Engineer by designation, Musician by definition

Engineer by designation, Musician by definition

Tashya's Ink

Tashya's Ink
My band

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tashya's Ink Maldives Trip

Wow, its a new year already. So many things had happened from my last blog (I keep writing this every time I write a new blog). In my last blog I mentioned that we won the Malaysia Breakout Showcase and got the chance to go to Maldives to play at the Maldives Breakout Festival. We went and we conquered. It was beyond words. The place was so beautiful, met with some great people and bands, played our hearts out even though I was sick as hell during the show. But I wasn't gonna let my sickness take away this chance to play at an international event. Everybody should really check out Rock Paper Scissors from Maldives. Those guys are awesome, as individuals and also as a band. Very humble and friendly. I miss them very much. Also, anyone reading this blog should really check out Steranko and Endeavours. Great bands and great people from England. Full of energy and charisma. We were having a tough time just to keep up with them. But I think the highlight is meeting with FASY. Such a great yet humble guitarist. He's like the MJ of Maldives. The biggest star there. To be able to watch him play (he's the guitarist of Steranko) is magical. He's magical and full of emotion when playing the guitar. I learned a lot from him. Currently, he's my No. 1 guitar player. And to know that he acknowledges me as a guitar player, is totally out of this world.

Not to forget the people from ProDG: Azfa, Faisal and Mel. They were great organizers. And we became great friends as well. Totally enjoyed our time with them in Maldives. Its fortunate that we share the same kepala. hahahah. Thank you so much to: Azfa for taking care of us. Faisal for making us sound really good and sharing with us your experience in the music industry and also to Mel for taking great shots of us playing and being a fun person. Kudos to all of you.

Also not forgetting Shahril and team and our label Tonezest for supporting us throughout the whole ordeal. Thank you for believing in our cause and making sure everything is in place. You guys are awesome.

All in all, the Maldives trip was a very humbling and exciting experience. I never thought that I would make friends with such great people. It really inspires you to be a better musician and a better person.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ghost of Days Gone By

Another day in the office. This week would be my last week in the office. Starting next week I'll be posted at KUKA Robot Automation, Puchong for training. Apparently my company wants me to be trained as the robotics specialist within the company. Well, I can't really complaint. At least I'm far from my dictator-like boss, which I loathe so so much.

People say good things come to those who wait. But, it's easier said than done. I just can't wait any longer for our EP to come out. For those not well versed in the music jargon, EP stands for Extended Play. In another words, it's like a mini album. Normally 4-6 songs in an EP. As of today, 4 of our planned 6 song EP has been mixed. Waiting for the other 2 to finish mixing, then those mixed 6 songs will be sent to renowned mastering engineer, Nick Lee for further enhancement. I really like how Keith mixed Run. He gave that retro kind of feel to the song which fits like a glove. Before this I always thought that Run would never be released as a single but after listening to the current version, I think it would do really well on the radio. It's very catchy and has that dance beat that will make anyone start to dance. I love it.

The year is almost reaching the end and I have to say, this is a good year. I haven't had a good year in awhile now. I feel blessed. Although, I have done some things I am not proud off but I will try my best to be a better person and a better Muslim. I thank Allah SWT for giving me all the good things that has happened this year. Insyaallah, next year will be even better.

Before I forget, I finally got my hands on Alter Bridge's 3rd album, ABIII which explains the title of this blog. To date, I strongly believe that this is their best album. The AB boys really pushed and experimented alot and I love every song in it. I just wished I can watch them perform live. Hopefully next year I'll be able to do that. I want to see Myles Kennedy sing again. He is such an awesome singer.


Monday, September 27, 2010

What has happened so far....

