Metro Villa, an alt-rock four-piece from Cape Town, was formed in late 2019 thanks to a Facebook ad and a guitarist with a penchant for railroads. On the heels of the release of their debut single “Sort Yourself Out” on November 18, we caught up with the band to learn more about their musical backgrounds, inspirations, struggles, and even dream future collaborations.

Cameron Jenkins, the group’s lead singer and guitarist, says that the new single was recorded at Concept Records in March. He adds that it took them a while to get their planning in order. 

Metro Villa
[Cameron Jenkins (left) and Daniel Nuttall (right) at The Armchair Theatre. PHOTO: Pierre-Louis Bredenkamp]

“I think there is a pretty cool message in the song. It’s basically about, ‘Just don’t be a dick’. For some people, the ‘nice guy’ shtick fades away pretty quickly when they don’t always get what they want. Just to take it on the chin when it doesn’t go your way, I guess,” Cameron explains.  

Square one

Daniel Nuttall, the lead guitarist and backup vocalist for the band, posted an ad in a Facebook group for local musicians who wanted to start a band. This was the first step in a series of exciting events that led to the band’s formation.

“Cam was also looking to start a band, so he messaged me on Facebook about my post. He sent me some music from his old band, Ankr, from Brighton in the UK,” says Daniel. He was a fan of Cameron’s vocals and songwriting, so the two of them got together to plan a jam at Kill City Blues in Salt River — before it closed down.

Metro Villa
[The boys from Metro Villa (from left) Daniel Nuttall, Damon Bendel, Cameron Jenkins and Jono Raath. PHOTO: Pierre-Louis Bredenkamp]

Cameron already had a drum set spot locked down thanks to his cousin, Jono Raath, the band’s current drummer. “We were a three-piece for a while and were just mostly jamming, writing, and just kind of taking things slow,” says Daniel. 

After meeting Damon Bendel at a jam session held at Mocke Road Studios, Daniel decided to recruit him. “I asked on the Mocke Road WhatsApp group if any bassist was keen to join my band, and obviously Damon responded,” he explains. 

Wolfmother’s ‘Joker and the Thief’ was the first song they ever played as a full band. “At the end [of the song], we asked Damon if he was keen to jam with us again, and he was like, ‘Fuck yeah! For sure,” Daniel says, and the rest is history.

Metro Villa
[Jono Raath, Metro Villa’s drummer at The Armchair Theatre. PHOTO: Pierre-Louis Bredenkamp]

The inspiration for the name came from Daniel, who wants to retire to a villa next to a train station. “He is incredibly passionate about trains. In his spare time, he just watches them go by; he’s never been on one though,” explains Cameron. 

However, he warns that it might become annoying when Daniel insists on nothing but writing Thomas the Tank Engine tributes. He says, “Ironically, Dan’s passion for trains makes the rest of us really passionate about jumping in front of them.”

Learning the ropes

Metro Villa, one of several local alt-rock acts, aims to differentiate itself by playing music for its own sake. “It’s more along the lines of taking aspects of the music we listen to and incorporating them into our songwriting. You can’t really describe the feeling you get when you write something you’re happy with or even proud of,” explains Daniel.

He thinks it’s impressive to witness the evolution of a song from concept to polished product. “So when it comes to playing live, I think you could tell we really enjoy the music we’re playing,” he adds. 

Metro Villa places a big importance on their live performance skills. “The whole point is to make and play music, that’s where we get the most joy, nothing better than watching peeps dig your music,” says Cameron. He adds that if people are going to take time out of their day to watch you perform, you owe it to them to give them the best show you can.

Metro Villa
[Damon Bendel, Metro Villa’s guitarist, at The Armchair Theatre. PHOTO” Pierre-Louis Bredenkamp]

All four members maintain full-time jobs and squeeze musical time in whenever they can. Damon is a music producer at M&M Music and Performing Arts Academy, while Cameron works in marketing, Daniel is a software developer, and Jono is involved with quality control at Superbalist.

“We’ve all recently taken to working in the M&M Studio, where we’ve begun experimenting with the recording process for our upcoming EP. It’s a great space with lots of potential, and we’re feeling pretty confident with the sounds we’ve been getting out of it so far,” says Damon. 

The band can’t stress enough the impact the pandemic has had on them and the entire music scene. “It affected so much outside of music. It was hard for us to get traction within the band,” explains Cameron. However, apart from that, they say they haven’t faced many difficulties. “I feel the scene is here, and it has been pretty welcoming. There is a lot of passion within SA. We just need to all push and push. Try to support as many acts as we can, which hopefully will lead to more venues opening up,” adds Cameron.

Metro Villa
[The boys from Metro Villa (from left) Jono Raath, Cameron Jenkins, Damon Bendel and Daniel Nuttall. PHOTO: Pierre-Louis Bredenkamp]

The Funky Bazaar on 15 October at SGT Pepper on Long Street, where Metro Villa performed alongside Face Jackson, Hartleyvale, Fairly Odd, and Stereo Kid, was one of their favourite shows thus far.

“The boys from Face Jackson put on an amazing event. It just turned into a party!” says Cameron. This event is going to be an ongoing occurrence, so the band urges fans to pull through to the next one. 

Metro Villa is still honing its sound, so collaborating with other artists is not on its immediate agenda. “[However,] playing live, at least locally, bands like aKING and Fokofpolisiekar would be a great milestone for us,” says Daniel, adding that they can definitely imagine themselves opening for them one day. 

However, internationally, they wish to share the stage with Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys — two bands that have had a significant impact on their sound. “That’ll be like the mega ultimate for us, but that’s further down the line, and we need to make a name for ourselves before we even consider that!” says Daniel. 

Wrapping up the year

The group has a few more shows scheduled for the rest of the year, but aside from that, Metro Villa plans to spend most of its time in the studio working on new music. “We have around ten full songs — some with a bit of work to do — but we want the world to be able to listen to them outside of our live shows. We think it’s time to do it,” says Daniel. 

Metro Villa
[Daniel Nuttall, Metro Villa’s lead guitarist, at The Armchair Theatre. PHOTO: Pierre-Louis Bredenkamp]

During the first half of 2023, the band plans to release their first EP. After that, however, the band plans to release a second one before making a full studio album. “We have so many songs that aren’t recorded, and we’re still writing new songs all the time!” explains Daniel.

Next year’s plans also include performing at South African music festivals. “That’s always been a goal for us,” says Daniel. They hope to travel to Europe and the United States someday. “[However,] we would need an audience wide enough to make that happen. ‘Sort Yourself Out’ is our first release, so we’ll see how things go from there!” he adds.

The band’s debut EP will have some of their heavier work, which they consider to be their best. As Daniel puts it, “’Sort Yourself Out’ is very indie for us, so at the moment we are just experimenting with that song.”

They have another, similarly indie-leaning song called ‘Michelle,’ which they intend to record in the new year and put out as a single. But they promise their fans that they will release some heavier music in the near future.

Another track, already mixed and mastered, is set for release in January. Attend their next gig on 25 November at The House of Machines to marvel at the band’s live musicianship.


I can’t play any musical instruments or sing, so this is my contribution to the local music scene — which I love immensely. I can’t touch my toes, but that has held me back only slightly in life. My hobbies include reading, beer, bringing up Let’s Get Local when no one asked, writing, and surprising people with my pool skills. I believe somehow all of this will lead me to Dave Grohl.

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