Artists / Bands, Culture, Indie / Alternative — January 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

“Rock ‘n’ Roll With A Whole Lotta Soul”


Fans of Cashew Chemists have been starving for a release ever since these dapper young lads swaggered onto local stages from Baybeats Festival to IGNITE, injecting a breath of fresh air into Singapore’s music scene with sounds inspired by the music of glory years past. Bringing back the days of ‘Rollin’ Good Times’ with their vibrant new twist on 60’s-70’s grooves, Yuji Kumagai, Brian Chia, Elliot Sng and Zachary Chia celebrated the launch of their very first EP last Sunday, 6 January at Beer Market, Clarke Quay with musical mates For This Cycle and Pleasantry opening the night. Take a trip down memory lane with Music Weekly and Cashew Chemists as we discuss the band’s journey from the recording of their debut EP right down to the launch party, and take a guess on each member’s personal favourite tune off their release!

Cashew Chemists

Music Weekly:
Congratulations on the EP Launch! What were your favourite moments of the launch party?

Cashew Chemists: Thanks! It’s been a crazy time trying to put this EP out and we’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. Our favorite moments were actually the entire launch itself – from the beginning, setting up our own amps & equipment and soundchecking by ourselves (there was nobody else at the venue in the afternoon except for one guy playing games on his laptop) – all the way till the start of the gig and watching all these bands and people coming down to support the show. It was fantastic. Oh, and also being on stage with our lead guitarist Brian after a long hiatus. It feels magical playing as the original quartet, definitely.

According to your Bandcamp page, the EP took “almost a year of hard work and really long hours in the studio”. Tell us, how was the recording process like? Did you encounter any challenges?

Yeah, the EP was challenging, because it was our first time working with an engineer and producer. Up till then we had been so used to recording and mixing our demos by ourselves in our own personal free time so the waiting game for the studio time was something we’d never experienced before. Leonard Soosay is a very popular, well sought-after man! Also, recording the parts was a big challenge for us because, being inexperienced with working with someone else, we had to re-record our parts numerous times. Financially, it took a toll on the band as well, even with a successful crowdfunding campaign – we had to dip into our own savings and took loans to pay off the costs involved in the physical EP. Man, was that unexpected… but the end result is something that we’re really happy with and we’re so stoked to have had the opportunity to work with Leonard, he’s such a genius behind the console.

What were the main sources of inspiration behind the songs on the EP?

This debut EP contains all of the songs that we’ve written in the earliest stages of our inception – from the very first song we wrote which was “Road Trip”, and up to the most recent one called “Over You”. We’re actually writing more songs now – this EP is kinda like a thing to look back upon when we move forward and say, “This is how we started, this is the sound of the Cashew Chemists”.

Your EP is available on Bandcamp as well as in physical copies – how has the response been for both?

Response has been pretty good! Not platinum sales and Grammy awards kinda good but it’s nice to just receive e-mails of purchases or messages, or even people on the street wanting to buy the physical copy and saying “hey, I love your EP, I dance to it alone all the time!” or things like that, that’s just very sweet. As long as we make enough to carry on doing what we do, writing songs about rock’n’roll with a whole lotta soul, we are contented.

Final question! What is each member’s personal favourite song off the EP?

Brian – “Over You” (the rest of the band still dies when we hear Brian’s solo part)
Elliot – “Road Trip”
Zac – “Road Trip”
Yuji – “Not in Love”


Don’t miss out – grab a copy of Cashew Chemists‘ first EP via Bandcamp here!