Music is able to create a bond that's similar to blood ties. Just ask Joey and Oliver of Thailand rock band The Note. Because the brothers went down the music route thanks to their older brother Note.
Born in America, the brothers returned to Thailand with a mission—completing Note's calling as a musician. They were always somehow connected to music, from playing in high school rock bands to playing concerts in Hollywood, but it wasn't until they had this purpose which sparked this drive. The rest is history after recording their debut independent album Fulfil The Dream in honour of their brother.
The Note found success in their ancestry land—hitting the top spots on radio charts nationwide. Also, they were nominated with a 'Best Up and Coming Artist' award, cementing their status as musicians in the country. Using this momentum, the band proceed to record their upcoming EP with new members Arm (drums) and Oui (bass) which is set to release in 2019.
We caught up with members of The Note who were in town to perform at The Singapore Night Festival.
ESQ: Describe The Note's sound using three words.
The Note: Melodic, Pop, and Big
ESQ: How did you guys get into music and what does it feel like to be in a band with your brothers?
The Note: We actually got into music when we were kids, but we formed The Note because our brother, Note, was a talented musician and passed away before fulfilling his dream of becoming a musician. So we named the band after him and titled the first album as Fulfil The Dream.
Being in a band with my brothers is actually a double-edged sword. You’ll have days where we fight as all brothers do, but somedays we click on a cognitive level and it seems like we are communicating subconsciously. It helps our songwriting process tremendously though.
ESQ: Tell us more about the band’s upcoming sophomore album, First, Look at The Light, and its difference from your debut.
The Note: First, Look At The Light took so long to put together, there were countless of demos and versions. The irony is that we always prefer the original demos, but it was a great way to explore and take time with the songs. Fulfil The Dream was literally a demo for everything, so was raw and pop/punk. I feel it was right at the time, much like how First, Look at The Light is right at THIS time.
ESQ: What made the band want to be a part of the Singapore Night Festival and why?
The Note: Singapore was actually always a given to us. Being based in Bangkok, there are only a handful of countries that speak English nearby. SNF is such an iconic festival in Singapore and that we jumped at this chance when we got an invite. We truly want to be a part of the music scene in Singapore and hope to participate in future events.
ESQ: How does the band respond to international fandom and are there any memorable or unique incident where fans inspire or motivate you guys?
The Note: We played a show 2 years ago in India and it was a culturally enriching experience. We had people come up to compliment us and it reinforces that music is truly an international language.
Our most memorable experience would probably be the first time we have a meet-and-greet. Everyone met for the first time and that was 7 years ago, till today we are still friends and hang out. It’s crazy to think that the music brought us together, I know it's a cliche but it’s true haha.
ESQ: Why does the band choose to pursue an American pop-rock influenced sound and was it tough breaking into the Thai music industry as the band found success with it.
The Note: I wouldn’t say we pursue it, but Oliver and I (Joey) were born in America and literally grew up on American soil for 20+ years. We just do what we feel is right and what sonically sounds good. It was amazing to get positive feedback from the Thai audience and we have not taken it for granted. We will always be faced with a language barrier. But at the end of the day, music speaks its own language.
ESQ: What’s next for The Note and are there plans to experiment with the band’s sound further?
The Note: Album 3 is already being written as we speak. We will be doing an overhaul on our sound because technology in the music world is progressing at a ridiculously fast rate. We love learning more about the new tools in the music world and we can’t wait to dive in and explore our options. We're like kids in a candy store. Also, if you’re ever in Bangkok, look us up and head out to one of our shows!
We would like to extend a huge thanks to both Esquire Singapore and Satire Singapore for putting this together, we truly appreciate the time! See you this weekend at SNF guys!
“Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day. But for us, it’s the first song of the day that’s the most important song. Nothing like fresh ears to feel the notes of these songs. Have a listen to our morning playlist and get your day started right.”
1. ‘Good Morning’—Kanye West
“This song was my anthem during my last high school years. Hated it at that time but now I only wish it was as simple as then.”
2. ‘Be The Light’—ONE OK ROCK
"The first line is reason enough “just the thought of another day”
3. ‘Are You In?’—Incubus
“Everybody needs a light morning and tell me that opening drum groove doesn’t set the tone for you! The bass line is just killer too!”
“Mid-day drives and Bangkok traffic is a part of life here in Bangkok, so have a good soundtrack to jam out to is a must. Music is a way out for us and we love to daydream to these tracks, have a listen!”
1. ‘Black Balloon’—The Goo Goo Dolls
“We grew in Southern California and our town was hit hard by the opioid epidemic so this song truly hits home for us. A beautifully written song about trying to save someone who is destroying themselves.”
2. ‘Drown’—Bring Me The Horizon
“It’s a well-crafted song that just brings on a wave of emotions and the tone of the lyrics is art. Everyone needs to be saved from themselves, right?”
3. '‘Valerie’—Amy Winehouse
“Do we really need a reason to put on some Amy Winehouse? Such a beautiful soul and voice, and the tone it sets for a mid-day drive…Magical.”
“We are suckers for a good time, and nothing kicks it off like some funky sing-alongs. Everyone needs a soundtrack to play out their night and we have chosen 2 that set the mood for a night out and 1 song for some serious self-reflection at night. This one is for the night owls out there!”
1. 'Time’—Hans Zimmer
“Oh it’s night time and you want to sleep? Let Hans Zimmer put you in a trance and give you flashbacks of Inception. This song is a masterpiece, truly haunting and beautiful at the same time.”
2. ‘24K Magic’—Bruno Mars
“You know damn well it’s going to be a great night out when this song kicks in. We definitely appreciate the West Coast vibe Bruno added to this gem. Try listening to it and not nod. Exactly, keep up!”
3. ‘California Love (feat. Dr Dre)’—2pac
“We are from California. It made us, and you never forget where you come from and well, it’s 2pac. This song at night in California will automatically guarantee a full dance floor! Westside!”
Enjoyed the tracks? Check out our other ‘Dawn to Dusk’ playlists curated by guest artists each week and follow our Apple Music profile to access our playlist first when it's out.