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Yes, there is a scene, and it is alive and kicking, despite the mainstream press and other naysayers who say otherwise and despite the fact it’s not going to IPO anytime soon. Enter the Soundschemers (, a new local musical collective who recently released The Show Must Go On, a compilation CD of six Singaporean bands of various genres. The bands are Tiramisu (indie rock); The Marilyns (jangle pop); Seven Sundays (rock 'n' roll); Serenaide (indie pop); Radium Rags (post grunge); Big Red Moment and Disco Biscuit (dream pop). Their website enigmatically claims that they they’re "about passion, lo-fi music, a peaceful mind, and to share these with everyone else." Pheyroz (right), the main Soundschemer and Serenaide frontman, is 27 and works in a hotel. He says; "Maybe I'm a late bloomer 'cos I only started playing in a band about three years ago." Eddino Bin Abdul Hadi corners Pheyroz and probes further.

Radium Rags

Big Red Moment

Disco Biscuit

The Marilyns


Seven Sundays


Who are the Soundschemers?

We are a group of individuals who help in grouping together bands and talents to collectively produce recordings for release. We realise that we have to learn to be self sufficient in any way without the support of major players and governmental campaigns. Furthermore, we have never had the advantage of a real established music industry like our counterparts in South-east Asia and the rest of the world.

What made you decide to do this compilation?

It was a collective idea by some of the band members themselves. We put it out primarily because the last decent compilation was probably Flush After Use in 1997, which included Sideshow Judy, Seberynic and The mother. That was six years ago!

Are the group’s projects non-profit or commercial?

I would say that our projects are not for monetary reasons. We mean it more as a novelty item. If in any event whereby we do rake in profits, it will be given back to the bands. We do not take in a single cent from the sales.

Where does the funding come from?

From the bands themselves.

How was the selection process done?

Our primary concern is the band’s commitment towards releasing the compilation.

When did work on TSMGO start?

Somewhere in March 2002.

How would you describe the recording process?

The bands were given a time frame to come up with the recorded songs. It was up to them which studio they want to go to.

What were the problems in the project?

There weren't any major difficulties during the making of the CD. Everyone

who's involved in Soundschemers had a specific role and everyone, including the bands, did their part. Maybe our only gripe is that we didn't have as much funds as we'd like to. Then, we would have done certain things differently. But I guess the real difficult part was after the completion of the CD. We had to find a proper place to launch the CD and we realised that it's an uphill task to promote original local music to the local media/record stores. Fortunately Tower Records did us a big favour by allowing us to launch the CD at the store. The CD was also featured in some magazines, websites and newspapers and we're quite pleased that this first release received favourable reviews from them.

What does Soundschemers hope to achieve with the release of the compilation?

We hope that we could jolt some interest in the local scene and, hopefully, create some form of awareness for the public, to witness local music in its raw state, alive and energetic. We also hope that the release would be a landmark item for the scene. Homegrown music has always been a taboo subject for parents and we feel like outcasts in a preset system where success and satisfaction is measured by the number of digits in your bank account. To us, success and satisfaction lie inside deeper than what your eyesight permits. No use complaining and passively watching from the sidelines. We feel that we need to carry on the musical struggle left behind by the generation before us. It has now become a situation whereby if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

Note: The Show Must Go On is available from Tower Records, Velocet Records, Roxy Records and the BigO website.

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