Interview with Cockpit (Singapore)

Trust us when we say that this band is THE MOST fun-loving band we have ever met. Everyone needs to loosen up like how these guys are ‘loosey-goosey’. We are not exactly sure what is in the water that the band drinketh, but they totally need to dopeth the reservoirs of Singa-land.

Maybe not that dangerously, you could try getting infected by COCKPIT in Baybeats 2010 Powerstage on Friday (20 Aug 2010) from 7.30pm to 8pm. They’re build their own props and wear something that flaps! *gasps*

Muahahahahhahahaa.
(Ed’s note: Maybe we already got infected…)


HMT: Thanks for taking the time off for this interview with us.

Shaun (aka. Johnny Danger): They haven’t seen Zombieland yet so they were watching Zombieland before we came down here from my place.

HMT: In our understanding, a cockpit is a slang term for vagina or a compartment for the airplane. So which one does Cockpit stand for?

J.D.: Actually there is actually a story behind it. We were originally called the Cock Rockers but we tried to get gigs in certain places and well, obviously the word “cock” doesn’t fly very well here in Singapore. So… We decided to go for Baybeats and we thought, “it’s about time we got a more marketable name.”

Ian (aka Sludge): But we still had our principles.

J.D.: Yeah, we had principles still…

S: So our new name still had to have the word “cock”.

J.D.: Cock because we are just a bunch of cocks, mainly.

HMT: So if you were to replace members it would have to be a guy.

J.D.: No, it can be a girl too as long as she’s as big a cock as we are.

[A moment of awkward silence…]

J.D.: Don’t think too much about it.

HMT: What are the band’s influences and what do you guys listen to?

J.D.: Well, each of us have very different influences, frankly.

S: The biggest metalheads in the band are these 2 (Royston aka Psyence Fyktion and Harman aka The Collapse of Uncertainty).

J.D.: Besides rock and metal, I actually started off very early listening to punk music. I used to skate a lot when I was younger, so it’s stuff like The Ataris and NOFX. The rock and metal came a little later with bands like Sabbath. More recently, though, I’ve been listening to heavier stuff like Arch Enemy, it’s quite fun actually. As a band, Iron Maiden is quite a strong influence of us.

S: Royston is the one with the heaviest taste.

P.F.: So far, I’m into bands like Chimaira, Arch Enemy. I’m a huge Children of Bodom fan.

J.D.: Yes, yes! I’m also a huge Bodom fan, they are awesome. Are You Dead Yet? being one of my favourite albums of theirs.

HMT: So how about non-rock and non-metal stuff.

S: Guilty pleasure…? Too many to state…

J.D.: I feel that silly band quality works for us, like crabcore and stuff like that. Good example is Attack Attack.

HMT: Oh we were just talking about crabcore a few days ago. So would you one day go like “ji pa ban” [Hokkien song]

J.D.: I like that song!

HMT: Will we be able to see all these in the future of Cockpit?

J.D.: You don’t have to wait so long, just catch us at Baybeats. We got some interesting influences coming in.

HMT: Give us a peek?

J.D.: Well I started off as a blues guitarist, so I played a lot of blues and a lot of slide guitar, so you’ll see a bit of that. I shan’t spoil the surprise so if you want to know what we will be doing, you have to come catch us at Baybeats.

HMT: How would you classify Cockpit’s music? In our opinion, comparing to other local bands we think you sound like a mix between bands like Suicide Solution and Ronin.

S: It’s around there. We don’t like to think too much about it, but actually we do sound like that, no two ways about it, considering our influences. But lyrics-wise we are unique in our own way

HMT: Yeah, your media kit was actually quite funny especially when the picture came in.

S: It’s a combo because after you read the first part you wouldn’t quite expect the picture to be as such.

HMT: What do you do for a living?

J.D.: Oh I’m an aircraft engineer.

T.C.O.U.: I’m a science teacher,

P.F.: I’m a journalist

S: I am in public relations.

HMT: Anyway, how did you guys meet? Are you guys childhood friends?

S: Yeah, we are sorta childhood friends.

J.D.: I knew these guys (Sludge and Psyence Fyktion) when we were in JC actually.

HMT: So you guys were called The Cock Rockers back then, how long ago was that?

J.D.: Back then we were called “Rise”, actually. We were a bit more “serious”.

HMT: Since you all knew each other since junior college, did you guys play music back then?

S: We did actually, during this school Talent-Time thing.

J.D.: Every year, the school has this Talent-Time thing. So these guys [Sludge and Psyence Fyktion] were trying to form a band, Sludge was playing bass and Psyence Fyktion was playing guitar and they were looking for a drummer. I used to play the drums. I started off with keyboards and then I went onto drums, so I said since I could play the drums, let me play with you guys.

S: We were more guai (tame).

HMT: Teacher[T.C.O.U.], would you ever come up with a song that helps your students in learning science?

T.C.O.U.: I have actually written a poem on the history of science.

HMT: Wouldn’t it be very hard to remember?

T.C.O.U.: They don’t have to remember it, it’s on a teaching blog and the students can just go there to read it.

HMT: We were not there to see your Baybeats audition set but we saw pictures of the band and it looked like the band was on fire. So I was curious what do you guys do to bring out the hyperactivity in the band?

J.D.: We just drink a lot.

HMT: In the morning? (Baybeats audition was in the morning.)

S: We were just really pumped up for that day, after all our rehearsals and having our friends to support us. To make sure we wouldn’t be ‘paiseh’ to do a lot of stupid things, we had to get all theself consciousness out of our systems first If we didn’t practice it beforehand, we would never be able to get it out in the actual performance. So during our rehearsals we had to move a lot, kept practicing, moving, moving, moving… and we wanted to unleash the fruit of our labours!

