Darren Teh started playing music at the age of 14; beginning with the bass guitar and then picking up guitar as well as drums and keyboard. He joined his first band, Army Of Three, an alternative rock band at the age of 18 (2005) as a bassist and backup vocalist.
We’re feeling lucky tonight and so, we got to sit down with the amazing Darren Teh on his thoughts about music and performing.
I’ve been alright. I’ve been working from home for the longest time so this isn’t anything new except that I’m not able to move around freely. Now that things have eased up, it’s starting to feel like ‘normal’ again. I’ve taken this time to write more music where I haven’t been able to focus in the past. I’ve made about 10 demos to date and it feels good to be so productive.
I’ve also started a new online show on AFORADIO called ‘Pop Up Stage’ where we interview and feature artists of all genres across the board locally and regionally. I’ve a great co-host who’s a veteran in hosting so I’m just learning from her. These shows go online via the AFORADIO app and also on Facebook. Pretty cool to be able to support the music scene on a larger scale considering that’s always been my personal goal.
Nothing is too difficult to be honest. Playing musical instruments have a lot to do with coordination of all four limbs which with enough practice, anyone can master. But any wind instrument like the saxophone is on a whole other level. There’s breath and limbs involved. The art is on a whole different level. If you pluck a guitar string, you immediately produce some kind of sound but with a saxophone, even ‘blowing’ it takes a while to master.
I’ve always been a fan of all sorts of rock music. The entire spectrum from The Beatles to extreme death Metal like Dimmu Borgir. If I had to name one, it’ll definitely be 80s glam rock. The soaring guitars, crazy drumming, and vocals. Bands like Poison and Stryper are some of my favourites. Good music, technical yet fun to listen to. I wish I had grown up living the whole 80s hair days.
Backtracking a little to The Beatles and Elvis, my dad has been the main person who shared their music when I was a kid. Then, just like every other kid in the 90s, you’ll end up going through the boyband phase then I got into punk when I was 13 and it just got heavier and heavier. Now, striking the balance between everything which makes our music now, pop punk.
God-like. When I get up on stage, the energy of the crowd and audience (especially if it’s a festival or any show with a large audience), I feel like a God where I could say anything and the audience would respond. I’ve made people sit down during a set and that’s pretty intense. For small shows, I like the intimacy. You can really tell stories. Nothing is set in stone. You just [go with the] flow and that’s the beauty of small intimate shows. With giant shows, there’s always a timeframe to abide by so things are more or less rehearsed. The small shows, complete freedom.
Both these feelings are ones that you can’t get anywhere except by being on stage. The adrenaline rush, the energy; incomparable to any feeling in the world.
Tune in to the REXKL Sessions. It’s a great platform to explore new and top quality local and 100% Malaysian artists. To see a different range of performers from the usual is great. REXKL itself is a great venue that has harnessed many creative programs since its ‘revival’.
If you have the chance, swing by to check out the entire vicinity. There’s so much to discover from F&B to pre-loved items to performances. We need to support our local art platforms because it’s the bed for culture and where culture is developed.
Adding to that, don’t forget to listen to my band’s latest single #IDGAD on all streaming platforms.
If you’re a fan of Darren Teh or you’re charmed by his honest thoughts, you can watch Darren Teh only on AirAsia REDTIX 16th July 2020!
If you’d like to make a donation to any of the artists or REXKL then please feel free to do so as every little helps. You can make a donation here: Support Your Local Artists & Venue