The following interview, done in August 2012, is done with Maritz.

Greetings Maritz, first, we'd like to thank you for your time spent doing this interview with us. Let's start by asking you the cursory introduction question. I understand that you founded Octainium in Wales in 2007, where you guys wrote and recorded some songs and released a demo. Sometime later you returned to your homeland of South Africa and reformed the band with entirely new members. Why don't you take it from here and take us up to date.

Certainly. My brother, Gert (Drummer) and I were communicating about reforming the band whilst I was still in Wales and I asked him to start looking around for some members before I came back. When I returned, we got together some guys for auditions and ended up “launching” Octainium again as a 4 piece band (myself on guitar & vocals, Ashley Shortall on lead axe, Gert Booysen on drums and Clive Fischer on bass). We did do auditions for some vocalists, since I didn’t want to do vocals, I didn’t feel that my voice was good enough- I just wanted to do backing growls and play guitar. It ended up not working out as planned, since the singers we auditioned were a bit egoistic and didn’t want to see Octainium as a serious project, so I said “fuck it- I’ll do it then…” We played like this for almost a year, recorded a couple of singles, then Clive decided he’s going to focus on his family and he got replaced with Grinch (Hendrik de la Guerre) on bass, I wanted to focus on becoming a better front man so we got TC (Cameron Tomlin) in to fill my spot on guitar and Ashley decided to finally leave the band to focus on his chef’s career in 2011 and he was replaced by Sikes (Kyle van Wyk). We recorded and released our debut album, “The Prophecy” in November 2011 and we are still going strong today, conspiring ideas for our 2nd album.

It must have been strange for you starting Octainium over from scratch with all new members. Why did you choose to keep the name?

First Octainium shoot 2009 In short- because I came up with it, hahaha! The logo as well. I liked the name, it kinda grew on me over the 6-11 months we were playing in Wales, plus we already had a Facebook page by then and some of my friends in SA were aware of the band, the name and some of the old songs, it just felt natural to keep it going under the same name, Octainium, which kinda relates to “Energy” (a combustible fluid of the highest octane)- so it’s also quite a relevant name to the type of music we do now. We weren’t always this heavy… We still do acoustic shows, haha!

Your newest release 'The Prophecy' is a great release. It mixes successfully lots of different elements and styles, like death metal and cleanly sung vocals. The sound is very heavy and melodic, and it comes off technical and very well produced/recorded. How long did it take you to write/record 'The Prophecy'? Is there anything you would change?

Thank you. “The Prophecy” is a combination of older songs I wrote whilst in Wales (like Brown Garden, Your Demise Is Set, Insomnia) and some newer ones we wrote as a band, literally a couple of months before hitting the studio (like Exorcism, Eradicate The Shrewd, The Chimera, The Prophecy). The rest were written somewhere in the middle. We wanted to release a strong record, also make a statement that we are heading in a heavier direction since we were always more of a Hard Rock band with a lot less screaming. But we all love metal, so it just made sense to go heavier. The recording process took about 6 months in total- we didn’t take too much time tracking all the parts, the majority of the time was spent with post production & mixing. The recording process was such a breeze, the guys at Studio Silverfrog are so easy to work with, yet so professional and both are perfectionists- we’ll do all our future recordings with them, if possible. I’d like to think that I’m a better singer today than I was in September last year, when I recorded the vocals, so I would probably try do the vocal parts better, other than that I wouldn’t change much. I think it’s really well produced, it sounds like an international record, in my opinion.

The lyrics of Octainium deal with a wide range of serious topics and one can tell that these things are very important to you. For example, the track 'The Prophecy' deals with the deteriorating state of South Africa. It is a very captivating point of discussion, and I hope you won't mind that we talk about this for a few questions, quite frankly, the topic is very interesting and rather frightening. I'm not sure how much the average person knows about South Africa, and while we can't give them a history lesson here, I'd like to bring up certain points and see what your thoughts are. First, since the end of Apartheid, things have grown increasingly bad for white South Africans, who are about 8% of the population. Can you tell us about some of the growing violence and racism against whites that you see every day there.

I don’t mind lifting my opinion when it comes to politics, it is quite frightening if you really think about it and what the media advertise South Africa to be and what it really is, isn’t as close to each other as we’d all like it to be.

