After two failed attempts, Decipher are finally playing in Singapore’s biggest alternative music festival, Baybeats.
By Mahirah Mahmud
Photo credit: Isyraq Irfan
Decipher consists of Ahmad Hedzir, 23, (vocals and guitar), Wira Satria, 22 (guitar and vocals), Gary Doh, 22 (bass guitar), Darryl Lim, 23 (guitar) and Niki Muliade, 22 (drums).
Before there was Decipher, they were just close friends playing music. The boys got serious about the band after they recorded their first single in 2011.
Ahmad Hedzir, Decipher’s main vocalist says, “It was an interesting experience because we had no idea how it works, the studio and everything. But from then onwards we started to think forward.”
Decipher’s current line-up was solidified when Darryl Lim and Niki Muliade joined in 2013.
The band started out with post-hardcore as their main genre but over the years, they found themselves experimenting with other genres. The music they listen to become key influences in how they sound like.
Wira Satria, who handles ‘clean’ vocals, says: “We get that a lot, people who listen to us are confused as to what our genre is. We used to think that we were post-hardcore but now it has evolved into something else, but we do have melodic hardcore elements in our music.”
Photo credit: Isyraq Irfan
When asked about their first Baybeats audition, the boys were quick to sigh and groan from embarrassment.
“That was a bit of a train wreck. We were still new, we didn’t have that many shows under our belt,” Wira says. “Yeah, we were pretty crappy.”
“Well, third time’s the charm,” Ahmad quips and the boys laugh.
Their determination paid off and they are now going through Baybeats Budding Bands programme. One of the things they went through as part of the programme was the ‘Drums and Bass’ workshop handled by famous drummer and audio engineer, Adam Shah.
Wira says: “It was pretty insane because there are things that we already know because we already play music. But there are things under the cracks that we really didn’t notice. Adam Shah really made us notice minor details that you can put into a song to make the it stand out even more.”
“As a bassist, watching the other bands taking tips from the mentors inspired me to play better as well,” Gary Doh adds about the workshop.
Besides the technical workshops, the Budding Bands also had to prepare their own press kits.
“We had to google ‘How to make a Press Kit”! That was weird but it was also really fun,” Wira laughs.
According to the band, the Budding Bands programme is an eye-opening experience that helps them improve as individuals as well as a team.
Looking ahead after Baybeats and following the release of their latest EP, Strange Comfort, the boys plan to release an LP or a single. They are also looking to play more shows in the near future.
Ahmad says: “We hope to have an opportunity to open for a big band coming to Singapore or something.”
Listen to Decipher’s latest EP, Strange Comfort here: