A reunion of sorts, the members of Spacedays have all met with Eddino at various points in their musical journeys. “I think we've known each other for a while, not as the band but we kinda hang out at gigs,” Eddino explains. “The scene is quite small here...
A reunion of sorts, the members of Spacedays have all met with Eddino at various points in their musical journeys. “I think we've known each other for a while, not as the band but we kinda hang out at gigs,” Eddino explains.
“The scene is quite small here, everyone knows everyone,” Akid adds on.
Catching the “Siti” Fever
Formed in 2009, Spaceday’s dreamy motto, “some days, we just need some space to observe and to reflect”, comes through in their spacey tunes. The psychedelic groove rock band is made up of Rahmat ‘Mamat’ Suliman (vocals/keyboards/guitar), ‘Bud’ (drums), Zaki Shariff (synths), Akid (vocals/guitar) and Mohamed Hanis (bass).
The quintet has huge respect for Eddino, frontman of Force Vomit and music correspondent for The Straits Times, even christening him a local legend.
Their friendship runs deeper than just “jamming sessions” and meet-ups at gigs. Akid recalls, “When I was in primary school, all the kids were singing Siti by Force Vomit!”
“It was a very influential song to a lot of bands,” Bud contributes.
Broken Hearts Serving the Nation
Forget Siti for now. There’ll be a new lady in town for these boys, Jane by Kick!. It’s up to Spacedays and Eddino to put their own spin on this radio-friendly chart-topper.
A timeless ditty for many Singaporean men, Jane is about the dissolution of a romance between a still-a-boy, not-quite-a-man National Service enlistee and his girlfriend. The song is driven by a pop aesthetic that makes the already identifiable song even more memorable. There’s even a rap thrown in for good measure.
John Klass, frontman of Kick!, feels that the song connected with many “because of the emotions related to being enlisted in NS [National Service]”. The experience is almost a form of a long-distance relationship for attached servicemen and many such romance did not survive.
How will born and bred rockers tackle the pop sensibilities of this made-for-radio song?
With Spacedays and Eddino on three guitars taking on Jane which was produced with a single guitar, the opposite is very much where this collaboration is headed. There’s no intention to drop their signature guitar driven riffs for a lighter sound.
It’ll be quite the makeover, but the team still wants to keep the spirit of the song going strong. In between anthemic hooks and spacey vibes, expect these rockers to hit the same emotional beats that made Jane resonate.
At the end of the day, expect a radio-unfriendly Jane, just the way Spacedays and Eddino have always played.
“Let’s hope Kick! will be there to hear us massacre their song,” says Eddino half-laughing as he looks towards the concert ahead.
“I hope you don’t kenna kick!” Mamat the frontman of Spacedays cheekily warns Eddino.
“There is a connection,” says Eddino when describing his chemistry with the guys from Spacedays. And he is right. Eddino blends right in almost as if they are all from the same band. “We’ve had a lot of good laughs,” he admits.
“Yeah lots of laughs, especially working with Dino! He’s the rock and roll guy man!” Mamat exclaims immediately after Eddino. He even claps his hands mid-sentence in excitement.
The Art of Hanging Out
You don’t get chemistry like this from a simple working relationship. For the team, just being together was a big part of the process. “We hang out quite a bit, just talking about music,” says Mamat.
Eddino sees value in that, “A lot of it was the hanging out and getting together before you even enter the studio. It’s very important that we get to know each other.”
And the “hang out” approach they have taken to reimagine Jane by Kick! seems to have paid off. The moment it’s time to make music, they come together with an almost intuitive understanding. “When we went to the studio for the first time just to jam, we know what each other’s guitar sounds are like, know what each of us can do and know how Akid sang,” says Eddino.
It seems like the team is even planning to take things beyond The Great Singapore Replay. “Our styles gel together so it shouldn’t be a problem to come up with something [in the future]” says an excited Bud, drummer of Spacedays.
But before all that, the concert stage awaits them on 9th September. “We love performing,” says Hanis, then adds a teaser of sorts, “It’s always fun to let loose and do crazy things on stage.”
A Matter of Culture
The team hopes that when it comes time to perform they will play to a spontaneous and energetic crowd that sings and dances along. However, they know Singapore audiences can be slightly passive.
The team compares their performing experiences across the region. Bud recalls a show in Malaysia, “Even though they have not heard of us before, they will be at the front, dancing along, having fun.”
“I think we need more support from locals,” Zaki adds.
Eddino feels that the root of the issue is cultural. He hopes for “more platforms for live music” and perhaps that will slowly shape a more active music culture in Singapore. “A culture where every weekend, instead of going to the movies or shopping, people go down for a gig.”
While in Singapore, sing-along crowds and spontaneous dances might not be commonplace yet, but there is at the very least, a kind of momentum. “The local scene is lacking a bit but it’s building up, which is good,” says Bud. With a bit more time and noise, maybe the weekend gig culture might not be that far of a stretch after all.