It’s a lovely country and it would always be my home, but a little “home improvement” might be a great idea… It really feels as if Apartheid will be blamed for all mishaps, crime and poverty for at least another two generations, as if it would never get old… Forgive and forget are two words yet to be learnt by a lot of people, most of whom weren’t even born during Apartheid time. In all honesty, with things like “Affirmative Action” and “BEE” (Black Economic Empowerment), it’s safe to say that revenge is sweet and karma is a bitch… Too bad that my generation had nothing to do with Apartheid, but I suppose we “deserve” to be punished for the sins of our fathers… A lot of the gentlemen in our parliament have served time in prison, but they rule our country… A unique character called Julius Malema has entertained the local media for a long time with his opinions and reasoning. Google it, or search Youtube… You might also find it “amusing”.

Instead of fighting crime and poverty, the government will spend millions renaming cities and streets in an attempt to erase our white heritage and history… That seems like a very wise thing to do, right? Half the nation lives in shacks, but at least they can visit “Polokwane”, not “Pietersburg” or drive in “Solomon Mahlangu Drive”, not “Hans Strijdom Drive”… It’s beyond me and I will never understand it nor approve of this… Build a new city and name it what you want, along with every building and street inside of it- and let the poor people who lives in shacks relocate there and provide them with jobs, decent plumbing and electricity... This country has problems and it will go on for a very long time and someone or something always will be blamed- always easy to point the finger. But it will end eventually where we all have equal rights and “the best man for the job, regardless of skin color or religion” will hopefully be the way of the job interview… Build a bridge and get over Apartheid… It is over- 3 decades ago… We don’t hate the English for what they did in the 1800’s with the invasions and concentration camps, etc… We got over it. In fact, thousands of South Africans relocated to England, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand because they get better opportunities there- plus it’s a lot safer… But this is only my opinion, and everyone has a different opinion, I’m sure.

Circa 2011 The mainstream media doesn't want to talk about the atrocious racist and homicidal behavior of many blacks toward whites there. The levels of violence, rape and murder are said to be astronomical there, with much going unreported. Why do you suppose that the world media doesn't report on these crimes? Indeed, they seem to be hiding it from our eyes.

I will quote a news bulletin: “South African activists are vowing to defend media freedom after the parliament Tuesday passed a state secrets bill that opponents say will stop media from exposing public corruption. The legislation - designed by the ruling African National Congress - has sparked protests from all sectors of society and political opinion”.
“The intention of this bill is to stop the media from disclosing corruption, malpractice and misgovernance, and inefficiencies”.

Crime affects everyone- all races, all religions, all ages. But what the public and the world know about is clearly moderated.

One thing that is reported here in America regarding the South African dilemma is how white farmers are often getting murdered for their farms. The government is also actually taking away white people's property and giving it to blacks. Many of these farms go back generations. Your thoughts?

This is something that started in Zimbabwe, under the lead of Robert Mugabe, and we all know how that ended up, right? The country is but a wasteland today with very little, if any imports & exports. I’m surprised that you hear about things like this, but yeah- in some cases they “reclaim their ancestral land” either via negotiation or forcefully… Farm murders are the most violent and brutal of them all. Overkill to say the least! There are some leaked pictures and articles that I can share, but it’s very upsetting and horrific and it’s not something I want to focus on… Seeing shit like that can make a man quite bitter… Being able to do such a thing clearly shows the amount of racial hate those individuals carry in their hearts.

There was a television program here a few years ago about the stories of a few families of white farmers and the blacks who worked on the farms with them. It would seem that not all the blacks agree with this ‘land redistribution' and mass violence against whites. Are there any real visible black opponents of these policies?

I believe that there are a lot of black people who don’t agree with a lot of the things the government stands for or decisions they make, but most of them won’t voice their opinions out of fear, I think. I’m sure that there is a common fear that “Apartheid” may return if they vote for a better/different political party, which is obviously not true at all, but we have to consider that a large chunk of our population is uneducated and wouldn’t see this for what it is, but rather would believe the false promises the ANC government feeds them out of naivety and not knowing better.

I honestly think that unemployment wasn’t such a big problem in the 1800’s or 1900’s, even though black people had very limited rights, they still had work, pay and food on the table. Although now we have millions of illegal immigrants just walking over the Country’s borders taking a lot of the jobs and or living parasitically among us- that’s also a big problem and reason for a lot of the crime here…

There are a multitude of racist laws and policies against the whites of South Africa. Among them are the fact that whites cannot own majorities in companies. I understand that if you start a business as an entrepreneur you have to have a black business partner who owns 51% of the shares in your company! Comments?

