Osr313 on Donning Masks and Managing Schedules To Fit Jamming Sessions

Featured image: Osr313’s Facebook

One of the biggest bands to play this year in terms of sheer number, Osr313 or ..On Surge’s Rhapsody! 313, has seven members in their band. For the interview, it was unfortunate that Dee (bassist), Nizam (drummer) and Zaifric (deejay) couldn’t join us. After all, it can be tough to manage schedules and the different priorities of everyone.

Hayat (screamo vocalist) shares a bit with us on this: “In terms of jamming, because there’s seven of us in a band, it is actually quite a challenge. It is an obstacle. So we will have to sacrifice certain things. For example for those of us working, we will either have to take leave or find ways to go about it. I think it is all about give and take, so that is how we manage to jam. We try to jam at least once a week, and when we have performances, we go for twice a week.”

“And longer hours,” chipped in Pat (rapper vocalist) and Hamif (guitarist).

Besides the organising of time and schedules, another criteria for their jamming sessions would be to have a big room. Just to make sure there is enough space and for the comfort of everybody.

A typical jam session for Osr313 would be to warm up, run through their performance set lists and time themselves to ensure that everything is done well and in reasonable time – including the time taken to set up. They also practice synchronisation and that is also why space is important. Bear (guitarist) reveals that they do synchronise movement to certain songs. Pat elaborates a bit on that, “We do practice but when we perform, it is more spontaneous.” Hayat agrees and goes on to share that no fixed choreography would be done.

Live performance is all about vibing with the audience and the energy would be different – moving from a jamming studio to a stage. There is also the pressure of being on stage and something more unique to Osr313: the stamina needed to perform with their masks on.

Hayat: “It can get hard to breathe in the masks and instrumentalist may find it hard to see their instruments.”

Then why and how did the masks come about?

Bear started donning on a mask first and with good reason: “I’d rather people listen to our songs than focus on our looks, so that was how it all started. But after a while, we realised that in a mask on stage, we will perform all out. It is different when you wear a mask. With the mask on, you feel free and you are the band Osr313. When we are off stage and we remove the masks, I am a father of one daughter and a husband.”

“The characters are different,” expands Pat, “We have gotten comments that when we are off stage, we behave normally – the behaviour, the talking and just a family man. But when on stage, we are all in character when our masks are on.”

Embodying the phrase that not everything is what meets the eye, Popspoken speaks to them to find out about their feelings of checking Baybeats off their checklist (after trying out for five years) and what else is in the works for them.

Popspoken: How do you think your band is different from the other local bands within your genre?

Osr313: We are different because we are enigmatic, we do things in an extraordinary orientation. In terms of genre, we didn’t want it to be called NU-METAL so we modify it and call it NU-VIGILANTE CORE.

That is a representation of what we are in the band and the music we play. All of us wear masks, we have dress codes, and we play a new wave of music about political philosophy, warfare, secret societies and personal identity.

PS: Share with us a bit of your band’s aesthetics – the masks you perform in, etc.

O: All of us have a unique mask to disguise ourselves and portray our inner demons. In terms of costume, we have a uniform for different performances so it’s not the same every time. This is to enliven and encourage people to see us play.

PS: If your music can change one thing in the world, what would it be and why?

O: Our music can change the perception of people. Metal music is not designed to be liked by most people, It elucidates itself by exclusion so we want to make metal music palatable because why not? It’s not an impediment for us and we recognize the full worth of doing new things.

PS: Describe your music in one sentence.

O: We sound like the Incredible Hulk drinking a bottle of Absinthe.

PS: Baybeats is a part of your bucket list, so now that this will be ticked off after July. what else are you guys gunning for next?

O: In the interim, we are doing recordings and we are planning to have our EP launch by end of this year with our metal counterparts from Malaysia and Indonesia. We will have the launch in Malaysia then if time permits, we will do one in Singapore. We are also focusing on exposure by performing in gigs and partake in competitions.

Osr313 will be playing at this year’s Baybeats Festival that is happening from 17 to 19 August 2018!

They will be on for 18th August 2018, 7pm at the Powerhouse.

Photography credits: Darren ‘Merovign’ Tan

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