Interviews,NATIVE X LOCAL (Singapore Edition)

Getting comfortable with Cadence

Cadence is a Singaporean alternative rock band. A quintet mix of musicians who’ve played in the local indie scene for years and three who are diving into it for the first time. The line-up merges experience with fresh eyes and ears to create an energetic rock outfit with a strong emphasis on melodies and concise arrangements.

The band consists of Seth Chiam (Vocals, Guitar), Japheth Ng (Bass), Angus Sham (Guitar), Nathan Huang (Guitar), Dominic Goh (Drums).

1. Let’s say we’re new listeners of Cadence. Sum up your band and music to us in 2 sentences!

Japheth: We are a five piece Singaporean band with tunes that sound like ocean waves crashing on to the rocks on the shoreline. Loud, Powerful but soothing at the same time.

Nate: Poignancy. Uplifts.

Angus: The juxtaposition of pain and hope. Not forgetting hunger, both in the lyrics and in the physical realm that is.

2. Cadence recently played for Baybeats and Republic Polytechnic’s Ignite! Music Festival. How were those for you guys?

Nate: Stress la! But then again, don’t we all revel in the pressure that brings the best out of us? Technical difficulties continue to plague us but they don’t stop us from playing our hearts out and that’s what happened at the 2 festivals. What we truly appreciate is the support rendered from the organisers and volunteers for the events.

Each of them went the extra mile to make a small act like us shine. And not forgetting the families, friends and general audience who came to watch us. The energy was definitely there and we appreciate that.

Angus: It was a great encouragement to us. Baybeats and IGNITE! are the biggest iconic music festivals in Singapore. It is a milestone for many of our homegrown bands in all our musical journeys. Being able to participate in both in the same year gave our band a sense of direction, that our material is being received well and that we’re headed towards a favorable direction. The experience has been very enriching and fulfilling. More than just the hype and adrenaline on the stage itself, both festivals have equipped us with much skills, knowledge and experience as a band. The baybeats mentorship programme for one has taught us important skills on how to write an EPK (Electronic press kit), tech rider and also enlightened us on things relating to stage etiquette, recording etc. Different mentors and known giants from the music and media industry spent hours sharing their experiences and knowledge with us which were so helpful to us as a band. For these, we are eternally grateful.

3.  Speaking of gigs, do you guys still remember your first ever gig together?

Dom: HOOD BAR! The first gig where all of us played together. We had so much fun that night! Loads of sweat too. Thankful for everyone that came and supported us, friends and families. And not forgetting Clement, the man that gave us the opportunity to showcase our music, for letting us have our originals session at Hood.

4.  “Alive” was the first video you put out on your YouTube channel, Cadence SG. How long did you guys take to record the song and the video respectively?

Nate: As long as Seth said it took.

Seth: We took maybe a week to track the song after we finished arranging it. The video we did over one night of shooting from 9pm to 3am! Then 2 days to edit! Just in time for the deadline we set for ourselves!

5.  Your latest single, “Come Home” sounds amazing. Tell us more about the inspiration behind the song as well as the process you guys went through to produce such a rad track.

Angus: The noise you hear from the pre-chorus of the song was purely accidental. The guitars were crazily overdriven and cranked up which led to much feedback and noise. We haven’t experience any of those in our rehearsals and arrangement. It happened only during the recording. We thought it sounded pretty cool and decided to keep them!

Seth: We had a full arrangement of the song without lyrics and vocal melody for quite a while. Then after one fateful catalytic conversation I had with a close friend of mine, the lyrics for the song just flowed and the song came together in a matter of days! It’s a real favourite of our ours to play live because of the overlapping guitars. Also, Nate’s guitar solo!

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6.   We love all of your tracks but Reignition got us hooked the moment we heard it. The lyrics are so meaningful and uplifting, and the sick beat pulls everything together. Any words of encouragement or advice to followers who might be thinking of pursuing a music career?

Nate: Once again, you flatter us! I think one of the qualities that make us work as a band is that we are open to criticism. None of us are afraid to voice out concerns that certain parts do not work and all of us can take it when we tell one another that a certain phrase doesn’t work well. Of course, it also helps that each of us are our own harshest critics!

Angus: Listen to lots of music (those you like and dislike!) and steal from as many people as possible (their wallets too)

Seth: As the chorus goes (and it’s really me whom I wrote the song to) “disregard everything you know could go wrong and see to the end the things that you believe in!”

*Rapid Fire Question Time*

Who’s the most likely to…

1. Trip on stage during a gig?

Japheth: Probably me. During the 100+50 music festival I nearly lost my balance

when my right foot slipped on my cable.

Nate: Japh may trip on something but I often find myself close to losing my balance

when I’m trying to step on all my pedals.

Angus: Dom. For Baybeats, he brought the wrong pair of shoes and wore his full

leather formal work shoes to drum.

2. Win the Hunger Games?

Japheth: Angus for sure. Since he just finished reservist and has all the survival skill

set fresh in his mind.

Nate: Angus the black cow from the wild lands.

Angus: Because of the faith you have in me, I will surely win.

Seth: Sgt. Angus the wild bearded man.

3. Appear on a reality show?

Japheth: Elias from Lush 99.5fm briefly mentioned that Seth has the looks for tv. So yeah…

Angus: Japheth. He looks like Tony Leung Ka Fai. I haven’t mentioned this to him before.

Seth: Me! My sis and I always wanted to go for The Amazing Race!

 4. Not shower for a week?

Japheth: I believe Angus recently spent 1-2 weeks of his time in the jungle so…

Angus: I need to win the Hunger games right?

Seth: Yeah. He actually didn’t! Unless you count powder baths!

5. Get arrested?

Japheth: Seth. For driving like a raging bull.

Angus: Seth. He misplaced his NRIC.

Seth: HEY! NOT TRUE! I just recently earned my 5-year safe driver award from the traffic police!

6. Fart out loud in public?

Seth: None of us. We’re too classy for that… 😉

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