Concave Scream is one of the oldest bands of today's local music scene, having been around since 1994. Started by Sean and Pann, who have known each other since junior college, it was their common interest in music and passion that brought them together even though they had varied musical tastes.
Today, the band comprises of Sean (vocals and guitar), Pann (vocals and guitars), Dean (drums and percussion) and Wan (bass). Concave Scream is one band that prefers to keep things simple, substantial and independent. Having released 5 full length albums to date, Concave Scream has been driving the underground music scene in Singapore for quite some years now and is arguably the granddaddy of indie-metal-hardrock here. Their latest album, Soundtrack For A Book, was released earlier this year and provides an adventurous take with its first fully instrumental work.
Excerpts from an interview with Concave Scream on agingyouth.com:
Much has been said about the distinct packaging of Soundtrack For A Book. How did you guys decide on presenting the album on such a unique format?
Pann: Frankly, I am not sure how to explain the process of coming out with the idea of drilling a hole in the book and securing it with a bolt and wing nut. It’s just an idea that connected to me when I was doodling on my moleskin, the design and look of the album packaging just felt fresh and appropriate. To me, it’s more than a book or CD now; it has become a collectible object.
Sean: Pann came up with the packaging idea. We all loved it very much. Especially the idea of recycling and giving an old book a new lease of life to be cherished. It’s also nostalgically cool. Everyone wants the Enid Blytons! It has definitely helped in getting people excited about our new offering.
I love how the new website looks. You could even register the copy of the album on it as well. From the packaging to the website, the experience of owning the album is so greatly enhanced. You guys won some accolades for the website. Tell us a bit about the idea behind it.
Sean: Pann came up with our packaging idea using used books. It has a very old school analogue charm. I thought it would be interesting if we could somehow make it work in a digital environment without the need to go retro in terms of look and feel. So, I thought the best way to tie-in the concept online was to play up on feelings instead. The feeling of owning something special, to be specific. Also, because our album is titled Soundtrack For A Book, I wanted the ‘books’ to speak the music.
This is the techie bit. Whilst researching for different forms of sound visualization methods, I came across a particle engine tutorial created by Dan Gries. It was perfect for the website; the source also had custom classes in place that can be adapted for more creative exploration.
With the help of a colleague from Kinetic (an interactive agency where most of the band hold their day jobs), Jingzhong, and Dan’s approval, we added sound reaction to it, z depth control via mouse, an interface that allows users to customize the ‘look’ of their book by controlling different values such as spread, zoom, sampling etc as well as a record and playback function. With all these parameters in place, we were then able to give visitors that unique experience, both aurally and visually.
Like you’ve mentioned, most of the guys are already fathers. It was pretty cute to see your kids running around when you were playing a recent show. Do the kids approve of their dads rocking it out once in a while? Would you avoid the rock cliché by banning your daughters from picking up the bass?
Sean: My daughter has only seen us perform once. Although she generally does not like loud noises, she didn’t complain on that night, so I guess she’s ok with it. I’m not familiar with that rock cliché but she will have my support if she decides to learn music or any other hobby that makes her happy for that matter.
Pann: My kids are more than happy with me playing in a band. In fact, I always play the “ABC” song with the kids with guitar on distortion and they love head banging to it! I am also more than okay if they want to start a band, as long as there’s no drugs involved.
Dean: If anything, my kids always grumble about not being able to be next to my floor tom or cymbals while I’m playing. My boy frowns every time I tell him I gotta go for a jam or shows and he’s got to hold the fort and take care of the girls… but I don’t think it’s ’bout me going to “rock it out” lah… He’s just 2. I think it’s probably ’cause got no one to give him the “Superman-and-do-the-funky-chicken/ James Brown” dance for his amusement kind.
I’ll never have a problem with letting them pick up an instrument or instruments of their choice. I’d be really happy, supportive and proud, actually… Just as long as they’re having a good time doing it. So girl, boy, bass and all, I’m okay lah.
Concave Scream’s Soundtrack For A Book is available at all good music stores or Asylum @ 22 Ann Siang Road
For more information, visit http://www.concavescream.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/concavescreamband