Interview Bersama XingFoo&Roy

Bisa dibilang XingFoo&Roy sendiri memang tercatat sebagai band pertama yang diorganisir oleh kolektif saya, Elang Terbang Kolektif, yang dimana setelahnya menghasilkan puluhan gig swadaya dan XingFoo&Roy sendiri sebenarnya merupakan 3 teman dari Singapore yang humble banget dan suka banget sama beer. XingFoo&Roy sendiri memang merupakan band yang masuk ke dalam list favorit personal saya karena band ini memang terasa lebih dari sekedar band saja dan mereka lebih saya anggap sebagai teman. Yes chemistry seperti itu sering nampaknya akan sering ditemui di scene musik yang tumbuh secara organik dan community based and that’s Do It Yourself also means Do It With Your Friends sih. Dan berikut merupakan interview redaksi Knurd bersama XingFoo&Roy di tengah kesibukan dan juga jelimetnya deadline kerjaan sehari-hari.

Knurd : First question, how are you guys doing??
Daniel Chan : Covid sucked, but now that everything here’s opening up and shows are happening again that’s really great!!
Jerome Chong: Pretty okay! Could be better haha but im quite excited for the stuff we have planned in the coming months 🙂
Gabriel : Covid was rough, but things are looking up now. There have been a lot of changes in our lives, just trying to stay optimistic

Knurd : Pertanyaan pertama, gimana kabar kalian??
Daniel Chan : Covid tuh sucks tapi sekarang banyak tempat udah pada buka dan udah ada gig juga jadi ya bersukur lah!
Jerome Chong : Cukup baik! Lebih baik malah haha. Yang pasti gue lagi excited banget soal plan beberapa bulan ke depan 🙂
Gabriel : Covid sucks tapi sekarang mendingan sih. Ada banyak yang berubah di hidup tapi masih mencoba optimis sih

Knurd : Oh you guys have a planning in the coming months! New full-length probably??
Gabriel : Releasing the new record possibly tomorrow actually! So we are excited about that, it was written through the course of the pandemic (2 years) so it’s about time.
We are looking forward to the album launch happening later this month, we are playing with some amazing people.
Then we are excited to meet our friends back in Indonesia again with Forests in September
Jerome Chong : Yes it will be ‘full length’ of 8 tracks. Gab has probably said most of what I would say too, this album was written over a really long time, and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we did!

Knurd : Oh kalian tuh punya rencana di bulan depan… Full length barukah??
Gabriel : Kita bakal rilis full length baru sih besok jadi itu sih yang buat kita excited banget. Full length ini ditulis selama 2 tahun sepanjang pandemi dan banyak lagu temanya berhubungan langsung dengan kehidupan kita di masa pandemi.
Kita lagi mempersiapkan album launching dan bakalan banyak yang ngisi band-band temen yang bagus juga.
Juga kita seneng banget akan dateng ke Indonesia dan ketemu banyak teman bareng Forests September nanti.
Jerome Chong : Ya betul full-length ini akan berisi 8 lagu. Mungkin kurang lebih sama yang disampaikan Gabriel tadi, album ini ditulis dengan rentang waktu yang cukup lama dan kami harap kamu akan menyukainya

Knurd : So you have 6 years in distance between the first full-length and the second one and in between there are numbers of single and EP being put out. What’s the reason to put out singles and EP’s?? Why not just straight to the second full-length??
Jerome Chong : I dont think there was a specific reason like “Oh lets put out a 5-track ep or singles/s”, but i think we just did that because we did not have enough songs for a full album
For “Salty Water”, it was released on its own because we felt that it did not fit with the other songs we were writing/wrote!

Knurd : Kalau dilihat sendiri, ada jarak 6 tahun antara perilisan full-length pertama dan kedua dan lagi di antaranya dirilis beberapa EP dan single. Apa alasan kalian merilis EP dan single tersebut?? Kenapa gak langsung full length kedua aja??
Jerome Chong : Saya rasa gak ada maksud tertentu, kita sih cuma “Oh ada stok lagu nih, kita rilis EP atau single yuk”. Tapi sih yang pasti alasan kami merilis EP karena emang gak punya banyak lagu untuk dirilis jadi full-length.
Untuk lagu “Salty Water”, kami rilis terpisah karena materi tersebut gak “fit in” dengan materi lainnya yang kami tulis sebelumnya.