I’m not too clued up with the laws surrounding that, but yes- it is part of BEE where any small business has to have a certain percentage of black employees and representatives in management and upper management level. The government forces every business to be BEE compliant, otherwise there are some implications, problems, fines, etc. Here’s a link that’ll explain BEE a bit better:

What do you think will happen when Mandela dies? Will the country further destabilize? Do you think Mandela himself is a puppet to a larger power? A sort of figurehead? I ask because, personally speaking, the leaders of America have become puppets...

It’s an interesting point, and I don’t really know exactly how to answer that. I’m sure that he is responsible in a big way for keeping the peace between black and white, to a big extent I have a lot of respect for him because he easily could’ve made South Africa a living hell for us when he was elected for president in ’94, but he didn’t. I don’t agree with how the media portrays the man as being an angel (like in the movie Invictus), because he went to jail for a very good reason. However, he did calm down during that time and didn’t come out a terrorist activist, but a national hero. There is talk about the shit hitting the fan when he dies, yeah ( we will just have to wait and see…

Recently I learned about a most disturbing thing regarding Sub-Saharan Africa/South Africa, the fact that there is a myth circulating that if you have AIDS and rape a virgin it can cure it! There is even a case of a one day old baby being raped because of this myth... or another child being gang raped by five men. Monstrous! Have you heard of this? Research shows that it is becoming even more widespread, even moving to India and Asia...

It is horrific indeed! Yes, there are some outrageous “cures” for HIV/AIDS that I’ve heard of over the last few years… A lot of the uneducated people still seek help from their Traditional Healers/ Sangomas and a lot of this bullshit is actually advise from a sangoma somewhere… But it’s kinda weird how people in power see AIDS as well- our Minister of Health believed that garlic and beetroot will help cure the condition, whilst our current president thought that taking a shower after having sex with an HIV-positive person would “wash off” the virus and reduce his risk of being infected… Oh well…

In conclusion, with all the problems there, are you ever tempted to just pack up and leave? Is there really any hope there?

My dream is to tour the world and hopefully Octainium would be able to open that door for me one day, but South Africa, with all its problems, is a lovely country with the best weather, nature and scenery and it would always be my home. I really hope that shit can just be sorted out, everyone can live in harmony together, we can have a better/more capable/less corrupt government, and we can put the past behind us all and make this a crime-free country… I don’t know, I lived in the UK for 3 years and I really missed SA… I would leave when/if our country really turns into a Zimbabwe, I suppose…

Circa 2011 Now to the more philosophical end of the interview. It's always interesting to hear people's responses to these questions. First, what do you think about the possibility of life after death? Do you believe some part of us can live on?

Mmmm- Politics and Religion… Interesting, hahaha! I think every single person in this world would have a slightly different view on Religion and/or Life After Death and everything that goes along with it. I never try to force down my opinion/views to anyone and do not respect any person who does… Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion and beliefs and who am I to change or alter that? Or judge for that matter..?

I was brought up in a Christian home (Protestant to be more specific) and it played a very big role in what I believe in today. I believe there is a God and a Devil, I just choose to follow God instead, because if there is a Hell, I wouldn’t want to go there when I die. I believe in Jesus Christ and that he died for our sins and that there is eternal life after death, but I must admit that I am not the perfect example of what a Christian would be like or live like… There’s always the possibility of the Bible being altered in certain parts and that certain information might have been taken out of it to mask some events that might have occurred and to slightly change perception and views of Christianity… But it’s a very fragile subject to discuss…

I really do not like the chain mails that people send on, chasing you on a guilt trip if you don’t pass it on to spread the word of God- I really do not like that! Sending on an email is not gonna get you into Heaven, it will only piss off a lot of other people. I also don’t like the fact that Christians are the 1st to judge others, I remember going to church with shoulder length hair and a 6-inch beard on my chin and the looks of judgment I got from the older people in that church really made me realize that I don’t belong in a Protestant environment. As if I wasn’t there for the same reason as everyone else… I went to a different church, even though I don’t go there regularly at all either, but it’s a lot less judgmental there…

Unfortunately Religion was the cause of a lot of bloodshed over the centuries and it is one of the sly and selfish “tools of mass manipulation” used for personal gain. It’s really sad… But everyone needs to believe in something, even if it is derived from different opinions/ views. I think the core of any Religion is “love”… If you love everyone and everything, you wouldn’t harm/hurt anyone or anything… Love is like the basic fundament maybe…

