“Believe it or not there are a lot of successful bands operating in South Africa…”
At the age of twenty-three Gary Thomas has his mind focused on one thing and one thing alone, he wants to become a world class musician. Starting off his career at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Gary read for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music with majors in electro acoustics and jazz guitar. “The theory from my degree gave me a solid grounding into the musical field. It was extremely intense but worthwhile”.
After completing his degree Gary moved to Cape Town in June of 2006. Getting together with Andy Jamieson, the two formed a band named Cabins in the Forest (FirstStep.co.za notes: We enquired about the meaning of the name and we are still confused…). “It’s a really simple music model, its two guys with guitars”. At the moment the band is recording an album and their live show is expanding. Traveling to Johannesburg and doing as many gigs as they can in Cape Town, Cabins in the Forest is certainly making it happen.
With the ethos of running the band as more of a business, Thomas states that promoting and marketing the band is the key to its success. However with every business making ends meet can be a bit tricky, so he does freelance as a sound designer. “Actually the sound designer part is pretty cool, it’s allowing me to extend my reach in the music industry”.
Cabins in the ForestHis average day is focused entirely on the band, he believes his commitment to running the band smoothly will result in those big studio deals. “The music business itself means that if you have a band you have to treat it like a business…and doing the work yourself means you learn a lot more”. Although it’s not all business, after all there is a band and a product that needs to be maintained. Gary gets at least an hour and a half worth of guitar practice everyday and maintains that the funniest moments of his career thus far have been the “in studio antics…”
Cabins in the Forest is gradually showing that if you put in a bit of hard work and have the focus of success you will achieve the goals that you aspire to. In the meantime Gary Thomas has allowed his theoretical training to capture the practical side of building a successful band. Asked if he would recommend studying music to those up and coming musicians, Thomas says “That if you really love music then go for it, however there are lots of people who haven’t studied but their passion for the industry has led them to success”.
Quick questions with Gary Thomas:
If you weren’t a musician what would you be: “In some form of creative industry, maybe a graphic designer”?
If you were a Superhero who would you be: “Wolverine or Spider-man, Superman is way too hectic”.
If you had one word that could best describe you what would it be: “Silly!”
City: Cape Town or Vancouver, Canada
Country: Canada (FirstStep.co.za we could of guessed that!)
Gary’s message to young South Africans: “there is no right or wrong way. If you think you good and like what you do, then by all means go for it!”