Knurd : So, any new thing on the new full-length you would offer for the listener??
Gabriel : Personally my favourite song off the new record is called “Something About Trains”, it was written by Dan. Even after listening to it more than a 100 times now it’s a jam and it’s honestly fun to play too.
A song i’m proud of is called “To Be Clean”, I wrote it when i was struggling with my mental health quietly and it’s about dealing with that and getting rid of it (or at least trying to). On the track, i get to sing with our good friend desiree and i love it cause we got to do that together

Knurd : Jadi, ada something new gak yang akan dipresentasikan kepada pendengar dari album baru ini??
Gabriel : Gue pribadi sih suka dengan lagu yang judulnya “Something About Trains”, lagunya ditulis sama si Dan. Walaupun lagunya udah ratusan kali didenger, jujur lagu ini masih enak banget buat didengerin dan dimaenin.
Lagu yang bikin saya bangga adalah lagu yang berjudul “To Be Clean”, saya menulisnya ketika saya lg struggle banget dengan keadaan mental health saya dan lagu ini bercerita tentang saya di momen tersebut dan usaha saya untuk coping dengan isu tersebut. Pada track tersebut, saya dibantu oleh seorang teman baik, Desiree, dan saya senang untuk melakukan kolaborasi tersebut bersama dengannya.

Knurd : Talk about the song itself, you guys are known as an emo band who write a serious lyric. It’s a different thing as I could compare to any other Singaporean emo bands who write a less-serious theme lyrics. What do you guys would say about it?? Do you feel so and is it the way you guys are??
Jerome Chong : For this album we hope listeners would enjoy every track as they are, as many of the songs were written quite far apart (some over a year) from others. This album is also mixed and mastered by our very talented friend Kin Leon!
I shall leave this question to Dan and Gab as they wrote lyrics. However I dont think we are the only Singaporean emo band who writes ‘serious’ lyrics hahah. Another emo band whom we play with quite often, Terrible People, writes pretty ‘serious’ lyrics too!
Gabriel : I think we just try to be as genuine as possible with our songs and especially the lyrics. I personally seem to find myself writing a lot about my personal fears and anxiety or frustrations. Sometimes i’m afraid im even being too literal haha
Maybe i should try to be funnier hahaha maybe next time
Daniel Chan : We are very serious people…
But yeah actually never really thought about that, next time we write funny song

Knurd : Berbicara soal lagu sendiri, kalian sendiri merupakan band emo yang suka banget nulis lirik serius dan untuk di skena Singapore sendiri kalian cukup berbeda karena mostly band-band di sana tuh nulis lirik yang gak terlalu serius. Apa tanggapan kalian?? Apa kalian emang maunya seperti itu??
Jerome Chong : Untuk album ini kita harap para pendengar menikmati setiap track yang ada karena kita sendiri nulis lagunya gak terlalu jauh jaraknya satu sama lain (walaupun ada beberapa ada yang jaraknya sampai satu tahun). Album ini juga di-mix dan mastering oleh teman tercinta kita, Kin Leon!
Harusnya pertanyaan ini yang jawab si Gab atau Daniel sih karena mereka yang menulis lirik. Tapi sih kayanya kita gak satu-satunya orang yang nulis lirik serius haha. Ada band Singapore lain yang sering maen sama kita yang juga menulis lagu dengan tema yang cukup serius kok kaya Terrible People.
Gabriel : Saya rasa kita sih mencoba jujur aja dalam menulis lagu dan lirik di band ini. Saya juga sering menulis lagu tentang anxiety, juga rasa takut dan kefrustasian pribadi saya.
Daniel Chan : Kita emang orangnya serius sih dan gak pernah kepikiran sih soal itu. Mungkin satu hari nanti kita bakalan nulis lagu yang gak terlalu serius