Also the fact that I sing in a metal band and the screaming is “demon-like” and it’s all “devil’s music” is something that really pisses me off! Metal bands represent a vast variety of topics, views and opinions and lyrically you won’t really find more intriguing, metaphoric and artistic messages in any other genre. Again- just my opinion… I try to be a good person to others and in general, I try my best not to judge others and to respect all others. Everyone should be open minded enough to respect others’ opinion, views, religion, ways and not try force down their own upon them- it’s just a good way of saying: “Don’t be an asshole…”

If there was one question that you could know the absolute answer to, what would your question be? How about if you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I think the previous question you asked would be a really good one to get a real and true answer to. Maybe that answer would change humanity as a whole…

We've always asked the bands we interview about the state of the world and its decline. It seems no matter the band's genre or their race or nationality, most people have given up hope of the state of the world ever improving. You're the first South African, in fact the first person from your continent we've ever interviewed, so then, in general, what do you think? Does the world situation get bleaker and darker every day? Is there any hope for real change? Can you envision a sort of apocalypse in the coming years?

I think that the movie Avatar has really summed up our human nature as a whole. It was a great movie, but the message in there was a very true and sad one. We are a destructive and selfish species and we are killing the world we live in. Yeah, my vote goes to a decline towards our impending doom. The big date coming up soon is 21 Dec 2012… If that’s not the apocalypse then it’ll probably happen eventually… Would be a real bummer if it is the end though…

We'll leave this interrogation with a few music questions I'm curious about. First, it seems like Octainium would be a great band live. Can you tell us about your live performances? Where do you play and what is the turn-out like?

Thank you, I would like to think/say that we try to be as energetic and entertaining as possible at every show. We would definitely implement better lighting, props and pyrotechnics as time goes on and we get a budget to do so. The scene in SA isn’t very big, but it is growing and shows seem to become bigger and bigger as time goes on. We have a really awesome fan base, not a huge one, but a dedicated one- I see a lot of the same faces at a lot of our shows, I would like to show my deepest appreciation for the people who stuck with us over the last 3 ½ years!

What is the music scene in general like there? Are there a lot of metal fans? Any other local bands you'd like to shed a light on?

The metal scene isn’t very big, but it is growing at least- in about 5 years it should be at a good stage with lots of support from the media and public, but the music scene in general is quite vast and diverse. The commercial and pop bands/acts are doing quite well, singing about a bunch of bullshit with a happy tune, but hey- tastes differ … There are quite a lot of really good local bands that could do with some exposure- let me name a few: Voir Dire, Facing The Gallows, The Narrow, Pestroy, Tranquil, Legions Ablaze, Erebus, Adorned In Ash, Beseech The Enemy, Tenere, Maximum Carnage and the list goes on…

Have you traveled anywhere else on your continent of Africa?

Unfortunately not… Yet…

I'm curious as to what the next Octainium release will sound like. When will you record something new? Do you envision any changes?

We are talking about a 2nd album yeah, probably early next year for a midyear release… Sorta stuck in two minds whether to write another, better metal record or to maybe go back to our original roots and write more of an acoustic/rock album… We must understand that for the 1st 2 years, Octainium was a rock band, playing a lot of acoustic shows and that giving something back to the people who supported us during that time and who still do regardless of how heavy we’ve become, isn’t a bad idea… It could also shed some light on the fact that we are quite versatile… Maybe a combination of acoustic, rock and metal tracks on one album and call it something like “Good, Better, Beast”, hahaha! We’ll see…

Are you looking for a recording label? I can't imagine a band of Octainium's high quality having a problem finding one. Where can anyone interested purchase a copy of your new CD?

Of course, yes- we’d love to be in a position to tour the world, and doing it independently is very difficult and expensive, so having a record deal would definitely help a great deal!

At the moment we are doing everything independently, incl. the distribution of our album. By sending an email to we can arrange for an album to be sent to anywhere in the world! Just need to cover the postage and so on, you know… Here are a few links to our social networks if you want- ;; or @Octainium on Twitter.

And lastly, your final thoughts and words of wisdom to our dying world? Many thanks for your time Maritz!

The pleasure is all mine- thanks a lot for the interview. Much obliged! Here’s one of my favorite quotes to end it off with: “Another day, another death”- The Mob.

Circa 2009 Live at Hatfield Square

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