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Friday, December 8, 2006

One Decision .

On the stereo : Adventure 2.0 - Rosewood - Demo Acoustic 2006

Have you ever had to make a really big decision in your life?

A really really big one?

Well I have.

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Early in the year 2004, the afternoon session prefectorial board teacher of SMKDJ suggested Mohd. Syabil to start a prefects band. Thus, Syabil got several people together. At this time, he was my friend and all I knew how to play was the piano and violin.

Syabil told me to play the violin for our first performance in April that year. However, he had some problems with selecting musicians for the band. As a result, Syabil called upon a guy who he had been playing with for some time, Nigel Tay.

Nigel Tay was a superb drummer and I admired him when I first played with him. He was someone I had never ever seen play so well before. Soon, Syabil roped in another of his friends Mohd. Shafiq to play the guitar. Along with Abdul Malik, a MAMAK and as another prefect, the five of us were the Prefects Band.

I can still recall our first performance ever. The song we played was Drive by Incubus and with Malik on vocals, Shafiq on guitar, Syab on bass, Nigel on drums and myself hooking up with the violin solo, we were an instant hit with the students of SMKDJ (at least those who watched us perform). I remember being ever so naive then, beaming away with pride. That seemed oh so long ago now.

A month later, we were called upon again to perform in school for Teachers Day. Yet again, the same individuals lined-up except for Malik. It wasn't as good as a performance as our first, but still it was pretty good anyway.

From the time between that performance and the next, the Prefects Band went through good and bad times. We did have misunderstandings which is natural in every band but also discovered more and soon established ourselves as Rosewood. Several months later, we geared up for our third performance, again for a prefects event, Blue Day. This time, Nigel's brother Benjamin joined in to help play the guitar. I, meanwhile switched to Nigel's keyboard and we put together one of best ever performances, playing two Incubus songs yet again, Wish You Were Here and our own version of The Warmth, which til today remains the cream of the crop in terms of covers we have done.

Things got better and better and by the end of the year, we showed to the entire form what we were all about, performing for the End of Year competition meant for inter-class. We weren't even a class, and yet we won second place and bagging RM 20. Yup, 4 bucks each. Measly, but it meant something to us. To me, at least. We had perhaps got the attention of many as we played songs which were apparently very appealing to the crowd, both Dashboard Confessional songs, Hands Down and Vindicated.

In our PMR year, Rosewood went completely downhill. Due to some personal reasons on our parts, we had only one performance all year, at our school's carnival concert. Playing radio hits The Reason by Hoobastank and I Don't Wanna Be by Gavin DeGraw, there were mixed emotions from the band and the audience. Personally, we could really have done a lot better. By then, Shafiq had been replaced by Benjamin, but this was never to last as we 'disbanded' that year.

To be completely frank, I never thought we would ever get back together again. During that year after PMR, I was experimenting with another band in which I played the guitar. By then, I had become more confident in performing and had been courageous enough to front that band, SinnFein. We had some pretty good times together, and for a moment I had forgotten about Rosewood.

It all came back to me this year. Malik had left our school for another. But with our International Understanding Day coming up in about a month or so, Nigel, who I had continued to keep in constant touch with, suddenly asked whether I would want to write some songs with him. This came to me as a surprise but, at the same time a blessing in disguise, as I had already started to write my own songs the year before. Nigel also called upon another friend of ours, Adrian, who we knew was very much into music too. Together, we wrote a song 'More Than I Can Be' for our I.U. Day and performed it with Adrian on lead vocals, Nigel on guitars and vocals and myself thumping on the bass and backing up vocals. There was a great response from the audience and we were thoroughly encouraged.

Syabil then came to me and told me, "Let's revive Rosewood."

I snapped back to reality. It was a possibility. When I asked Nigel about it, he didn't seem to keen. Meanwhile, Adrian was in the middle of this all and didn't know much.

After some considering, Nigel agreed to our proposal and thus, Rosewood was reborn. It was truly a great feeling to be back together, this time as a smaller unit, and with a new lead vocalist Adrian who we had great trust in.

Then it was time for moving into bigger things. Recording. After planning for a few weeks, the band went to Akarkarya Studios to record our first demo consisting of our single 'More Than I Can Be' (two versions, one band and one acoustic) and a nameless instrumental number. For More Than I Can Be, Nigel lead the rhythm guitar line with yours truly adding the lead and solo, with a touch of violin to add embellishments to the song. Adrian lead us on vocals and Syabil learnt up the bass to complete the line-up.

After a few weeks of recording, we finally came up with the final cut and started selling it for RM 7 per copy. Despite us managing only to sell roughly 40 copies, we still felt we had achieved something. Recognition and support.

Our next performance was at our schools carnival again, this time with all four of us perfoming together for the first time since we got back together. More Than I Can Be was our appetiser before we finished off with Teddy Geiger's For You I Will.

Things couldn't get better for us. As we gained more and more recognition through performing at friends parties, we were searching for more. During our school's Leo Club's installation in July, Nigel and I performed a cover of Dare You To Move originally by Switchfoot.

A few months on after our exams had finished, we wrote a new song, Adventure 2.0. Frankly I have no idea why we named it that, but whatever it is it's staying as it is.

Then came the decision I had to make. The decision I had to make was to quit the band. I won't display my reason here, but it is solely due to some explicit personal reasons. For me, it was incredibly hard to accept, but it was something I had to do and I won't change my mind.

A few days ago, we did an independent recording at Syabil's house. 'Demo Acoustic 2006' was done that day, including Adventure 2.0, a cover of The Rocket Summer's That's So You and some other comical 'tracks'.

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Ahh, this has been an extremely long post. And a very tiring one to do as well.

I owe so much to the three musicians I have been working with the past year.

To Nigel, its simple. His utter level of ability and musicianship has taught me so many things I couldn't count. It has been an honour to perform, write and record with such an incredible musician like him.

To Adrian, his friendship has been something I could never value. We worked together on lyrics writing and at one stage in time, I could really feel the chemistry with Adrian being our vocalist.

And finally to Syabil, who is often misunderstood by many, he also taught me many things. He was the first guy to get me involved in this and I am very appreciative. If not for him, I wouldn't be where I am today.

To the other musicians who have been affiliated with the band Rosewood, I am eternally grateful.

Keep supporting Rosewood, people.

This is the end.

6 comments:

Jebat said...

Yup. That is the history of Rosewood.

The Nemeshuan said...

haha. nobody wants to read about rosewood la. thats the fact.

yingxian* said...

LOL! i read it laaaa! what the hell mannn... EH I WANTED THE CD OKAY. NO ONE SOLD IT TO ME. i ORDERED ONE.

Dina said...

This is my first time reading your blog, and I've got to say, you're the very few original bloggers who speak truth and opinion.

And I loved your music post.

Brilliant, really.

Jebat said...

thanks for dropping by, yingxian and dina. =]

The Nemeshuan said...

Jebat..
Malik was replaced by Prashant for the Teacher's Day peformace. He sang with you. Remember ? "And finally to Syabil, who is often misunderstood by many" W-T-F ??!!simply say