Artists / Bands, Indie / Alternative, Interviews — October 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Interview: The Cambodian Space Project (KH)


If you happen to be in a state where you can picture yourself doing a psychedelic moonwalk through the fabric of time, clutching a bunch of 60’s rock records in one hand and a glitter bomb in the other, then you will likely have some idea of what it is to listen to the Cambodian Space Project. Hailing from various backgrounds across the Europe, Cambodia and Australia, the Cambodian Space Projects’ recent stint of shows across the UK, Indonesia and South-East Asia have formed a perfect introduction to the bands’ involvement in the UpToTheSky Festival by Figure8 Agency; a revolutionary sound experience that will showcase the best new indie talent from the Asia Pacific Region. Julien Poulsen, a founding member and band manager of the Cambodian Space Project, imparted some wisdom and gave us his thoughts in the lead-up to the festival, as well as their part in the SEA Absolute Indie Compilation album due for release later on October 18th, 2011.

The Cambodian Space Project

Your music seems to defy the constraints of one genre, with your web page calling the sound everything from Space Rock to Khmer Surin. But, if you had to pick one, what would it be?
Quite simply, Cambodian Rock!

What is the process in blending traditional 1960’s psychedelica with Cambodian infused vocals and instrumentals?
There is no real process – it just happens naturally. That’s why we like it!

You’re all from vastly different backgrounds, both culturally and musically – how did you all meet?
We all met through living and working in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We’re all from different backgrounds and cultures, which could have been problematic; instead, we all mixed perfectly, which added to the band’s personality. The band formed quickly after the first show with just myself and Srey Thy. We started playing as a band on Christmas Day, 2009.

You were recently booked for a run of shows in the United Kingdom. Do you find that Western audiences relate differently to your music, as opposed to Cambodian audiences?
We’re still trying to get there, so we will know more once we do! The British Embassy in Bangkok has denied visas for our Cambodian members, and we’re appealing the decision at the moment. Adding to our case will be the bookings at major festivals, BBC recording sessions and expanding our international fan-base.

How important is it that Cambodian Space Project’s management stays internal? Is there a reason why you have chosen not to outsource?
When we formed there was not much to manage; it was pretty easy to figure out loading equipment into a tuk tuk and getting to a gig. We always found it very easy to hire a bus and go on tour around the Cambodian countryside, which is how we really got started. Nowadays things are busier, and managing all our gigs and tour-dates is a full-time job in itself. I’d love someone else to do it so I could spend more time on creative stuff, but it’s not a priority right now. We’ve got a six-month tour ahead of us and a new album to promote, and another to mix and release in 2012. So for now, things will stay as they are!

What is one song, written by someone else, that you wish you had written yourselves?
Well it’s not one song, but all the songs by this artist that I love. Today, in a uniquely Cambodian Space Project context, it would have to be Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones!

What do you feel the Cambodian Space Project can bring to the UpToTheSky Festival, which other bands from the region could not?
It sounds like a good initiative, and we’re happy to be on board! At the moment we’re not sure exactly what to expect – we just need to set the co-ordinates to get the Cambodian Space Project flying.


The Cambodian Space Project’s MySpace is here and UpToTheSky Festival blog is here.


By Stephanie Winkler