What’s the next best thing about the Portuguese Settlement in Melaka besides the colourful festivals, delicious food, decorative Christmas lights and the extravagant culture? It’s this rock and roll band who opened for an international rock star, Slash, twice and named their band after religiously playing the guitar until their hands were in blisters.
Blister started out like any ordinary band would through a regular jamming session and their love for rock and roll. Consists of five man who are brothers and cousins namely;
Ramon Singho (Lead Guitarist), Mario Singho (Vocals), Zachary De Costa (Drums, Percussion), Darian Henry (Vocals), and Julio Singho ( Bass Guitar/ Backing Vocals).
However, Ramon is now residing in Perth, Australia with his family. In order for Blister to fully function as a band, they needed to find a replacement that somehow matches the skills and be on par with Ramon. Thus, meet the latest member of Blister, Kayvinroy Seeilan.
How did the search for your new lead guitarist come about?
Kayvin is already attached to another band called The Wicked Livers. When it comes to playing alongside with Blister, it’s almost been a year he’s with us and he’s doing an exceptionally great job at it. When it comes to finding the right fit to play with us, it’s not about playing the right notes solely, it’s also about having the same groove and both Ramon and Kayvin has the same influence in music. Both are a big fan of Slash, Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, Guns & Roses. It just felt right.
Kayvin – After I finished with my Diploma in Business Admin, I went on to work part-time in a law firm. One day, I got a text message from the bassist of Blister, Julio, asking if I was interested in playing alongside the band provided that I had to audition for them first. The next thing I did was handed in my resignation letter. It was a bold move but I did it anyway.
To audition for Blister was not easy. They put out all their originals and didn’t show me any chords nor how to play it. It’s all the old-fashioned method of listening to the music and playing from what you hear. During the first jamming session, we played Welcome To The Jungle by Guns & Roses and I was off key a little bit here and there but Julio and Ramon contributed to teaching me a lot. I guess it felt like home for me because of the connection we have with one another.
What inspired you to form Blister?
What transpired it at first was the fact that each individual in the group knew how to play the guitar, bass, and sing respectively and we just thought, why don’t we just go to a jamming studio. So we jammed for the first time, played the only song that we knew which was Blind by Korn and played it about ten times. While jamming, we noticed the guy who owns the studio kept looking at us. At that time, we thought we were doing something wrong or probably he must be thinking we young kids were misusing the equipment. While settling the bill after our jam sesh, the same guy thought we performed regularly before and we told him this was our first time jamming. He advised us that we should consider forming a band because we are good at what we do. Hence, from there, we sat in a coffee shop and was thinking of a name for our band.
What is the craziest thing that ever happened since Blister formed?
Music wise, we grew up listening to our idols. To quote one of our idols, Michael Jackson said to be the best, you got to learn from the best. One of our biggest influences is rock band Guns & Roses. It’s how they carry themselves and the music identifies who they are. Our highest achievement would have to be when we opened for Slash twice and plus Amy Search was there too.
How did it feel like meeting your idols like Slash and Amy Search?
We were backstage with Amy Search and I can tell you that is one beautiful experience on its own. To be in the same room as someone that define the rock scene in Malaysia is beyond indescribable. Then, we met Slash after. During sound check, we could see Slash with his top hat just listening to us. I think some of us were so starstruck by his presence that we play on a wrong note too! It really made our day and motivated us to be good at what we do after speaking and soaking all the advice given from two legends of Rock and Roll.
Plus, we got this Slash opening gig while we were playing at the FHM’s 100 Most Sexiest Woman (one of us them jogged all the way to the event *laughs*). We met one of Slash’s representative at the party and the rest is history.
You’ve released your first single, Commander. Could you explain to us what is it all about and who came up with the lyrics and melody?
Julio- The song came by accident. I was just practicing the bass in my room and was playing the riff. Mario was there too and he totally loved the riff that I got. So, from there, we as a band all collectively chipped in the lyrics and melody. ‘Commander’ is all about taking control of your destiny, being authors of your own life and just moving forward in life.
Mario – There’s a lyric in the song which goes “when it comes to make or break, set it off for heaven’s sake”, means that even when you feel that your back is against the wall and everything is going against you, that’s the time you should push yourself to strive more. Basically a commander for your own life.
How do you vocalists preserve your voice?
Mario – I and Darian are a very diverse vocalists. Darian is higher- pitched, infused with a little bit of ACDC sound. As for me, I have a rough tone to my voice. Julio sings too and with that, the three voices that just blends well and compliments each other as a rock band. Our uncles are all musicians, so they would advise us to follow this simple rule. When it comes to reaching a certain note, we can’t practice out in the open or else the cops would come knocking at our door. What we normally do is, take a bucket of water and just scream in it. It increases your lungs capacity and eventually with time and many precautions you’ll be able to reach the note that you are thinking of.
Full video is up on our fb Www.facebook.com/weareblister A clip of us opening our set last Saturday at #RockDayFest2018 with an original track – Let’s Entertain. 🤘💥✊ Let’s Dance! 💃🕺 #WeAreBlister #LIVE #LetsEntertain #originals #songwriting #rocknroll #rocknrollstuff #goglobal #keepitsleazy #Music #Malaysia #Concert #Arts
Darian- We discovered voices that we never knew we could hit and practised more after to perfect it. The main thing is to listen to your body and what works best.
What are some of the misinterpretation people have towards rock music?
Not all rock songs are noisy. When you play aggressive music, for some it’s more of a therapy for them to channel their frustration out. People think most rock bands are bad people and that’s not the case. We’ve seen people who are in the music industry that act they are all that. Plus, some would even pretend or speak as though they were born and raised in an overseas country.
Speaking for us, we make sure that our feet are very grounded. At the end of the day, it’s all about the language of music and portrays what we know best to the people out there. Subconsciously, human beings are attracted to realness. That’s what we try to bring in to our music and putting our focus on creating something beautiful. To be honest and humble too, rockers are probably one of the nicest people you can meet. Trust us!
With Blister, what have people said about your band?
Initially, when we first started out, we were known as the F**k, you band. The reason being is we normally would go up on stage and use profanity to address the crowd. For example, “let’s f**king dance, f**king cheers everyone”. Most people come up to us and think we’re a profanity driven band but in reality, that’s just us being real. If we went up on stage and try to hold back, then it is us being fake. That’s just how some of us speak to our friends, and we are just connecting to the crowd. Now, people are overlooking that part of us and just recognize us for our passion for rock music.
How important it is for Malaysians to really adore their local music scene?
The amount of talent we have here is just mind-blowing. Put aside the Malay local music scene because that’s a whole another level on its own. When it comes to the English Malaysian music, regardless of its genre, its crazy. Look at Yuna, and Shila Amzah. Their talent is just so mesmerizing and how successful they are now. Sometimes when we go for gigs, we see a person that’s doesn’t scream wow to us before performing but when they come on stage, you can see the talent just flowing out.
It also comes down to the fact that the support from radio and television need to have in order to make this work. Why is it allocated for local songs to be in the radio for an hour only? We all understand it’s eventually a business decision, however, it’s a new Malaysia now and we would love to see a bigger drive to push English Malaysian art like poetry, music and TV show out there.
Moreover, our English proficiency is higher than most of our neighbouring countries and we have this opportunity to compete with a bigger market too. If the support from various sources come together, you’ll be surprised at the amount of talent that our local English scene has and Malaysians will grow to love.
Blister is a rock and roll band that strives for the best and ensures music’s not dead. They started out at Backyard Pub and have been playing around in various places like Merdekarya, acoustic gigs, showcases and events. If you want to watch them perform, head on over to their social media sites here;