Inspire Lobby Session Interviews Part 2 (Sine)
Kent Ridge Inspire Lobby Session is happening on 19th March this Monday! In light of that, we have a two part special on the external bands that are coming to perform for us! Check out their Instagram page @kentridgeinspire for more updates on the bands that are playing for the event. Part two will be on our other guest band Sine.
Formed in 2015, Sine was birthed as an artistic outlet for their members - CJ (Vocals and Guitar), Eugene (Bass) and Marcus (Drums) to delve into the deep sub-genre of rock. A year later they released a 3 track demo. In 2017, Sine was accepted into the Singapore Noise Music Mentorship. Under the guidance of Martin Kong from Caracal, Sine is set to release their upcoming debut EP "The Average on Everything" in April 2018. Also, they will be releasing the 2nd track of their EP, "One Day" on the 29th of March in anticipation for the rest of their EP.
1. So where are you guys from? How did you guys meet?
CJ: The three of us are currently university students - CJ studies Business at SMU, Eugene studies Quantitative Finance at NUS, and Marcus studies Business at NUS. We met in National Service, where all three of us were sergeants in the same unit. Eugene and I brought our guitars to camp to play song covers of Depapepe, and when we realised that Marcus played the drums, we decided to form a band to jam and cover songs.
2. What made you guys start writing music in the first place?
Marcus: The three of us were playing cover songs up until and after we ORDed in mid-2015, and it never occurred to us to write our own songs. But over time, we became dissatisfied with simply playing covers because we felt that these songs were not "truly ours". At the same time, we realised that few bands make a name for themselves playing covers, and thus in 2016 we decided as a band to create our own songs and create a name for ourselves in the music industry.
3. So how did you guys come to the band name?
Eugene: It was a difficult decision for us - we wanted a band name that looked and sounded good, that would be easy for people to remember, and that was relevant to the music that we play, which is math rock. But at the same time, many good names were already taken.
One day, we were sitting at a playground trying to come up with our band name, and Marcus suggested a name that began with the letter 's' because many of the bands that he liked started with the letter 's'. Being lost musicians with a bad sense of vocabulary, we decided to enlist the help of our good friend - Google.
After browsing through, we thought that the word 'Sine' had a good ring to it, and like what abstract painters do, we attributed meaning to what we chose. In latin, 'Sine' means "by itself", and we interpreted that as being original; we are a group that is "by itself", in that there is nothing else to compare us to. This became a core identity in our band and we continuously strive to do things and play music that is conventionally different from others.
4. Who inspires *pun intended* you?
CJ: As a band, we are strongly influenced by other bands such as Toe, Tricot, and Chon, who are widely regarded as powerhouses of math rock. I’m primarily influenced by the emotional capacity of Japanese bands like The Gazette and Dir En Grey. I am also inspired by hardcore acts like Envy and Raein, and Hip-Hop artists such as J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar.
Eugene: I have been listening to a lot of local acts recently (*cough* Nigel Cheah *cough*). However, I think my roots lie mostly in instrumental music, especially Japanese ones such as A Picture of Her, tfvsjs, and doesn't. I am also inspired by other rock acts like Black Veil Brides, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Muse. Also, I've been listening to a lot of Bananarama recently.
Marcus: I like music which is rhythmically-driven and has a strong melody - my main influences are Periphery, Plini, and Uchu Conbini. I also like drummers such as Benny Greb, Troy Wright and Senri Kawaguchi.
5. What's the best gig you've played so far?
CJ: I felt that the gig at The Substation last week for the Ninth Rock Festival was one of the better gigs we've played so far. The sound that day was pretty awesome and the crowd was really into our music. People wanted us to play Full Dive (a song from our upcoming EP) one more time which was really quite humbling.
Eugene: I think the best gig was the Noise Singapore artist showcase concert back in December, which was the pinnacle of our Noise journey (a mentorship programme organised by the National Arts Council) and we were playing to the biggest crowd that we ever played to. The stage was huge, which gave us so much space to move around and head bang. After that night, I had a neck ache and backache for 3 days.
6. Describe your song writing process.
CJ: I believe in listening to different types of music to gain inspiration. After a period of listening to music, I will sit down with my guitar and play. I would just play it randomly, without any goal or intention. Ideas would start to develop themselves and the main riff of the song would be born. From there I would complete the song by adding guitar and vocal parts intentionally to fit the song. We usually get together to work out the song together. Eugene and Marcus, who are responsible for the bass and drum parts respectively, will then make suggestions regarding the song structure or other instrument lines to make the song more musical and coherent. We make it a point to be open-minded about everyone’s suggestions, and try any ideas at least once before deciding on it. Some of our best song ideas have come about by trying something that one of us initially thought would not work.
7. Where can we find you guys?
We will be releasing our debut EP "The Average of Everything" in April, so stay tuned for that. You can also find us at the links below:
Electronic Press Kit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1noLwr9yzHCdvTjJyQwAv1QUjE0ZQeX10
Thanks for having us for the interview, and see you at the Lobby Sessions!