The South African hip-hop troupe Die Antwoord (The Answer) is about to release its first album, but the group members can already tell you what’s going to happen next. And after that. And even beyond that.
“There’s a five-album plan,” explains group founder Ninja (real name: Watkin Tudor Jones). “Die Antwoord is super pop. It’s a pop music. There’s a certainly lifespan to it. We want to blow as hard as we can…and then disappear. We will always make music, but Die Antwoord is… finite.”
The Die Antwoord “plan” kicked off in 2009 with the free download release of the group’s first album, “$O$,” which comes out as an official release Oct. 12. “We remixed and remastered all those [original] songs and added new songs,” Ninja says. “We didn’t re-record; we just remastered, remixed, souped it up for release through [Cherrytree/]Interscope. It’s like a souped-up beast about to hit the streets.” Ninja says the eight-minute-plus “$O$” track “Beat Boy” and its accompanying 10-minute video have all the answers to what Die Antwoord are about.
Ninja says “$O$” will be followed next year by a second group album, “Tension,” which Die Antwoord has “finished writing already” and were about to release independently before singing the Interscope deal. Vocalist Yo-Landi Vi$$er’s solo album, “The Voice,” will come next, followed by Ninja’s “Ninja Dominator.” “Then,” Ninja says, “the fifth one’s a secret.” And don’t expect the group to deviate from the plan, says Yo-Landi. “We have to stick to it now because it’s pretty much inked into my skin,” she says. “It’s tattooed!”
Ninja adds that, “It’s like how Michael Jordan retired as a God and then he came back as a man, which is kind of disappointing to the people of Earth. We don’t want to go out like that.”
Before “Tension,” however, Die Antwoord is planning a feature film titled “The Answer,” which Ninja says is “the story of how the group came together,” stopping just before it signed with Interscope. A “little pilot” preview of the film should be out in January, with full production to follow.
“We’ve got this very strong idea of what we want to do,” Ninja explains. “It’s just not a matter of getting the money; we want the money from nice people who understand us and are not gonna fuck with us. To be honest we were going to do it earlier, but we wanted to take our time to do it correctly. We’re looking at March-April to start doing some shooting.”
By then, of course ,Die Antwoord will have made a live impact on U.S. soil, with a tour starting Oct. 14 in Portland. “Live shows are pretty much like the center of the storm… where the power comes from, the most raw experience,” Ninja says. “That’s the juice. That’s where we hit the hardest. But sometimes it’s better to watch a movie than explain a movie; the live show is similar to that, so just come see us.”