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Friday, December 29, 2006

Japan . 19th - 28th December .

I'm back after ten days.

I missed Christmas.

I'm going through a mix of emotions about some things.

I’m sad I had to leave Japan.

I love the cold.

I hate school.

I'm disappointed about the tail end of the trip, for some reasons I wish not to speak of.


Enough of the dreariness.

I know I don't do this, but here are some selected pics.

Sushi. =O

Contemplating life at The Rock Garden.

Beautiful Kiyomizu-dera.

Calpis Water. A terrific drink.

WHAT? We didn't steal anything!

Just look at all that umaibo.

Polaroid of a Polar Bear. And me.


The Gang. Clockwise L-R : Amy, Teppei, Otosan, Okasan, Me, Soraya, Pa, Ma.

The best part has yet to come. On the second last day, Soraya and I went to HMV at NOVA Complex and GOD OH GOD DID WE FIND SOME STUFF! We bought five CDs that YOU CANNOT FIND IN SUCKY MALAYSIA. The next day we went to TOWER RECORDS at PARCO and also picked up another CD.
I'm so obsessed with the CDs I bought cause it just seems to unbelievable.

Boys Like Girls

Pink Spiders

The Red Jumpsuit





Now does anyone want to DEFINE THE GREAT LINE that divides the difference between Malaysian and Japanese music CD stores?

You're very welcome to do so.

That's enough for now.

I'm unsure of myself.

There's not a piece of stable land left to walk on.

Such a quiet evaporation.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Holiday ?

For many, this time of the year is for celebration.

Exams are long over and all you would want to think of is fun and games, no work, and just basically enjoying your long holiday.

Well, not for me though.

In roughly three hours, my violin exam is gonna take place. Ah. Stress.

Well at least after that I can forget all about it.

Because to the Land of the Rising Sun, here I come.

Wake up! Wake Up! My God! This is Not A Test!

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.


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'.


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.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Do YOU ?

Do YOU think you're living a terrible life?

Do YOU think things aren't going your way?

Do YOU think you could have more things in this world?

Do YOU think you're the most unlucky person in on the face of the earth?

Do YOU think there is anything getting in your way in life?

Well think again.

Because all of the above isn't true.

Not for YOU at least.

But for someone else.

Just what are you so afraid of.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Get a grip, people.

Now here's the question.

How do you define what nice music is?

Many Malaysians nowadays say that they are true music lovers. They say music is everything and that without it, life would be dull and not worth living. But what is the percentage of TRUE music lovers out there?

You really want to know, do you?

Well honestly, the answer is, a measly small percentage.

It's okay. Go ahead and critisise my comments made here. Go ahead and say "What la, what does HE know about music?"

It won't really bother me. Because at the end of the day, I know what I know and I know what others know. And one thing's for sure.

So many of you guys know NUTS about music.

Take this for example.

An Average Malaysian

So, what are your interests?

Oh, erm, I love music! Yeah.

Oh really? What kind of music do you like then?

Haha! I listen to the radio everyday man! Uhh, I like Kelly Clarkson lah, Nickelback lah, all those lah. You? What do you like?

Mind you, this could be ANYONE in Malaysia talking to me.

Heck, can't you just be a bit more honest and tell the truth? You say you like music. Like or love, whatever. It doesn't make a difference.

That's the freaking problem. These goddamn people with their sooo averagely exposed minds (or even hardly exposed and completely enclosed) think they love music when all they know about it is radio music.

Radio music = Mainstream music.

I have to admit that sometimes mainstream music can be really nice. It's true. But what I'm trying to say is that people ONLY know mainstream music and think they know so much. I mean, come on, EXPAND your horizons people!

Aha! Another thing is that some people only think pop music is nice. Some people only think R&B music is nice. Then there are those who say rap rocks and the rest sucks.

Ah. GROW UP, people!

Why can't all of you learn to listen to ALL types of music? Perhaps even CLASSICAL for all you know.

It isn't right to say you love music when all you know is pop. Or R&B. Or rap. It's goddamn rubbish, I say.

Sure, some pop can be nice. Some R&B can be really hot. And some rap can get you on da floor and start jumping going "YEEEEAH" like those niggers.

Malaysian radio stations aren't helping the situation either.

Take for example.

Sure, it's supposed to be the coolest radio station in Malaysia playing you the HITS of today! But look at what Hitz comes up with nowadays. Hinder? Justin Timberlake? Nickelback? Kelly Clarkson? Rihanna? I mean, good god man. Give me something else. I would think eventually some other radio stations are actually playing better music. Then when Hitz listeners hear that music, they go:

"Ahh, never hear before wan. Not nice lah."

Now that is SO WRONG.

Why don't you just listen to it to get more exposure so that you know more about music?

Now let's go into the genre rock.

I ask people, "Do you like rock?"

They go, "Yeah man! Rock's like the BEST man!"

"Okayy, so what bands do you like?"

"So many lah! Green Day la! Hoobastank! Linkin Park la! They rock!"


Okay to be fair, I personally like all the bands listed. But to me, they're getting old. Outdated.

And to think that rock is only that? Well, you guys better go learn up some real rock.

Rock is a very, very wide genre now. It's become so complex that there are tons of sub-genres. And sadly, many people only like the sub-genres that are attached to the mainstream market, such as punk and pop rock. I'm sure if I were to list some other genres, many of those reading this either would never ever heard of it or wouldn't like it.

I'll list some out anyway.

Emo, acoustic, black metal, punk, indie, dance pop, post hardcore, progressive, death metal, screamo, experimental, post punk, ambient, hardcore, metal, psychedellic, art punk, metalcore.

I can just imagine the average Malaysian saying to me now, "Huh?"

You people are so damn predictable. That's the problem. Only a true music lover, or in this case a rock music lover would say he's at least heard some of these types of genres.

"Yer, screamo is like those people shouting wan ah?"

Sigh. It isn't SHOUTING. I prefer to say:

The Art of Screaming.

Seriously! Not every vocalist in the world can do it! And it's a combination of talent and effort to learn how to scream. And who says when a vocalist screams it destroys a song?

That's plain bullshit. To be honest, there are times when a vocalist screams and it makes the song so much better than it should be.

And then when it comes to stuff like metal, the first thing that comes to people's minds is BLACK METAL.

Oh for gods sake! Why would that be the case? There are so many types of metal. If it's just METAL alone, there are no activities such as drinking of goat's blood or worshipping satan carried out by the band!

Malaysians don't think out of the box. And that's why so many are so damn ignorant and close-minded.

Here's a good website of less-mainstream and indie artists.

Go visit it and go learn something about music.

But take the positive side, we're all still learning. And back to music, well, it's best for one to listen to all types of music. Instead, you people say MUSIC is life, when what you mean is what you hear on 92.9 FM.

Try to switch your radio channels sometimes. Listen to some pop, rock, R&B, rap, soul, blues, jazz or even classical. Reggae. Funk.

Go and get some tickets to some concerts of all types of music.

Let's hope you'll find something enlightening.

Change your view on music.

Open up and expand your knowledge.

It's never too late.

My fingers are numb.

You can close this window now.