Who are the members of Yellow Fang?
Praewa : My name is Praewa Jiraprawut Na Ayudhaya. I play The drums and I’m the chorus of Yellow Fang.
Pang : I’m Pang, Pimporn Methachanun. I am the lead vocalist and guitarist.
Pim : I’m Pim, Piyamat Muenprasertdee. I play the bass and sing the chorus.
What are you doing at the moment?
Praewa : I perform with Yellow Fang and I run my own business, Wibwabwub, that sells glitter tattoo. I sing for commercials and also deejay.
Pang : Yellow Fang and I also work for a concert promoter called Have You Heard.
Pim : Mostly Yellow Fang.
How did Yellow Fang start?
Praewa : We performed in front of the faculty, Bachelor of Arts at Chulalongkorn. We were just having fun.
Pang : We were classmates. (points to Praewa and Pim)
Praewa : I’m younger.
Pang : There were many friends who wanted to perform in front of the faculty. There is an annual event. We wanted to start a band, we wanted to perform. I’ve always wanted to start a band with my friends so some friends joined.
So, it started since university?
Praewa, Pang : Yes
What is Yellow Fang’s style?
Pang : Simple, indie rock is easy to understand. Basically we have three instruments. We started playing guitar, drums, bass. We didn’t have a definite style, there was a clutter of different styles. Recently, we added other instruments, but I think we’re considered an indie rock band. Is the style of the band derived from your expertise?
Pang : Umm, not really.
Praewa : Not experts.
Pim : But we listen to similar music, we know what we want. Did it start because you listen to similar style of music and like similar songs?
Praewa : But we actually listen to so many types of music.
Hiphop, techno, and pop too.
Pang : We like music. We like songs, we listen so many types of music. We love dancing, going out to party. We felt a connection with music. Music brings pieces of everyone’s experience and gathers it.
Pim : Umm.
Praewa : It’s not just specifically indie rock, or listening to only indie rock and making music from it, but it’s combining different styles. Because you all have different styles, does the difference inspire you to make music?
Praewa : Sort of. Because they’re older, sometimes I don’t listen to the same type of music that they do, it’s different.
Pim : Which is fine.
Praewa : Right now I listen to a lot of techno music. I might use some sounds from techno music in our music.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Praewa : Surroundings.
Pang : Anything. We go to concerts and events. We get to see new things and listen to new music all the time.
Praewa : We can get inspiration even from Youtube.
Pang : Right.
Pim : It doesn’t need to come from anything.
Pang : Recently, there has been an increase in electronic music. There is so much diversity, we get to try different things and found out that there are many other ways to create sound, not just by
Pim : Guitar, drums, and bass.
Pang : There are so many other things to explore. We are still having fun and looking for new experiences. We are always open to accept new things. We travel a lot and get to see new things. We just got back from Korea; we went to see this DJ perform. He played so many things, it was everywhere; there was world music, techno, trap, hiphop, all in one hour.
Pim : All these styles from just one person. Even amusement park style music.
Pang : Music has evolved to a place where there is no border. There used to be a border between the types of music, such as if you like this music, you will not like this. But now everyone enjoys combining things, it creates something new. In the past, people who listen to rock music might not like hiphop, but now guitar sounds can be seen in R&B and hiphop songs. The music world has evolved, and I like it. Has this inspired your music?
Pim : Yes
Pang : There is new chemistry all the time, new combinations. What is your process in making music?
How do all three of you agree on a song?
Pang : We use to do a lot of live performances. For example, we start a song and we arrange it together. We perform the song live and we will see the direction of the song, the dynamics. It is a way to practice when performing live. That was before. Now we are still figuring out how to make music in the way we want. Everyone gets to share and the methods change all the time. We don’t worry much, we just go with the flow and the time. Some songs, we used years before recording or finishing writing it.
Praewa : Or even after we are done recording it. Sometimes we perform live and we change accordingly, such as if we feel that a song is too short, we might add a verse. Some songs we have played for over ten years, we might sing it in another version to make things more fun.
Pang : Sometimes we arrange new things, adding synth.
Do you change old songs?
Praewa : Yes
Pang : It comes from our live performances. We notice how the mood goes, should we add something, or should we add a verse? Yellow Fang is considered an underground band. Does this change your perspective on work?
Praewa : It does.
Pang : Yes.
Praewa : We tried sending our music to radio stations. None of them accepted our music. They said that it doesn’t make any sense. The songs do not match with the target audience. They suggested us to create music that is more generic and more approachable.
Pang : They said they didn’t get it. They said the music was too complicated for radio, something like that. We were rejected not long ago actually, just last year.
How do you deal with it?
Pang : Whatever.
Praewa : We make music how we want to, because that’s more important. Some people might think that success means that your music is listened to by everyone in the country, but we don’t agree. We just think that we want to do something we really like without taking into consideration of mainstream acceptance. We just do what we want to do.
Pang : From the radio stations’ perspectives, we do understand. It’s about ratings. They probably know what their listeners like. But underground music, it could be something that is out of their comfort zone. They were frank about it, they said they were unsure if they could play it. We understood. If you ask us if we want our songs on the radio or not, we do. We want to drive and be able to hear our own music from the radio. But for now, it’s okay.
Praewa : Right now we can turn on Spotify.
Pang : If our next song is easier to listen to, we might try again. We are not forcing ourselves that we need to make music that will be accepted by the radio/television stations.
