Earlier this week I managed to sit down with my good friend, and bass guitarist of The First Descent, Bruce McDougall (or Roof, as he is known to the other band members) to interview him on recent happenings with himself as well as with the band.

I began with the basic questions, asking him about the history of the band and how exactly it came to be. Being an early fan of the band myself from back in the day even before it was called The First Descent (it originally started out as BlueSkyFriday), I was very interested to find out why things had changed. “Back then I wasn’t even in the band, to be honest”, he confessed, “but being in the same grade at school, some of my friends formed the band in 2008 and over the years, as the band’s influences changed, so did its members and eventually I joined and the band became what it is today!”

According to Bruce, the band is to be considered under the genre of “power rock”. With influences such as Creed and 30 seconds to Mars, it is hard not to agree with him. When asked about the songwriting and recording process and whether or not he preferred to perform live he replied: “[Songwriting] is fun to do, and recording is cool too because you get a final product that is usable. Performing live is also fun just because of the atmosphere”.

He told me that the band had recently been on tour, in December last year, where they traveled across boarders to get to the Falls Fest, a local music festival held annually at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Performing with acts such as Locnville and CrashCarBurn was obviously an exciting opportunity for any up-and coming band and “gives you a confidence and credibility boost.”

With the internet being such an influential aspect of our everyday lives, I asked Bruce how he thought the internet had benefited the band. “We can organise shows with other bands via email and Facebook, promote and attract listeners and share our music all on the internet”. We then got on to the topic of his views on selling music online as I was curious to find out, seeing as the songs on both the band’s EPs are available for download, whether or not he feels that digital music will ever replace the sales of CDs in the future. By his reaction it was obvious that this was a question which he had never thought of before, as he hesitantly answered, “Sheesh, I suppose we haven’t looked into that, but if the online security is good and people couldn’t steal our music [then] it’s a great way to reach people with your music, which is pretty much the dream of every musician.” He went on to say that he does not think CDs will ever be replaced fully as “there is a certain novelty attached to having a physical copy of an artists work.”

It soon enough came to my attention that Bruce’s life was nothing less than, for lack of a better word, hectic. Being a student myself I understand the demands we need to meet on a daily basis and so I began to wonder how on Earth he manages to balance studying with all these exciting events happening with the band, along with trying to sustain some kind of personal life. When I plucked up the courage to ask him this he gave me a simple, yet obvious answer that “well, my friends are at varsity and so is Sam (his girlfriend) so my personal life sorts itself out, I guess. Balancing work and play? Well I guess whenever I’m not working I just love playing music, so it’s not really a problem.”

It was at that point when I realised that what these guys do means more to them than just getting attention. It’s about the music and how it makes them feel when they play it. It is because of this that I respect each and every one of them just that much more and I look forward to seeing what they have up their talented sleeves for the future.

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