Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I want to be a Rockstar

Before I start the usual ramble, I would just like to wish everybody reading with interest towards our local music scene a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - 2009 came faster than expected. Talking about the New Year reminds me of resolutions... sangat sesuai dengan tajuk blog post ini don't you think?

"I want to be a Rockstar". Senang disebutkan, susah dibuatkan.
Or is it really that susah? Let's take a look at the changes of our music scene. Just a few years back, it was not easy to make it big; have that 'big break'. Sure, people did attend gigs, sure, people knew the words to some songs of some bands... but how many times did you hear about a big gig that people were saying "Oh we HAVE to go"? Big gigs happening perhaps every two weeks, every month? Not a lot.

And now? Every weekend, every flyer, it's an 'oh-my-god' for majority of people. Familiar bands like Couple, Bittersweet, Skudap Skudip are popping out in more than just one flyer per month. Familiar places like MCPA, No Black Tie, Giggers are offering gig spots. This entices, tempts, lures people into thinking 'damn I wish I was like them'. 

And that's where the problem kicks in, isn't it?
Put aside the fashion trends, the attitudes, and just look at the music fans in general. Kadang2, ada orang nak start band. Everywhere you turn, you see someone, you ask them "are you in a band?"
Out of 10, 7 says yes.

Of course, why not? You might be thinking - what's wrong with that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing is wrong with that. Our music scene is open to so many genres, so many tunes, and more and more of local songs are being submitted into the radio stations. And really, it is amazing, and impressing me that new bands nowadays actually do have a high possibility of hitting the big break, getting the fanbase, EP launches and all those things a band needs. 

Being in a band is just as normal as going to school or work everyday. Our scene is accepting new bands day by day, listening and placing them into categories of 'worth a listen' and 'forget about them'. And of course, starting a band is a great way to spend your time with friends, jamming, experimenting, building the friendship, the support. 

But this also calls for my concern. Being in a band nowadays is becoming just a little too overrated. Overexposed, talked about too much. It is a good thing that being in a band is getting easy nowadays, but in a way... it's bad. Think about it.

Do the majority of those in the newer bands (post-indie break) actually know what they want? Are their reasons for having a band genuine? Are they forming bands to create new, interesting music? Or is it just the mere 'I want to be a rockstar'? "I want to be famous, I want to gig around so everyone knows who I am".
Heck that's the reason why people go to gigs to watch, too! People make themselves seen in as many gigs as possible, take pictures with loads of bands, so people will know them. Yeah. Posers, kan?

I am not saying the new bands are posers. The passion for music, wanting to be in a band to make enjoyable music... I am not saying that's dying. I merely hope it won't. Really, really, hope so. I hope people who make bands now are serious with what they are doing, and appreciate - menghargaikan - the fact that our scene is accepting many many new people.

I hope the new bands won't be just those usual one-hit-wonders, who play for a few months, are loved for a while, and then disappear because they've become well known enough. No. NO. My only advice to the new upcoming bands... don't place the word 'fame' in your minds. Just play for music, play for the people, play for yourselves. Don't play to be famous. 

The most famous bands nowadays never spent much time thinking of fame when they started out. Being a rockstar is everyone's dreams at one point, tapi, in reality, you got to play by life's rules, too.

With Love,
KL Mosher

Monday, December 22, 2008

What do YOU want?

Whether we'd like to believe it or not, it is agreed that, heck, our gig followers sometimes don't know what they want. If not sometimes - it's all the time!

It is as if the confusion between what is expected & what is given never ceases. Our people are not passive to the extent of following every word of the bands, which sometimes is a good thing; something I am quite thankful for, as it shows we still have a mind of our own. But hey, the bad thing? They are passive to trends instead, to friends. If the trend says something, if the majority of a crowd doesn't like one particular thing, next thing you know a 100 other people don't like it.
I've talked about that issue countless times, but hey, I repeat myself.

