A day in the life of: A Raffles Rocker

This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.

by Ming Zee (16A01A), Chairperson, and Adriel (16S06K), Vice-Chairperson

 

Bedroom guitarist? Breakout singer? Baroque keyboardist? Fret not, because Raffles Rock is here! Take to the stage and express your creativity and enthusiasm – in jamming, gigging, and just plain rockin’ out. Our hugest event – ROCKOUT – is an annual concert @Scape, with three solid hours of sound, setlists and strobelights dedicated to our bands. Aside from that, you’ll be given the choice of a wide array of gigs – both internal (Open House, National Day Parade, Charity Events) and external (Hood Café & Bar, Hard Rock Café, NJC Rock Night), self-sourced and externally invited.

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Graduating batch of 2015 at Rockout

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Jocks’ (Jazz+Rock) night out at Hard Rock Cafe

But it isn’t all glitz and glamour. So what’s it like behind the scenes, in our quaint, homely and – most importantly – soundproof studio?

A regular day starts at 4.30pm, with members milling into the studio and flopping onto beanbags; it’s our respite from the daily grind of schoolwork. Guitars screech, mics fuzz, people trip over wires…until we cobble something together and start jamming. But what songs do we jam? For the start of the year, we’ll focus on prepping for Rockout. Past that, every batch chooses their own direction – so you could write songs, record covers, improvise, or go gigging! Everyone will have different musical preferences – from death metal to cantopop – so you’ll definitely learn more about the genres your bandmates like.

Halfway through a song our eccentric external instructor will pop by, most likely in a Superhero tee and badly matching pants. Founder of Thunder Rock School, trained as a vocalist but with many other talents, Ian helps us get our songs together for upcoming performances. You’ll decide on what songs to play, but he’ll give you tips on band cohesion, instrumentation, tightness and stage presence. Occasionally, a J3 (fresh into NS) or a J5 (fresh out of NS) senior will pop by – which just goes to show how strong the Rock family bonds are.

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He did join a super-secret boy band in the end.

Our official CCA day is Tuesday, informal day Thursday – but during peak periods before performances, we practice up to 4 times a week! Other than that, life in Rock is relaxed. Sometimes, we just sit down and jam random stuff when we don’t have upcoming performances – a great time to bond. In Rock, you’ll have to work closely with your bandmates in order to put up a great show. Everyone plays a key role in our songs – and since Rock is a small CCA (10-12 members per batch), you’ll definitely get to know one another well! CCA formally ends at 1900, but we tend to overshoot both our studio time, and the time we spend with each other. We have numerous batch dinners, watch concerts, occasional sleepovers, banter, go to the gym and visit guitar shops together…the list goes on! Even Ian is a chill guy to have a good laugh with.

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But how do you get into Rock? Just sign up for our auditions – where you’ll play whatever you like for Ian, Mrs Teo (our Teacher IC) and a couple of Rock members. You can play your instrument by itself, jam along to backing tracks, or audition as a band. We’ll ask you some questions to get to know you better – don’t worry, there are no wrong answers; you don’t even have to play a rock song during your audition! In general, we take in 2 vocalists, 2-4 guitarists, 2 drummers, 2 keyboardists and 2 bassists.

A great opportunity to get to know what Rock is like is to take part in Music Feste, which you’ll learn about when term starts. You’ll be playing in a band with your fellow house mates, and you might get to know your J2 rock seniors, as well as fellow batchmates in Rock!

There are countless differences between playing to a backing track at home and performing live. So if you’re someone who’d like to put up a good show, see the audience go mad, and have crazy fun – then Rock is for you! But even if you aren’t, just come anyways – we guarantee you’ll have a blast of a time.

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Please contact rock.raffles@gmail.com if you have any inquiries. Also, do check out our Twitter (@rafflesrock), Instagram (rafflesrock), and Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/RafflesRock14).

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