Garnet Müller on jazz and rock ‘n roll

Ricardo Teixeira

During the week Garnet Müller is a first-year music student at the University of Pretoria. On weekends, however, he takes the stage with a multitude of local bands, including Fuzigish and Strait-Jackal. Trombone in hand, Müller can be seen rocking out on stage doing what he loves most, making music.

Initially, as a child, Müller was attracted to music when listening to songs with his father. At first however, the trombone was not what attracted him. Müller was initially drawn to the guitar after falling in love with its sound, “The electric guitar seemed pretty cool, the ability to play that fast was very appealing to me.”

With Müller being a musician and full-time student, he handles quite a challenging endeavor. Although he is studying music, the non-music aspects of studies “aren’t related to the practical aspects, like history assignments, they kind of get in the way of life and band practice, but early mornings and late nights are how I do it.”

Despite being a member of the local rock scene, many would be surprised to discover Müller is studying classical jazz. Drawn to and enjoying both genres, Müller attended Pretoria Boy’s High where he played strictly classical music throughout high school. When it came to university, “I saw the option for jazz at UP, and I was drawn to that because it’s more applicable in contemporary music like rock or metal.” Müller has learnt a lot from both genres, and finds what he has learnt in one, he can apply to the other.

For other students pursuing music while at university Müller advised, “don’t commit to too much at once, but that’s bad advice. It’s what I did, but find a balance between the two.” Müller has experienced the difficulty of having to choose between two commitments, saying “I was in a tricky situation recently, having an event with the UP wooden band on the same day as Mieliepop.”

For the remainder of the year, Müller has a full gig list set, including a performance at the 24th OppiKoppi with Strait-Jackal. “OppiKoppi is always a blast, I played last year with Fuzigish, that was quite an experience, I’m looking forward to going again. I am really excited to see what this year will be like.” Müller expressed the difference between playing on big stages at events and smaller stages. “It’s not as interactive, it’s as if stage fright goes away because you can’t really see the people, there are so many.” Müller finds playing on a smaller stage more appealing, as it allows him to interact with the crowd. “You can’t jump off the main stage at OppiKoppi to play in the crowd, you’ll break a leg.”

When the time comes to relax, with university work completed and band practice over, Müller is still all about the music. In his down time, he can be found practicing music, “I am so busy playing music I don’t get time to practice either of my instruments as much as what I’d like to.” However, when he truly wants to switch off, “listening to music is still a part of that whole idea,” and Müller, like the rest of us, spends time “watching YouTube videos, usually about music”.

 

Photo: Nkululeko Ncgobo

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