Archive for the ‘Sonja’s Entries’ Category

10th Log

On 4 March 2015 TERMINATRYX supported iconic Industrial legend Al Jourgensen’s MINISTRY on their first ever South African tour (hosted by Witchdoctor Productions, at Carfax, Johannesburg).

In 2015 it had been 6 years since Cape Town-based TERMINATRYX toured up north, so the band took the opportunity to get South African alternative legend Paul Riekert (of Battery 9) on stage with them. The TERMINATRYX debut album got a full remixed version in the shape of “Remyx v1.0” (2011), and Paul chose the band’s first Afrikaans song “Siek+Sat” (translated: “Sick+Tired”). So a live version of this track was the perfect choice with which to include him on this auspicious evening for guest backing vocals.

Battery 9 are South African Industrial pioneers and hadn’t played live for years (since band member Huyser Burger’s sad, untimely death) – So it wasn’t just a thrill to have Paul on stage with TERMINATRYX, but also get him back in front of people who hadn’t seen him there in a while.

This live clip of the “Siek+Sat” remix was edited from a fan shot video and includes a cool range of photographs.

Thanks to everyone coming out to support, many flying in from all over South Africa for this one night only event.
(The SlashDogs were also on the bill)

A quote from Battery 9’s Paul Riekert on the experience of that night (4 March 2015):
“To do a guest spot, playing a remix I did, with a great band supporting Ministry, seemed like a really far-fetched idea 25 years ago… What a rush that was! Mind still blown. My eternal gratitude to Terminatryx.”

Produced & Edited by: Paul Blom (for Flamedrop Productions)
Shot by: Sophia Engelbrecht
Photography by:
Christelle Duvenage Photography
Henry Engelbrecht
Chris Acheson Photography
AGS Photo
Leigh Taylor Photography
Royal Lens Photography
Muhammed Valiallah
Shaughan Pieterse

Sonja Ruppersberg – lead vocals
Paul Blom – bass, programming, guitars, backing vocals
Patrick Davidson – guitars
Ronnie Belcher – drums, programming

Official site:


9th Log

2015 celebrates the 13th anniversary of TERMINATRYX.
Below is an article originally posted at Metal 4 Africa on this milestone and the release of the Terminatryx collection “Lucky 13: Anthology I” (an exclusive digital release via Fangoria Musick, feat. songs from across the band’s catalog) – get the anthology here:
The piece includes quotes from all band members reflecting on the band’s 13 year journey.

(Access the original news article HERE)


TERMINATRYX – “Lucky 13: Anthology I” (cover image by Dr-Benway)

Terminatryx “Lucky 13: Anthology I” Launches Worldwide

Cape Town’s industrial dark rock/metal quartet of Terminatryx celebrates the worldwide release today of their Lucky 13: Anthology I on this suitably spooky Friday the 13th, November 2015. The 13 track digital collection celebrates the band’s 13th anniversary and includes tracks from across all albums including the self-titled Terminatryx debut of 2008, Remyx v1.0 from 2011, and Shadow from 2014. This first Terminatryx collection is being released by Fangoria Musick – the digital audio imprint of the world’s foremost name in Horror since 1979 (visit the Fangoria announcement here & album link here).

The band founders had this to say:

“In the mid-‘90s I spent several years in Europe with my band V.O.D (Voice Of Destruction), playing drums – here we recorded for our German label and did a full tour with Katatonia and In The Woods supporting our Bloedrivier album. We were quite saturated and I was relieved to return home. During my first year back I spent time having fun with a solo project F8, using a bass guitar I bought in the UK.
I had no serious plans to start another band. But after meeting Sonja at Oppikoppi Trek 2000, within a year or two she indicated she wanted to do something band-wise; something SA music never really had; an electronic / hardcore blend with female vocals. I constructed some songs and approached it all as just some fun with my new girlfriend. Never did I expect us to reach thirteen years, outlive dozens of bands, release 3 albums, open for Ministry or win international music video awards! Time surely flies when you’re having fun!” ~ Paul Blom (writer/instrumentalist/backing vocals, Terminatryx)

