On The Road

The whole of last week has shown me so much that I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s try to recall…

I’ve just returned from the Xfresh Road Trip. It’s the Xfresh Tour that I was raving about that started at the beginning of March and will end in two weeks time. It was the JB leg of the tour that I was really involved in and it was one of the first times ever that Broken Scar performed solo, with a minus one CD and me just singing. It felt strange and liberating at the same time. Strange because I wasn’t too sure what to do with my hands because I normally play the guitar and sing. The last time I just sang was quite some time ago when I was singing with my old band Obsidian Void. It was liberating because I didn’t have to worry about what chords to play and I can move around freely, though it lacked the feel of a real band backing me like it was with Obsidian Void. So, the whole time I imagined my Alda, Manshaan and Zack were backing me up in the background, since they were on the CD. I guess it’s all in the mind.

We were at two locations per day and each artiste performed two songs per set. All the locations were outdoor. The bus pulled up in every location and was all set up. We all performed on the roof of the bus. The pictures will do all the describing.

At the studio with DJ Rizal, Indrani and MIX

Soundcheck @ Jaya Jusco


Collaboration with MC Wayne of MIX

Chilling out inside the bus. Ijai of Indrani on the right.

The sky is my background @ Danga Bay

More chillin out inside the bus

Here’s the breakdown.

22 March 2006 (Wednesday): Travel from KL to JB
23 March 2006 (Thursday): UTM and Olympia College
24 March 2006 (Friday): Jaya Jusco Jalan Tebrau and UTM
25 March 2006 (Saturday): Danga Bay

Here’s a huge shout-out to everyone in JB for all the support at the above mentioned locations. Thanks for the amazing support. You guys rock!

I had heaps of fun partying with all the other artistes, MIX and Indrani as well as all the Xfresh crew.

By the end of the leg, I was all drained out and my voice was hoarse as a horse. I sometimes wonder how those other bands handle tours. Going on the road is not an easy task at all. Thank you Xfresh for making this tour such great fun.

27 March 2006

After the tour, it was refreshing once again to play indoors, armed with a guitar and backed up by Alda on bass at Actors Studio for a charity event called Slow Jams, organized by Izzy and her team at HELP Institute.

I arrived at Actors Studio for soundcheck and when I stepped in the front door, the first thing that came to my mind was “Stories For Ah Mah”, a play a saw a few years ago in the same room. Then the fact that it was freezing cold in there registered. But there’s just this very warm fuzzy vibe about the room despite the cold. The lighting reminds me of the opening sequence to Mr. Bean.

The sound system in there was simply fantastic. It just gets better and better. Monitoring was a little disorientating because I could hear both the monitors and Front Of House speakers and it was difficult to localize the direction the source.

Once soundcheck was done, it was chillout time and before I knew it, it was dinner time. After dinner and hanging out, all the performers took their place backstage getting ready for each one’s slot.

Broken Scar was up and we hopped on stage. We moved around more than usual just to keep warm. So we belted out three fast songs, Down, The Bleeding Confession and Scratch.

It was very dark in the room and I could hardly see the audience, but here’s to all of you who turned up on Monday night. None of this would have been possible without you. I’d also like to say thank you to Izzy and her team mates, the emcees, Actors Studio for providing the venue, the sponsors and Hitz.tv for filming our set

Brand New Track

Here's a special preview of "Down", a brand new song from the up coming Broken Scar debut album, Midnight In St. Kilda for your listening pleasure.

Click Here To Listen

This song features musicians from various bands:
Alda Tan (Cosmic Funk Express) on bass
Manshaan (Dragon Red) on drums
Zack Kim (Cosmic Funk Express) special guest on lead guitars

Enjoy. Would appreciate feedback and comments.

Hope you'll be as stoked as I am for the up-coming release of the album.
Thanks a million.

Turn Back The Pages

Most people would have left work by 530 pm sharp on Fridays, but for some strange reason I always stay late at the office on Fridays. If I had it my way, I’d rather have my breaks on Mondays and Tuesdays, work late on Fridays, and work through full Saturdays and Sundays. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I work almost seven days a week anyway, it doesn’t make a difference to me anymore. I hardly get to see my friends anymore and I’m beating myself up for it. Or maybe it’s just better to work when no one is around where it’s quiet and I could actually concentrate and think? I’m guessing it’s the latter.

Moving on.

So I went to Acoustica, an acoustic gig organized by Livehouse Project at Jam Asia last night. The gig featured a line up of bands that are normally heavier, Estranged, Y2K, Stonebay and Deserters. Gigs are always a good time to catch up with my musician friends. We’re a small scene, we’re all friends.

