KOKO Asia Exclusive

KOKO Asia Approved is for those from the region or are touring the region. We watch a local band and we love it then we will review it. We watch an international band touring the region and we love it you guessed it we will review it.

Simon Subsonic Speaks to KOKO Asia

Date:19 May 2009
Interview by Mayho

This will be your first gig in Malaysia, what can they expect to hear from you?

Yes it is and I am very excited! I always notice that there are a lot of Asian people at KOKO in London and they always seem well up for the latest tunes, so I am going to try to bring as much of what is cutting edge in London (as I can get away with) to KL.

I will be playing the latest buzz bands like Little Boots, White Lies and La Roux. I am also going to be playing a selection of the current fillers Franz Ferdinand, Lilly Allen, Kings of Leon, Maximo Park and Arctic Monkeys, along with an eclectic mix of the classic NME bands such as the Clash, the Smiths, the Cure, the Pixies, New Order etc that have influenced the contemporary scene. I would hope to make my set in KL as cutting edge as anything I would play in London.

What band or genre introduced you to the scene?

The Beatles probably, who lead me to 60's garage music. 60's garage is the root of most counter cultural music scenes, most pop melodies are in some way disguised from this genre.

What was your favourite playing experience?

KOKO in London still amazes me. It is such an awe inspiring venue, with such a rich musical history.

What’s the most played on your iPod now?

Kasabian - Fire
Lilly Allen - Fear
Franz Ferdinand - No You Girls
Mstrkrft featuring John Legend - Heartbreaker
Calvin Harris - Not Alone
White Lies -To Lose My Life
Ladytron – Ghosts

Who is your favourite band to have played alongside?

I have been lucky enough to play alongside many great bands. At the Reading festival I literally had that as a job. I was DJ’ing for the sponsors who would offer the bands performing at the festival their own DJ sets in the VIP tent with me. The bands would just bring their iPods. I was pretty much doing all the actual DJ’ing, supplementing what they had with my mp3 library. I would have to say probably the Arctic Monkeys in that VIP tent, although the View were very entertaining when they started fighting trying to decide which Fleetwood Mac track to play.

Although one of my favourite gigs has to be warming up for the Prodigy at V festival in 2005, that was a pretty mental one.

At KOKO in London, well Babyshambles was one of the most interesting gigs. I had to keep playing for an extra hour as Pete Doherty refused to go onstage until he had a dustbin bag filled with his fee for the night (in cash) brought to the dressing room so that he could sniff it be for he went on stage!

What do you think of kokoasia.com?

A project like this could be the catalyst for a revolution in the indie scene in Asia. A revolution that is long overdue in my honest opinion. If it is a revolution against the middle of the road, US bands that dominate mainstream radio play out here, then count me in for sure.

In my experience young people in Asia want to be modern not American. They want to do their own thing in their own way, and projects like KOKO Asia can help in that by not only exposing the indie scene here to other international counter cultural scenes, but by nurturing and developing the talent here that needs a platform to showcase themselves.

I think that it is exactly the type of project that the Asian Indie scene needs to start unlocking its potential. I am very pleased to be associated with it.

What do you think of the local indie music scene in Asia?

From what I have seen the foundations are here for it to be as strong and influential as the UK or US. There are bundles of talent here, with more venues and media exposure who knows what could happen?

What is your most played record?

People always ask me this! My all time favourite record is “I Wanna Be Your Dog" by the Stooges, it is the song that I have consistently liked and played my whole life.

If possible, can you list your favourite 5 bands?

It’s always changing! There are so many great records by bands are over played nowadays so they can lose that freshness and excitement for me. The beauty of being a DJ is that you are constantly finding something new - or something that is new to you - that excites you in a way that you have not been excited before, or again in a way that you have before. Currently I am listening to a lot of 8o's and New Wave, that’s what seems the most relevant now and where a lot of up and coming bands are taking their influence from.

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