By Wahid Al Mamun (15A01A) and Charlene Yap (15S06Q)
“Play it Loud!”
– Bob Dylan
Have you ever wanted to emulate your absolute favourite bands? Ever dreamed of making hordes of people go crazy over a guitar solo? Do you have an inner rockstar that wants to be unleashed? Then look no further than Raffles Rock to play loud and rock out!
At Raffles Rock, we focus on making and playing music. Don’t get us wrong – it’s not only pure, adrenaline-boosting rock n’ roll that we do! From Fall Out Boy to KT Tunstall to Radiohead, we jam to and perform an eclectic range of music which every member comes to appreciate after a while. The great part about Raffles Rock is how the diversity of our members’ music preferences come together nicely in coming up with a final product that we can proudly call our own. Each batch of Raffles Rock consists of about 10 people, who are then split into two bands. However, there are times where we jam and perform for gigs with members from the other band, so inter-band collaboration is definitely a thing!
Raffles Rock’s official CCA day is Tuesday, with sessions from 4pm to 7pm at the Jamming Studio. In reality, though, this is more of a guideline as we have a slight tendency to overshoot this timing! We are coached by Ian Toh from Thunder Rock School, who brings his valuable expertise and wisdom from the Singapore music scene to us on a weekly basis and who constantly motivates us to improve as musicians. Bands try to meet up on other days of the week whenever they are free in order to jam or to practise for upcoming gigs. In addition, at the end of 2014, Raffles Rock recorded an acoustic cover EP in school with the help of AV teacher Mr. Hazli, which was certainly a new experience for most of our members.
Of course, the showpiece event for Raffles Rock as a CCA is our Rockout concert that is annually held in May. Last year’s edition of Rockout – named The Day The Earth Stood Still – was the third incarnation of the event and the second time it was held at Scape’s The Ground Theatre. Having sold in excess of 800 tickets, it was a great experience for us to play to a huge crowd cheering our every note. Additionally, Raffles Rock also perform for other fringe events such as RIJC’S Take 5, National Day and NJC Rock Night. If that doesn’t whet your rockstar appetite, then wait until you hear about the opportunity of a lifetime to play to PM Lee! Yes, Raffles Rock had the privilege to play to the Prime Minister during the Teck Ghee National Day Dinner Celebration as well!
So how does one get into Raffles Rock? It’s pretty simple – there will be an audition which requires you to play your instrument in front of a panel of Rock members, our coach Ian, as well as our teacher-in-charge, Mrs Teo. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds! We aren’t looking for monster drum solos or finger-bleeding shredding wonders. On the contrary, musical background and experience is not compulsory – some of our current members had barely touched their instruments when they first auditioned. What matters most is a willingness to learn from others, which is the core ethos of Raffles Rock.
We hope you want to join Raffles Rock to make good music, and to have fun making good music. That’s the reason why all of us joined. Equally important is the sense of community and comradeship that we have created over the last year. We’re all a bit crazy. From ridiculous MRT rides carrying keyboards and guitars to running around Scape mere hours before a concert trying to buy a stage outfit, we’ve all had our fair share of stupid moments. Yet that’s precisely why our CCA is so special and so awesome – because ultimately, we’re just a bunch of musicians who just wanna have fun and rock out.
Some things you might hear if you join Rock (you have been warned):
“Death to all scrubs!” – all of us
“The real question is, do you love China?” – Qiu Biqing
“This is war. And war is a patriarchy!” – Neo Jin Hong
“The bass is a patriarchal instrument.” – Neo Jin Hong
“That song is nice and all but can I add a drum solo to it?” – Neo Jin Hong