“In thirteen years of being a member of Terminatryx there are a few things I know for certain. Nothing happens without sacrifice, sometimes even hard work is not enough and there will always be those that love you and those that hate you. If you manage to keep your head, take on good sincere criticism and ignore the rest, the experience can be amazing. The last thirteen years have been a period of learning and developing. More than anything else it has been a period of playing and creating, having fun and most of all making friends and building relationships. Out of Terminatryx came our Makabra Ensemble project and my A Murder acoustic project. Life, for me, would have been so dull without Terminatryx and here is hoping for many more years with great songs and killer music videos.” ~ Sonja Ruppersberg-Blom (writer/vocals, Terminatryx)

Long-standing band members also had some words to share, marking the momentous milestone:

“There are many things that I can say about the past thirtten years with Terminatryx. Being part of such an amazing band has challenged me in numerous ways, always with a positive outcome. For instance, drumming for Terminatryx is a ‘one of a kind’ job, with many technical aspects to consider such as in-ear monitoring when we perform live. This can be very demanding, as I have to keep constant focus – if I skip a beat, or go out of sync with the programmed backing elements, everything will fall apart. Luckily I have undertaken this challenge with a very disciplined approach, which has pushed me to become a much better drummer and musician. Feel free to buy me a tequila after a performance, not before! All the work that we have put in thus far has certainly paid off and we have an amazing team of people that we work with; from photographers, film-makers, sound engineers, designers, etc. I believe that we owe a majority of our success to these individuals that have given us their time and knowledge. I am also very fortunate to have such amazing band-members; Paul and Sonja certainly know how to spoil Patrick and I, and we are lucky to have them at the helm. I am very proud to form part of the Terminatryx machine and look forward to the next thirteen years!” ~ Ronnie Belcher (drums, Terminatryx)

“When I was approached to join Terminatryx as a performing guitarist in 2007, all I was thinking was that it would be an excellent opportunity to grow musically, and become better educated in the industry for a couple of years before the thing fell apart as most bands do. It has been both of those and so much more, minus the falling apart, amazingly. I had no long term plans or ambitions with the band, yet I find myself still here… despite even announcing my resignation in 2012. Funny how that worked out! These people are just too magnetic. Paul and Sonja’s devotion to each other spills over into their band as well, and obviously touches those who are attached to it. In that regard, my education continues still, but it’s become about more than just the industry; but about something far more important – people.” ~ Patrick Davidson (guitar, Terminatryx)

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Posted: July 23, 2015 in Sonja's Entries, Terminatryx
Tags: , , ,

Sonja looks at the various stages she’s tread in her life

4th Log
STAGES – Sonja Ruppersberg


After watching Birdman, an interesting (Oscar winning) flick that literally provides one with a point of view of the stage and backstage in a Broad Way theatre setting, it made me think of all the stages I have been on since my childhood child. They each have their own little allure.   They are magical spaces – almost sacred.

My fist memory of a stage is one that everyone can relate to, the school concert.  This annual event illustrated how the stage in the school hall can transcend from the dreary Monday assembly stage, to a magical place of performance and glamour.  I remember around 1987, playing the part of Bon Jovi’s keyboard player in grade 7 (Std 5), along with some of my other friends in a lip sync rendition of Living On A Prayer.

I was quite a shy child, so my parents enrolled me into a modern dancing studio when I was seven years old, to try to get me out of my shell.  The Playhouse theatre in Somerset West was the epicenter for most aspiring dancers in the Helderberg basin – a beautiful little theatre with all the bells and whistles.  I danced there for the first time when I was seven.  The stage was incredible and for me, at that age, it felt like it was the size of a football field.  It had an amazing labyrinth of little hallways and ladders backstage and always smelled of La Pebra hair gel and hairspray.  The bathroom had a poster on the door of a chimpanzee on a commode with rolls of toilet paper and the caption at the bottom of the poster read, “The job is not finished until the paperwork is done”.  I have so many fond memories and just seeing the building always gives me little butterfly’s in my stomach.


My next serious stage was The Sea Point Civic Centre where the annual International Dance Teachers Association Eisteddfod was held.  It was an unfriendly, harsh stage, scary, intimidating and judgmental.  Standing in the wings of that stage felt like torture, I hated every second and it never gave me any joy.

One of my favourite stages is in fact a prominent one that I can’t remember whether it was a dance recital at Artscape (formerly Nico Malan) or the Baxter Theatre(!). I once had the privilege of dancing on that stage, it was magical and really felt like a stage for “grownups”.