So back to the confusion matter, yes. These guys always switch what they want with what they get. When Malaysian bands are overpowered by international acts, everyone suddenly turns patriotic.
"Eh bands2 Malaysia dah hilang ke?"
Fine, so we give them Malaysian bands lah, kan. User friendly music scene we have. Lol. Customer service. But then what happens to all the patriotism? Semua terbalik, and points out the negativity of our bands rising. Our giggers act like they are never happy with the lack of PROGRESS our bands are making, tapi, when bands macam Hujan and Bittersweet naik from the ground, what happens?
"Fuck lah, dorang, lupakan kitaorang, dah sombong"
Dude, did I miss something here? Was there some sort of contract signed that says "No Malaysian bands are supposed to leave the underground scene"?
Pehh, asal? Underground or not, a band is a band. And what do bands do (well, real bands anyway)? They strive to reach the best level they can get. So if kamu nak diaorang naik, tapi bila dorang dah naik sampai mainstream level (in terms of publicity, not music style), asal lak korang tak rasa bangga, but... angry? What is there to be angry about!?!?


You budak2 semua nak 'save our Indie scene'. But? You're doing it all wrong, kot. Indie, sure, it means independent production & performance, but eh, bangun lah, it does not mean "low quality and forever underground". Kalau ada bands2 yang produce sounds lagi gempak sikit, of course they will rise to 'mainstream' level. Because they are worth it! Because at one point of their performing life, they had all the support from the fans. From you guys. But as long as they deal with their own matters, and keep to the indie mode, fuck, stop complaining lah. Aiyo.

But another question... what exactly is wrong with mainstream, ah? Why are you guys STOPPING our bands from moving forward? How far a band goes, its up to them. How they look, how they wish to act on stage, biarlah.

This also makes me laugh, again another confusion sprouting from our giggers. These guys insult bands (for unknown reasons), tapi they are hypocritical. Damn hypocritical. If you want to dislike a band, dislike with good reasons, and remain disliking them. Don't on one hand say you hate them, but on the other hand I see you guys participating happily in the crowds to that same band. What are you trying to prove, exactly? You suka ke tak? Make up your mind. And, if they aren't hypocritical, they saja buat kecoh. Purposely insulting the bands on stage, with a gang of similar 'anti' people (because they are too damn scared to do it when they are on their own).

And when you're scared, it's because you don't know whether what you're saying is right. Simply tembak, but when asked to explain... otak kosong.

What do you guys want the music scene to become? What do you want it for? To hate it? To confine it under a certain level, which dislikes any band that climbs over it? To stop our scene from growing the way it should? Our scene has so much potential guys, SO MUCH, and without your support as an audience, how the hell are we ever going to be any better?

Right now, what are you doing?
Ruining our music scene.
With Love,
KL Mosher

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Peraba issue

I reinforce this problem again.


I am getting so frustrated. Seriously, this is not a joking matter.

Now, a new way to continuously molest has just acted up on me, and it makes me so sick to the core.
These sickos actually follow you around in the crowd. They don't let you escape. This is the scary part.
Recently, when I was moshing, every time I felt a hand at an uncomfortable part of my body, tiap2 kali I pandang belakang... it's the same fucking asshole behind me.
He purposely has his eyes anywhere but on my face (they don't ever dare to look you in the eye), but I know where his hands are. And when I try to mosh over to the other side, he follows. Like... FUCK OFF.

I would just wish to repeat to everybody reading this blog;
Stop these dicks from itching. I actually was already preparing to kick him in the balls, but sadly (actually thank god) his attention was distracted when someone crowdsurfed our way, and he went off to push the crowdsurfer.

I really detest having to feel uncomfortable when I am moshing, it just completely ruins the fun of being part of the crowd. Not to mention those stupid rude disrespectful people and kung fu moshers already plaguing the crowd. I would just like to give a shoutout to the two kick ass boys who were protecting me throughout the recent gig I went to. They are exactly the type of people we need in our local scene. I pointed out some freaks to them and they actually went up to the dudes and shook their heads going "Eh, tak cool lah, henti lah."

Nik and Ijat, korang cool.

So again I repeat to the girls:
Don't be afraid to tell somebody to protect you. Don't be afraid to confront the asses - the rest of the crowd will protect you. And always wear more protective clothes - ones that don't show off your body curve too much.

And to the guys:
If you're the one doing all this shit, wake up and stop it.
Protect and surround the girls with your friends to make sure they are alright. Jangan malu, shout out to the peraba to cut the crap.

Just a thought:
Instead of anti-ing bands, why not anti-peraba instead?

With Love,
KL Mosher

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Okay, another behaviour yang buat I menyampah.

It is one thing to go to a gig to see one particular favourite band. Everyone does that. Having a favourite is the reason why people go to gigs! Right? :)

But it is another thing to go for one band, and disrespect the rest.

