Introduce us to your band!
Wham Bam! is a duo consisting of Gideon Kretschmer (vocals, all instruments) and Nico Tourelle (vocals) – Nico lives on a farm in the quiet Karoo in South Africa, and Gideon Kretschmer lives in the bustling city of Frankfurt, Germany. We collaborate remotely, sharing and writing ideas via whatsapp and then recording the songs in our respective home studios.
We’re also part of new upstart German label HopePunk Records (https://hopepunkrecords.com) and as part of this creative collective we work with musicians across the globe, both for Wham Bam! but also other projects.
How did you guys start out?
We’ve been making music together since 1996, when they started their first band SUNFISH, back in the hey-days of the South African rock music scene. Nico moved to Taiwan where he spent a number of years performing and touring Asia as vocalist for a huge local pop/rock group. Gideon continued his music career in South Africa as songwriter and producer for a number of bands over the years, culminating in a move to his new base in Germany in 2018.
Over the years we’ve continued our creative connection – sharing ideas, writing and performing together (Nico wrote and performed on It’s on Fire – from WonderWolf’s debut album The Long Winter (one of Gideon’s other projects).
Wham Bam! formed in 2019 when Nico shared a new song idea via Whatsapp – Gideon loved the hook and quickly recorded a demo idea – a couple of rounds of remote collaboration later and their debut single On Your Own was born. Lyrics were written by fellow creative partner Ramon Rabie (an author and wordsmith extraordinaire living in Thailand) – this breathed new life and meaning into the track.
Describe your band’s sound
Unfiltered rock and groove with catchy dual vocal harmonies. if you grew up in the grunge era and also dig old – school rock & roll, this is your jam
What influences your craft?
Our music says – don’t take life and yourself too seriously, have some fun. Our lyrics go deeper but it also supports this overall theme of optimism and hope. In terms of our process – songwriting is split between Nico and Gideon, both being guitarists and vocalists, our years of writing together has created a natural rhythm of sharing and shaping. Our dual vocal approach is also our special sauce so we create songs that work with this sauce.
What makes your project different?
The fact that we live on different continents, one on a farm, one in a city. Also, our tunes are at its core unpretentious, in your face catchy grooves that get right to the point, i.e. no unnecessary fillers and indulgences – serving the song and the listener always comes first.
When introducing people to your music, what song should I show them first? What is your quintessential track?
Well we’ve only released one song to date – On your Own – and it’s a banger so this would be the logical choice. It’s got a fun lyric video as well, even Beavis & Butthead make a guest appearance – check it out!
What has been the biggest struggle in your career so far?
Our remote collaboration setup is something that works well and allows us to challenge ourselves and find new ways of creating and breaking down typical creative and mental boundaries, but of course it’s also a challenge some days – just being in a jam room together, having beer and making noise like the good old days would be fun. Zoom is not quite the same.
What has been the biggest highlight in your career so far?
Hearing that first demo recording of our debut single On Your Own – it felt like “It’s alive, and it’s a beast!”
How bright is the future of your band – what are the plans?
It’s like a solar eclipse, you better wear your shades or you’ll get burnt. We’ve got some exciting new songs in the pipeline, leading up to a debut EP later this year. We’re also planning some shows in Europe and Asia once this Covid craziness calms down.
When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
“Those guys spent their time doing what they love, and their music made me feel funny in all the right places.”