But some old friends popped up this time around and catching up kinda brought me back in time. There are so many wrongs in my past that I wish to make right, but we all know every well that it is impossible. But with Christ, I’m determined that all is well.

High school life wasn’t an easy phase. I guess everyone goes through that process of discovering your interests, your direction in life and pretty much defining yourself as an individual. It seemed like my process was a breeze in the eyes of others but that was merely just the façade. What most of these people thought in their heads were contrasting from what actually went on. If only they could see what actually went on inside my head.

A lot of sincere efforts and intentions were mistaken and misunderstood to the point that there was conflict beyond saving. It’s true though, we were once young and not so smart. Like I always say, all things happen for a reason. The reason I’ve come to realise is that I could look back and learn from it.

Just like a blog, I turned back the pages of a journal that I kept since high school and realise that a lot of details were left out. It’s either I got lazy writing or it was left out deliberately. So I decided to close those chapters and write new ones.

Story Of A Disappointing Year

Disappointing.Yes, that is right. This year has been disappointing so far. Sure, there are always ups and downs, but it this year didn't really have a great start. The optimist in me says that though things are low at the start, it can only improve and get better. But the pessimist in me says that it simply just horrible.

Story Of The Year will be playing in Australia in May, and Taste Of Chaos is going on the the US now. SOTY are heading out to UK, Australia and Japan. It's probably in conjunction with the release of their new album and the tour is very likely to promote it. Unlike most boybands who have to come to Asia to make it big before heading home to be worshipped like fake plastic gods, SOTY are already huge without coming to Asia, with the exception of Japan. RESPECT! Thought there is a setback for people like me. If I'm not in any of the above mentioned countries where SOTY will be touring in, it's very unlikely I'd get to see them play live. I told a friend just the other day, that the best present I could ask for my birthday this year is to see SOTY play.

I check Aussie sites for gigs every now and then, and guess who's also playing in May. As I Lay Dying and Bleeding Through. This just makes the pessimist in me just want to put a bullet through my head.

Yes, I whine a lot. So what?

The past few months have been disappointing. We've encountered some problems with mastering and the release of my debut album will be delayed. I feel bad because it's as if I've let my musicians and the people involved in this project down. It's not my fault at all that there are problems with the master, but I can't help but to feel I'm letting people down.

It's difficult doing it all by yourself. Not knowing much and trying your best. But there's also a plus, now I know the ins and outs of making an album from start till the end.

Story Of The Year

Watching Story Of The Year live on DVD has made me want to play the electric guitar again, go workout till I become stick thin all over again like in the past, jump around like a maniac and go on long tours. Watching them on DVD is already amazing, imagine watching them live?

I was asked what my dream was yesterday. I didn’t have quite a specific answer as there isn’t just one dream to nail. After today, I think one of the smaller dreams would be to see Story Of The Year and all my favourite bands live.

When I was in Melbourne, I went to as many gigs as I could afford to and it didn’t matter if there bands aren’t on my top ten list because I appreciate music in all forms anyway. Yes, there were great shows that I saw, but I think watching my top ten favourite bands would top them all, not in a negative way of course.

My one wish right now is to catch Taste Of Chaos. I’m not gonna sit and whine, complaining that these shows never comes to Malaysia. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Go instead of waiting for them to come.

Though I love all sorts of music, my deep rooting for rock is becoming clearer and more defined. It’s slowly narrowing down, but all in a good way. The three things that interest me lately are vocal melody, lyrics, and catchy guitar lines.

Maybe I’ve got a split music personality, one being the acoustic and the other the electric. I love writing on the acoustic and playing the songs both solo and as a band. It feels safe, comfortable and expression seems more fluid. On the other hand, I’d like to be dangerous, unpredictable and just rock out. The John’s Mistress days gave me the chance to really rock out. I didn’t really sing much and had the chance to rock out the guitar.

There’s this band/artiste/actor/actress naming game where someone names a band/artiste/actor/actress with a letter given and the second person would have to name another band/artiste/actor/actress with the last letter of the first one named. If I were to play that game, I’d probably be disqualified because the judges would probably not know those bands and think that I’m making them up. These bands aren’t too underground or way out there. It’s just different.

First Week Of Touring

I just returned from the first week of touring on the Xfresh Xplorer for the Xfresh FM Road Trip. The trip so far covered KL, Nilai, Seremban and Melaka. Though it was just one week, it felt like a month no thanks to the extreme heat. Despite all the hiccups, it was indeed a great week.

