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Friday, December 9, 2016

Meeting An Honest Mistake (Without the Need of Committing One, Literally)

12/06/2016 05:53:32 PM


Meet Darren Teh, Leonard Chua, Tomas Tam, and Ian Ng. They're four men from different cities and from different musical backgrounds who comprised An Honest Mistake, one of the top bands from the pop rock scene in Malaysia. And they just paid a visit to the Philippines for the ninth time since its formation in 2008 – first as talents of Universal Music Malaysia.

The band dropped by once again in the nation's capitol as the only foreign band to headline Threadfest Manila 2016, one of the biggest music events that held at B-Side, The Collective in Makati City on 22 November 2016. Apart from that, An Honest Mistake also held a special acoustic gig held the next evening at Zili Restaurant & Bar in Cainta, Rizal.

They were introduced by our local counterparts MCA Music Inc. (Universal Music Philippines) with formality to the much-wider audience. Asked about how things went on from indie to mainstream the band tells their whole story.


Teh, the band vocalist, main songwriter and rhythm guitarist, explains. “I think for us, we've been doing things on our own since our day began. I think it was a natural progression for us to end up learning on how to do everything like some things like royalties, the middle stuff, on writing our songs, production, going to the right studios, and playing our tools, and raising our own funds.  So when we were signed by Universal Music Malaysia, it was like an added advantage of what we are bringing in the ring. Previously, we were able to reach like ten people, now we its like double or triple the amount. With that partnership with MCA, and with the name like that rings the bell around the world, we actually get an opportunity to share our music on a bigger platform.”

He also described the transition as 'smooth.'

Apart from headlining Threadfest, An Honest Mistake is also promoting their latest single 'We're Alright,' and the band spoke about the experience of filmming its music video with director Jasper Lawan and actress Julz Savard.


“I was scrolling through YouTube one day and I ended up looking for this band that I like. They are a band from Germany and the video was actually shot here. Later on I found out that it was shot by Jasper. I went to his page and I saw a bunch of videos that he had done. I was really impressed, so I said I think we get this guy to Malaysia to get to shoot our music video. We did some computations and we figured it will be cost effective to shoot the music video here. So we went here in June,” Teh said.

The band also had nothing but praises for the people they have worked with here.

“Jasper is a good visionary. In terms of Julz, she is in a band called Save Me Hollywood. We’ve been friends for a long time. Because we kept coming back, we have established a really good friendship. So I decided since we’re here why don’t you become part of our music video since you are already an actress yourself,” Teh added.

The music video was shot at B-Side, The Collective in Makati City, with the scenery set in an upbeat room having a full-blown house party. They also managed to work with Japo Anareta (Paranoid City and Tanya Markova) who played the synth parts in the song, as well as assisted with the film.


“But in terms of the experience, it was nice. We really didn’t have to worry about anything. Everything’s all sorted out. We just showed up. It was amazing. To be able to cross borders and have a synergy that forms out talents of different countries. That is something that is really inspiring for us. It’s more fun in the Philippines again and again and again,” Chua said.

The song depicts Teh's personal outlook in the present trend of romantic relationships. Apart from drawing usual inspiration from metaphors, the singer-songwriter explained the story behind We're Alright.

“For our new single, that song is actually a representation of relationships in this generation. Because relationships are so uncertain, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You may be starting to go out with somebody you think you love; and in two months the relationship will end because you get bored. But then it doesn’t only apply to single people; it also applies to people who have been in long-term relationships. You can be in a long-term relationship but not know where it is going even if you’re married. I wrote that song with a perspective of a person that is going through something like that. With a question in the beginning of a song “are we okay?” and with the answer in the end with a promise like saying, “Yeah, we’re fine, we’re alright.” That’s how the inspiration came from.

In terms of musical capabilities, the band said, “This song definitely shows a lot more vocal capabilities and bring out a nice blend of pop and punk.”

A frequent visitor in the country, An Honest Mistake has performed in various events in Manila and Cebu. During the stretch, they managed to establish a working rapport and friendship with some of the musicians here in the country such as Save Me Hollywood, Paranoid City, Arianne Gonzaga (False Apart), Chicosci, Faspitch, Drop Decay, and Typecast just to name a few.

However, when asked on whom they hope to collaborate soon, AHM answers Gabby Alipe and his band Urbandub.


Also, asked on what keeps them coming back to the country, the band gave tons of answers from people to the setting and mind you, fastfood. Heck, the band even recalled learning words like “Sige” and “Pare” during their stay.

“Filipinos are just amazing people. They are really warm people,” Teh said of the people.

“The music scene here is constantly filled with so many musicians and bands; something that is very cool,” he added.

“What we really love here is Jollibee! We want to eat Jollibee and take it back home to KL,” Tam said, sending the press into laughter.


Apart from We're Alright, An Honest Mistake will be launching a Christmas album called “An Honest Christmas,” where they will also collaborate with some of the artists from different areas such as Manila, Singapore, and Seoul. 

Statements in this blog post were part of the An Honest Mistake press conference held 18 November 2016 at Handlebar in Makati City; with additional references from Mark Bonifacio's two-part article published under the Music Geek column at The Manila Times.

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Author: slickmaster | © 2016 september twenty-eight productions

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