Interviews — March 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Interview: The Big Questions with Thai synth maestros DCNXTR


Atmospheric and expansive, DCNXTR’s ethereal dream pop sound infuses live vocals and samples within a landscape of synthesisers and electronic drum beats. The result is an exquisitely laid rich and emotive melodic tapestry; a unique sound that has seen them grow a significant fan base across Bangkok and beyond.


Formed by musicians and long time friends Charlie Nipanan and Piruntar Kalasanimi, the Thai band are at the forefront of the next generation of electronic acts in Bangkok’s thriving music scene.


DCNXTR’s founding members Charlie and Piruntar (Image credit: Happening New Indie)


Their live performances are known for their immersive visual environment thanks in part to the work of Mont LINGDUM Watanasiriroch, who serves as the visualizer for the group. The addition of  Kittipong OJMAH Chearananta, taking on additional synthesizer duties creates a sonic feast for the ears.


We ask The Sam Willows ‘The Big Questions’


Over the past two years, they have developed a loyal local following and increased their exposure across the region as a whole through performances at events like ASEAN Pride Music Festival in Hanoi. Brimming with passion and talent and now having released their debut album Connext last month, 2015 looks to be a breakthrough year for DCNXTR,

dcnxtr connext


We stole a few moments of their time to get the lowdown on all the (not) really important questions:


What is the strangest thing you’ve eaten whilst on tour?

Piruntar: Red ant eggs! I can’t recall what it’s called exactly but it’s supposedly a sauce served on the side, and the red ant eggs are sort of a kick. It’s surprisingly delicious though, salty and very savoury.
Charlie: We had it in Hanoi last year when we played at ASEAN Pride Music Festival. After the show, one of guys who arranged the event took us out to celebrate at his restaurant and had us sample some of their local delicacies.


What is one thing that you can’t live without?

Charlie: JAPANESE MANGA! My ultimate obsession, I read them all.
Piruntar: Music, of course, exploring new materials and getting inspirations.


Tell us the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?

Charlie: (takes a pause, to think) I guess it must be so bad that I’ve completely forgotten it altogether.
Piruntar: Ditto to that.


Where is your favourite place on earth?

Charlie: Dolores Park in San Francisco, it was a known hang out spot amongst groups of friends looking to wind down. Ahhh.. good memories!
Piruntar: My bedroom! It’s like my own private world where I can do almost everything in bed; browse silly youtube videos, work on new materials for the band, finding new bands to follow, the list is endless.



Tell us the best gift you’ve given/received?

Piruntar: A Yamaha PSS 470, a gift from Charlie, actually.
Charlie: It was a going away present before I left for the States, sort of a bribe to get her to continue our music collaboration through the internet.
Piruntar: Until this day, it’s still one of my favourite gifts.
Charlie: On my birthday two years ago, I received a quaint little notebook, there’s a whimsical drawing of a strange bald man wearing glasses on the cover, I was told he supposedly looks a lot like me.
Piruntar: I gave him that!


What’s your greatest talent outside of music?

Charlie: DANCE! Not professionally though, for entertainment purposes and laughs mostly, my dance moves requires a lot of open space.
Piruntar: Very true. I actually have a lot of clips of his dancing, it’s a good pick me up when you need a quick laugh on a bad day.
Charlie: Piruntar’s greatest talent should be her remarkable speed in whipping out her iPhone to film any and all stupid shenanigans she comes across daily.
Piruntar: A lot of which are Charlie’s dances.


Dogs or cats?

Piruntar: Dogs! Definitely!
Charlie: Cats.



What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done while performing?

Piruntar: Years ago, I played guitar for a rock band called Revenge of the Cybermen, we played a show in Singapore back in 2008 and I was really young and wanted to rock out hard, and I did this random kicking motion that confused the rest of my bandmate, I guess it looked cool in my head.


What is your worst habit?

Piruntar: I’ve recently realized that I have a serious case of resting bitch face; the sad fact is I have zero awareness that THAT is how my neutral face looks like.
Charlie: I can be too nice and try to please everyone, give them anything they ask; sometimes its easy for people to take advantage of it.


You’re hungover and can have anything in the world delivered to you. What is it?

Charlie: A lot of painkillers.
Piruntar: A nice warm bowl of tomato soup with extra pepper.
Charlie: On second thought, green colored NyQuil.



DCNXTR performing at Hedsoz (Image credit: FUNGJAI)


What is your favourite band at the moment?

Piruntar: I’m currently obsessing over Chemical Brothers’ new album Born in the Echoes, it’s so minimalistic and yet so modern.
Charlie: Calippo, at the moment.


Who is the best dancer in the group?

Charlie: Me
Piruntar: Definitely, Charlie. I have many videos to prove it.


Which was your favourite gig ever?

Piruntar: Hedsod 2, one of our best live performance to date, the venue had significant space which really accommodated our intended visual design so we were able to take full advantage with lighting design and enhance the visual aspect of our performance as fully intended. It’s one of the biggest shows so far and there’s a lot of teamwork involved from so many people involved, all of whom worked so hard to help make it amazing. A remarkable experience.
Charlie: My personal favourite gig is back in early 2014, we were asked to perform as an opening act for Postiljonen. Very surreal.