I love the Stellenbosch Town Hall where we had the annual school eisteddfod.  I sang in the school choir until high school.  The building is old and smells of many decades of wood and brass polish.  It is also haunted and the backstage area was an incredible place, dark and old but great in a creepy sort of way.

Since performing in a band, my connection and perception of stages has changed somewhat.  They have become less magical and more practical.  Different places have different stages, some are small and rickety with no backstage area, and some are gorgeous and comfortable with beautiful backstage dressing rooms. Some are boards stacked on beer crates… Some professional stages are rigged by the sound and lighting company and can be fantastic, like Carfax in Newtown, Johannesburg, where we opened for Ministry – but the place ‘aint got no heart…


I am also remembering Witchfest at the Bassline (also in Newtown) that felt so massive, I had the feeling I was going to be swallowed.  And then you get places like my favourites, like the Klein Libertas with its luxurious dressing rooms and The Mercury in Cape Town, not only for its stage and its little backstage area but more so for all the love and support from staff and management.  I always felt welcome there, it was home turf.  They always made me comfortable and Lux was always there with water and beers backstage.  (Sadly the Klein Libertas burnt to the ground recently and in the same month the Mercury also shut its doors – the former is being rebuilt and the latter is said to have been bought over to open its doors again, under what name and whether they will continue its former vibe, we don’t know).


Another great stage is ROAR in Observatory.  They have the one great element lacking in all the other venues, a curtain.  The value of the curtain is massively underestimated in live music venues.  A curtain allows for anticipation from the audience, it makes the artist feel protected and is just plain professional in my opinion.

Other stages with Terminatryx have ranged from Back2Basix and its foot high restaurant / live venue stage in Joburg, and a meter high solid stage of Zeplin’s in Pretoria (R.I.P), to a large hall stage for the Goth / Industrial Gathering (Cape Town) and a huge outdoor stage at Ramfest (Wellington).


Unconventional stages include the Labia Theatre (Cape Town) beneath the main cinema’s movie screen where our Makabra Ensemble perform new soundtracks for classic silent films at our film festivals like the Horrorfest, Celludroid and Sound On Screen, compared to the large permanent ones we did two of these movie soundtracks at the big OppiKoppi music festival (in Northam) – all the way down to the intimate, crammed “front-room” poetry night get-together at A Touch Of Madness, where my dark-folk project A Murder made its debut this week.


For an artist, the stage is home, and in my life I have performed from a club in Berlin to beer crates in Gordons Bay.  While one can argue that a stage is merely a platform, and elevation, a soap box, it really is so much more than that.  A stage comes with people, passion, sometimes an irritated stage manager, a long suffering sound guy, expectations from the performers and the audience, lovers and haters.  It comes with hours and hours of rehearsals and loads of pressure.  All leading up to that moment of performance, be it dancing, singing, acting.  All of this takes place on that magical space we call the stage.


The third TERMINATRYX blog post is Patrick’s intriguing first entry (of several linked parts).

3rd Log
The Weight Of The Knife: Part I – Patrick Davidson

Patrick DavidsonI can imagine that people must wonder what could have been going through my mind at that moment.  The moment when a dubiously shiny instrument, grasped firmly in my hand, set about to split the dermis of a living man.  Granted, it was living man who had brought himself into that very circumstance, powerless to resist the bite of the blade.  I glanced up to watch him grimace as flesh yielded to a drawn and searing sting.  A tendril of precious scarlet began immediately to reach out wonderingly into this new dimension, exploring gravity across bare skin.  I recall, in that very moment of first blood, my first true recognition that there would be no turning back from this ghoulish task until it had been completed.
A part of that recognition, of course, was that I knew my tormentee to not only be a husband and a father to two boys, but if inquiring into the appropriate circles, also a celebrated intellectual.  There was a certain weight of responsibility bearing upon the cold steel of that knife.  Would my conscience fall into question for the actions in which I was engaged?  Or perhaps my sense of morality?  Considering the context, it did not really matter.  Only blood mattered now, and pain.  And the witnesses.  So I proceeded with a second cut; cold-faced and meticulous in my intent; beset by a dark sense of determination.  More blood.  Then a step back to take in the bigger picture.  In his opposing resolve, the victim of my attention disguised it well by setting his jaw stubbornly.  But I knew.  Oh!  How our family man suffered as a small cluster of aghast spectators looked on, equally powerless to intervene and transfixed in a silent, lips-parted sort of amazement.  I was vaguely aware of a brief sound underlying the prescribed ambiance of the room.  Perhaps it was one of the onlookers clearing an anxious throat; or choking back their sick.  It was not my concern to heed the others as a harsh realization of what they were observing began to sink in.  I could continue my work in full confidence that there would be no intervention.
I stepped forward again to induce more anguish with a third incision.  Slowly, of course, before making way for all to admire my handy-work.  Time was on our side for this endeavor, and pain was the order of the day.  Multiple cameras rolled to capture the carnage whilst the beam of a projector flickered overhead.  The room was large with bare walls that were painted white, completely unadorned save for a large disc shape mounted high against the short end where I worked.  The purpose-built disc consisted of a heavy welded metal frame, wrapped neatly and lovingly with a canvas covering, also painted white.  The place was dimly lit, but there was enough illumination for all to see.  This had been made certain of.  There was also music for dramatic effect.  After another lengthy pause, I stepped forward and divided human tissue yet again.  This time he grunted, loudly enough that it carried into the room.  I sliced again.  And still again.
Please don’t mistake me for a brute though!  Muscle beneath the bloodied surface tissue began to tremble under strain when I approached.  There were times that he needed to rest.  I allowed him his reprieve as he slouched, and panted, and groaned.  Without words, we had quickly developed a symbiosis of knowing when to cut and when to wait.

