Thursday, 30 October 2014

Interview - Getting up and close with Flying Syrup

Here are a few questions to get to know Bruce, the vocalist and band leader of Flying Syrup.

First and foremost, the band name "Flying Syrup" is interesting and unique. How did you come up with that?
It had no real meaning at the beginning. It sounded good and different. And I wanted something with a bit of a flying vibe.

But then one day there was a guest from London who attended our show: he came up to me and said, “I like the name of your band and I know exactly what it means!”.  I was intrigued so asked him what he thought it meant. He told me that in British slang, syrup actually means “wig”. It made then complete sense I thought, the wig flies because we always play loud rock n’ roll! I've told this story ever since.

How did you guys meet?
We met in Jakarta about 10 years ago. I knew our former drummer who knew other people interested in what we were trying to form: a British music inspired band with music ranging from the Beatles all the way to the newest, latest underground indie London bands.  We do believe that British rock has something absolutely unique until today and we wanted to explore more, and the best way to do it was to set up a band.

After having been a cover band for a few years, I had a million songs waiting to be recorded. And we decided to go ahead with this album built around a special theme.

Do you have other jobs aside from jamming as Flying Syrup?
Given the amount of time we spend working hard on the band, the recording and the live shows, it definitely feels as if it were our full-time job. But we do have different careers, with each band member being more or less involved in music and music making.

What inspires you to song-write?
This calls for a very classic answer. Each time something really explodes in your mind: falling in love, breaking up, a terrible morning at the office, an unexpected moment of joy and pain, a discovery.

There is no in-between, a normal day won’t lead to a good song, unless you try to play a role, which I/we try to do sometimes: looking at a situation from another perspective or by pretending we are other people, or getting into people’s minds.

Are your families and friends supportive of your involvement in this competitive music industry?
Absolutely! Support is great wherever it comes from. Competition is good: we become more demanding with ourselves. So we are very thankful to have support from friends and families. And people who have been our followers for years.

Where do you see yourself and Flying Syrup 5 years down the road?
In five years, we hope to really count on the overall rock music scene beyond Asia, with three albums, and 10 singles, allowing us to play more gigs playing our own stuff that people would know, or opening for major acts. Definitely hope we would have evolved to something even better, discovering new sounds, and riffs and anything that makes music exciting.

What is one particular thing you absolutely cannot tolerate?
When people dismiss anything new without even taking a look… or giving a listen. Super common in music.

If you can be a superhero, who? And why?
No hesitation: Iron Man. Because I used not to like him at all: seriously a billionaire playboy, a scientist, flying around? But the attitude, man, the attitude… like in rock and roll!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Pangdemonium’s 2015 Season Kicks Off with comedy-drama “Circle Mirror Transformation”

Kicking off Pangdemonium’s 2015 “Transformation Trilogy” is the comedy-drama “Circle Mirror Transformation” – the perfect play to open the year with. A hilarious and heartwarming tale of lost souls in search of new beginnings, this show runs from 29 January to 15 February 2015 at the DBS Arts Centre.

“Circle Mirror Transformation”, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker, is set in an acting class made up of five wannabe actors – “earth mother” Marty, beautiful former actress Theresa, shy divorcee Shultz, moody teenager Lauren, and gregarious & gung-ho James. The line between their real lives and the theatre games they play soon blurs, and this transforms into much more than an acting class, as scenes of epic absurdity and drama of theatrical proportions unfold, jaw-dropping secrets are revealed, hearts are quietly torn apart, and lives are changed forever.

Much like the play’s characters, the show features an eclectic cast: award-winning actor Daniel Jenkins, the ever-versatile Adrian Pang, and Selma Alkaff, making her professional
debut since graduating from the School of the Arts. This will also be Neo Swee Lin and Nikki Muller’s debut production with Pangdemonium.

Voted as one of the top ten plays of 2009 by the New York Times, Time Out and theNew Yorker, “Circle Mirror Transformation” is full of heart and humour, and is a slyly astute observation of human nature and relationships, and our need to connect with one another.

Artistic Directors Tracie and Adrian Pang were smitten by this very funny and poignant study of human behavior observed through a peephole into an acting class. “This play is a hilariously quirky and heartwarming love letter to this thing we call theatre, and a surprisingly moving exposition of everyone’s quest for love, understanding and hope. The play’s theme of change and new beginnings kickstarts our 2015 Season perfectly, as it mirrors every individual's inherent need for “rebirth”, “re-invention” and “renewal" as we start the year. SG50 or not, CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION is a great way to start 2015 - with lots of laughs, and even a couple of tears, and a timely reminder that we’re all, as individuals and as a community, trying to make sense of this world, and make the best of this life.”

Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker
Venue: DBS Arts Centre
Dates: 29 January – 15 February 2015
Times: Tue to Sun, 8pm; Sat 3pm and 8pm
Prices: $30 - $55
Ticket purchase:

“An absolute feast! Circle Mirror Transformation is the kind of gem that sends people into the streets babbling and bright-eyed with the desire to spread the word. Absorbing, unblinking and sharply funny.” New York Times

“Humorous and heartbreaking.” Associated Press

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