Wow, it has been awhile since I last posted anything. I almost forgot that I even have a blog. A lot has happened since 1st July 2010. Fast forward almost 3 months, my band just completed recording our debut EP tentatively entitled Open For Registration which is kinda ironic due to Tashya's other job. To those who didn't know, she runs a few kindergartens. So I think its fitting that we're gonna name our EP Open For Registration

Moving on....My job still sucks, added few more 'toys' in my arsenal of gear for the band, performed at various shows (one in JB, our first outside of Klang Valley), a few acoustic shows, Ramadhan came and went, Eidul Fitr came and went, my dad's laptop together with my modem got stolen, performed at DPM's niece's wedding (which we got paid handsomely and got good vibes from the wedding go-ers) and my PC at home won't boot up. Life is pretty much normal. Some days are awesome. Some days just plain sucked. But life is like that. Take it as it is. When Allah gives you lemons, make lemonades...that sort of thing. Which reminds me, I gotta work on my solat. Haven't been a good servant to the Almighty. Maybe that's why my life has been like a roller coaster. The big guy up there is trying to tell me something.

This October promises to be another hectic month for both me and my band. Fortunately, this coming week we have some much deserved break. No more recordings, no shows. But come the 2nd week of October....BAM! Back to business. Starting 8th October, we have a gig in KL under Indie Youth Festival called FEYST GIG at 1Cafe in Jalan TAR,KL. Then after that, we have another wedding to perform (nothing much, just my sister's wedding), celebrating Tashya's birthday together with Bari's, and finally on the 30th of October another show at 1Cafe. Oh, i almost forgot. My degree convocation on the 6th of October and the next day, performing again at Daikanyama, Changkat KL for the monthly R(O)A/W(R) acoustic set. We're also hoping to get a sneak preview of how our EP gonna sound like this month. Hopefully Keith is able to do the mixing as soon as possible.

In the midst of all that chaos, I still manage to get some buzz in the stomach. You know that kind of buzz you get when you meet a new and attractive person but you're too scared to do anything cos you're afraid of rejection which you have suffered countless times in your life? Yeah, that sort of buzz. My friends are trying to encourage me to give it a try but something is stopping me. Probably I'm too rusty and have been out of the game for far too long. But I know that I just don't want to get hurt anymore. Its like a curse, every time I meet someone new and develops into like a buzz or crush, it just withers away. It has come to a point that I say to myself, "What's the goddamn point?" They'll just run away every time I try to get close or get attached. It's nice to have that buzzing feeling but at the same time it is one of the most horrible form of torture one can experience. But somehow, we human beings still do it. It's like a form of insanity. But I guess that's what being in love/have a crush is all about. Everything else just don't matter. You're in your own world. Nothing will ever be the same without that person.....Pure insanity!!!And we love it.

Enough of my blabber.....I'm not even making any sense....

"Aku cinta....padamu....Sungguh!!" Goddamn song is stuck in my head....FML!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Random thoughts...

It's Thursday morning, 12.30am. I can't sleep yet so I thought of writing something. Things have been awesome since my last post. Music wise that is. My day job still sucked. But I'm won't go into detail about that.

Last weekend I went into the recording studio called The Ark in Taman Tun Dr Ismail to record our first 2 songs, Yang Ku Mahu and HU. I was really excited cos its been awhile since I did my last recording, which sucked big time. So to go into a professional recording studio is somewhat a first actually. We started off recording the guide track first, just Tashya on the acoustic guitar. After that settled, we recorded the drum tracks for both songs. I admire my drummer's attitude. He won't stop until he gets it right and I think everyone in the band was really amazed by his awesome grooves and rolls. He has totally given Tashya's Ink a new beat and feel. The drums he did on both songs, simply epic! You don't need to have a record in some record books to be an awesome drummer. What matters is the attitude and believe in the band's direction and songs. Something our previous drummer lacks by a mile. Wan is totally opposite of Jone. And best part, Wan is funny, a bit reserved and totally not annoying. He gives the best one liners. But the important part is, he is very humble. I thank god that we manage to find him. I can write about how we found him but I'm too lazy to type. Let's just say, somehow it was destined. And I hope we last long.

