Taxi Violence was born in Cape Town in the spring of 2004 when best friends Rian Zietsman, Loedi van Renen and Louis Nel approached George van der Spuy with an invitation to a jam session. Rian, Loedi and Louis had played in a band called 508 in high school, while George was the drummer for their rival band, Drain (there was a famous spitting incident to which both parties claim innocence).
Taxi Violence has travelled a long and independent road to proving themselves as one of the best live acts in South Africa. Since their inception, they have gone on to rock every significant venue and major festival in South Africa, as well as showcasing their unique brand of rock and quality live shows abroad. Their sound can be described as blues-infused retro rock with a pinch of sleaze and bourbon for good measure.
Taxi Violence spent the rest of 2004 perfecting a set to unleash upon a virgin Cape Town audience. After the first show (March 2005) at a packed Mercury, the band and its newborn fans could sense that this was going to be a powerful force to reckon with.
Taxi Violence then entered the nationwide RBF Studios Emerging Sounds Competition, working its way through every Western Cape qualifying round until reaching the national final at Caesar’s Palace in Johannesburg. The band won first prize (a record deal with a major label), but after weeks of negotiations, Taxi Violence decided to turn down the record deal and hand over the winners’ title to the second-placed band.
Taxi Violence entered the studio in May 2006 to record their debut album, Untie Yourself… again, self-produced. The album was released in November 2006 after successfully performing at their first Oppikoppi Festival. The single, Untie Yourself, was made available on 24.com and still holds the record for most downloaded track in one week.
“Taxi Violence is that rare beast, an old-fashioned band. If they were fine artists, they’d be painting the oil masters of tomorrow rather than staging the conceptual performances of yesterday’s news. The Turn puts down a marker in the dusty landscape of South African rock, a parched environment that is made that little bit greener by the passion and truth that is Taxi Violence.” – Chris Roper (Mail & Guardian).
- Won a national battle of the bands in 2005 (RBF Studios Emerging Sounds Competition)
- The Turn’s music video, directed by Ryan Kruger, won two awards at the Wirral International Film Festival 2010 in England. Ryan won ‘Best Director of Music Video’ and Philip Hotz won the Vesbin Award for ‘Best Actor’.
- Heads or Tails won ‘Best Video Award’ at Wirral International Film Festival 2011. Again, directed by Ryan Kruger.
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