The AU Review’s Larry Heath chats with Thai rock bank, Slot Machine exclusively at Singapore. They were one of the headline performers at the opening party at Music Matters showcase.
In their interview, the members of Slot Machine talk about their performances and reveal some of the artists they look up to! They talk about working with legendary producer Steve Lillywhite, their record Spin The World and their views of Australia.
That was a lot of fun (watching your performance). Did you have a lot of fun as well?
Yes! We have a lot of fun and crazy periods and we hope the crowd enjoyed it.
You shared a stage with Red Hot Chilli Peppers and bands like that in Japan, tell me a little bit about your summer and the festivals you’ve been playing in!
Yes, we’ve been playing a lot since we released our record and we’ve been playing at Jisan Valley Rocks (which is in Korea) and then we went to Fuji Rock in Japan and it was amazing! The atmosphere and the audience…it was the first time that a Thai band had performed at the Fuji Rock Festival so we are very proud of that! Actually, every time we stepped into a restaurant, we were recognised! I’m so happy I check in internet, I play at Fuji Rock stage – Red Marquee. Same stage as Rammstein in 1998. It was very cool.
Did you see Rammstein at that show? Were you at that show?
No, I didn’t! I checked it on YouTube. Wow, same stage!
Do they still have all the flamethrowers left over?
Do you add that sort of thing, the theatrics to your set? Lots of flamethrowers during a slot machine set?
Maybe, it’s too dangerous! Maybe after Fuji Rock, then Super Slipper in Taipei (Taiwan), it’ll be our second time performing at Super Slipper.
So tell me what has the reception been like for the record? You’ve been around for a long time now, but this is your first English language record, so it’s getting to engage with new audiences and like you said, be the first Thai band to play at a festival and at Fuji Rock Festival, so tell me a little about the reception for the album!
Yeah, the first reaction of like so different types of people, we played in Korea, and they were really getting into it so fast at the first moments. But in Fuji Rock, they were like, “Oh, okay, what’s next?” At the end of every gig, the audience applaud for us, and I think it’s a good reaction from the audience. Some of them can sing our songs, they give it their all, and it’s so exciting, we’re so glad that it’s so crowded and that it’s not Thai people, it’s Taiwanese and Korean and Japanese who can sing the whole song! It’s so obvious why we’re so proud of that. I can die now- not yet, not yet! Before we attended any festivals at all, we worked hard in Thailand in my studio, in my rehearsal room, to ensure we could showcase our vocals and make sure we feel comfortable in every place.
When you wrote this record, how did you approach writing in English? Did you write it in Thai first, then translate it or without a process, working with Steve and people like that, to create themselves?
About the process of making the album, writing it, Steve told us to not think too much, just create everything. He just wanted us to be free, not so serious, not thinking too much, because we have been playing together for about more that 10 years. He said, “It’s not time for practising or rehearsing or thinking too much. It’s time to improvise and let free our artistic period.” It was so much fun! He let us feel to do everything. Once he said, “I haven’t heard the song from the bass player solo in the song,” and we gave him the bass solo song!
Because this is the first time he’s produced a band that has a bass solo in the song and actually, it’s the first time for me to show my skills, but I’ve never done a solo at all! We wrote in the English language with Steve Lillywhite, at first not knowing how to translate Thai to English, we just wrote the lyrics in English.
So Steve tells you to improvise, to play around with it, to relax. Then his job is making it sound like you were meant to do what you’re doing and that it was all on purpose.
Yeah! Actually, if you heard our album, every song you hear, it’s the first take. Or mostly almost the first take. It was so fresh, and the things come through your brain and and your fingers and everything is natural – Steve loves natural.
So now when you’re playing live, you actually have to learn what you did and remember!
Haha! Yes, actually!
So what’s the rest of the year like for you? Where are you going? Are you playing more shows for the rest of the year?
Yes, we hope so! We hope to expand to more fans around the world and and especially Thai as well. We have Thai and all around Asia, maybe UK, US and Australia. We’ve been to Australia before, but we hope to come back! The first time we were in Australia was 2 years ago.
What was the experience like when you were in Australia?
One of the things the members asked me was, “Where can I find the kangaroo meat?” I kissed a girl for an hour, I almost missed the flight because I was still kissing the girl. It’s good! We went to a very good seafood restaurant. I don’t remember, but it was very very very good. I like to gamble, like a slot machine, and our hotel was across the greyhound racing. I love that, it’s amazing!
Congratulations on the record and hope to get you back in Australia and that you enjoy your time here in Singapore!
Thank you very much, thank you so much!