Now an international school teacher in Saudi Arabia, Andrew Wright will arrive in Bangkok with his band this Friday for a series of shows. Andrew was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule of counting the days til his return to Thailand to answer a few questions.
Can you introduce yourself? The dates and years you've lived in Bangkok, you experience of music scene?
I moved to Bangkok at the start of 1997, after spending a year living in Vientiane, Lao PDR. Lived in the Big Weird from 1997 to 2012, and played in a bunch of cover bands like Jawa, the Panasonics and Jean-Michel and the Winners up until 2001 or so. After that I was really just a spectator and observer of the scene which kicked off with bands like the Eastbound Downers, Futon, Daytripper, Death of a Salesman, Bear Garden, meaw err, Apartment Khunpa, the Darlings, and Adulterer, and the rest.
What bands do you remember favorably from your time?
Goose were an amazing band to see live - just waves and waves of guitar sounds (and I think they've got a reformation gig coming up which I'll miss, damnit!). Likewise, Assajan Jakawan - Thom AJ Madson's old band - were absolutely brilliant to see play, and one of my favorites. Futon and From The Makers Of Casablanca always had an excellent energy about them when playing, and then you had the progression of bands like Eastbound Downers and Desktop Error which were constantly changing their sounds over time. Astreal and Muon were also total must-sees when they came up on tour from Singapore, as were Furniture (Malaysia) and buddhistson (Japan).
You are an avid music collector. What have you bought lately?
Last time I was in Bangkok I bought Monomania's debut album "Another Side Of Human" which is just a brilliant CD. I also got two Neuter Lover e.p.s which have all these atmosphere noisy soundscapes, The Ladz e.p., "Between" by Afternoon, and a Comet Comic electronic music compilation with some cool tunes on it. I finally found a copy of Basement Tape's first album, the one they did after the Hey You! e.p., which has this killer track "Grace's Garden" on it, which is a nice wistful song to listen to whenever you're feeling homesick for Bangkok. This time in Bangkok I wanna get the new recordings by Deadtown Trash, Sangsom Massacre, Panic Station, Plastic Section, and I'll do my usual trawl through DJ Siam and happening @ BACC, plus try and get to Nong Taprachan for the first time.
Tell us about your band.
Wolves Versus Fairies formed when three recently-arrived bass-players met in Saudi Arabia and two of them discovered the third was married to a drummer. Two of them then switched to guitar/vocals and we've been playing a mix of garage/punk rock, stoner rock and improvisational jams for nearly three years now. We've written a ridiculous number of songs - frankly there's no shortage of material to write about over here - and we'll be playing a wide range of it at our gigs in Bangkok. Totally looking forwards to playing again in the Big Mango!
What's it like having a band in Saudi Arabia?
Difficult and interesting. We play gigs in the facility compound - both public events and house parties, and we do a lot of jamming and song-writing in our DIY practice space/"recording studio". There's a lot of talented bands and musicians here, so we do multi-band lineup shows, but a lot of the things you'd take for granted in a normal city like Bangkok are tricky or just plain non-existent here. Strangely, there's plenty of music shops selling top quality gear at reasonable prices, although without the variety of Bangkok...
What were your musical influences growing up?
I was a metal child originally, raised on the 3 M's: Metallica, Motorhead and (Iron) Maiden, before discovering a wide range of stuff like Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Fugazi, Mudhoney, Big Black, Butthole Surfers, Jesus Lizard, Godflesh, and a cool band from my hometown called The Mark of Cain, and it all just sort of snow-balled from there! You can never get enough discordant guitar noise...
How has the Bangkok music scene changed since you lived here?
It's amazing how vibrant, diverse and adaptable it is, although perhaps that's just a reflection of Bangkok itself! When I went back for summer last year, I just spent plenty of time immersing myself in all the cool sounds and was blown away by the fact I could go out and see bands of the calibre of aire, Chladni Chandi, Basement Tape, Plastic Section, Degaruda, and Deadtown Trash playing these intense gigs in venues all over town.
You can see Andrew and his band Wolves Vs Fairies on April 4th at 1979 vinyl and unknown pleasures with Plastic Section, Bobkat (half of Itchy Band), and Ugly Mountain (Little Fox/ Gene M.) and later on in the night at Immortal with The Milkshakes and Father of Medicine. You can also catch them on April 7th at Fatty's.
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