Next up, Mr Ike on the bass. I've known Ike for 5 years now. Not really close friends back then. We jammed once before a few years back and even then, I thought this guy is an awesome musician. His bass lines, his groove, his style, amazing. So when he agreed to be part of the band, we were ecstatic. It turns out, he fits well with us. Which was never a doubt to me anyway. He brings somewhat a fresh sound to our songs. Not to say Nakim wasn't awesome (which he is) but Ike just gives a different dimension. Anyway, back to recording. He did his basslines within one hour. That says alot about him. Everything just fell into place. I love his bassline on Yang Ku Mahu. Actually, I just love his basslines in all the songs we play. And like Wan, he is humble, funny, honest and most importantly, shares the same passion and drive as Tashya and me. Again, I thank god he's on our side.

Next up, it was my turn. I was quite nervous at first but I grew in confidence by the minute. I stopped thinking whether this part or that part is gonna work. I just felt the songs. And I have to say, I'm very proud of what I manage to contribute to the songs. One of the best works I've done. I will forever remember this recording session for years to come. Its great to finally have great people with the same idea and passion as you are. It just makes things easier. I believe that the band is not just a band, but family. We've really bonded in a short time. Especially between me and Tashya. I feel that I've finally understand how she operates. What she wants in a song. I think we've developed a great understanding and respect for one another. I haven't had this kind of chemistry in a long time. I hope we can continue to write great songs in the future.

This Friday, Tashya will be going into the studio to record her vocals. I've known Tashya quite sometime now. And by far, she has been the most talented singer/songwriter I have ever worked with. Unique in every way you can imagine. Her style changes from one genre to another. Jazz, Blues, Pop, Alternative, name it. Its no surprise that she was the winner of MyStarz LG back in 2007. I have nothing but good things to say about her. Simply, for lack of a better word, awesome! And I know in my heart that once she gets into her 'zone', she will make our songs sound even more awesome. I hope the world will say the same thing.

So....I think I ended up writing too much. I guess I'll stop here then...Adios!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Decisions, decisions, decisions

Today was suppose to be a great day. It started off great. Lunch with family at KLGCC celebrating Father's Day. Performed with my band at Fete De La Musique Festival at the Curve, Damansara which was awesome. One of the best shows we've had in a while. Some minor mistake made during few of the songs we played due to the fact that the current lineup only been practising together at the start of the month of June. Nonetheless, I feel we were one of those unique bands. I realized that bands nowadays tend to be the same. So many bands out there trying to be like Avenge Sevenfold or Breaking Benjamin or Yellowcard instead of trying to be original and unique. Anyway, we rocked the stage and the fans loved us. To make it even more special, almost every member of my family came. Mom, Dad, two of my brothers and their family, three of my sisters came, also with their kids. It made it even more special.

Then came the sad part of the day. I got back home, feeling very tired but still stoked about our performance. I decided to have a talk with my mom regarding the path I want to take in my life. I told her that I'm quitting my job. I want to get a job that's nearer to home and with flexible time. I told her that the band is finally taking off and I have to consider doing something that won't jeopardize my commitment to the band. She got really upset. We argued. I won't go into detail what was said but it saddens me to know that she still won't let me be who I want to be. She still won't let me go and experience what the world can offer. Yes, its true that the world is a cruel place. Its true that the world is full of people with bad intention. But sometimes, every once in a while you meet wonderful people along the way. You get to meet up with people with a genuine heart. Good people. Sometimes, you gotta take the risk. I know every parent just want the best for their child but stopping them from pursuing their dream is not thinking whats best for them. Is it so wrong to be different than everyone else in the family or ancestors? Is it so wrong trying to be a musician? Life as a musician is hard. But then again, who said life was easy? You gotta work hard to survive, regardless of what occupation. But to do what you love to do, not many can say that. And here I have the opportunity to do it. To think about it, everywhere you go, there are people out in the world just want to hurt you. So it's pretty irrelevant that just because I want to be a musician, bad things will happen to me. That applies to every job, every position, everywhere. So why she won't let me? Am I doing something haram? The money I get from making music, haram ke? I'm trying to make an honest living. Something that at the same time is something I love and worth doing. The money is there. Its up to us to know where to look. And again, that applies to every job in the world. The most important part is that its an honest living. I'm not selling drugs. I'm not soliciting sex. I'm not selling booze. She's worried about all the bad influence the world of music brings. I've been playing music for 10 years now. I've never use drugs, I've never drank alcohol before and I don't have sex orgies. All I want to do is perform and share with the world our music. I don't party hard like how my brothers and sisters did when they were young. My idea of a good time is chilling with friends, have a drink and have a good laugh. After 26 years in this life, I would guess that my family would know who I am by now. And yet, they still don't know who I really am. Every single advice my parents gave me, I still listen to those advice. Yes, I did make a lot of mistakes 5 years ago. I was too in love and I did things I wished I never did. But we learn from our mistakes. I learned it the hard way. I just wish my family can see that I am no longer Adik Boy. I'm Iriz. I love music and I love performing. I love my family, my friends and most importantly, I love Allah SWT. Even though I am far from being a good Muslim. I try my best to do things the right way. I try my best not to stray from the right path.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Down but not out