Knurd : Next question, could you tell me about the creativity process in the band?? Is it the song first then lyrics comes later or otherwise??
Daniel Chan : I think it’s different for every song, for the ones that I wrote it usually starts with a riff. Then after that I’ll just listen to the riff a bunch of times and usually the lyrics are just about what’s happening in my life at that point
Jerome Chong : For me I usually only come in once Dan or Gab has written something, whether its part of a song (i.e verse/chorus) or just an idea like a riff, and we’ll jam to it, thats how my drums come in. Over a few sessions we’ll develop and arrange the song together and I’ll also put in cooler drum parts 🙂

Knurd : Pertanyaan selanjutnya, bisa ceritain gak proses kreativitas di dalam band ini?? Yang ditulis mana duluan sih?? Lagunya dulu atau liriknya dulu??
Daniel Chan : Saya rasa beda-beda sih tiap lagunya. Kalo gue biasanya sih riff-riff guitar dulu pada jadi terus menyusul lirik lagu yang biasanya diambil dari apa yang sedang terjadi di waktu tersebut
Jerome Chong : Kalau saya sih pas si Dan dan Gab bawain lagu pas latihan, kadang bagian dari lagu kaya verse atau chorus dan kadang juga cuma riff terus dibawa nge-jam, nah di situ sih saya ngisi part drumnya. Di beberapa kesempatan latihan kita bareng-bareng ngembangin dan arrange materi tersebut, di situ sih biasanya saya ngisi part-part drum yang enaknya.

Knurd : Next question for Jerome, you are seen for always putting up a metronome while doing live performance. Why you do so?? Is it for a better tempo measurement
Daniel Chan : Hahaha
Jerome Chong : HAHA. Ok I’ve since stopped using the metronome during live performances.
Initially I used it because I didnt trust my tempo (I realised I slowed down sometimes and I also felt more comfortable following the set tempo of the songs)
About 2 years ago? I stopped using it because quite a few people told me I play better without it, and to be honest, I was also getting lazy bringing it around lol. I still slow down sometimes during songs but I guess its not as bad as last time hahaha

Knurd : Pertanyaan selanjutnya untuk Jerome, anda sering keliatan make metronome ya di banyak live performance. Kenapa ya?? Biar temponya gak ngaco ya??
Daniel Chan : Hahahaha
Jerome Chong : HAHA. Gue sih sebenernya udah berhenti make matronome kalo live. Sebelumnya gue make karena gak pede soal tempo (gue sadar sih kadang maen suka kelambatan gitu dan emang lebih enak kalo emang ngikutin sesuai tempo lagunya aja)
Ini kayanya 2 tahun yang lalu gak sih?? Gue emang udah berenti make metronome karena banyak juga yang ngomong kalo performance gue lebih baik gak make tempo dan males juga kalo harus bawa metronome kemana-mana lol. Tapi kadang gue masih sering kebawa pelan sih tapi gak separah dulu-dulu.

Knurd : Thx for revealing the universe secret Jerome!
So about the second Japan tour, were you guys doing it for an intention for seeing the reunion Snowing?? Is that true?? Kazu of Waterslide Records told me so

Jerome Chong : Hahah yes! The tour actually all came together because we wanted to catch Snowing. We had such a good time during our first tour in japan, so we decided why not just do another one since we’d all be there!
It was a special night, I still remember we were at a bar before the show and when we were walking over to the venue we were cutting through these small meandering alleys and it started to drizzle. It was pretty cold but it was quite magical
Gabriel : Yes! We couldn’t miss opportunity to catch snowing. We actually got to talk to them too so it was crazy. We took the oppprtunity to reach out to our friends in japan and had an amazing time. Truly a magical tour haha

Knurd : Makasih Jerome udah ngasih tau rahasia semestanya!
Mau ngomongin tur Jepang kedua kalian, bener yah kalian tur kemarin tuh sekalian mau nonton reunian Snowing?? Si Kazu Waterslide Records sih yang bilangin gue

