welgemoed [vocals/lead guitar], David Cohoe [drums] and Dale Stewart [bass/backing vocals] – Saron Gas name as influences bands such as Black Sabbath, The Deftones, Creed and Silverchair.
The vocals, written by Shaun Welgemoed, actively depict real life encounters, which further allows an audience to follow and relate to the band – a strong reason for their ever-growing South African fan base. The music is realistic, with great diversity per track – shaping the hard rock sound.
The band independently released their fist demo in late 1999, featuring the single 69 Tea. The track was greatly received by radio stations nationwide – and climbed to number two on national charts .
The band signed up to Musketeer records in September 2000 and worked with top South African producer Brian O’Shea to produce a top selling debut album release – Fragile.
Fragile features a re-recorded version of top hit 69 Tea, with newly written second single Fine Again which has been well received by national radio reaching number 4 on the 5FM national chart.
11-22-00 – Saron Gas Rock The Hard Rock Cafe
Saron Gas, currently South Africa’s most talked about band, launched their latest CD Fragile at the Hard Rock Café on Monday night. This was one pre Christmas album launch that I had been looking forward to for a while. I have been a fan of the band since the huge hit 69 tea first got airplay and haven’t missed a show yet. Now finally Saron Gas have released a full length album.
Arriving at the launch I met up with some very big names in the industry these days and found the place packed with loyal and adoring fans. The turn out was something to behold. Two major bands at the moment Just Jinger and Sugardrive were there in all their glory supporting Saron Gas and journalists equipped with cameras were scattered throughout The Hard rock café.
Opening up with the hit 69 tea the place simply rocked! CD sales went hay wire and fans went a mock. Now this was a rock band one can be proud of. People just can’t seem to get enough of Saron Gas.
After numerous trys to get a recording contract and various radio stations refusing to play Saron Gas songs due to their heavy sound, Musketeer Records, a division of Musketeer marketing, came and saved the day. Taking a risk and getting involved with an industry they do not usually delve in the company took the band under their wings and ensured that we all got to own a Saron Gas album. Thank you to Musketeer for their support and courage.
Prior to the show we were treated with a few words from 5FM Marketing Manager John Langford who is bringing a new era to the number one radio station. A loyal supporter of South African music he endeavors to promote and get our bands music out to the people. And yes Barney Simon was there to introduce the band and this he did with great enthusiasm.
Saron Gas is compiled of Dave Cohoe (Drums and Backing Vocals), Shaun Welgemoed (vocals and guitar) and Dale Stewart (bass and backing vocals). The band who are passionate and deep, have a love for their music that is uncompromising and inspiring. The live shows are explosive. Loud and hard, the crowds at their shows loose all inhibitions and go wild.
A major nation wide tour is underway and the band are working on plans to go to Europe soon. I say don’t stop there. Head for the US were it is certain the hard rock sound of this fantastic band will go down well.
10-18-00 – Saron Gas Fragile
Top Emerging SA Rock band Saron Gas will be releasing their debut album “Fragile” in late October 2000.
Saron Gas formed in May 1999 with the three piece – Shaun Welgemoed [vocals/guitar], Dave Cohoe [drums], and Dale Stewart [bass guitar/backing vocals] – seeing rapid success with their first demo single “69 Tea” peaking at Number 2 on the 5fm Top 40 in early May 2000.
“Fragile”, conceptualised and recorded at The Farm Studios, is produced by Brian O’Shea and Chris Tuck. The album consists of 12 tracks, and is a dynamic mixture of rock and ballad material. The first single off the album “Fine Again” is, to date, being well received by radio stations nation-wide.
Saron Gas – the name emanating from a sound effects CD, with Saron being Spanish for Music of God – has to date reached the finals in the Emerging Sounds Competition and charted at number 1 one on various regional and campus stations with previous demo singles.
The band can be noted for their performances at top festivals: Splashy Fen, Oppikoppi and Woodstock – and have rapidly developed a loyal fan base. Saron Gas was selected by the voting SA public to perform at this year’s State of the Nation concert. The band has an active live circuit – with wide appeal. November/December 2000 sees Saron Gas embark on their nation-wide tour to promote the album release
10-12-00 – Catch Saron Gas this week end on the Fanta world chart show
Saron Gas have been making waves with their infectious Nirvana sound these days and recently enjoyed a huge amount of success with their hit single ’69tea’. They are due to release their debut album, ‘Fragile’ (pictured left) at the end of October and Barney Simon will be featuring their new single form the album ‘Fine Again’
Don’t miss Saron Gas on The Fanta World Chart show with Barney Simon, this Saturday!