A First Chapter

Q&A Session

We thank January and Li Perez for all the patience they have given with us. Left to Right: Jann, Chamoy and Mango.

We thank January and Li Perez for all the patience they have given with us. Left to Right: Jann, Chamoy and Mango.

Guitar // Jann
Guitar // Chamoy
Drums // Mango

 
 
 

Hello January. Super excited to be able to talk to you guys. Can you introduce yourself to anyone who is just finding your band for the first time?

Hi guys! We are January. We are the band, not the month! We are an instrumental rock band from Surin, Thailand. Feel free to try us, you won't be disappointed.

We don’t really know too much about Surin, Thailand. What would you recommend a tourist to go see in Surin?

Elephant Village. The elephant is the symbol of Surin Province. Every first week of November, there will be an elephant round-up annually. That’s the most famous thing to do but there are other things we’ll prefer to take you to. Eating is way better because there are so many delicious foods here. Another choice is to come to Jann’s house and have BBQ. You should also visit some ancient castles. In Surin Province, there are many ancient sanctuaries and castles. For the popular thing to do that other people might not recommend is to visit Tong Kula Lake. Nice surrounding there.

Can we ask why you guys decided to pick January as your band name?

Our lead singer’s name is Jann. People always ask him “Jann comes from January, right?” So that’s how we got the idea that we should name the band January. It rhymes with Jann.

Nothing significant but it is just the beginning of the year. It’s such a felicitous name for us.

What are some of the things you guys like doing together outside of making music?

Oh! Tough one. We love to drink beer and do a BBQ. If we have free time from work, we like to go to the sea and get some beer there.

Haha, what exactly is a Thai BBQ?

 
 
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It’s probably the same BBQ as usual, but we do it more like steak, as in a big piece. Thai’s word for BBQ is called “Neu Yang” or “Moo Yang” depending on whether it is beef or pork. We grill it as a big piece and when it is done, we slice it into small pieces. You can eat it just off the grill, but the better way to eat it is with an e-san sauce. The sauce is spicy.

You have any fun BBQ stories?

When we eat BBQ we talk about the old days and some dirty talk.

 
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When did you meet each other and start making music together?

We knew each other for almost 10 years. We were kids when we first met. Out of the three of us, Chamoy joined us last.

What made you all decide on the post-rock genre?

We used to play heavy stuff but listened to all kinds of music. We loved post-rock all along and started to practice from there. We were into emo and screamo. Those genres are the biggest inspirations for us. Emo and post-rock are similar because of their melodies and emotional feelings.

Where is the band headed now?

We want to spread our music to SEA, Asia and the world; especially with the next album in 2019. Also, we want to tour! No matter if it’s in SEA, Asia or the world, but we’ll have to quit our jobs first! HAHAHA. Staying together, making music and touring is what we always dreamed of. We want to meet more people to spread our fan base.

What did you feel about your feature on Bandcamp daily?

Wow! Effervescent. It really helped us a lot; more and more people found us by the Bandcamp daily feature. We’re so surprised by its effects. There are more foreigners that listened and bought our music on Bandcamp. Even now, we still get excited when answering questions that come from people who heard of us through Bandcamp.

What are some of the interesting things you’ve been asked because of the increase in exposure?

Most of them ask about our next show because some of them are on vacation in Thailand at that time and they want to see us. There are some e-mails asking us how to buy our CD. We’ll leave your answer here: shop.asotmp.com. They also ask us questions like “Have we listen to this band?” All those bands they suggest; we’ve never listened to them. It’s kind of eye-opening. We’re just surprised that our songs could travel across the world.

What do you feel about the local indie/post-rock scene in Thailand?

There are new post-rock bands in Thailand and more fans too. It’s growing rapidly. Thailand has so many good bands, but the post-rock scene is still narrow. If the scene is just a fashion and not a passion, it won’t last long.

Where are the places people like to hang out at and come together?

Decommune is a good place to hang out. It is a live house and a good place for performances. It usually has gigs throughout the month. We’ve played and watched shows there many times. One of our best memories was when we were invited to open for Tide/Edit.

Also, one of the best hang out places is Play Yard. We are going to play there for our first time on the 12th of February. It’s sad to know Play Yard is going to close soon. Both of them do not have a big space, but fans of indie and DIY music usually hang out there.

Do you think post-rock is a good fit with Thailand’s culture?

Post-rock is suitable for Thailand, but most of the listeners here are familiar with the ambient side of post-rock. Actually, the Thailand scene categorizes us as math-rock, but we feel and believe that we are post-rock. We hope we can show that post-rock has different styles; not just the ambient stuff. Music lovers should hear something different, something that post-rock is meant to be.

On your new EP, we really like some of the song names. Why did you pick Fall, Fade, Rise and Vive? What do these names mean?

The songs were done before the names had been set. The feelings will depend on who is listening. Chamoy wrote these names because Jann just passed the hardest moment of his life. It represents the reborn of Jann.

You guys are working on your new album right now. Do you mind sharing some highlights in your new album people should pay attention to?

This full-length album will be more melodic and groovy. Everyone in the band is so excited.

We played everything we like, so we hope listeners will like it as much as we do. I think it is more math but we threw influences in there that should not normally be there into our songs.

Do a lot of your friends love your music?

Some of our friends still don’t know that we have a band. LOL, when we hang out with them we rarely talk about our music. The friends who know do seem to like us. At our latest shows, we’ve met some friends, old and new. We enjoy hanging out with them. They come to buy our music and hang out with us after the show.

 
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You mentioned Jann passed through the hardest moment of his life, do you mind elaborating it and sharing what happened?

Jann was diagnosed with clinical depression. He was fighting with his mind for a long time. The doctors told him five years ago. They told him that he probably suffered from depression for a long time already, but he didn’t know that was what it was. It’s been a hard time. Jann has tried to commit suicide many times. For the last five years, he’s taken medicine every single day. For one of our first gigs as January, Jan took medicine before a show, but forgot! He drank a lot of beer after that, and the mix of medication made him super drunk before they played. It was a wake-up call, and now he’s back. Our band January saved his life!

All three of us won’t let each other down. We’re like real brothers and we’ve been together through those times. We’re always there for each other. It was not easy to pull Jann back from whatever dragged him down. Music is the only driving force for him and we’re so happy that our gig as January can bring him back.

We’re also glad you are doing better. Thanks for making great music guys. Can we ask if there are any Thailand bands that you like?

TELEx TELEXs and My life as Ali Thomas.

What is your favorite beer?

Jann: For some reason, this country has a lot of lagers. I truly love ales but I drink all.

Chamoy: Whatever

Mango: Chang Beer

Pick one: Ketchup or Mayonnaise?

Jann: Mayonnaise

Chamoy: Mayonnaise

Mango: Mayonnaise

Cats or Dogs?

Jann: I used to love dogs but I have two cats now!

Chamoy: Dogs. Always!

Mango: Cats

Final Question - Chopsticks or Forks?

Jann: Chopsticks

Chamoy: Chopsticks

Mango: Forks

 

Last Updated February 15, 2019