To be continued in Part II…

For our inaugural Terminatryx Blog post, vocalist Sonja takes a look at her love of reading and one of her favourite authors, Stephen King:

1st Log
– Sonja Ruppersberg

Sonja RuppersbergGrowing up I have always been an avid reader.  It was the one thing I was good at in school.  I always made the “A” reading circle in primary school and the public library was truly a magical space for me.  When I was a child our bed time stories were Greek Mythology.   My mom used to read to us from the “Skat Kis” (“Treasure Chest”) series of books.  In an era where we did not have satellite TV, cell phones and Internet, the library was the place to go for information and fantasy.

My primary school years were spent in the library.  I was, and to an extent am still a true nerd. Most activities took place in the school library.  I was both a member of the chess team and the debating team.  The chess club played in the school library and the debating team met there. If you were an outcast on the schoolyard at breaks, the library would be the place to hang.

Back then I read a lot, mostly Afrikaans (my first language).  My favourite books were the Saartjie Baumann books written by Bettie Naudé (who was actually GC Smith, also known as Topsy Smith) I completely lost myself in these books. And most of my free time and weekends were taken up by these books. I must have read the entire series twice or even three times.

When I was in Grade 8 (Std 6) my dad gave me Stephen King’s Misery to Stephen Kingread.  I was incredibly intimidated by this book, as you can imagine it was a bit of a departure from Saartjie Baumann(!).

It was the Easter School break and I remember it being a cold rainy day when I decided to pick up the book.  I read that book without taking a break, I hardly slept, I was too scared.  In 48 hours I was done and I felt like I was in another world for two days.  I was a changed person….

I instantly and immediately fell in love with the author and the library could almost not keep up with my demand for his novels (from Salem’s Lot, Cujo, The Shining, Carrie, Pet Semetery, It, Tommy Knockers, Needful Things, his Bachman books etc.).    By this stage I had developed a big crush on Stephen King, and I must admit that everything I knew of the world, love, lust, sex and human behaviour, at that time, I got from him through his novels.  I could relate to some of the characters.  A character that still stands out to me is Arnie Cunningham from Christine, with his bad acne and low self-esteem, boy could I relate….! My love for Stephen King, the genre and even the places his novels takes place in has stayed with me.

As the years have gone by Stephen and I grew apart somehow and through my tertiary education years I got hooked on other authors like Douglas Adams, Tom Wolfe, Clive Barker, Tom Robbins etc.  Lately most of my time is taken up with academic books.  I still get excited when my parcel from UNISA arrives and I cannot wait to get my books.   While I absolutely love studying, I have realized how much I have missed my favourite writer.

For me Stephen King will always be like a “first love” and I have decided to rekindle my love affair. Mick Garris, a writer-producer-director acquaintance of my husband Paul, is a friend of Stephen King (and adapted much of his work for film and TV), and this connection has prompted me to start up where I left off with Stephen’s novels.  I have loads to catch up on and am so looking forward to it.

Perhaps one day I can meet the man and proudly say “I have read everything you have written”.