Amanda Ling has had a whirlwind of a journey - breaking onto the local scene with Electrico many years ago, becoming a DJ and music educator, and currently being the keyboardist of local band In Each Hand A Cutlass (IEHAC). Before IEHAC releases their sophomore album, we speak to Amanda about the upcoming second album and its creation process.
1. Tell us more about In Each Hand A Cutlass' (IEHAC) upcoming record.
A: The Kraken, IEHAC's sophomore album took abt 2 years to complete. The process was long and we were constantly writing new material amidst other shows and work. The highlight song, The Kraken, is a trilogy with each part depicting a warrior's quest battling the mythical sea creature. We worked on Kraken 1 and 2 initally but somehow 2 took its own life. Sujin (Guitarist) was out with his friend at a bookstore and saw a Pop-up Kraken in a children's illustration book and felt that resonated with the "Part 2 " that we were working on. The Kraken name was born. Since then, we kinda name other songs around the nautical theme (although we have some issues pronouncing some ie. Ouroboros, Heracleion etc.. haha).
Conceptually, you can think of this as a natural progression from our first album, A Universe Made of Strings, where it was an introduction to the pirates on ship and the journey. The Kraken, is about these pirates travelling the high seas, sharing their experiences battling the Kraken, discovering lost underwater cities, met a Satori hipster on board and eventually got enlightened. Haha. All these weren't planned, but just came flowing along the way as each song was created.
Musically, compared to our first album, A Universe Made of Strings, The Kraken is approached in a more organic ,raw way that allowed space for many musical nuances to shine.
It is indeed a living monster, compared to the overly polished and clinical sound of AUMOS.
Our musical style has matured and have explored different ways of songwriting, playing style, studio production and set up to have breathed life into this.
Being instrumental, there are million ways to work around a song and I draw alot of inspiration from electronic musicians and composers of soundtrack of movies/TV series to create our own cinematic emotive movement through each song.
Special guest violinist, Josh Wei and Cellist, Hsiao Shan Loh had recorded a few parts with us on certain tracks making it even more organic.
We had the absolute honour to have The Kraken recorded and produced by American producer, Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Pete Yorn, Sunny Day Real Estate, Veruca Salt, Touché Amoré) and mastered by Grammy-nominated mastering engineer Emily Lazar (Foo Fighters, Haim, Sia). Recording started in July 2014 with drum parts laid at Yellowbox studios and the rest at Snakeweed studios with Brad. It has been one of the biggest, epic sounding records ever made by IEHAC!
Look out for our album to be released on our launch day itself or pre-order your copy now :
2. What was your role in the creation of the album?
A: Songwriting, Keyboard and music programming.
3. Biggest take away in playing with IEHAC?
A: Being able to grow musically with a bunch of great friends who happen to be damn friggin' good and knowledgable in what they do! We learn new things each day, about musical ideas, approach, technical set up, musicality and being creative about it.
IEHAC gives me space and opportunity to have free reign pushing and challenging myself further as a a musician because we tend to like pushing the musical boundaries, get challenged the same way and it is really amazing to see what musical greatness comes out of it on top of strengthened friendship bonds.
4. What can we expect at the launch?
A: Beware: The Kraken will take you to an epic audio-visual journey. We have tailored outfits and themed up for the show. No props this time round but strictly good quality music and visuals by Brandon Tay (Syndicate SG). It's not going to be just like any gig but a performance. We will be playing from first to last track of album without stopping and without talking, till the end.
Bring your most imaginative mind, open your musical senses and have a great time!
Thunder Rock School
227A Upper Thomson Road, S574359
T: 6456 8722
43 East Coast Road, 2nd Floor, S428764
T: 6348 7203