Another new country to tick off the GigRadar map this afternoon as we introduce you to Singapore garage rock trio Knightingale. The band have honed a super-catchy rock sound that combines big guitars with engaging vocals – classic garage rock stuff.
Our latest taster of this is the lively Skate and Destroy, which was released at the end of last month. It opens up with light guitars under opening vocals, which soon blast into faster vocals, distorted guitar chords and pounding drums in a hugely engaging opening verse then chorus. A second chorus is followed by a little instrumental filler with darting little guitar riffs over rapid chords and more big drum rolls, which feeds into funky high-pitched backing vocals that bring the song to a heavy ending. Give it a listen below:
There’s plenty more where that came from too, including the excellent previous single White Shadow and their debut album God Damn Youth, which is packed with highly enjoyable garage rock goodness but we’re particularly loving the sound of Demons.
We had a chat with the guys to find out more about them and their music, and get our first insight into rock and metal in Singapore. Read on below…
– Who are Knightingale? And what’s the backstory, how did you get together?
KG: “We’re a three-piece Garage Rock band who started back in 2014. We found inspiration with the garage rock revival happening in the States, in Britain and Australia. We wanted to share this sound here in Singapore and beyond!
“The members were formed via a notable Singapore music forum called Soft.com where Ashwin, listed his garage rock influences on a band formation post. Two people responded – Drummer Deon Chan and Guitarist Fazi Latiff. But no Bassist! Fast forward to 2017 to date and now we have Ashwin on lead vocals, guitar and bass, Ben Ho on lead guitar and backing vocals and Rajiv Singh on drums and percussion.”
GR: You just released Skate and Destroy. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
KG: “Skate and Destroy is the first song that we released via Painted Halo records in the UK with the new lineup of Ashwin, Rajiv and Ben, pushing ourselves to a more mature songwriting and arrangement process as compared to our previous releases. We also have a much tighter dynamic performance with an upgraded production quality in this song.
“You can expect the song to keep your adrenaline pumping on an exciting day of doing fun activities such as skating, BMX, riding your bike or rocking out to this tune in your car! We layered quite a number of guitar and vocal tracks to make our choruses and outros to be big, to give it a more ‘larger than life’ feel.
“We are huge fans of game music, especially from video games such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, Sunset Overdrive, GTA Vice City. We just loved the fact of playing your favourite game and that rocking music kicks in to help you pay attention and complete the mission. That is how we treat some of the coolest moments in life, we need some dope background music to help create adrenaline or be attentive/productive at our daily activities which even includes work!”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
KG: “Our sound is very real and honest, it’s guitars and drums being played at a visceral level to showcase how we feel on the inside. We really want people to hear our tunes and see/hear what we are all about. The vocals are a homage to bands from the ’60s with that nice slapback delay effect that garage rock bands back in the day used to have, very raw yet a beautiful honest sound. It is simple pop music with the emphasis on vocal delivery and melody while the instruments are heavy, creating the element of beauty and power on every note.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
KG: “We keep our music strictly under the realm of personal issues but not to a point where it is too personal, so we try to create imaginative yet relatable stories. Ashwin takes up the persona of an individual who could be of any gender trying to either fit into the society or decides not to, this person is on a constant tug of war between their goals or how society thinks of goals should be. Themes about individualism, passion, angst, eternal longing for change within the society, acceptance, fighting your inner demons, and your relationships with people etc… are what we write and sing about.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
KG: “We are heavily influenced by bands like Bass Drum of Death, Nirvana, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, FIDLAR, Wavves etc…
“Ty Segall and Kurt Cobain are two of our biggest influences in terms of musicians who chased their goals and got it right through hard work. For them, they continued to stick to their ideals to create new and yet different styles of rock music with interesting elements even after success came to them.”
GR: You’re the first band we’ve met from Singapore! How’s the Singapore music scene? Is there much of a rock/punk/metal scene over there?
KG: “Thank you! It’s an honour, really. Singapore has a very eclectic music scene, it is relatively small and pretty unknown to the general public, but the ones that do know of its existence give their full support to the bands!
“Alternative Rock or Rock music, in general, has been on the quiet side of things here, but there are still bands trying their best to get heard. Metal and Punk (especially pop-punk) has quite a strong support culture here. Even with threats from the general public for a ban on certain metal acts from overseas performing, the underground metal community does all it can to try their best and support them or try to find ways to host a show.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
KG: “We just started gigging again after the release of S & D and we’re looking to constantly gig more, while also releasing about four more singles within the year (hopefully). We’ve got an exciting bunch or ear candy-rich songs that we can’t wait to record and release so do keep in touch with us on our socials!
“With the new music being released, we’re trying to hit shows within regional Asia, Australia and hopefully even in the UK if we get the opportunity locked in. So we’re aggressively trying to talk to organisers and promoters to help us get shows that we can try and fund ourselves to perform. The next show that we’ve booked so far is in Singapore on 29 September at this venue called Decline, Singapore’s very own CBGB!”