Weekender Pt. II

Ever heard of this phrase, “Don’t let the guitar hit you in the face”?

Maybe not. This is because I just created it today.

This goes out to all the emo/screamo fans out there, I’m sure you’ve seen our dear guitar and bass heroes swinging their axes in music videos and at live gigs.

So what did I do this time? I tried copying them of course. And what were the results, ten half successful swings, a bruised nose, a bruised, cut shoulder and an injured headstock.

Two points to take note of.
1. Swing it hard. Don't hold anything back. Give it all you've got.
2. Don't be afraid if it comes around and hit you in the face. Catch it!

This is a smack in the face indeed.

They should have come up with a manual or something.

“How To Swing Your Guitar 101"

Weekender Pt. I

Ahhh…A breather, finally.

Here are some observations over the weekend.

Firstly, driving a Perodua Kembara was quite an experience. I remember a good friend saying to me when we were driving in a Kancil, “ Dude, doesn’t this feel like flying an aeroplane with the cockpit blown off?”

Now I shall add to that. Driving a Kembara is like flying a World War II propeller plane!

So what does this have anything to do with music? With the engine dragging and blaring away, the radio busted and the only other option was the only cassette in the deck, a Maroon 5 cassette, it was only natural to turn that up despite disliking them. What was the outcome? I’ve become hooked.

Next up would be a twenty over hour work marathon! A year ago, I would have been discouraged, bitter and fed up, but with a new challenge, I brave the odds. In summary, it’s all in the mind. It’s all about the mindset. It’s all programmable. I took it as an experience and a challenge. Now, it turned out to be a rewarding achievement.

Note: The marathon included two Outside Broadcasts. It all started at 5 a.m. and ended at 1 a.m. the next morning. This used to be normal in the good old days of scouting but now it seems like something to shout about. Signs of old age perhaps. There was only a two hour gap in between them and the drive from one venue to the next took up a solid hour in the World War II machine mentioned above. All in all, it was an amazing experience. (I know I don’t want to talk about work in this blog, but I guess this is just a reminder for me in the future)

To Be Continued...

Strange Findings


Two years ago, this would be just a button picked up from the floor at a gig. To be specific, I picked this up at the Soilwork gig that I got in for free. Yes, I got to see Soilwork for FREE. I guess I earned some bragging rights there. *Grin*

This was the night that I went to two great gigs. The first was a Mandy Kane gig where Knifeyard was playing at. Here, I got to hang out before and after the show with Knifeyard, set up their gear, and cleared the stage with them. For a moment there, I felt Australian.

I got a ride with the bassist and guitarist to the Soilwork gig. I was a little late, all the opening bands had played and Soilwork had already started their set. Guess what? The dude at the door just let me in although I volunteered to pay and the rest is history.

Fast forward to today, it brings back floods of memories and recreating more as days go by.

Merdeka 2004

*Pictures By Chino


*Picture taken from www.googoodolls.com

Beyond The Red

Here we go, a picture worth a thousand words.

Sit back, relax and reflect.

This would explain why I chose the picture.

My current addiction:

From Autumn To Ashes
Poison The Well
Shadows Fall
In Flames
A Static Lullaby

Interview In KLue Magazine #69

Interview by Elina Ismail

1. Why Broken Scar? (Does the name have any connections to your personal life?)

Broken Scar was initially supposed to be my band name. I told myself that I would call my future band Broken Scar. However, when I heard about John Mayer, I was inspired to go ahead and play as a one-man outfit. I re-arranged the songs written originally for a full band setting, mellowed them down, and my Broken Scar material was born.

There is significance in the name Broken Scar and it has to do with how I view things in my life. A scar, to me, represents pain or hurt from the past. Some people are haunted by their past like it’s a curse but it needs to be broken. We can't always have scars hurting and haunting us our whole lives. Hence the name, Broken Scar. I was inspired while reading the Bible.

2. We saw your perform at the KLue & Starbucks Presents HSBC Chill Out Series, and you seemed at ease. What was performing in front of an intimate audience like?