Its been quite an up and down kind of day today. I found out that my band Tashya's Ink did not make the cut for the semi-final spot in the Redtix + MTVAsia RedAMP competition. Kudos to all the bands that went through but I have to be honest about something. Not to diss anybody. Cos everyone has their own opinion of how to play music but....I felt that some bands that got through didn't deserve to be in the semi-final. It makes me wonder about the taste and mentality of some people. Is it the glamour that they are looking for or true talent? It looks to me that this competition really has nothing to do with ASEAN'S best band. The worst part, some bands sent in their submission without really complying with the competition's Terms and Condition. The competition required all bands to send in a video of them playing live at a show or jamming session. And we did just that(even though we took 6 different shots, we still used live audio). But the bands that got through really made a music video. There's even one band that had full warrior costumes and shot in a rubber plantation...I mean, WTH? And we're not in it? Talk about class and taste. Bad, really really bad....What is the world becoming? To be fair, not all the bands were awful. there are some bands that were good enough to be in the shortlist. But I find it very hard to accept that my band got overlooked for some bands...I'm not saying that we are the best band ever to grace the earth but seriously, I know in my heart (and I hope my friends/Tashya's Ink fans) that we are better than half the bands in it. I'm sure of it.

Nonetheless, life is just that no matter how it crawls under your skin you've got to move on. And I'm glad that today's jamming session went really well. We were bothered about the result and it did show during the practice but eventually, we ended the session strongly and uber-focused for Fete De La Musique festival happening this Sunday at The Curve. We'll be taking the stage at around 540pm and I hope to see my friends and fans there supporting us and dancing to our tunes. This will be our first ever show with the new and improved line-up. I dunno but I just have a feeling that its gonna be a blast. I hope to gain more fans and ultimately open up some more opportunities for us to go places. I pray to God that everything will go on smoothly.

Finally, to the England Team.....PLEASE WIN TONIGHT....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

redAMP Competition...

i guess some might already know that my band Tashya's Ink just finished shooting 2 videos. One of them we are using for this competition called redAmp which is organized by AirAsiaRedTix and MTV. And the winning prize is RM50,000.00 to kickstart our career as musicians. The song we chose is called Run. Written by my vocalist Tashya Basir and her companion, Nina Zeddy, the song has that bossa nova kind of feel to it. Initally, it was a bossa nova song due to Nina's influence. But all of us wanted to escape from that feel hence we decided to combine a bit of rock in it. Nothing heavy, perhaps more like a pop rock feel and personally, I'm very proud of what i managed to give to the song. Kudos to my bassist, Ike and drummer, Wan for adding their excellent groove and chemistry. As i mentioned earlier in my other posts, I really hope this line-up would stick for a long time. And things have been looking pretty clear after a very slow start to the year. The future is there for us to write and its up to us now to make it to the big stage.

