The Sound Cafe
A Conversation With Peter Toussaint Of South African Alt-Indie Pop-Rock Band Fourth Son South
Photo Credit: Rohan Mostert.
South African Alternative Indie Pop Rockers Fourth Son South are back with a catchy new single ‘The Cold’. The track is the first with new member Sarah Gardiner and offers hope to those in need of some light.
Peter Toussaint shares that “I wrote The Cold on the 21st of June, literally the darkest day in the Southern Hemisphere, yearning for the return of the light and warmer days. This also applies to a relationship that is at its lowest point. As always, there is hope, because the light will come again!”
Fourth Son South is an Alternative Indie Pop Rock Band from South Africa formed by Dutch-born guitar maestro Peter Toussaint. After his debut solo release ‘One Day’ (2018), Peter enlisted bass player Franco Jamneck and drummer Carel Viljoen and toured as a trio under the name ‘Peter T Band’. At the end of 2019, the band recorded their debut EP ‘Another Mile’ under the name ‘Fourth Son South’ that was released in April 2020 … just as the world turned to lockdown with Covid-19. During lockdown, Peter wrote and recorded songs that formed the basis of their first full length album ‘The Sounds Around Your Head’. Guitarist Dale McHardy was subsequently recruited to perfect the live sound and the quartet proceeded to release another single ‘Hold On’ in July 2021.
In February 2022 Franco Jamneck left the band, and Peter started wanting a stronger focus on multi-harmonies. Bernhard Viljoen, a bass player with a phenomenal ability for vocal harmonies was recruited, and the band released their EP ‘Machine’. Based on the success of the single and music video for ‘Tomorrow’s Better’ featuring Melissa Osborne on vocals, Peter recruited female singer Meel Vignetting, who played with the band for a short time, before Sarah Jade Gardiner joined full time. Sarah is a young, experienced singer and music teacher from Johannesburg who won the Performing Arts Competition South Africa (PACISA). With her amazing vocal capabilities and warm personality, she completes the lineup of Fourth Son South.
To date Fourth Son South enjoyed success with their singles ‘Secret Place’ (Another Mile), ‘They Run, We Hide’, ‘Positive’ & ‘Reflections’ (The Sounds Around Your Head), Hold On’ & ‘Tomorrow’s Better’ (Machine) which all received considerable global airplay, especially in the US and UK. The band was interviewed on multiple radio stations (including Jacaranda & MIX FM) in South Africa and around the world. To date Fourth Son South played notable show and festivals like Woodcrock, STRAB, Bos Boogie and represented South Africa at the international La Ley del Rock Online Festival held in Argentina and Italy.
The band is presently preparing a new EP with this new evolution of Fourth Son South, where the extra vocals and harmonies give a new dimension to the already strong songs.
The new single 'The Cold' is available on all platforms now!
Q. You are a busy man Peter, teaching music and competently covering playing in Fourth Son South, but also Fake Leather Blues Band, Hoot & Anny and Pedro Barbosa Band. Any other projects you are involved in we are not aware of yet, or anything on the horizon we can expect in addition to this exciting, packed schedule?
A. It should be enough, and it does keep me busy. But we are busy with a new project that for now is called Fourth Son South Lite (or FSSL). It is a project where Bernhard (bass and vocals), Sarah (vocals) and me (guitar and vocals) play covers. Well, also quite a few Fourth Son South covers. It’s probably a bit lighter and poppy than Fourth Son South but it’s a lot of fun.
Q. Your new single ‘The Cold’ is set for release on the 7th of October. What are you all planning for this release roadmap (will there be more singles or any videos, and are you planning on taking this all on the road)?
A. We have quite a few new songs that are in various stages of production, we are going to try find time to shoot a video for The Cold (besides the lyric video that we have ready). At the moment we are trying to play as much as possible in the “few-hours-drive-radius” around Pretoria but we’re also busy planning a more extensive tour at the end of the year.
Q. At what age did the music bug bite hard, and when did you discover you have such a natural talent, and amazing voice?
A. I sometimes think the music bug bit me at birth for as long as I remember I have wanted to be a musician. I started playing guitar when I was 8 and have always enjoyed that. But apart from singing in a few projects over the years I only discovered my voice a few years back. I always kne I could hold a tune but I never liked the sound of my voice.
Q. You released several Singles, EP's and an Album the past 2 years plus. Do you believe releasing several quick-consecutive singles and/or EP's, rather than full albums that take longer is the better way to go about it in contemporary times?
A. I think so, most people consume music through streaming services which is mostly focused on individual songs. I have always loved listening to full albums that also have songs on them that are not necessarily singles because they are too long, too slow or too quirky but nowadays there is not much space for them. But I’m sure there will be a time again when we have so many songs lying around that we’ll release a full album.
Q. Can you share with us some keen insight around your gear, especially for those keen to learn more about the magic behind the Fourth Son South and Peter Toussaint sound?
A. During the COVID lockdown in 2020 I spent a lot of time writing and recording songs to maintain my sanity, resulting in the album The Sounds Around Your Head. It was then that I discovered how far modeling of guitar sounds has come. I now use a Line6 Helix pedal that gives me all guitar sounds I need, fed straight into the mixing desk with a guitar amp on stage for the sound on stage. The guitar I mostly use is the guitar built for me by master luthier Sjak Zwier from the Netherlands.
Q. What is on heavy repeat on your own playlist now? Any rising stars we should keep an eye out?
A. I mostly listen to music when we’re on the road and there I have a very mixed playlist with pop, rock, metal, disco and soul classics.
Q. What would you rate the most important thing to have on your team for success in the Music Industry today?
A. Within the team I think you need people with different personalities. Apart from producing great music and being able to perform that live you need someone with the outgoing personality to scout for gig and promote. Then someone with a completely different view on life to give fresh ideas. And you need to be noticed by the right people.
Q. Which is your preference: CD, Tape, Vinyl or Digital (and why)?
A. I prefer CDs, I can listen to complete albums, they don’t break easily and have booklets with lyrics and all kinds of interesting information.
Q. Do you have any interesting pre-show rituals?
A. We do often take a shot together before the show but other than that (and making sure you don’t get on stage with a full bladder) we just chat and make sure our gear is ready.
Q. Any parting mentions or shoutouts?
A. Thank you Devo of Devographic Music, and Rohan Mostert to all the things you do behind the screens! Thank you The Sound Café and Blues and Roots Radio, you are the best!