Monday, July 18, 2005


"You guys didn't make it."
A sense of disappointment and failure swept right thru me when I received those words. It was the fate of my band's audition for AudioWarfare 2005. I coudn't comprehend the feeling at that moment. The other bands hadn't heard news of the results yet, neither did my other band members. I was the first to hear it. And as I sat there, all the thoughts ran through my head of where we went wrong.

It was a terrible blow to me personally. As a band, we had invested alot of time and money within that one month we practiced together. We had high hopes of winning, what more, to pass the auditions. The long wait for the results was something similar to waiting for my exam results. When I heard that we didn't get in, it was as if, I saw an F for failed on my result slip.

I was told that our band made it to the top 15 but not close enough to clinche top 10. Somehow, our best wasn't good enough. The feedback was, as a band, we were quite tight, except for a stray guitar now and then. Some parts, we weren't exactly with each other. We lost marks for that. Our vocals weren't that impressive. That was another factor. And we did a cover song. We lost marks for originality. We didn't know that if we had our own song, the mark add-up would be higher. Because of this, we took so much pain to perfect the song the way we heard it played. We weren't informed that originality weighed 20% of the overall results.

After such a long wait, that was really disappointing and sad news. I didn't know how to tell the rest of my band members. I felt sorry for them. We had given our best, but it wasn't enough to get us through. I felt heavy.

That night, Chee Kah came over, and we just sat down quietly, not doing anything. We sat in silence. I guess that was our way with coping with grief. I just can't express in words how I felt. But I bet Chee Kah felt the same. It was a mixture of loss, defeat, failure, waste, anger, sadness, missed opportunities, depression and a few more a rolled into one. Our hopes of playing for the finals were dashed. We had built our hopes so high that this fall was gonna hurt so bad. One word that could describe that moment : Crushed!

It felt as if everything we had worked for had been crushed. One of my dreams while in uni was to be able to play for AudioWarfare. I had that chance. But now, I missed it altogether. Since I'll be graduating next year, this was my last attemt at making it. This chance will never come by again.

But at least, I tried. Though we failed, we all knew that we have given our best. And there are a lot of other things other than AudioWarfare. But somehow, I can't shake of that feeling of defeat just yet.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Auditions

By 10am, I already found myself stuck in Subang's morning-market jam. With only 6 hours sleep the night before, I had to brace myself for the long grueling hours ahead of sitting in the jamming studio. Besides being a participator for the auditions, I was also part of the organizing and working committee of AudioWarfare 2005. So unlike all my other band members, I coudln't skit off after the auditions but had to continue managing the situation at the studio.

It was tension building. One band after another started filling the tiny Rhythmix Studio. Chee Kah and I were acting bouncers an we basically managed the in-flow and out-flow of the participating bands. On our list, we had 33 bands that registered for an audition. 33 bands!! if each band was given 10 mins hearing, that would require 330 mins, close to 6 hours. Add lunch break time and all the other time-wasters, it stretched on for 10 hours. That's nearly double the time! And that was exactly how long I was stuck in the studio, from 10 am till 7 pm.

My band was really excited. We met up early to have lunch together and discuss our final strategy. The Melakan band, PG165, also made it. It was good to see them. Anyways, my day started with a slight fever and a sore throat. The cough was also building. However, it subsided by the time my turn for the audition came.

We entered the studio, and set-up as fast as we could. Did all the necessary sound checks and we were off. We started loud just as we had planned. I couldn't think anymore. My mind was racing. Adrenaline was pumping. And by the middle of the 1st verse, I realised I was out of breath. Due to all the excitement and anxiety, my heart was beating faster than I could imagine and I was breathless. During the song, we did a derivation of the original song by mistake. It wasn't a blunder. Just that of all the times we had practiced, we 'accidentally' added an extra bar to the pre-chorus of the song "Open Your Eyes" by Alter Bridge, this time round. Somehow, we managed to get over it fast enough without making it look like a mistake. There was energy in the air. We played our hearts out and sang our lungs out. It was the best playing so far for some of us. By the time the song was over, which was pretty quick, we heaved a sigh of relief. Finally, we had auditioned. All the long hours of practicing the month before will be decided by this fateful rendition. The 10 mins we were in the studio would be evaluated if it were fit for the real thing.

As we got back to the waiting room, we realised we were sweating. We had never perspired so much before during our practices. And I remember my leg trembling as I toyed with my wah-pedal during the song. We thought we did good enough. We gave our best. Now, we just had to wait. And see. Next band up was PG 165.

After everything was done, my band members went of but Chee Kah and I were still obliged to stay and carry on our bouncer duties once again. To make matters worse, the other waiting bands started their smoking. It was a killer. It felt as if I was smoking too.

At 7pm, when all the bands had auditioned, Chee Kah and I waited and waited as the rest of the upper committee went off to finalise the marks of the audition together with the judges. It was a long and depressing wait. We heard that there were other bands who were pretty good. And that minimised our chances of clinching a place in the finals. As we waited, I could feel a sence of heaviness just set in. I don't know why, but I was already preparing for the worse.

By nite, the results still weren't out. There were a few more details that was being scrutinised. I'm feeling the tension of wanting to know my results. It's the kind of wait that seems to last forever. I am just waiting.

