One of Thailand’s most influential and popular rock acts POTATO chats to Hello Asia at Singapore’s Skechers Sundown Festival.
POTATO is one of the most popular rock acts to come from Thailand. Making their debut in 2001 and releasing 6 albums in that time, we catch up with the members of POTATO and ask them about the year they have had and when can we expect a new album.
POTATO welcome to Singapore and Sundown Festival! As one of the leading rock acts in Thailand what is it like to represent your country at this prestigious music festival?
We’re very happy and excited to be here this year! Last year we planned to come, but were unable because of scheduling issues, so this year we’re quite happy we can. Since that time we’ve released a few new songs so we’re looking forward to sharing them.
For my Australian audience who may not have heard of POTATO before can you tell me a little about your band and music?
POTATO is fourteen years old now; it began when we were all in an advertisement for a drink. Someone saw us on TV and thought it was interesting and brought us together and put us together in the band to work as POTATO. The first decade of our music focused mostly on Pop and then eventually developed into various genres like rock and alternative. There are a lot of different elements in POTATO music, but the basis and melody is always about Pop. Our lyrics, in the beginning had a lot of pop, and as we grew up our music started to reflect more who we are and what’s going on in our lives. Although the music is quite varied, the core is about the content and lyrics and exploring who we are, and we’re still largely Pop.
You released a brand new single this year. Can you talk to us about the single?
The new single is called “Roi”. The literal translation would be like ‘mark’ or ‘print’. It talks about how we, as humans, in our lives put on a happy face but behind everyone there’s sadness and a sad story that’s hidden. So it’s about everyone having this inside, and waiting for that special someone to come and understand that deepness inside yourself.
Its been almost 4 years since your last album Human. When will we see another album from POTATO?
The new plan for the album is that it will be released some time March next year. We’ve already begun releasing singles. From February through today we’ve already released three songs that will lead up to the full album launch next year.
Talk to me about the rock scene in Thailand since we don’t get to hear a lot about it in Australia?
The unique charm about the rock music scene in Thailand is that Thai rock music incorporates a lot of melodic tunes to it. There are a lot of love stories too, and a unique softness that is easy to listen to that is in contrast to pure rock itself.
What has been your most memorable concert or festival that you have played in?
It was actually a concert we just played about a week ago. After fourteen years, going up there it gave us a refreshed feeling, we were very relaxed and it wasn’t stressful. We’re able to be ourselves and see the happiness that people feel form the music, and that happy vibe makes it the most memorable concert to date.
Which artists influence the sound of POTATO?
We each have our own influences. We’re influenced by the band MUSE and by John Mayer as a guitarist. Local Thai artists we enjoy include Modern Dog, and foreign artists as well such as Hoobastank, Incubus, Robbie Williams, and Michael Bublé.
Do you have any ambition to take the sound of POTATO to a western audience? How do you think it will be received?
Its quite difficult but we’d be happy to take any opportunities to do it. We’d love to still sing in Thai, because it’s a beautiful language. The Western scene has always been the origin of rock music so it would be a dream of every musician, regardless of nationality, to reach Western audiences. We’d love for any opportunities to perform outside of Thailand!
What been your favourite song or album that you heard this year? Can be any language. Why do you like this album/song?
This year MUSE performed a concert in Thailand so we’re really into them at the moment, especially a song called “Dead Inside” as well as “Go” from Imagine Dragons.
When will we see POTATO perform in Australia?
So far we’ve performed in Australia twice already and within the Thai networks and communities in Australia. We hope to be back next year to perform there again!
What are POTATO’s plans for the rest of 2015 and next year?
For the rest of this year we’ll be going on our concert tour. For next year the focus will be on our album and for the end of next year we hope there’ll be a big concert!
Transcribed by Rose McClelland