The highlight of the first week would have to be the last day where everyone was signing each others t-shirts. The artists, the Xfresh managers, the awesome Street Surfers, DJ and even our tour bus driver all contributed to the signatures on the t-shirt. It felt like a farewell already. Again, it was a great week.

Indrani, Saer Ze and Mass Raw were on the road with us. Going on tour not knowing who the artistes were was interesting. Spencer, the guitarist of Indrani is an old school friends and Saer Ze was a college friend. Catching up with them, recalling the past and laughing about the silly things were just amazing and amusing at the same time. Not only did I catch up with old friends, I made new friends along the way. Again, it was a great week.

The Dailies

Picture courtesy of Debbie Chan and The Star

Broken Scar appeared in yesterday's The Star newspaper as a part of the Troubadours/Open Doors article written by Debbie Chan.

Click here to read the article online.

Broken Scar also appeared in the latest issue of a brand new entertainment magazine called Exposure Magazine. Click here to find out more. A huge thanks to Pian and Joe from Exposure Magazine.

Penang Boi

Travelling on the KL-Seremban highway earlier today sparked a beautiful memory. It was the recollection of a transition in my life.

“How long ago was it that we’ve moved down from Penang”, I asked my dad casually. His reply was, “well, we moved down in ‘95”

About a decade ago, moving down to KL from Penang was both a scary and hopeful experience at the same time.

Penang was a small island town at that time. Development was crawling slowly like a snail and it was indeed laid back. Everything seemed as if it were connected in some way, just like all small towns, though Penang isn’t all that small today but compared to the magnitude of KL, Penang is still way smaller. Drivers tend to just make a U-turn whenever they wish, or when they’ve missed a turn. Well, it still happens today and Penang drivers have quite a reputation but what I mean is that Penang as that time was slow moving, easy going and not congested compared to KL.

From where I was, in Penang, I always had a picture in my mind that KL is the land of dreams, the America within Malaysia, where all the glamorous people are, where it is modern, where all the “good” things happen, where dreams can come true, where highways are like multi-storey buildings overlapping each other, where sky scrappers are a norm, everyone had a fulfilled life and there was no poverty. Well, that was a decade ago. I was naïve.

The scary part about the move was that we were moving to an unknown land. Though I’ve visited KL many times in my childhood, I never really remembered the trips. Changes always stir up a little hesitation and unwillingness to make that move, but it was something we had to do as my dad was offered a job here in KL. Leaving your whole life behind, your friends, your school, your teachers, your family, the beach and the security of knowing your hometown so familiarly wasn’t easy at all. I thought that Penang was all there is and there was no need to move. Things that can happen elsewhere may not happen in Penang but it didn’t quite matter. Again, that was a decade ago. I was naïve.

Then came the hopeful part. In my imagination, I thought that it’ll be great here with loads of video games to play, plenty of places to visit, all the modern things to see, heaps of things to do, and due to all this modernization, the toys was bound to be a billion times better. I thought there were great things to see, like those that you’d see in the movies. That was a decade ago. I was naïve.

As I look back now, I realised that the entire journey was nothing but amazing. God had brought me all the way here, this far for a reason. Things would have never been the same if I didn’t make that move. So many questions will spark. Would I ever have picked up the guitar? Would I ever sing? Would I ever have the chance to play all these amazing shows and meet such great people along the way? Would Broken Scar ever exist? Most importantly, would I ever have known Jesus the way I have now? The list will keep going on and on. I doubt I’d be the person I am today. Everything happens for a reason.

Though things seem difficult and tough at that specific place and time, it actually never is too difficult because when you finally look back one day, you will resolve to the same conclusion. It was all meant to be.

I also recall the times before I started driving, the times I actually passed my driving test, the times I got lost all over KL, the times where the entire Selangor seemed like a huge maze, and all those amazing drives and trips all over the place. It seemed difficult then, not knowing where I was going, getting lost all the time, never remembering the correct roads and routes to get to somewhere, it was scary and exciting at the same time but now, it seems like all those memories are behind me as I’ve gotten accustomed to how things work here in KL. There are many places I still don’t know how to get to because development is never ending, but it’s alright.

Today, I still go through the same fears whenever I’m faced with changes. However, this time I’m armed with God always with me, I still keep the boy inside alive and live these memories to remind myself that it is never too difficult and things can only be exciting and scary at the same time, but it is alright.

Ten years has passed. I still remain a Penang boy, proud of my roots and the journey I’ve embarked on.

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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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