Discovering and supporting local talent, Hype.My brings you an exclusive interview with alternative rock band, The Marquee. Consisting of vocalist Michael Leaner, two guitarists Kieran David Jumawan and Maskurnia, bassist Andrew Tan and drummer Jonathan Voo, the band is made up of five very talented guys who come from very different backgrounds. Having perform at various places for gigs and festivals in Kuala Lumpur, The Marquee have been in the studio working on their first single which is set for release this month.
How did you guys first meet?
Some of us met through gigs and a series of random events. I guess everyone sort of knew each other while being in the band scene. A few of us were also college mates as well. So it all started with being acquaintances and then friends and now bandmates.
How did The Marquee come together?
The band was initially started by our drummer, Jon Voo along with our bassist, Andrew Tan. In a way, the band just came along slowly and perfectly with the right people after a year.
How did the name The Marquee come about?
We wanted the band’s name to be something simple but yet special with its meaning. So our guitarist, Kieran David named our band The Marquee, which represents the signage on a tent or shelter. Indicating hope and a safe place.
How long have you been performing together as a band?
The band has been around for two years, as almost everyone in the band was active in the band scene. Before the band was properly established, the band had a few transitions of members. However, we have officially been performing together for more than a year now.
What inspires your songs?
You know when you have the adrenaline within you to express something that you feel so strongly about after an experience or even by hearing or witnessing other people’s story either through narrative gestures or by artistic interpretations. We believe in honesty. So basically our songs are very much bridged with thoughts & emotions. It is always the story that counts for us.
Who usually writes the songs in the band?
Well, that depends actually. Usually one of us would have some tune going on in our head and then the next thing is we are already jamming and fine tuning the song. Each and every one of us would play our role as a musician in the band and chip in constructive ideas but Andrew is usually appointed for overall music arrangements. Lyric compositions are mostly done by our vocalist, Michael Leaner.
Are your songs usually based on personal experiences?
Yes and no. Well the thing about writing is, if it is too much relating about personal issues or experiences, it can be very narrowly self relating. We want our songs to be honest and ambiguous, so people can conclude themselves on the perspective on it. However, most of our composition talks about life, relationships, pain & gain and introspective stuffs. Our upcoming first official single titled Free Fall talks about the forces of nature and also the reaction of human to it. It really depends on what is the inspiration behind each song.
How important are lyrics to you?
A song’s lyric is the breath of the whole composition. It’s like life itself. At least that’s how we’d like to view it, because music can only touch you emotionally, helping us sense the whole soul of it, but what triggers and help a person understand the song is, the lyrics. Good lyrical writing whether conventionally or artistically, gives life to the song, and it does so by connecting people with it.
Favourite singer or band?
For vocalist, Jared Leto of 30 Second to Mars and Halley Williams of Paramore would be our ideal favourite. For bands, we love Deftones, Circa Survive, and the many more bands that people don’t usually listen to.
If your band can collaborate with a local artist who would it be?
It has to be Yuna or if we could bring P. Ramlee back to life, it would be him. Funny and intriguing must be for all to hear this. That is because we believe that it is a great idea to fuse alternative rock with the symphony orchestra. Or perhaps, jazz and rock. The whole musical journey would be amazing.
What about an international artist?
Mike Einziger from Incubus.
Where do you guys normally perform?
Well, so far we have been performing for festivals and gigs around Kuala Lumper, and some corporate events. Our upcoming gig will be on October 19th, 2013 at in KL live for the Gen Y Music Festival and also on October 25th, 2013 for the Indie PG festival in Penang.
What’s next for The Marquee?
We will be releasing our first official single by this month. We are also in the midst of recording two more songs in the studio. Lots of work to be done, but we are definitely excited and anticipating it.
Where can our readers listen to you?
Please do follow us on Instagram : themarqueeband. Your readers can also receive updates regarding our music endeavours and gig updates through our facebook fan page : www.facebook.com/TheMarqueeOfficial