South East Asians generally favour international bands (including K-Pop) over local acts. However, there is an incredible pool of talent right under our noses as seen recently with Singaporean Nathan Hartono and Malaysian Penang-ite Lee Pei Ying who went against really stiff competition and carved some fame for themselves in Sing! China. The point is, we should open our minds to the local music scene and should check out the exciting tunes they have in store!
Introducing Efficient Public Transport
Efficient Public Transport (EPT) make alternative rock music which mixes challenging rhythms and chord progressions with rap, thrash metal singing, rap and soothing lounge vocals. They like to think they’re the only band of their kind in Singapore. Their haphazard blend of pop melodies, driving bass lines, progressive drum beats, metal guitars and Dada-esque lyrics promises to alienate you from every known person in your universe, giving the EPT listener’s hipster claims authentic street cred.
EPT consists of five gorgeous social misfits: lead singer Louis Law, bassist Ren Kang, drummer Christal, and axe-men Nazreen and Daniel. Armed with nothing but university degrees of little relevance in today’s society, the band’s nihilistic tunes are sure to strike a chord with your inner rebel.
The Birth of EPT
Efficient Public Transport (EPT) initially started in the homely CCA rooms of a cultural activities club in NUS (Amplified). Spurred on by existentialist ennui and a common love for fish head curry, lead singer Louis and lead composer Nazreen decided to form an original band after a wildly successful hard rock gig in NUS on May 2014.
The duo roped in talented musicians from all over the campus. Queen of the sticks Christal, who is a full-time drums instructor at My Drum School and bassist Ren Kang, a sound engineering lecturer at ITE Central were approached, and after a few explosive jam sessions, became part of the band. Daniel, their lead guitarist who joined in 2016, was attracted to their boundary-pushing music which included rap, thrash vocals, lounge croons, progressive and complex chord progressions and intricate rhythms.
In over 2 years, EPT has unwittingly played in venues like the Esplanade, Orchard Road, Hood Bar, Timbre and various other local venues. Local artist Saiful Idris of Great Spy Experiment calls the band’s lyrics “truly genius” and Sara Wee of 53A described the quintet’s music as “the best thing that’s ever happened to her during her time at Noise”. Mentored by local artists Daniel Sassoon and Bani Haykal, EPT’s seriousness and thoughtful artistry tries to be bombastic and humble at the same time.
They have a series of music videos of their live performances at the Esplanade and Hood Bar and are currently producing an album “Beauty in Complexity” which is basically a collection of the band’s live songs that they have played over the past 1.5 years. Their most popular song, Condescending Lizard, is a fairly popular song in the local indie music scene. They hope to share their music with more people so that everyone can have fun with them.
They are a dramatic, highly-technical band and are still able to be as catchy as a Nicki Minaj cleavage slip. They also try to be as unpretentious as possible and they are not against people laughing at their songs because humour is very important to them.
Creating Catchy Sound With Their Music
Having been chosen to perform in the Noise Music Mentorship program in 2015 and Ignite! Music Festival in 2016 has truly been the highlight of their band existence. Playing in the Shine Music Festival which featured some top international and local acts were also real highlights in their short time as a band.
Their live performances are really fun, and you can get their merchandise during live shows because they’re such tech dinosaurs that they have no idea how to setup online merchandise stores. They generate revenue performing gigs and selling merchandise. So the support of fans means a lot to them, and they really hope they can gain enough momentum that more of them can pursue music full time.
Always have fun and always be brutally honest about ourselves with our audience. It’s better to be a flamboyant failure than any kind of benign success. Also, we really believe in headbanging even though our necks can’t quite take the violence anymore. Musically, we must always have an element of heavy metal in our music because metal music is very much a part of our identity.
— Louis, Efficient Public Transport
Check out their Facebook page here.