On Sunday Zebra & Giraffe played their LAST SHOW EVER! Luckily we got lead singer Greg Carlin to answer a couple of questions before the dawn of this sad day. Greg told us how maths ruined his childhood dream and also how picking cobnuts, drawing horse portraits and studying Fine Arts helped him lead one of the coolest acts in SA (it seems like you really shouldn’t be stressing about having it figured out after high school).
As a kid, what did you want to be when you were all grown up and why?
When I was growing up I wanted to be a meteorologist. I was obsessed with tornados and the series Storm Chasers on Discovery Channel. I also loved the movie Twister and the idea of being in the eye of the storm!
What are your thoughts about that now?
Weird weather and things like tornados still interest me to this day, but I don’t think it would have been the right profession for me. I sucked at Maths and Science – 2 things you really need to be good at to study meteorology!
Did you have a specific career path in mind at the end of high school?
I wasn’t certain what I was going to do after high school, so I took a gap year. I went over to the UK and worked a whole bunch of random jobs, ranging from waitering at a 4 star hotel to picking cobnuts and pears! After 6 months I gave up and came back home and decided I needed to study!
I first worked as a waiter at a restaurant in Midrand. I also drew portraits of horses to make extra cash. It was tough work, but we earned a lot of money. Money I used to buy my first guitar actually!
Did you study at any tertiary institutions?
I enrolled at TUKS for the Fine Arts degree. TUKS was the closest varsity to where I stayed and I heard they had a great Art & Design department. I loved drawing and art class, throughout high school, and had excelled in the theory and the practical – so it seemed like a good thing to study.
Are you happy with the choices you made following high school?
I am definitely happy with my choices after high school. The UK taught me a lot about being independent and studying a degree taught me numerous skills and lessons I still use today. My 4 years at TUKS were definitely some of the best years of my life!
Any advice you would give to this year’s grade 11’s and matrics on their after-high-school plans?
If you’re not sure what to do and there’s the option to take a gap year and figure it out – do it! If you’re thinking about studying at a college or varsity, but you’re not sure what to study, then maybe start off with a general degree or diploma like a BA or BCOM. You can always specialise later.
Even though I’m not a painter or sculptor today, studying art taught me so much about the creative process, about thinking critically and about managing time and my workload. Do I wish I’d studied music? No, not really. Art was fun and the whole experience of varsity a valuable one, regardless of what I studied.
What’s next for this muso? Well, we’re not sure. At the last Zebra & Giraffe show Greg mentioned that the band wasn’t breaking up at all, they we’re just stopping…forever. It almost seemed like the band had other interests they wanted to pursue now. Greg, we hope you go back to your childhood interests.
“It’ll be a chilly intro to Autumn for capetonians, with strong winds, rain and occasional weird weather moving in from the South,” says weatherman Greg in that raspy voice we know so well. Weather rocks.