Anyway, I've been going on Youtube searching for videos of bands that submitted for the redAMP competition. I got to say, in the most humble way possible that I think our video is much much better than the others except Lab the Rat. Their video is very similar to us but the difference is that we did it live and to my observation, they shot a video and put their track over it. But I guess everyone else thought that it should be a video of them jamming or performing live during a show hence the low quality videos. But there's this other band called Systematically Avoided Disaster or better known as S.a.D, who really did a proper music video for this competition which actually reminded me of Karnivool's video of Lifelike. A video of them performing in various area of a warehouse with different camera angles. The concept is very good but I think the choice of song is not the wisest. Moving on, I'm kinda stoked about the competition and I pray we get through to the second round which requires the public to vote for us. I'll post where to vote if our band gets shortlisted.

So to all my friends, strangers, bloggers, surfers, music lovers, fans and family, please vote for my band Tashya's Ink. Thank you for all your support....

Here's the video:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our very own music video

Hey everybody, finally my band's video clip is up in youtube. Not to brag or sound like I'm complimenting myself but I love it. Thanks to Fat Kats Studios, Adrian and Bari for making everything possible. Even though it was really simple, no story behind the song, basic equipments and time constraint, the video turned out sweet (in the words of our bassist, Ike). And during our video premiere party earlier today ( or perhaps last nite), everybody loved it. Special thanks to those who came to the party. Anyway, we managed to record 2 songs. The crowd favourite, HU and the band's personal favourite, Run. So please please, anyone out there reading this, please check it out and give ur input. Oh btw, the reason we did these videos was for this competition called redAMP (a collaboration between AirAsia and MTV). We decided to submit Run for the competition. So to those out watching the video and wondering why we asked you guys to vote in the video, its for this competition. Hopefully, we'll get past the preliminary round. Once we are through, the public voting starts. And that's where we need your help. So please check out this link here and vote for us when you see Tashya's Ink. So, without further a do....presenting our videos Run and HU.

See ya!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


What a day today. Sometimes it amazes me that in one day, things can change from really fucked up to awesomeness instantly. Life is unpredictable, like the ocean. No one can really tell if a wave or a tsunami is coming. Anyhoo, my band Tashya's Ink just finished up our video shoot at Daikanyama Restaurant. It went really great. Better than great actually. It was awesome. And kudos to everyone involved in the project, my bandmates, the production crew and their leader, Adrian, Mani, Nina Zeddy and a special mention to Bari for making this work. Without his input, enthusiasm and trust in us, we would never had this opportunity to do this. I can't wait to show our fans the video. Initially, we only wanted to record one of my favourite songs from Tashya's Ink called Run but because we were so ahead of schedule we recorded HU as well. And to think that we only had less than a week to prepare with the new lineup too. I guess I can to see that things are going as plan. It was slow and full of challenging moments at first but I think we are destined for great things in the future provided we stay focus on the goal.

What a contrast to my day in the office. These past 2 weeks, things have been very hectic in the office. I don't mind being busy but sometimes I feel that the work given to me is a bit out of my league since this is only my third month on the job. Now suddenly I have to design the whole material handling system for this one company. There were so many moment when I felt like I want to resign but work is work. I have to work to survive and for the band's sake. Money means more equipments can buy and more jamming sessions. That's why everyday I pray to God that we'll get our big break soon. So I can focus on music. But praying is one thing, we have to work hard to get what we deserve and I am working hard....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Mayfield Four - Big Verb

One of my favourite song from the guys from Spokane. I love how they sound, their arrangements, the lyrics...just about everything....

She tries to find the weak spots
She tries to push through
To her, I'm not a criminal, she appears
And wants the sentence reduced

Now I need to restrain
Don't wanna give in
Let me pay for the crimes I've committed

Everything is caving in
From the weight of her world
My self evasing fortress is too weak
To withstand the self-assured

Just get out while you can
He'll take you away
Once it's gone, you'll understand

Will you please save her from myself?
Don't wanna hurt anybody else
So I build my castle high
Warning you to stay away

The war, I think it's over
But nobody really won
And as I stumble through the rubble
Then I see what kept her from getting in
A weary heart and the thickest of skin

Save her from myself?
Don't wanna hurt anybody else
And will you please save her from myself?
Don't wanna hurt anybody else

So I build my castle high
Warning you to stay away
Warning you to stay away