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MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

[InqPOP! Exclusive] From sunrise to sunset: Plainsunset’s latest single marks the changes in life

After almost two decades in the music industry, the sun has not set for Plainsunset. The Singaporean rock band comprised of lead vocalist and guitarist Jon Chan, guitarist and vocalist Norsham Husaini, bassist and vocalist Nizam Sukri, and drummer Helmi Abd Rahman, recently released their first single, 6/4, from their newest full-length album Both Boxer and Benjamin, available in the fourth quarter of this year.

Plainsunset BW
(L-R): Norsham Husaini, Nizam Sukri, Helmi Abd Rahman & Jon Chan

6/4 … is about how everything in life is changing, whether it’s finding a new job, a new relationship, a new band, etc, but we all swing from one to another in hopes it will be better.

InqPOP!: How did you form your band?
Sham: We just met in school and when we heard Green Day’s album called Kerplunk, we decided we want to form a band that plays punk rock.

InqPOP!: What is the meaning of your band name?
Sham: Our ex drummer Ronny gave that name. It is just a blend of Nirvana’s song ‘On A Plain’ and that place called ‘Sunset Boulevard’.

InqPOP!: Who are your musical influences?
Sham: We all listen to different stuff actually from punk rock to hardcore to hip hop to alternative rock. I guess all these genres contribute to the sound that we have currently.

InqPOP!: How do you feel that your band has been described as a “household name for local music in Singapore”?
Sham: I don’t think we are a household name here in Singapore. There are so many other great bands that have done so much more and achieved to much more than us. But yeah, that’s good to hear.

InqPOP!: You have performed in Malaysia, Hong Kong, The Philippines, New Zealand, China, and Australia; which is the most memorable for you?
Sham: I guess when a girl flashed a boob to our ex-drummer in NZ because she wanted a free CD. And Nizam, our bassist, was given a condom by someone in the crowd in NZ.

InqPOP!: Why did you disband in 2004? What made you get back together again in 2006?
Sham: We were just tired of too many shows. I guess we kinda rested well and we are ready to be back [in the music scene] in 2006 [so] that got us back together.

InqPOP!: Who writes most of the songs? And what is the usual process in your songwriting and arrangement?

Sham: Jon, our vocalist, writes most of the songs. He might bring a chorus to the studio and we will work it out from there.

InqPOP!: Are you full time musicians or do you have day jobs?
Sham: All of us have day jobs.

InqPOP!: What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever said to you or done to you?
Sham: I think it is still weird that people want to take photos with us or want our autographs. We are all just ordinary guys who play loud music on stage.

InqPOP!: Any strange habits before/after performances?
Sham: Not really. We used to get real drunk before shows; but nowadays, not really.

InqPOP!: Describe each of your albums in just one word.
Runaway – Start
Love Songs For The Emotionally Wounded – Sad
Plainsunset (Self Titled) – Happy
Of Boxer & Benjamin – Hypocritical

InqPOP!: Which artist/band would you like to collaborate with?
Jon: I think I’d like to go work with someone like the now defunct Concave Scream. I think another band like Iman’s League would be worth looking into. If I’m talking overseas, I’d say either Braid or The Velvet Teen.

InqPOP!: Kindly share what your new album Both Boxer and Benjamin is about?
Jon: Overall the theme is about social politics, about democrat and republican views, and how I find that both sides are hypocritical, and it was when I realized that the most supposedly ‘inclusive’ people were even more prejudiced than the people they were against (locally as well), that I began to take a more cynical approach to viewing how people are. Based on Animal Farm by George Orwell, it’s a metaphor for both the cynic as well as the idealist in a single person.

InqPOP!: 6/4 is the first single from the album can you tell us what this song is about? And the reason or meaning behind the song title?
Jon: 6/4 is the time signature, which Vertical Rush also have. But the theme is about how everything in life is changing, whether it’s finding a new job, a new relationship, a new band, etc, but we all swing from one to another in hopes it will be better.

InqPOP!: Would you be touring in the Philippines anytime soon?
Jon: I have no idea. I actually am usually the last to know! (laughs)

InqPOP!: You have been around for quite some time. What advice can you give aspiring and newbie artists/bands from around the world?
Jon: Maybe to not rely on the internet alone to push their bands and not be satisfied with fast quick success. I think too many young bands are too interested in quick glory rather than leaving a legacy.

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