Okay, so what went wrong? Kenape KL Mosher tiba2 nak complain tentang ini? Simple la, UOX Play, lah. I cannot believe the amount of people who actually support the hurtful words being thrown at bands. Hello? Bands are made up of humans jugak, tau. If someone is telling YOU to walk off the stage, how the hell will you feel? Seriously, how the heck will you feel?

When I dislike a band, I either pull myself out of the crowd, or just wait for the next band. Or just miss that set until the next set comes on. Is it that susah to just shut up and be sensible? 

There was this one particular band that went by the name of "Seven". They played very ambient, jazzy music lah, soft and mellow, kind of a very chilled version of They Will Kill Us All. I personally, found their tunes so damn creative. So damn sexy. 
But dah agak dah lah, most people in KL who go to gigs only go to mosh senselessly. Okay, so what if they didn't make us jump, and mosh around like crazy? So what if we didn't know their songs and couldn't sing along?

Does this mean that we, as a crowd, as supposed "peminat2 muzik", have to be rude to them, and tell them to 'balik'? Just because they don't make music that is moshable to, that means they are not a good band(?); that means they are poor at performance, and that they should stop?
Please lah, it really makes me so sick to see people downing a band like this, just because they can't mosh to them. [And the people who are so kurang ajar are the same people who kungfu moshes without any sense of rhythm by the way... do you see the trend of annoyance linking? Coz' I do.]

Our local scene is striving to make it big, striving to make the scene a fun and sociable, acceptable place. If people are going to screw up the efforts by being so irrational and rude, then our scene is never ever going to be able to move any further than where we are, sorry to say.

We even had some stupid group of people sitting down in the middle of Seven's performance... NOT because they were tired, but just to hurt the band, and 'look cool', saying "Ah, we're rebels, we don't like your music, so we're going to sit down and show you we don't like your music. Eh, dude sit down with us! It's cool"
You know what? Fck that. You don't like the music, you get out of the crowd. Simple as that. Jangan buat kecoh, it really makes the real music appreciators sick to the skin. It took me a huge amount of energy to make sure I shut my mouth that time. Really.

Everyone is always talking about respect, but why is it that more and more respect is gained from "looking cool", or "being the rude and ignorant one"? What happened to respecting those who actually worked hard enough to get onto that stage to perform? Seriously.

What is our music scene becoming? A place for music, or a place for people to berlagak?

With Love,
KL Mosher

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Trendsetters idiotifying our scenes

"Aku budak Indie"

Apa maksud itu? There are two answers; the real one, and the one everyone follows. Yes, sadly, no one actually follows the real one anymore.

The Real Answer:

"I am independent. I love, support, follow the movements of independent music scenes, where bands from different (I repeat different) genres, strive and work hard to please themselves, and the ears of the fans."

Budak Indie (the real ones) judge bands based on what they sound like, not how they look or act. They respect all bands in general, except those that really are not being bands to play, but to show off. They do not go all 'anti' against bands they don't like, but they just don't keep themselves updated.

Now... follow the trend. This is what people actually think:

"Aku budak indie. I wear skinnies, I have a camera slung over my neck, I go to gigs to chill with my friends, stand around and listen to the bands from afar. Fck emos, Fck hardcore moshing, Fck Hujan."

This just cracks me up. I laugh when I see this. I just point, and laugh. Sorry, kind of kurang ajar, but dude, I can't help it.
a) since when is Indie about clothes & the way you look?
b) since when is Indie about photos?
c) In case you 'peminat muzik's have forgotten, Hujan was actually one of the upholders of "Indie" music (Independent music)... along with OAG, Bittersweet and countless others throughout the times.
d) Some hardcore bands actually say "we are not an Indie band". Eh pandai, if you're not indie, then what are you? Signed band? You got a record deal ke? Kalau you tak de record deal you are still under an Indie label, you're still independent, and managing your own tracks and gigs.

I am not saying that real indie-goers like Hujan, or OAG or Bittersweet. That is not my point. My point is, real indie-goers just don't "Fck" other bands, just to follow trend.