I love performing in front of intimate audiences, especially responsive ones. At an event like the Chill Out Series, I’d just invite my friends, play my heart out, chill out with the audience after the show and get to know more people. I’ve been playing in the circuit for two years now and during this time I’ve learnt to overcome the initial stage fright.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t say that I’m totally at ease either. I get a little nervous sometimes and to ease the nerves, I tend to drink a lot of water which then results in a million and one trips to the washroom. It’s a nice feeling actually – the nervousness – it’s only because I want to play my best every single time. If I stop feeling the butterflies in my stomach, it just means that I’ve gotten jaded and I definitely wouldn’t want that to happen.

3. Describe your style of music

I normally have difficulty describing my style of music. Because I listen to so many genres of music - anything from jazz to metal - my influences and inspirations vary from time to time. My songs vary too, from up tempo alternative rock to mellow ballads with a touch of blues. I’d probably fall into the same category as the Goo Goo Dolls. For lack of a better description, I would say that it is acoustic rock/alternative. Why don’t you be the judge?

4. Do you write all your songs and when do you find time to write music?

I write all of my music and lyrics with the exception of ‘Silence’ which was written with a friend of mine. Since time seems to be something that I’m lacking lately, I write every opportunity I get. My songs tend to start off in various ways. Sometimes an entire song comes together really quickly, other times I will have just bits and pieces of a song with its other parts not quite figured out yet. Recently, a complete song was just playing in my head and I wrote it down in its entirety within a few minutes. That was how “Scratch” was written too. It was just five minutes of quick scratching on a piece of scratch paper and everything just came together. Hence, the title of the song.

The earlier songs I wrote may seem a little negative at a glance but the main intention was to write about how there is always hope in the midst of confusion or sadness.

Lately, anything and everything that’s beautiful seems to inspire me. I guess I’m at a different stage of my life now.

5. You're also one part of John's Mistress. Is it difficult to be in a band, and at the same time on your own? Are there any conflicts of interest going on?

I don’t know if it’s difficult to juggle between being in a band and doing something on your own, but it’s definitely not difficult in my case because the band is John’s Mistress. My bandmates are simply awesome and very supportive. They’re like family to me. I spent my twenty first birthday with the band. They threw me a little party. Chino and Fumi were also there to support me at the Chill Out Series. There is definitely no conflict of interest. It’s all cool.

It’s pretty easy and straightforward to play solo as I don’t have to coordinate practice sessions with other band members and all I do is practice on my own. However, it may be more complicated to arrange jamming sessions when I have my own band as there would be more members involved.

6. Is it a norm for some band members to be part of another band in the music world?

I guess it happens pretty often both here in Malaysia and overseas. Take Corey Taylor for instance, he’s in both Stone Sour and Slipknot. Locally, Ian from Damn Dirty Apes is now playing with John’s Mistress. (Laughs)

7. How would readers be able to hear your music?

To all you readers out there, you could head over to
www.jamtank.com/brokenscar to download some of my very rough demo recordings. They were recorded as demos to get gigs so the quality is not fantastic.

You could also leave your emails in the guestbook and receive updates on my upcoming gigs. It would definitely be better if you come catch me live. Then at least I’d get to meet you!

8. Apart from music, are you doing anything else?

I would love to say that music is all I live for, but if my day job counts as “anything else”, then yes. (Laughs)

9. What are your future plans?

Get married, have kids and move to a suburb far, far away? (Laughs)
I would definitely love to produce and record a full-length album as Broken Scar. It may not happen anytime soon as I’m currently recording with John’s Mistress for our upcoming EP that’s due for release really soon (keep a look out for it okay?), but it is definitely on my to-do list.

Expensive Comedy

Ever seen a pregnant tyre before? This has totally nothing to do with music at all.

I was doing ninety on the highway and all of a sudden a piece of wood shows up in the middle of the lane. It was obvious that I had no choice but to go over it. I couldn’t have avoided it as the lanes beside me were both filled with traffic.

After about five minutes the car started to jerk so badly as if I was riding a horse that was reluctant to go any further and was trying to throw me off the saddle.

It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would have been. It was actually quite funny.

The most logical thing to do was to stop at a nearest workshop to fix the problem. It turned out that one of the tyres was swollen and it was about to explode. This is normally what happens to old tyres because of the wear and tear.

So there goes a tyre and out comes the wallet to fit a new one in.