HMT: You have mentioned that Baybeats is something you hope that can help you move into something more serious

J.D: The entire philosophy of the band is to have fun, making sure everybody is having fun, because usually bands – Local bands, foreign bands, any bands, they tend to take themselves too seriously. And we decided to … whether consciously or unconsciously… I mean we got together by playing ‘Guitar Heroes’ together… be able to laugh at ourselves, laugh at our own music, for all its goodness…:)

HMT: How was the audition experience? Was it awkward to perform to a handful of people, including the judges?

J.D: Not really. Actually, we were behaving like how we would usually behave, so yea…

P.F: Friends were there, families were there… we also wanted to give them the best we could.

HMT: Honestly, why did you guys think you go through?

Cockpit: We have absolutely no idea…haha

HMT: Ok no more cock-teasing, what can we expect from Cockpit at Baybeats?

J.D: A lot of lights.

S: (echos) A lot of lights!

[Hysterical laughter’s ensues…]

HMT: [Puzzled] Are you guys going to bring your own lights and lasers?

J.D We build our own stage props…

HMT: [GASPS]

J.D: We’ll be bringing our greatest metal fan…

“Metal-Fan” T-Shirt by Ole Ivar Rudi

HMT: Literally?

Cockpit: YEAAAAAA…

HMT: You guys use too many puns!!! We are not sure which ones you mean!

S: OK LAH! We’ll give you a straight answer! We built this…we wanted something that was like it was from 80s Glam Metal bands, with all the hair-blowing goodness…

HMT: But none of you has long hair!

S: It’s OK! We have CAPES! Something that will flap!

HMT: [LOL] Something that will flap?!

S: We have something that we can step, and then activate (the fans). So when we play our solos, we STEP!

S: What he (J.D.) did was to find supplies and parts for this and piece it together…

HMT: That’s pretty geeky!!!

Cockpit: YEAHHH!

S: So that is one of the things that you can look out for.

HMT: Does Cockpit have any pre-performance ritual?

J.D: We’re quite individual in our pre-gig ‘rituals’. For me, I’ll make sure that I get a good night ‘s rest, have enough sleep, don’t drink. That’s for my voice. I treat my voice very well. Drink more water…

HMT: Like an athlete!

J.D: YES!

HMT: T.C.O.U has a face that gives me pressure!

S: HA! Fierce Face!

S: For me, nothing in particular. I’d prefer to stay away from the rest of the band, and get into character.

HMT: There’s an interesting stage name we remember in particular, it was ‘Psyence Fyktion‘. Where did you guys get such weird ideas for stage names?

P.F: It was from X Japan. (hide’s solo album ‘Psyence’) I was wearing this hide shirt and Sludge was like, why not ‘Psyence Fyktion ’? Then we wanted the spelling to be so bad and cringe-worthy, much like ‘Synyster Gates’

S: You didn’t ask about his (T.C.O.U) stage name!

T.C.O.U: “The Collapse Of Uncertainty”

The Collapse of Uncertainty

HMT: Oh yes why is it SO LONG?

T.C.O.U: I cannot really explain it to you, it is from Quantum Mechanics…

Cockpit: Go on! Go on!

T.C.O.U: Like everything is uncertain, you already know it when you make a measurement, that’s all. The cat’s either dead or alive, we will surprise you, just like you’ll never know us until you open our album.

S: Like THE COLLAPSE OF UNCERTAINTY!
(Ed’s note: Check out this Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_interpretation)

HMT: Erm.

T.C.O.U: I think they still didn’t really understand it.

HMT: Moving along! What are your plans after Baybeats? Are you releasing an album soon?

P.F: We have 4 songs properly recorded, so we’re gonna have 2 more recorded…

J.D: We really take our time. With all of us working, time is a little limited.

HMT: Final question: Was there a question you wished I would ask but I didn’t?

S: Nahhh…we’re ok. So far’s fine.

P.F: Maybe…we didn’t really finish the story how we got our band name.

J.D: We had a party, and we had to get our stupid name down, let’s give it a shot, everybody got 2 pieces of paper, write a noun and an adjective, put one each in a pot, and thanks to our friends, we got many retarded names, one of them was “ Little White Boys”…

HMT: But you guys aren’t even white.

J.D: Exactly. So 2 hours later, hilarious awesome fun…

T.C.O.U: We need to be true to ourselves , so one of our friends said “Hey why don’t you guys try “Cockpit”?”

HMT: But why not “Cock Rockers”?

J.D: It was not very Singapore-friendy, so we…

S: It was too “in-your-face”, and we needed something more ambiguous…

HMT: Like “The BoredPhucks”

S: Yep, so “Cockpit” was good. We didn’t even know about the vagina thing.

HMT: So we taught you that. I learnt this slang from this stupid Jap video trying to teach English in Japanese on Youtube.
(Can’t really remember which, but something like this series: Link 1, Link 2, Mature Content)

Cockpit: [Begins imitating girls speaking English with Japanese accents.]

HMT: So, do you have any rocker students, and did they find out that you rock too?

T.C.O.U: I do have a few actually. I mean they are still young, still trying out…In fact they just had a concert in school last night.

P.D: In fact I was influenced by my Physics teacher.

J.D: It’s a good way to teach…

HMT: Hahaha. Thanks so much for the interesting interview! 😀

Cockpit’s blog, MySpace and Facebook.

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