Q&A with John Battersby



This is John Battersby, the frontman of Red Tape Riot, one of Cape Town’s loudest and most-fun-to-watch bands!

If you don’t believe me, have a look at their latest music video:

My favourite thing about Cape Town bands is that they are usually very down to earth people who just so happen to be insanely talented. So, I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse of what John is like:


1. Was ‘Red Tape Riot’ your first choice for a band name? What were some of the other options?
No, we had been talking about band names for months before we decided on Red Tape Riot. Band name discussions have the potential to go on for years!!…decades! There were loads of options at the time but we had to decide on one.


2. What is the most awkward experience you’ve had on stage?
About 5 or 6 years ago we had a gig at the old Armchair Theatre in Obs. The night before the show something bit me right in the middle of my forehead, and I ended up having to play with a massive swollen red bump on my head…but hey, at least I got to wear make-up.


3. If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
I’d be either a chef or a designer. I have a passion for both. But I might also just be travelling the world.


4. In one sentence, tell us why people should make a plan to watch you play live?
Because our main goal when we started this band was just to get people dancing, if you’re partying with us, we’re happy, mission accomplished.


5. Which South African venue/event would you love to play at?
We are really keen to play the main stages of the festivals…Rocking the Daisies is a personal goal, but Synergy and Oppi also stand out. As for live clubs, Assembly is leading the way in Cape Town as far as sound and professionalism is concerned.


6. Do you have a pre-gig routine you’d like to share with us?
If there is a band before us then I usually venture into the crowd and sing along really loud. It’s a good vocal warm-up and it gets me in the vibe. If not that, then 3 or 4 drinks and a hug will do.


7. If you could collaborate with any SA act, who would it be?
I think working with a band like Die Heuwels Fantasties would be really cool. They have a great way of using different sounds tastefully. We’d also love to collaborate with some of SA’s electronic acts.

8. Have you had any crazy fans yet?
We’re all crazy.


9. What is the most memorable show you’ve played at?
For me it’s always the smaller venues and most unexpected nights that stand out. We had a gig in Hout Bay that got wild. Our first show at Nameless Pub in Somerset West also got out of hand…we jammed hard with that crowd!

10. Any last words for aspiring local musicians?

Yeah, if this is what you really want then don’t ever stop, just keep hammering away. Don’t fear anything. And don’t ever forget to appreciate the great moments with your band.



I’ll be at their show at Assembly and I suggest you join me if you’re in the mood to party!

Find Red Tape Riot on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RedTapeRiotBand

And Twitter: @RedTapeRiot


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Filed under Q&A, Reviews

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