For a band that has been around since the turn of the century, TypeWriter has only managed to release one album, the two-disc Indian Head Massage. But in the case of TypeWriter, it has always been about quality over quantity, the music being the paramount consideration.
Formed around the nucleus of Yee Chang Kang and Patrick Chng, with the current lineup completed by Desmond Ong, Alan Bok and Robin Chua, TypeWriter has impressed all who have encountered their music with their dedication to their craft.
Individually, the members have distinguished themselves in diverse fields but there is an inventive synergy that is more than the collective whole and this is evident in the new EP What You’re Feeling Is Not Enough (out now!) and in the music videos accompanying the various songs.
Ahead of the EP launch on Saturday, September 9th at the Esplanade Annexe Studios, Chang Kang and Patrick shared with us their thoughts on TypeWriter circa 2017.
Considering that most of TypeWriter have been making music for almost 30 years, what motivates you to continue doing so?
Patrick : Time sure flies! For me, the question is “why should I stop making music?” The beauty about music is that anybody can create it, no matter your age.
Chang Kang : Like you have mentioned, we have been at it for such a long time, so just how can we let this deep passion die? Speaking on behalf of the band, I am pretty sure that all of us still love what we do very much. We cherish that creativity and expression a lot.
What were the challenges faced in putting this new EP together?
Chang Kang : We all hold day jobs, and are not fulltime musicians. Juggling from our daily commitments and the realities of life, it takes a lot of effort and focus to be in TypeWriter. As much as I would have loved the EP to have materialized earlier, releasing it only now is the best that we can do already. No regrets.
Patrick : We used to rehearse and record at a shophouse, nicknamed Thom’s Loft, in Arab Street that Alan rented. When the lease ran out, we had to move to my home studio to record, which is not exactly central for the rest. Also, the change of drummers during the recording when Wan based himself in KL and we roped in Robin.
Musically, were there conscious decisions to depart from the typical TypeWriter sound? If so, in what way?
Patrick : Trying not to sound like our 2010 album “Indian Head Massage” was the challenge to ourselves. We told ourselves to get away from our comfort zone and start from ground zero. That meant exploring other instruments and sounds, or the way we play our instruments. Instead of just playing in the manner that we normally would, how about we step back and ask ourselves, “is there another way of playing this or re-arranging the song?”
What is the EP title about? What is the message, if any, you are trying to convey?
Chang Kang : I didn’t have the title beforehand. It was only towards the end of the recording of all the songs that the title came to me. I was asking myself what the songs are about this time around. And the answer is that they are about feelings – about the highs and lows of being alive, of where we are now as individuals, and as TypeWriter.
“What You’re Feeling Is Not Enough” is an urging statement. To question if we as individuals are feeling enough, as much as we should, as much as we could. We always tend to brush off our feelings, not brave enough to deal with realities. I hope we will find that fearlessness, and be brave.
What do you hope listeners can take away from the EP?
Patrick : I hope people will listen to it with an open mind and be able to relate to the sentiments, vibe and melodies.
Chang Kang : I feel that we have done a very decent job recording and producing the EP. Like Pat, I hope that these songs resonate well with our listeners out there, comforting anyone who bothers to give us a good listen.
Do you still feel part of the local music scene in 2017?
Patrick : I try to keep up with what’s happening in the Singapore music scene. There are many different cliques and circles in the scene, not that it’s a bad thing. Birds of a feather tend to flock together. I don’t think there are many similar birds like us to flock together.
What are your expectations, if any, for the EP launch on September 9th?
Patrick : No expectation really. We just hope to put on a memorable show to tell everyone that the EP is out. We’ll perform the entire EP plus our “greatest hits”.
What does the future hold for TypeWriter?
Patrick : After this, we’re planning to record our next EP soon and hopefully get it out next year.
Chang Kang : I just hope that TypeWriter keeps going, as long as possible. Cherish the moments when we get together. They are priceless.
Launch tickets available from Peatix.
… still there’s more …