INTERVIEW | Sam of Losing End
FROM | Singapore
A week after the world of heavy music seemed to tilt on its axle leaning towards Asia for the first time in many many many moons due to universally celebrated Wormrot‘s record release show held in Singapore, another Singaporean band is about to celebrate the release of their heavy as FUCK new release. We’re talking about Singaporean hardcore band Losing End whose recent release Devil’s Advocate has been on repeated listen for the past almost six months. The music is a crushing blend of Slayer riffs combined with a NYHC groove and throat shattering vocals.
Today it is the vocalist of this band – Sam – who in the morning of the record release show took time out to have an extremely candid conversation with us. Even the homie just rolled out of bed he still proceeded to spend the next almost hour answering our questions.
Without any doubt…this has been an immense year for Singapore. You should all be taking note.
Yo…you free to do an interview now?
Not really I just woke up hahaha…but yeah go ahead and send out questions.
Tonight’s the big night for the Losing End record release show in Singapore. How’re you feeling about it? The songs have been out online for months, must be rad to finally have physical copies out for peeps.
Yeah man! I’m feeling better now that it’s finally getting out. The songs have been online for a while and we’ve had to push the release dates for a while now due to pressing plant issues!
It pretty much seems like 2016 has been the year of Singapore in terms of amount of releases, but more importantly, the amount of quality releases. What are your thoughts of what’s been going on this year?
Definitely! It feels like there has been so much going on in 2016 for Singapore. Sometimes I feel like it’s too much to keep up with hahaha…but it’s cool seeing bands out here doing it!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Click here to check out just some of the releases
Wormrot just had their record release show last week and their record has been universally been praised. What are your thoughts on what is it about Wormrot that resonates with the world at large? Must be an immense sense of pride for Singaporeans to have one of their own bands be so celebrated everywhere.
Wormrot is such a hardworking band, nobody can deny it though. I don’t know man…there’s something about Wormrot when you’re listening to their songs it just gets you so pumped, even when you’re watching them live it’s so crazy man. They’re definitely setting the bar for other Singaporean bands too.
So let’s talk about how you’re playing in a thousand bands. Haha…can you tell us all the bands you’re currently playing in and what you do in them all?
Hahaha…Nah man I just play in 3 bands for now. They’re Straight Forward, Losing End and Nyiksa. I play bass for Straight Forward, sing in both Losing End & Nyiksa. I just love hardcore man and there are so many styles of hardcore. It’s ever changing so I feel like playing different styles of hardcore will also groom the community to be more open minded…
Straight Forward – Sam plays bass in this band.
Yeah definitely agree with you that there are so many different styles and it’s rad to hear those differences at least in the two bands that I know you play in: Straight Forward and Losing End. Losing End has been insanely busy this year. I’ve been following you guys so I’m aware – but can you briefly recap the different things that Losing End has done this year so far?
2016 has definitely been crazy for Losing End from touring the UK and Europe then onto the US. The highlights from the tour was definitely been being able to head to the States and playing the last Rainfest. It was also so crazy that we were able to go to Sound & Fury.
Losing End at Rainfest
Those are some amazing achievements for an Asian band for sure man! With your experience in the US, what do you think the reception is for Asian bands? You think with your experience there that more Asian bands should try to make it out?
Actually the reception for us personally has been great. Most people in the states are definitely psyched to see bands coming over from Asia. People were very welcoming and came up to us to talk about Singapore hardcore or how Singapore is in general. I definitely feel like Asian bands should try to make it out cause it’s like living the “American Dream” as they say when bands in the States are constantly touring.
Losing End at Rainfest
How did the deal with Powertrip Records come about?
Well we were just sending out demo’s of our new EP around to labels and Powertrip Records seemed really keen on it. The bands that are on Powertrip Records are really sick too.
That’s pretty cool that you actually got a response from a label! Were you surprised?
We were really excited that a label would actually get back to us. We don’t really see that around much.
Chilling in the UK.
Definitely. I don’t think most labels outside of Asia seem to care about the bands here – but the bands that we’ve come across the site and from touring around Asia for the past 17 years always leaves us scratching our heads because the quality of bands out here are just so damn high.
That is definitely weird man because all these bands work so damn hard it sometimes gets so frustrating ya know. But whatever man, they just gotta keep pushing on if not just DIY. I think Asian bands have actually gotten used to it so if they don’t get their record released by a label, they’ll go and do it themselves.
Check out Stand Clear from Indonesia! DOPE youth crew hardcore!
Word. So now that the Losing End record is finally out – I’m assuming you’ll go back to focusing on the next Straight Forward record? What update can you give us on that?
Haha…Straight Forward has been having terrible luck this year, the record has actually been recorded since late last year. We’re just waiting on the label to get it pressed. We were initially supposed to do a tour in Europe this year however due to unforeseen circumstances we weren’t able to do so.
Straight Forward in the studio
Oh?! The record has been done?! Great! What label is it coming out on and when is it coming out?
Yup, I can’t really say much about it. But there’s a track off the upcoming EP on the BDHW (Beatdown Hardwear) Sampler. As of now there isn’t much of a timeline cause the pressing plants are just having so much issues where they’re taking bigger orders. But from what I can tell it seems like it’ll be out early next year…I hope.
Besides playing in 3 bands, and I’m assuming you probably also have a dayjob, you also split time as a promoter through MNDFVCK correct? What are your thoughts on being a promoter in Asia? I’ve been doing it for 17 years also…but find it more and more a complete pain in the ass.
Yeah I run MNDFXCK (For international bands) & Blacklisted Productions (For local bands). Man being a promoter in Singapore has been really “interesting”. I feel like the crowd has the tendency of just wanting to watch the cooler/trending bands and forget about new bands etc. Thing about Singapore is that there are too many promoters and very little venues. Sometimes I feel like they’re competing with each other which is so weird. But I feel like what we have is a case of too many cooks in the kitchen. Also, just because you CAN book a show doesn’t always mean you SHOULD.
Hanging at the Angel Dust 10am show in Kuala Lumpur
Full write up here: http://uniteasia.org/angel-dust-conquers-malaysian-hardcore-scene-1000am-tuesday-full-report-dean/
Agree 100%. Singapore is small like Hong Kong is as well, but in Hong Kong there really isn’t hardcore “scene” so not many people are willing to nor care about putting on hardcore shows for visiting bands because, to be honest, you WILL lose money. So I can’t imagine a country like Singapore that is smaller then us but has SO MANY “promoters” for the exact same style of music, what the impact would be on turnout. Like I’m sure certain people only go to shows organized by a certain promoter and not to a show organized by a promoter they don’t like – even if it is for a band that they love.
Yeah it’s really weird. But there’s nothing we can do ya know. Actually, a lot of us promoters have started this group chat thing where we lay out the dates for upcoming shows planned but there are still clashes.
That’s a great idea! So you guys just bust out a calendar and look at upcoming bands and dates? Dope!
Alright man – don’t want to keep you from your awesome day ahead! Thanks for taking the time out!
No problem buddy, take it easy!
Go to the show!