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'We're sweet and short' say Die Tuindwergies

I caught up with Die Tuindwergies at Oppikoppi "Sexy.Crooked.Teeth" for a quick interview after their show. A band of two sets of brothers, this musical outfit is consists of: lead singer and acoustic guitarist Pieter de Jager ("Die Kort Dwerg"); bassist Dawie de Jager ("Die Berg Dwerg"); drummer Jean Swiegers ("De Dwerg"); and lead guitarist Emile Swiegers ("Die Lang Dwerg"). Here is what they had to say.
'We're sweet and short' say Die Tuindwergies

What is your background and how long have you been going for?

We've been going for about a year and a half now. That's how long we've been together, but we've been doing shows for the last year or so. Our first album (eponymous) is out now. We did EP last year with four tracks on it and which we used to promote the band. We managed to get two singles on TV and it was nice to see how everybody came together and supported us. We only made 500 copies of the EP and now everyone knows about us. It's cool that MK played us and Tuks FM helped a lot with getting our songs out there.

Is this your first time at Oppikoppi?

The first time we've played here, yes.

And what do you think?

The shows have been amazing and the people are great. The whole arrangement by Oppikoppi is superb - the staff are very organised and easy to get along with.

What makes you different?

We are sweet and short! Ha ha! But the fact that we all come from diverse musical influences and backgrounds really counts in our favour and keeps things different. We may listen to a variety of music styles, but when we come together, we find something in-between that works for all of us. We are also two sets of brothers, which makes for a rather interesting combination! When it comes to our musical backgrounds, we are mostly self-taught, although some of us have studied classical music and jazz. We also definitely have a unique South African home-grown flavour to us.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

One of the more important lessons we've learned through our experience is to take things slowly. Initially, we wanted to release the album last year, but everything worked out differently. We realised it is more important to become a "band" first, before you put yourself out there. Play a lot of gigs (and do them for free!). Get to know your instruments and each other very well first before recording a CD. It takes time to become a band in the true sense of the word. We know it's not easy to take the slow route because there is rent to pay and food to buy, but in the end it really pays to take your time.

Photos by Schalk Groenewald from Pawz

About Ilva Pieterse

Ilva Pieterse has been involved in the media industry for over 13 years. During this time, she has written for and been involved in many online and print publications across a wide variety of industries, but mainly focusing on the IT sector. Examples of her creative work can be found at

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