Faham tak? Indie is not a style, it's not a trend. It is independence. Simple as that. A hardcore rocker with a mohawk and leather jacket can still be considered indie, because he supports the movements of  unsigned bands. A guy with dreadlocks and marijuana in his hands is indie if he listens to Skudap Skudip - because Skudap Skudip is NOT signed with EMI or Universal Music. They are independent! HELLO!? Pop Shuvit, for example is not Indie... because they are signed with a record. 

I have been trying so hard all the time to put into people's heads that INDIE is not all those retro clothing, not all those skinny jeans, not the short anti-emo  hairstyle... its NOT. NOTTTTT.

With Love,
KL Mosher

Monday, December 1, 2008

Organizing a gig: BE SMART

Before going on financial issues, and confirmations... have a self analysis first:

- Are you committed?
- Will you give up easily if you are faced with a sudden problem?
- How well do you take rejection and unreasonable negotiations?
- Are you good at solving problems?
- Are you spontaneous?
- Are you willing to sacrifice time and effort?
- Are you good at teamwork and cooperation?
- Are you careful with what you say and how you work?
- Can you make things work?

There you go. If it's a yes for all, you're ready to go.

It is not an easy thing, judging from observation and a bit of experience in the business of organizing events like gigs.
After knowing yourself and what you want to do with the gig, you have to know your status:

- With or without dependency on ticket sales, food sales, or any other form of profit, do you have enough money to foot the bills, the payments, the fees if anything goes wrong?
- Are your ticketing prices set right? Will crowds come?
- Is the place right? Convenient? Well known?
- Will there be any way to solve problems if things are delayed?

Man, the list can go ON, but I  sekarang macam malas sikit, don't feel like putting them all down.

Step One:
Before the gig, it is vital for you to remember that whatever happens, you're responsible. Therefore it is important that you, as an organizer, figure out the budget before even confirming any bands. Will you have enough to pay refunds if something goes wrong? Recently, I ada pergi dekat satu gig, and diaorang bagai organizers, tak buat baik, so in the end, performances semua terlewat sangat, and some bands kena pull out. And the organizers cannot even pay them the price they promised. This is just bad planning, bad predicting. Seriously.

Also, ini sebab ticket price pun terlalu mahal. Think about it. Which gig will attract more people? A gig with just-okay bands, and low price, or a gig with great bands but high price? Honestly, for the KL crowd, people will choose the cheaper gig! Memang.
If you want a gig to work, and you want a lot of people to attend, you have to come up with a price that will suit everybody. So everybody will come. And the profit will be amazingly successful. But no, just because the gig had an international band coming to perform, they shoot up the ticket price, so very little people came... so very little money was earned. Mana boleh jadi lah? Think AHEAD. The problem with the people nowadays is they don't think properly. They just organize gig to promote their name, promote the bands, but if you want to promote, promote well. Don't end up promoted as the-city's-suckiest-organizer. 

Some people make gigs just to "get to know each other". Yes. Fine. Get to know each other, but shit, there is no use in making a gig without profit. You have to make sure you get some money back from those that you pay the bands. Just in case something goes wrong, at least you can use ticket money to pay for whatever costs. Organizing a gig is not something you can simply tembak with. It's either gain or nothing.

Okay, so after the finance thing is cleared, get the bands.

Step Two:
BE FRIENDLY! But not too friendly sampai macam kurang ajar. Like  "EH WHATS UP! I WANT YOU GUYS TO PERFORM". Please... it is still a professional transaction, despite how easy-going and friendly our music scene is, lah... :)
Keep the common manners like Please and Thank You's. But don't be fake. If you are a "I love your tunes, really hope you guys think about it!", don't try to be a "I await with utmost impatience for your reply on this matter". Kan? You need to be in your comfort zone to be able to converse properly with the bands. And by being informal but polite to them, it makes them know you are human, and if you have any problems with budgets, tell them, so they will see you as an honest peminat muzik, not just a dude trying to make it big by organizing gigs just for show.

These bands will be performing for you and for the crowd. You got to be real and honest with the bands. Negotiate. If there is a problem with technical stuff, apologize to the bands, and explain and discuss what to do next. If things have gone wrong in your hands, maybe it's time to listen to what other people have in mind. Do not blame anyone else but you. You are the organizer. If you blame someone else, keep it to yourself, or for after the gig.

Step Three:
The scariest thing in gigs is the time management. The bands lined up to perform, the soundchecking, the sets going to be performed... everything you can imagine! As an organizer, you must know how to switch tactics, change plans within a click of a finger.

