Some things are just meant to be and as hard as you may fight it, ignore it or even be unaware of the path ahead, all the proceeding events eventually lead to an outcome which in the beginning was not part off the so called ‘master plan’. This is exactly the case with the Bushman Brothers.
It all started out in South Africa where the Kellner brothers, Brian and Steve were born. In the early years both brothers were keen on sport and music, so all their free time was spent either trying to coax some resemblance of a tune out of one of the many instruments in the house, out and about skateboarding or down the beach surfing.
Initially they both started off with the dreaded classical piano lessons, which their parents sent them to. Their father was a keen pianist and tried to steer them down a similar path. Like all kids they had very different ideas of their own. Brian wanted to play the drums and Steve the guitar. In fact, this all happened by chance, when their father brought home a guitar and a drum kit. They grabbed their new found instruments and started the long hard journey towards getting something musical out. After a while they found that a swap was coming on, as Brian was spending more time playing the guitar than the drums. So the swap was made.
During their teenage years their parents decided to relocate to England. In many ways this major change in culture and climate had a dramatic effect on them, both from a musical and sporting point of view.
Just prior to leaving South Africa Steve was already competing in many skateboarding events and had won the first SA championships. On arrival in the UK both brothers started competing on the British scene and won many titles in the years that followed, both in the UK and Europe.
Soon after leaving school, all those years of playing various instruments started to pay off. They both then went through the standard 'play' in as many different local bands as you can, always soaking up as much information from each new musical experience.
After a few years of slogging it out the doors started to open. One of the bands they were both playing with started to attract a lot of interest from a few record companies. But at the final stages the band got dropped and the vocalist of the band was signed as a solo artist. Their first lesson in this odd industry had just been learnt. Soon after this Steve started getting regular work in a local studio laying down the rhythm tracks for various bands and projects.
One of these artists turned out to be Robin Scott of 'M’, who had a hit with 'Pop Music. It was this gig, which opened the door and offered a way out of the local scene. At the same time Brian decided to go in a different direction and go to Hawaii, to challenge himself. In Hawaii Brian found that challenge on the ocean, surfing the most powerful waves on the North Shore of Oahu.
They have both been very keen surfers since their early days. Regular surf trips are and always will be a big part of their lives. These trips would be organised between jobs or more importantly during the long cold winter months of the northern hemisphere. As always plans have a mind of there own and no matter how much you try to steer them in one direction, a curve ball always seems to change your path.
For Brian this curve ball was a real winner. He went to Hossegor on the west coast of France and got quickly connected on the local music scene, playing in the clubs at night and surfing his brains out all day.
During this time he hooked up with some of the surfing legends like Maurice Cole, Wayne Lynch, Tom Curren, Pat Rawson and Kelly Slater, all who are keen musicians themselves. Many a day was spent exchanging ideas on music and surfing. Over the next eight years Brian travelled between Hawaii and France, following the seasons, spending six months a year at each location and riding some of the best waves on the planet.
Mean while Steve was busy establishing himself on the London session scene. After the initial break playing with 'M', Steve landed a job playing with 'Fischer Z' and recorded four albums with the band. Since those early music days Steve has toured the world with varied range of acts and artists including 'Jazz Africa', John Iisley (Dire Straits), John Entwhisle (The Who) and 'Towering inferno'. Steve also did extensive drumming master-classes all over Europe for his cymbal and drum sponsors 'Sabian' and 'Remo'. This flexible life style still left plenty of time between jobs to hook up with Brian and get back to the ocean.
While gigging in a club Brian was approached by the legendry sax player Ron Aspery from the band 'Back Door'. After many jams and socials later he hooked Brian up with a division of EMI records. Their long relationship culminated with Brian appearing as a guest at the final 'Back Door' concert in London. After about twelve years of recording and touring, Steve knew it was time for a change. So with their new contact at EMI Brian and Steve decided to work together for the first time in years composing for film, radio and TV.
Their first commission, strangely enough, was an album for extreme sports. After releasing that album, they have continued to have a busy writing schedule. The intervening years have seen them compose over 150 tunes for films and television in many styles. Credits include Malcolm in the Middle, Snakes on a Plane and The Mighty Boosh to name but a few.
During this period they discovered a new sport, which we all now know as 'Kite Surfing'. Since the early days of the sport when they had to build all their own equipment, things have changed a lot. Due to the lack of equipment they decided to design boards to suit the sport. Coming from a very strong surfing background and having shaped their own surfboards for years this was a natural progression. Once they had realised the full potential off the craft they had visions of the next 'James Bond' movie and utilising 'Kite Surfing' for a truly unique action sequence. This was finally realised in 'Die Another Day' when their ideas were used in one of the major chase sequences.
Steve is fully sponsored and competed on the world circuit for three years being placed in the top ten. Having stopped competing together with his brother they are now doing travel articles for the 'Kite Surfing' magazines. The last few trips have included Australia, Namibia, Hawaii and their birthplace of South Africa, as always looking for epic conditions and locations away from the crowds.
To get away from the many hours spent in the studio recording they both felt the urge to get some sort of live act together, so they could get out and have a blast playing music from the heart with out the constraints of commercialism.
Various line-ups were considered, but due to the restrictions of many of the smaller venues they decided to keep things simple and try the weird combo of guitar and drums. Having played together in many different situations an instant vibe and connection was made leaving them wondering why they had not been down this route before.
Over the last few years, between recording sessions, they have been gigging around the south coast of England. Due to so much positive response they are now taking the project onto the next level.The new album titled Tone Tonic will be the start of things to come for the upcoming year.