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All the best to me.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Road To Audio Warfare 2005

This coming 21st July would be the big day for Audio Warfare 2005 ; it's MMU's version of battle of the bands. The tension is building. People are talking about it. Bands are preparing for it. Before this Big day, I have another obstacle to face : the Auditions. It's this coming Saturday ( 16th July). Actually, it's just tomorrow.

The road that I've taken till now has been a very exciting one. This is my final year in uni, and this will be my last chance to compete in a music competition of this magnitude. Ever since I steped into uni, I've been encouraged and spurred on by many friends to take part...and if possible, win. It's been 4 years now since that realisation of that dream occured. Somehow, when the time came, I would be unpreprared. I had no band and I was searching. It's so difficult sometimes to find a band. You just need the right amount of chemistry among the musicians to get the ball rolling. So far, I've only participated in 2 music competitions in MMU. The first time, I was a last minute bassist. They needed a bassist and i managed to fill in. It was MMUSICS : The Acoustic Session in 2002. Surprisingly, we won.

The follwoing year, I was asked to play guitar for my senior's band. Not having an electric guitar then, I was still enthusiastic to join. We made it through the auditions. But on that night of the competition, we didn't do well enough to win. That's been my experience so far.

All this while, I've been looking for a permanent band to play in. I would find a drummer and a singer, then I would lose the bassist , then the drummer goes missing and somehow the pieces just couldn't fit. There was a year when I had the opportunity to play with a good keyboardist and singer, but somehow, our entry form was late, and we had to be turned down:( It was missed opportunity. After a while, my dream of playing in audiowarfare faded. I just couldn't see how things were gonna work out. I wanted something more than just a performance on that night; I was looking for a bunch of people whom I could make music with. Somehow use music as a reach out point. I almost got it all together. Then internal conflicts came in the way and tore all that up. Shattered again.

This year, Joshua had a bright spark, and he really went all out to get the various people to make this dream work. At least, the part of playing for Audiowarfare would come to past. That's all I felt I could achieve for now.

The journey thus far has only been a short, yet exciting one. We only met about less than a month ago to form this band. 6 of us. I do not know how long this connection will last, but it will do till after Audio Warfare. Pieces started to fit in. Joshua being the force behind the scenes. He pulled everyone together. 6 of us : Joshua on Drums, Chee Kah on bass, Chang Shen and Chuah on electric guitars and Chee Meng and I on Electric guitars and vocals. Ever since that meet-up, we've been meeting in the studio to practice and make this work. So far, all's been good. There were the up times, there were also the down times. But we pulled through.

Our journey so far has brought us to slightly more than a couple of long hours at the jamming studio. There was a time we had to practice from 11pm till 2 am in the morning. What unearthly hour was that for making music? On our journey, we also had the opportunity to do a studio recording of our songs. It was a whole new thing for me. We had to play on a track-by-track basis. First, our instruments were recorded. Then later, our voices. We had to be precise and sharp. Then I had to go into the studio with Chee Meng, just the 2 of us to do a recording of our voices. It was frightening. With a mike that can pick up nearly everything, we had to be in form with our voices and pronounciation. what was supposed to be a 2 hours norm turned out to be a 4 hour experience. The consoling fact : even if we do not make it past the auditions, we still had our recording.

I got to admit, I am disappointed with the way I sing, but I guess there is nothing more to do than practice and practice. We do not know if we can make it, but we are working as if we've already made it.

Back to the present, the Audition is tomorrow, but I'm down with cough, flu and a fever. What right timing this is. I hope I recover fast enough. I don't want to let my band members down. If you are reading this, please pray for my fast recovery. God bless.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

my current desktop

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The One-Stop-Centre

Welcome to the One-Stop-Centre
It has almost everything you might need
When you feel the need to surf, instantly it becomes a cybercafe
With broadband, the world is at your fingertips
Not forgetting superb printing services
All the paper and ink you need
Other stationaries available (eg: puncher and stapler)
Feeling thirsty? No worries
In a moment, it becomes a drink joint
Also, food is easily accessible
You will never go hungry
Feeling tired and sleepy
The facility provides adequate rest areas
You are sure to get all the peace and quiet you need
Need music?
This is the right stop
With 40 gigs of songs, you will never go bored
Need a change of clothes?
Well, the limited variety we have should be sufficient for your style
Feeling emotionally burdened and need to unload
An eager ear will always be ready to listen to your needs
Befrienders is at your service
Need transport? you bet we have it
With just a phonecall or an sms a way
You get to travel as far as the petrol holds
What more do you need?
Our services is 24 hours a day
7 days a week
and 365.25 days a year
At any time if the day, you can always get what you want
Is there anything you need?
Write in and maybe we could work out a solution for all your needs
While you are here, hope you enjoy your stay
And may it be a pleasant one

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


"Life is like a bed of roses"
Disclaimer: Roses have thorns, not one, but loads of them.
Implication: Life does look nice and rosy, until you actually get there. And then you find that underneath the soft petals, are thousands of prickly thorns. That's like all the crap that takes place. However, Life is indeed beautiful.