For example: The gig is supposed to end at 12am, but the gig started 3 hours late, due to technical problems. So instead of putting the best band last, put them on 5th last, so at least you are sure they will perform the set they agreed on. 

But honestly, to even make that bit successful, you got to get crowd. And to get crowd, step 2 has to be fulfilled.
Alright, here is me trying to pretend like I know everything about this business, but I'm just speaking from common sense, and what I feel were the main errors in some gigs I go to... SO. Take it or leave it :D
With Love,
KL Mosher

Why choose Music?

Hello again from the other side of the screen.

Subjectively, after going through a pretty rough week, I would like to share with all of you the wonders of music. I'm sure most people reading my blog.. dah tau lah, apa yang sangat hebat tentang musik, yeah? :)


The one way you can let go of your emotions - well, this was how it originally is meant to be, lah, don't know about how people 'express' themselves now through music. Showing off body parts, cleavage in music videos or just completely ruining music by going "I slit my wrists to *band name*" is just a big NO NO for me.

Personal therapy: Pernah tengok August Rush? I recommend that movie to you all, it's so damn nice. Like they say in that movie, 'You never quit on your music. No matter what happens. Cuz anytime something bad happens to you, that's the one place you can escape to and just let it go.'
  • After a break up or a fight? You listen to sad songs, or maybe happy songs, or maybe angry songs. Music is there for you to make you feel better (or worse).
  • Stressed out from work? You listen to music.
  • Having a nice night at home with your lover? Turn on some seductive, smooth music.
See, music does the tricks.

Like Bob Marley once said, "One good thing about music; when it hits you, you feel no pain." I couldn't agree more. Unlike relationships, unlike 'love', music does not hurt you. Yes it is amazing to have someone who cares for you, at that moment, but hey you got to admit, every time there's a break up, or something worth celebrating about, it's the music you turn to for help.

Music is eternal: It won't die. Ever. Especially now, we are now living in a world where everything seems to be going wrong. The rights have been made, and we are now just screwing it all up. Technology is now causing less socializing. Cars and transport, machines, factories have caused pollution. Fastfood is causing fat people. So really, again I quote JoJo from the movie Across the Universe: "Music's the only thing that makes sense anymore, man. Play it loud enough... it keeps the demons away."

After everything that has happened, all the differences, all the discrimination, hatred, love, etc... Music still managed to maintain universal. An Australian could be listening to a Malaysian song and still say "Hey I like this, though I don't understand it!". Or a Chinese boy listening to a French song... same thing. Music keeps everybody as one. (Cheesy, I know!)

True? Yeah.

Where's my complain?
Here it is. 

I'm so glad to have found such passion within music, and everybody else who are into music, so what pains me is when people start to insult each other over music tastes?
"Ew you like rap, you're a nigger."
"Hardcore metal? Eurghh, so rough."
"They go to gigs? They must be poor and messed up."
"She listens to Ashlee Simpson... what a bimbo."

Do we need all these stereotyping? Why is it that people find so much pleasure in finding hate withing everything? Here we are trying to raise awareness over racism, bullying, labelling, etc, but what do we get? Hypocrites saying "I love music, but yuck I hate *put in a genre*, that isn't music!"

Well, you know what, f*ck you. Right now, even superstars and bands are downed for insulting each other's music, so who are we to think we can get close enough to them to even say irrational things like that?

Are you the one who made music? Did you create music? Take heavy metal, or rap for example. Who are you to say, "heavy metal/rap is not music"? If it is not music, pandai, then why would they be er... under "music genre"? Seriously, think before you talk, unless your aim is to get people insulting your intelligence... like I just did.

Like I have probably mentioned in my previous blog posts... If you don't like a certain type of music... just keep quiet, or just go "Aiyo..." or "Tsk". Don't start going "Ew, what the hell is this sh.t, why do people even listen to this crap?"
Okay, if you say it once or twice, fine... but if you start saying it like as if you alone know what good music is... then shut up. Seriously, no one's interested.

Instead, you could go "Oh, you know, you should really check out *band's name*, they're a lot better, in my opinion." At least macam tu, you don't offend sesiapa, you make friends, and you allow your thoughts to be shared. Kan?
Stop the Anti movements, stop the hatred, because music isn't for that. Unless you're writing a song. 

With Love,
KL Mosher