Thursday, April 15, 2010

Garaa Band - Neverends Live @ KL Jam Asia

I was on a stage. A big stage. At some lake, some event was going on. The stage was huge that I could see my bandmates as small as a penny from afar. I looked up, the lightings was as fancy as Toto's concert. Wow! I've made it this far. I turned around to see the crowd. Shit! There were about 20 people sitting on the field grass, with drinks in their hands. Some brought snacks, hotdogs and things like that.

I turned around, "hit it guys!". The sound was superb! I looked up to see the monitors were as huge as Kancil cars. "Ok, what the hell. No crowd but the show must go on. This is a stepping stone. They're not here; the crowd. But they'll be reading this stuff somewhere soon. We've got to prove ourselves", I thought.

As I started singing, I sounded like a frog, with sore throat. "Damn, what the hell is wrong with today?", I swore endlessly in my heart. And it started to drizzle. "Just what I need", I kept on singing as I watched the crowd talking and not paying attention. I turned around and looked at my mates. They were not communicating, no eye contact. I turned to Nan, he was concentrating on his riffs. Well, at least someone was trying hard.

My voice started to warm up, and I sounded better. I was beginning to have fun and I felt something wrong with the sound. Like some instruments were missing. "God, must I always check what's going on?", I turned around and I saw Apek was missing. I looked at the others and they were all sour as yogurts. I looked at Fyzal and sign-languaged why? He suddenly stopped and put his drumsticks down and went backstage. Thankfully it was our 5-minute break. I ran backstage and asked, "What the hell is wrong with everybody?". Fyzal lighted a cigarette and looked away. "Where's Apek?". No answer. I peeked at the stage and saw Nan just standing there, and Arab missing too. "What is going on?? Why are we not talking?? We can't go on like this!". As I said that, Nan and Arab left the stage. Fyzal followed them. I stood there looking at them go. I turned around and the crowd was gone.

"So much for my dreams.."

And I woke up. It really was a dream, thank goodness! It felt so real. I really thought I was going to perfom on a huge stage. That adrenalin rush before a show, was so real.

I grabbed my phone, and Nan messaged saying he just finished recording the guitar chords for Neverends. He said I was free to compose freely for the melody. I couldn't wait, so we planned to meet up for teh tarik and discuss on the song.

In composing songs (for moneyless people like us), we'd record guitar chords on our handphones, and pass it around via bluetooth, for me to compose the melody and for the rest to practice on their guitars, bass and drums. I'd normally have a headache composing, because I want it to sound nice, at least. I'd record my vocals and pass it back to Nan for approval.

If I could recall correctly, I remember him saying I could compose anyhow I liked for Neverends, ending up him composing half of it too! Hahaha... well it's his song. I'd honor it. And it sounds way better than my original melody.

Our recording session was hillarious. We had no money. So we'd find the cheapest there is in town. Or at least the cheapest way to record our demo. We took just approximately 3 hours to record 2 demos; Ganbatte! and Spastik Primat. All four of them would go in the studio and record together, leaving out the vocal part for me. I would then continue with the vocal. I think I took most of the recording hours, because I couldn't reach my own damn key! The engineer told me to change the melody. And so I did, with a hopeless face. But during our actual recording for our mini album, I told my mates to bring down one key, so I could sing the original melody. Yay!

The demo recording was a mess. That engineer really took our work lightly. I sounded like a rubber ducky. Too much sound delay and echoes. The studio is now no more in business. I heard some bad kids robbed the studio or something.

Ajeep of Kluk Kluk Adventure helped us a lot in making our mini album. He made us his lab rabbits for his new love for audio mixing, and didn't ask for anything in return. But we paid him though, a little. We were really broke at that time.

I recorded my vocals at Ameer's studio in Ukay Perdana. At that time, the studio wasn't even up yet. It was still under construction. We were, again, their lab rabbits. To test the sound and all. I recall recording my vocals without a studio door! Imagine me in a studio, with my earphones, mic and no door! It was funny. But, what the hell. We continued. For Spastik Primat, you can hear my voice like a compressed doll. Thanks to the new technology of vocal recording without a door. No need autotuner synthesizer whatsoever.

As for the guitars and bass, we did it in Ajeep's room.

We were all working at that time. So, right after work, we'd meet up somewhere for dinner and head to Ajeep's. Sometimes we just meet there. Sometimes we didn't even meet. Recorded separately. Some of us would stay until 4am to listen and do some changes, helped out with the mixing and all. Sometimes we became so grumpy if we didn't get what we wanted, due to lack of sleep. Go home at 4am and wake up the next day for work.

Ajeep was very, very helpful. He even added some strings into our songs. He dragged us along with any event he did. Played a few gigs all because of him. We even did an opening for KKA. He even trusted us to replace them at the Laundry Bar, which we couldn't make it. Well, he thought of us, at least. I guess this is what you call a friend. Damn, I think I miss his temper. Hahaha.. Seriously, he is one garang fella.

Our mini album recording costed RM1k. Eat that people. You can't find a better deal than that! But don't expect him to charge this rate anymore. We were just test instruments. His mixing has improved tremendously immediately after our EP. Ours may sound off here and there. But it's better than nothing.

Neverends, is a more happy-tuned song, which I realised most girls like this track. The vocal layers I did was spontaneous, it was there and then I made it up. I thought it was boring at first during the initial recording because the key seemed a little bit low at the chorus. After the layers, it sounded better. I noticed during gigs, this song was not a hit, because people don't know that it has other colours to the song. Ajeep even added some keyboards. Another highlight of the song; instead of a guitar solo, I made Fyzal do a drum solo. I hope that made a difference. Well, that completed Neverends.

So, here's to my best friends! The people who are there when I need them. You know who you are. Heart and soul, I will grow old with all of you. Ameen...

Song: Nan, Dibitz, Fyzal, Arab, Apek
Lyrics: Nan

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kira said...

mimpi itu ilah satu clue hehe

dibitz said...

tu la.. tak sangka i masih ada premonition dreams... at that time la...

debyG! said...

i suka lagu ni! best best best!

Biqque said...

if ada konsert (saje tanak panggil gig), panggil i ek :D

mama zharfan said...

hi ms dibitz :)
salam kenal..very unique, impressive blog!! ..
i join contest pack me love makan kena bodek2 u as one of the judges...;) anyaway..if u like my pic entry...bolehlah bg menang ;)

ni linknyer :

tq! have a nice day!

supersonic_teeth said...

beautiful song for a beautiful dedication for beautiful friends. :) likes this.