Last week, the Audio-Technica team caught up with Ian Dadula, bassist of the high-energy rock band Arson. Formed in 2013, Arson has been relentlessly performing at various gig venues and events. Major highlights include performing for Esplanade’s On the Waterfront series (April 2014) and Timbre’s Singapore Originals series (August 2014), as well as being featured on local label Anaki Record’s Artists webpage. Most recently, Arson pulled out all the stops at the annual alternative music festival, Baybeats 2015.
1. Hi Ian! I understand that Arson has just performed at the Esplanade Outdoor Theater for Baybeats last weekend! How would you describe the experience?
It was a massive experience. The guys at the Esplanade really helped us to put on a great show with great sound, wonderful lighting and they even helped us project up our own graphics. The full-house audience was wonderful, lapping up our energy and our music and giving back three-fold. It was simply our best gig to-date, and one gig that we'll always hold dear to our hearts.
2. Give me 3 words that will describe Arson's music.
Explosive, Ethereal, Hardcore. It's a mix of complex hard-hitting drums, aggressive guitars, melodic bass, dreamy synths and crooning, passionate vocals.
The members of Arson (from left): Abdul Mutalib, Ian Dadula, Helmi Akbar, Wong Kangwen, Celine Teo
3. Now talking about musicality, why did you choose to be a bassist and what’s your musical influences?
I've always loved music with great bass grooves, realising that many great songs are so reliant on a cool melodic bassline. Come Together, by the Beatles, is a great example. Cake's cover of Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, Red Hot Chilli Peppers' Soul to Squeeze. As a bassist I idolise Flea, Larry Graham, Marcus Miller, Tim Commerfold, Paul McCartney, Jaco Pastorius and so on. My mentor and bass teacher Bani Rahman is also an inspiration for me. His ability to groove in the pocket and then dig out a great soulful solo is magic.
4. We notice that amongst the rest of the musicians in Arson, you are the only one that’s on a wireless. Why is that so?
We're certainly keen on pushing our gear to the fullest. For the Baybeats gig both Kangwen and I were trying out wireless sets but when gig day came, only the System 10 remained on the pedalboard. We were impressed by its affordability, stompbox footprint, ease of setup and how it kept my tone consistent and full. Many wireless sets suffer from intermittent signals, and some do suck the tone of the instrument. The System 10 Stompbox Digital Guitar Wireless System rises above such limitations.
5. How do you relate to System 10’s tagline “Own your Freedom” in your musical pursuits?
My music sets me free. When I'm in the groove, the music from my band carries and uplifts my being. The System 10 sets me free from restraining cables and lets me groove wherever the music takes me. I don't have to worry about getting my cable tangled up or treading on a cable mid-solo. I can move to the stage to interact with the fans, or back to my drummer Helmi to lock in the rhythm, never having to worry about the size of the stage and the length of my cables again.
Having fun with the band
6. Lastly, do you have any parting tips for aspiring musicians?
Don't lock yourself into one genre, one style of playing. Music is always evolving. There's so many styles to listen to, to appreciate and to learn from. When you apply what you've learnt, you unlock your playing and you bring your skill and your band to the next level.
Audio-Technica SEA would like to thank Ian for the interview and we wish Arson all the best in their music journey. We look forward to seeing what more exciting things this young band will be able to offer to the local music scene in the near future.