Praewa : Right now it is very diverse.
Pang : We go with our own path. Yes, people have the rights to choose. They choose by streaming or by watching Youtube, whatever. They no longer absorb entertainment by just one channel, such as sole through television or radio. People have more chances to listen to us. We see the difference. We have been doing music for so long, but some people have just recently listened to us. There are many cases. We get to meet fans from new groups. People who listened to us 5-6 years ago may have been gone but we have new fans. You constantly have new fans and underground music is more accessible, so more people are aware of Yellow Fang.
Does it feel different from the beginning?
Pang : It changes slowly, not much. But if we close our eyes and think back, yes, it is, it is very different. How is it different? Pang : Ten years ago, there were only a few channels that played this kind of song, like Fat Radio or something like that. That was it. For television, there was Channel V Thailand that played our music, but they would play it during a certain program for Thai indie songs. Our fans were a small group. Yeah, back then there weren’t a lot of channels that played our music. Now we have streaming and Youtube, more people started to listen. If you ask about the difference, we have grown a lot, our fans have grown as well. In the beginning, we didn’t perform live as much.
Praewa : (nods)
Pang : We get to perform in other provinces and meet new people. Everytime we go, we would think “oh, I didn’t know there were fans here, because we never had any communication with them”. We didn’t know how many fans listen to our music or where they are. Now we see a better picture and realize the places where our fans are. Performing live helps us…
Praewa : connect with people. When more people listen to you, does your perspective on working or making music change? Do you want to make your music more mainstream or keep it as is? Pang : We never really thought about it. But we jokingly thought about making a huge hit.
Praewa, Pim : (laughs)
Pang : We want to try our best. It is definitely challenging for us because we want people to listen to our music. We don’t care if they like it or not but we want to meet new fans. We are happy when people listen to our music. It would be great if we could do something where our identity is not lost as well.
Do you think it will happen?
Pang : Because we are not working with a recording label, there is no one who forces us, like “you have to record this song by this year, you need to make only hit songs”. We believe that people who work with labels or have a lot of expectation, you need to use a lot of marketing and stuff like that. But we don’t focus on it.
Praewa : Not at all.
Pim : Yeah.
Pang : But we want to make something good. Mainly we want to make something that we are sure that we like. If we like it, people are likely to enjoy it as well. If it becomes a hit, it’s a plus.
Pim : Whichever way it goes.
Praewa : (laughs)
Pim : How can one tell if this song will become a hit?
Pang : If we make music that we really like and it becomes a big hit, I think it’s like hitting the jackpot.
Pim : (nods)
What would you do if a recording label is interested in working with you?
Pim : It has to go the way we want to.
Pang : It has to be a recording label we want to work with.
Pim : That’s it.
Pang : It needs to have the same vision with us. We havtve to see a vision how the label with support us. What are the pros? Of course there are pros but right now we are not focused on it. We go with the flow. We have a friend, P’Teddy from Flure who helps us make music. We have friends in the music industry who help us and know what we want.
Does the label have to prioritize your identity?
Pang : The label will probably have to step in in terms of management and PR for the music to spread to other fan bases. If we play music through our same channels, we will meet the same group of people. We made music with Apartment Khunpa once, they have their channels. We realize that the people who listen to the song are from a different group of people.
Pim : Different from our fans.
Pang : Yes. And we collaborated with Grammy once with a TV-Series’s soundtrack. We get to meet another group of listeners. We feel that our songs are able to reach another group of people through their platforms. It will never reach them through our platforms.
Pim : We are in an era where once listeners choose a genre, they tend to not absorb anything else or anything unexpected. This way we get to be a part of their choices, get into their systems.
Pang : Yes, like an option.
If Yellow Fang never happened, what would you be doing right now?
Pim : Hmm. I have no idea.
Pang : N’Prae, what would you do?
Praewa : Maybe I’ll still be designing swimwear.
Pang : I would probably be designing clothes.
Praewa : We all studied fashion in school.
Pang : I was designing before this. And I came back to music. But I think I would do anything that I like.
Praewa : I think I will probably sing because that’s what I do best.
Pim : Something like that.
Praewa : I think I will be able to make money but I wouldn’t focus on being a ‘singer’ but would do anything that involves my voice.
Pang : Maybe a solo album.
Pim : Yes, like Ariana Grande.
Praewa : Or maybe sing chorus for somebody else or sing in a commercial.
Which song do you think suits IRADA the most?
Praewa : We think it would be the song “Aow Tae Jai” (Selfish). We thought about many other songs, at first we thought about the song “Valentine” because the song is about someone who doesn’t care about Valentine, receiving flowers, or having a boyfriend. Very sassy. Because the clothes look very independent, suitable for a “boss”.
Pang : (laughs)
Pim : “Boss”
Praewa : Then we changed to the song “Aow Tae Jai” because the song is specifically about girls who wants things done in their own ways.
Pim : “Boss”
Pang : But the word “boss” for IRADA means women who are powerful, independent, take care of themselves and know what they want.
Pim : A modern woman.
Praewa : It’s “Girl Power” era.
Do you have a new song coming out?
Praewa : We’re still writing about three songs.
Pang : We want to do an album, an actual album. Because we have made singles for the past two years, about two or three singles, we wanted to do something solid.
We look forward to it. Thank you so much.
Yellow Fang : Thank you.