Chances are if you are a fan of music made in Singapore, you would probably gravitate towards either one of two opposites poles – mainstream pop (that includes jazz-soul, indie-folk, pop-punk, hip-hop & indie-pop) or heavy rock (which includes various hardcore punk & metal sub-genres) – therefore, the unlikeliest middle ground remains the pop-rock/rock ’n’ roll arena.
But who are the artists toiling in this ‘neutral zone’ of melodic tunes and rock groove? Let’s find out!
TypeWriter will be debuting new material from upcoming EP at Baybeats 2015 and will also be featuring new drummer Robin Chua (Livonia, Shelves). The band will be playing at the MIXTAPE stage on 26th June at 11pm. In the meantime, you can download/listen to their 2010 album, Indian Head Massage.
It’s easy to be glib about the year that has passed and focus simply on how time flies and all that. I want to resist that temptation and reflect upon the amazing experiences I had in 2013 that I will always cherish to assist me in looking forward to 2014.
It’s been almost a week since I got back from England where I spent nearly 14 days with TypeWriter on the band’s English Breakfast Tour to London, Plymouth, Cornwall and Liverpool, so I thought I’d better put down my thoughts about the experience before they faded away…
This will not be a blow-by-blow account cum tour diary but more a reflection on how the experience touched me and changed my life. Yes, I know that sounds corny and maybe exaggerated but in the week since I have been back I have been inspired to make actual changes in my life.
Going away on tour with a rock band was something I had done in 2011 (for the first time!) with Cheating Sons but that was China. This was England and the very thought of being in my ancestral home with a band was mind blowing. Seriously, on many fronts, I had serious doubts whether we could pull it off, even as I was the one who had started the ball rolling.
We did! And that knowledge gives me renewed confidence and expanded ambitions to go further with this whole music thing. There are new territories for S-ROCK to explore and conquer at home, in the region and beyond and I want to be in the middle of the action and not an observer on the sidelines.
We met really cool music people and the band was appreciated by an entirely new audience. There were mistakes made but lessons learnt. Everywhere the band played, folks were impressed and were keen to find out more about the Singapore music scene – to many of them it seemed incomprehensible that English rock songs were made in Singapore at all!
At the International Pop Overthrow Festival in Liverpool, it seemed inconceivable that a band had flown thousands of kilometres to play at the famous Cavern Club (I believe the distance between Singapore and Liverpool is about 15,000 km!) and I want to take this opportunity to thank organizer David Bash for giving the band the chance to do so.
As cliched as it may sound, this is only the beginning and as June approaches, there are numerous exciting musical activities coming up for myself and the bands I look after. I am truly excited at the possibilities of the next couple of years within the Singapore music scene and beyond. STILL THERE’S MORE indeed.
Pictures taken in England can be seen here and also here.
“Beyond the Ashes” is the second teaser off the upcoming album, EMO FASCISM – due in August.
Catch Kevin Mathews/The Groovy People play “Beyond the Ashes” next Friday, April 26th at Identite 9.3 – KAMCO MUSIC at Home Club from 8pm. Cover is $12 (one free housepour and free entry to Kicks! afterwards). Also on the bill – Enec.e, Tricks & Cider and TypeWriter.
To be honest, I have never ever attended this student-driven exclusively S-ROCK festival organized by Republic Polytechnic. But since I currently teach at RP, it seems to require my attendance. To be brutally candid, I am not wholly thrilled by the line-up of bands on offer at the festival to be held on 1st and 2nd July. Fact is, the only band I might consider traveling all the way to Woodlands for, is Typewriter. At least Chang Kang and Pat have tunes you can bring home.
Join in the celebration of life, peace, and love at non-ticketed music concert Love-In. Held on 6 March 2011 at Hong Lim Park, the event will feature some of Singapore’s most talented musicians coming together in aid against domestic violence. This picnic-style concert features an impressive line-up with the likes of Basement In My Loft, Etc, For This Cycle, King Kong Jane, Sean Harrison, The Pinholes, TypeWriter, and Zahidah.
There’s been a lot of talk about the S-ROCK scene of late – Should the government provide more support? Should there be campaigns to change the public perception of S-ROCK? Should corporations get behind S-ROCK to act as patrons and sponsors? Should gig organizers be compelled to feature S-ROCK bands as opening acts for the flood of foreign artist/bands playing in Singapore? All of which, in my humble opinion, would be pointless, if S-ROCK was not even any good to begin with.
TypeWriter plays at the Esplanade Recital Studio this Friday, 28th January and it’s an event not to be missed. Tickets available at SISTIC. Power of Pop caught up with TypeWriter’s Yee Chang Kang to find out more…
2010 was a good year for TypeWriter – what were your personal highlights?
The biggest highlight would definitely be getting our album out! It feels just wonderful to be able to finally hold a copy of the finished product in my hands. On top of that, performing together with Jon Auer of The Posies for Baybeats last year would be another one. Writing our last 2 songs for the album, Sunlight Takes Over and That Deepest Blue, and hearing how both songs have come alive and materialized, along with my bandmates – that’s definitely a great highlight too!
Well, that was the year that was 2010. Time to put it all behind and look forward to 2011.
What is there to look forward to? On the local music front, we can expect albums from The Cheating Sons (above), Caracal, King Kong Jane, Cove Red and Lunarin. In addition, TypeWriter will be playing Esplanade Recital Studio on 28th Jan.
Monday night seems an odd choice for a gig date but then, sometimes you need to “think out of the box”. Or maybe the venue was not available on Friday or Saturday. In any case, the bands that blew away the sizable crowd last night (viz. King Kong Jane, TypeWriter & Cheating Sons) did everything in their power to ensure that it was indeed a memorable Monday night for all concerned.
As regular visitors to Power of Pop will be keenly aware, I love the classic pop-rock of the 60s and 70s and believe that everything that is good about pop music derives its inspirations from this special era. Original cutting-edge pop-rock is not that easy to find in Singapore as most bands tend to be too focused on being hip and cool and only play the kind of music currently in vogue or in style.
Believe me when I say that the guys in TypeWriter (Chang Kang, Pat, Des and Wan) are as likable and affable as their melodic power pop tunes – so fasten your seat belts for an interview that is just as fun as an Indian Head Massage…
How does it feel to finally release your debut album?
Chang Kang: It definitely gave me a great sense of relief. A very nice closure to a chapter of TypeWriter.
Pat: Yup. Feels like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders.
The day started inauspiciously for me, as I slipped and fell on at the wet front area (it was raining the entire morning) of my condo! I was aching the rest of the time and shaking from the shock but thank GOD, there was no major damage…but felt really old…