I locked my daughter in the basement - not because of the Aussies - but now that I know they are invading I'm a lot happier she's safe - Concerned parent
Tell us about what makes the show special.
I think this sort of mixed show is kind of new for Bangkok. I have tried to build some bridges, grow relationships between the scenes and between nationalities. We have got a touring hardcore band from Australia, some talented expat bands and two Thai up-and-coming heavy bands. Probably one of the heaviest shows Whiteline has seen.
What is the state of hardcore and heavy music like punk and metal in Bangkok?
It seems to be getting better, there is more of a drive for heavier styles once again.
I played guitar in a straight edge hardcore band called Truth Burns True in 2008 (https://myspace.com/truthburnstrue/photos) and at that stage the Thai scene was amazing! Great shows, positive energy, lots of kids moshing. Slowly, the scene has become weaker, both here and internationally. Recently, however, I have felt a rise with a growing scene in China and Vietnam, tours from hardcore greats and the local Thai expat community becoming heavier.
What are the challenges of bringing bands over and putting on a show here in Bangkok?
Money for one. Hardcore, punk and metal has always been underground and bands tend lose money touring here in Asia. Most fans are young men in it for the intense music, not pop fashions and hiphop bravado. But if a band can get the funds, or big enough to gain some sort of sponsorship touring in Southeast Asia is really worthwhile. Touring bands can get door money and often sell a lot of merch, though not usually make not enough to cover flights. I am just happy there are people like Joe Delaney who helped provide venue and equipment for this event and people like you Dave C to help promote J
Can you tell us about the bands playing on the 22nd of February? Hopeless, God Hates, Spring Fall Sea, The Rocket Whale and Ganbaru?
I have watched Hopeless rise for years, pretty proud. I gave them international shows with some other Australian bands years ago. I am very happy they have agreed to play now as they are quite a big band. God Hates are new on the scene, super brutal and have a massive buzz behind them. Keen to see them destroy the venue! Spring Fall Sea are a young group of passionate musicians and I wanted to give them a chance to branch out to new audiences through this show. The Rocket Whale are excellent, kind of like Underoath; screaming with melody. A bit of electronics. I was blown away when I saw them and have known the singer from his other projects. Ganbaru are straight up hardcore with a bunch of Aussie veterans.
I used to get lots of approaches from Australian hardcore and metal bands via social, though it has tapered off in the past 2 or 3 years.
I have known the guys from Ganbaru for years, since being a poor university student looking for direction and going to hardcore shows in Melbourne. They have a real DIY approach and are highly passionate individuals. The singer Adam, came to a hardcore show many years ago in Bangkok and saw Ed Rudy’s, Axel's and Vickor's old band Blood Thirst Spider at Cocowalk. He has always talked of coming to Bangkok to play. Evan (bassist) has played here with his old band and knows the territory.
Ganburu is a Japanese word meaning to stand firm. These guys have been in bands for around 15 years and are still doing it, so they still live up to their name.
Do you have think the Thai heavy music communities wants more heavy bands from overseas to come?
Of course! Heavy music scenes (such as punk, hardcore, metal) are relatively small and closeknit and people are connected all around the world. There are no rockstars in hardcore, and usually not so many in metal. Hardcore is much more of a community than any other music I know of.
What's the strategy for promoting a heavy show versus promoting another kind of music event like folk music?
It’s harder and easier at the same time. If you bring the right bands the crowds come. With One Summer, I have mixed genres a little as about 10 big Bangkok hardcore bands are flying to Chiang Mai for a festival same weekend. I needed to bring in some metal and more melodic bands. Having two great expat bands on the bill will mean people are exposed to new sounds, cultures and experiences. Acoustic and rock events can pull more mainstream punters into the mix.
Do you miss playing with The Fallen Versus Fate?
Yeah, I really miss being in a band, and miss screaming and jumping around. On the other hand my voice was getting messed up. Also I am a bit over metalcore and getting back into punk/hardcore again like when I was growing up.
Would you ever join another metal band?
Maybe. I have started experimenting and have started writing begun some more melodic hardcore songs. I have approached some talented musicians to form a band. But the ethos will be different from other projects; I don’t want to push it to the mainstream like I did with Sangsom and doing with John Will Sail, I just want to play music I love and happy there is a scene growing in Bangkok again.
Do you think there's potential for a Bangkok hardcore punk or metal (or any heavy band that inspires mosh pits) to go to a place like USA or Australia and play music festivals?
USA, I am not too sure about. Australia is a very hard market to crack, super professional and almost a bit snobby. Melbourne is one of the best places for live music in the world and the standard is high. It’s hard for any musician to make it there without spending years establishing themselves.
However, I think there are loads of opportunities in and around Southeast Asia and a lot of people willing to work for nothing to strengthen heavy music scenes in the region.
Who would you send to represent Bangkok?
Degaruda for sure! They have what it takes. Republic of Ugoslabier are fairly international and would be great also. There are loads of awesome underground bands at the moment in Bangkok but it involves the bands doing lots of planning and coming up with money for flights. Also, bands will need to be able to speak English to connect with promoters and fans. It’s a lot of DIY (promo, bookings, hotels, transport, managing a group of musician) but if you are lucky some of these things can be done by an enthusiastic local.
Heavy bands are advantaged with local and passionate scenes, it’s more than just playing music in pubs. You are reaching out to their chosen music lifestyle and there has always been something magical about that.
Go see One Summer Mini Festival at Whiteline on Friday, January 22, 2016. For more information click here.
Craft Beer - Artspace - New LIVE venue!
Ganbaru (Australia) drop off in Bangkok for one mighty show.
Featuring local supports
• Ten Baht Per Hour
• The Rocket Whale
• God Hates
• Spring Fall Sea.
Only 200 Baht entry, an intense mix of local and international bands and one-time drink specials specials in Whitelines new aircon LIVE room, this event is set to go off!