All in all, it was really hilarious. If only I had a camera to show you how it actually looks like.


It's cold outside.

I just want to reach my hand out beyond the window pane.

I want to touch the cold.

Recording: Day One

So here’s the start of it all. After a month and a half of rehearsals and practices, we’ve moved into the recording studio and will call it our second home for a while.

For this first recording session Manshaan was scheduled to record the drum tracks for Scratch but we ended up doing more than one track. This is because after setting up the drum set, we thought it would be a good idea to record as many tracks as possible with that drum setting.

Alda wasn’t present for this session as he has to set up his bass before we record his parts.

Here’s the breakdown.

4pm to 6pm: Set up, tune and mic up drum set.

We used a Yamaha drum set with Paiste hi-hats and Solar cymbals. Manshaan brought in his personal snare and Iron Cobra double pedals. He went with the snare, single tom, floor tom, kick drum set up. He had two crashes, a ride and a pair of hi-hats. This was really a Kodak moment. Here was a sweet looking drum set, surrounded by mic stands, mics and cables that made the entire miking and set up for the drum set look like a massive construction. It’s like Manshaan sitting inside his fortress.

6pm to 7pm: Recorded drums for Scratch

7pm to 745pm: Break. This is where Manshaan needed a smoke, so we drove out to the Seven Eleven, bought some water as well and just hung out before we headed back to the studio.

745pm to 845pm: Recorded drums for The Bleeding Confession

845pm to 930pm: Recorded drums for Silence

930pm to 10pm: Recorded guide vocal and rhythm guitar tracks for The Bleeding Confession and Scratch.

Consistency and accuracy are Manshaan’s key points. It was truly a memorable experience recording the tracks with him.

Not forgetting Kim, a very talented recording/mixing engineer with an excellent ear for sound and precision in timing/tempo.

As for me, I was armed with my dad’s trusty Norman B20 acoustic guitar to record the guitar guide tracks. It sounded really good especially after it was set up. It was just a line out of the guitar into the mixer without any miking because we were only recording guide tracks.

The songs sound different now as they are arranged in a full band setting and no longer just acoustic and vocals.

All in all, this first recording session was very productive. Most importantly, the studio was where I wanted to be and it makes me the happiest doing what I love to do. We were all exhausted by the end of the session, but it was all worth it.

P/S: There was a huge, beautiful rainbow in the sky while we were out at the Seven Eleven. This was a good sign.

Dancing To A New KLue

*Taken from www.klue.com.my

Say goodbye to the old and hello to the new KLue. Now a monthly Klang Valley magazine filled with eye candy pictures and local arts scene updates.

Congratulations to KLue for breaking the barriers again and again.

Setting Up

The acoustic is set up, strung with a new set of Godin 10-47's and ready to roll. Althought I'd prefer the D'Addario EJ15's, I guess it's worth giving Godin a go.

I don't know about most musicians, but when I play something that suits my ears, I'd stick with it and I'd be weary of change. I will automatically jump into panic mode when I hear changes.

But I guess changes are also positive.

Also tried a Norman B18 solid Cedar top acoustic, which was perfect for open tunings and open chord strumming. I think I'm in love.

Here Goes Nothing

This would be the first attempt to record any proper Broken Scar tracks ever with a full band line-up with Manshaan on drums and Alda on bass. It’s going to be a step by step process where I will record Scratch first, test the water and see where that goes.

Thanks to everyone who has been supporting Broken Scar so far and have pushed me on to start recording.

Will keep everyone updated on the progress.

We're hitting the studios this Sunday.

Here goes nothing.


There’s just this special feeling when listening to the sound of pouring rain. It’s like random blocks of millions of water particles hitting into the ground so loud that it overwhelms all that is overwhelming.

It’s quite similar to the masking effect in audio, where two audio sources can be playing the exact same thing, one is louder than the other, and our ears will automatically tune to the one that’s louder or rather, the sound that is lower in loudness will be masked by the one that is louder.

The rain puts a smile on my face. The randomness calms my nerves. It takes me away. I’m absorbed.

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    Who Is Broken Scar:

    Loves Jesus. Singer. Guitarist. Songwriter. Audio Engineer. Producer. Wears band t-shirts. Wears red t-shirts. Based in Melbourne.



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