News / South Africa
After almost two decades in the industry, the young Afrikaans rocker from Bellville with the dirty mouth and greasy hair known as the lead singer of the band Fokofpolisiekar, Francois Van Coke, believes he is not only all grown up but also much wiser.
“I feel all grown up. It’s pretty crazy for us because Fokofpolisiekar the band is already 18 years old,” Van Coke said.
At a recent show, a “60s-something tannie” approached Van Coke to tell him that she was a huge fan and related to the lyrics of the songs.
“I think with Fokofpolisiekar we said things the other people wanted to say,” he said.
Despite the band being 18 years old, they had 19-year-old girls singing along to every lyric of the old songs.
“So many people relate to Fokof; it’s crazy but it’s the Fokof thing,” he said.
Van Coke said he didn’t recognise himself when he looked at footage when the band started nearly two decades ago.
“When I see myself there, it feels like a completely different person, but when I think back it feels like I still think thesame things.”
“When I see myself and hear how I spoke, it feels like someone else. I changed as a human being. Everything is different,” Van Coke said.
He remembers living in a little yellow room with the band.
“I had a mattress in the corner and a stack of porn mags and that’s what I owned,” he said.
Now his life is completely different; he has a house, a wife and two children.
“It’s still fun to play shows, but now I like to go home.” Francois Van Coke
“It’s still fun to play shows, but now I like to go home.”
“Back then there was nothing to go back to, so it was the ultimate to be on the road,” he said.
Van Coke said his daughter has seen him on TV and stage but was not sure what she thought about it.
“She also loves music so we relate quite well,” he said.
Van Coke was smitten with his one-year-old baby boy who was born during the lockdown.
“He is such chilled baby-dude,” Van Coke said.
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Because he could not perform in lockdown, he was able to spend more time at home helping his wife raise his boy and catch up with his daughter.
“With my little girl I missed a lot because I was very much on the road the whole time,” he said.
When Van Coke was not busy with a solo album for release next year, he was jogging and listening to audiobooks such as the story of David Grohl from the Foo Fighters.
“I can jog 30km. I wanted to do the Cape Town marathon this month but had to postpone it to perform at shows,” Van Coke said.
He laughs when he thinks back at all the ‘ooms’ who wanted to bliksem him because of the song lyrics.
“We are all Christians here, we are going to fk you up,” they told Van Coke.
He said if he could go back to his 23-year-old self and see who he became, he would be proud.
Another thing the rocker was proud of, was his vaccine.
“I’m double vaxxed. When the government announced the vaccine, I was ready for my jab. It’s a lifeline for us in the music industry.”
He said he was vaccinated because he wanted to perform at events and wanted to have social gatherings.
“So many people in the music industry haven’t had work for a year and a half due to Covid,” he explained.
Van Coke said before the lockdown the band had big shows booked and travelled the country.
“And just like that, it was just gone. It’s an odd feeling because we were performing since the age of 15 and suddenly it was just gone. I will never take it for granted again,” he said.
The wiser Van Coke also said he thought it was important to vote in the elections that was on Monday.
“Obviously our country is not in a good state if we look at this past year but everything we have is here and I want tohave hope for the future and hope for my children,” Van Coke said.