Jerome Chong : Haha iya bener! Emang kita tur ke Jepang kemarin tuh karena mau liat reunian Snowing. Pas tur pertama tuh emang berkesan gitu jadi ya kita lakuin lagi yang kedua deh.
Yang bikin spesial tuh pas kita ke bar dulu sebelum gig Snowing kemarin dan ketika kita mau ke venue kita motong jalan lewat gang-gang yang banyak belokannya gitu dan waktu itu lagi rada gerimis salju. Dingin banget sih cm magis dan pas banget kaya nama bandnya  waktu itu.
Gabriel : Iya! Itu sebenernya kesempatan yang bener-bener gak bisa dilewatin. Kita juga sempet ngobrol-ngobrol sama mereka. Gila banget sih itu! Kita sempet reach out ke temen-temen di Jepang dan gak bisa dilupain banget sih momen itu. Bener-bener tur yang ajaib deh!

Knurd : Next question, I’m wondering about the album name “Green Around The Gills”, what’s the story behind the name??
Gabriel : It’s an idiom that my friend alex uses often to describe her feeling ill and it gave us the idea and we thought it fit.
We had the idea of theming the record with what it would feel like to be hungover after a night out in the early morning, hungry, tired and just trying to find your way home – sort of how coming out of the last 2 years of the pandemic has felt.

Knurd : Pertanyaan selanjutnya, gue penasaran sih soal nama album kalian yang judulnya “Green Around The Gills”, kenapa bisa dinamain albumnya begitu??
Gabriel : Itu sebenernya sebuah idiom yang teman saya, Alex, gunakan buat ngegambarin rasa sakit/perih dan idiom tersebut ngasih kita ide untuk namain album kita dengan nama tersebut dan emamg pas sih.
Jadi idenya albumnya sendiri kaya gimana sih rasanya hang over di pagi hari setelah mabok semaleman. Capek, laper, dan coba buat balik ke rumah – dan hal ini yang kita lalui 2 tahun ke belakang selama era pandemi.

Knurd : Could you guys tell us about the shorter plan or longer plan for this band?? Any plan for a tour to promote the new LP??
Gabriel : For the short term plan, we have an album launch show organised later this month (aug 20th) in Singapore which we are really excited for. It’s been a lot of work for the guys organising it including jerome. We play with some really cool people and we’re excited to play the new songs.
In September we will be headed to Jakarta and Tangerang to tour with Forests. We are again super super excited to see all our friends in Indonesia. We remember fondly, from our last time touring, shows in Indonesia are crazy fun.
No longer plan at the moment though, we know how unpredictable life is so we are just trying to enjoy the moment as much as possible.

Knurd : Ada plan terkini dan jangka jauh kah buat band sendiri?? Atau ada plan untuk promote LP baru kalian??
Gabriel : Untuk jangka pendek sih, kita bakalan bikin show album launching yang diadain tanggal 20 Agustus di Singapore dan kita excited banget. Kita bakalan maen sama band-band keren dan excited juga bakalan bawain lagu baru.
Lalu September nanti kita bakalan ke Jakarta dan Tangerang buat tur bareng Forests. Kita seneng banget bisa ketemu sama temen-temen di Indonesia lagi. Inget banget terakhir tur ke Indonesia tuh gignya seru-seru banget. Untuk jangka jauh banget sih gak ada soalnya hidup makin gak bisa diprediksi sekarang jadi enjoy the moment dulu lah.

Knurd : Okay! Any last words from you guys??
Jerome Chong : Nope! I think Gabs answer has covered all we would have said hahah
Gabriel : Just want to say also thanks for taking the time to write this article! and do this interview haha

Knurd : Oke! Ada pesan terakhir kah guys??
Jerome : Gak ada sih! Gue rasa Gab udah menjawab semua yang mau gue utarakan haha
Gabriel : Cuma mau bilang makasih buat dikasih kesempatan buat nongol di artikel ini dan makasih buat interviewnya.

Sites :
Bandcamp
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