“Ruby ruby ruby ruby soho!” Rancid’s Tim Armstrong screams, sporting his mohawk — which is one of many songs that inspired Eaiddhi, lead vocalist and guitarist of post-punk indie band Abnormal December. As he is also the guitarist of the band NO U-TURN, he’s not a new face to Myanmar punk music era. Min Pyae Sone reached out to him for a quick chat.
Coincidentally released their first album “Trace” (Thel Loon Za) on December 2018, the band now has five memembers — Eaiddhi, Thura Phyo Wai(Guitar), Jue Jue(Bass), Lukas(Drum), and Thiha Kyi Thar(Drum). Represented by Jam It! Records, the band is a promoter of new, budding indie bands.
Inspired by the emo-wave of bands such as Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional, and the Used where melodic vocals and electronic instruments are implemented into a more traditional punk set of grunge guitars and fast drum rhythms, Abnormal December is the brain-child of Eaiddhi’s personal and other people’s experiences.
Eaiddhi is also a founding member of Jam It!, along with his bandmate Ye Ngwe Soe (NO U-TURN). Whereas local group names such as Big Bag and Iron Cross have achieved mainstream success, Eaiddhi is trying to let the masses know Abnormal December isn’t just another emo band with lyrics full of teenage angst. “I don’t want to force my music onto people, fans will eventually come if they like us… if following mainstream trends mean you’ll succeed, then everyone would be successful.” he told Myanmore, casually sipping his juice.
“I started listening to 90s rock bands like Oasis… taking guitar lessons, that’s where I decided to start a band. Mostly because I saw these crazy wild concerts.”
Tracks from their album “Trace,” are a mixture of both old and new. Some, he wrote during his days at NO U-TURN, and just set it aside because those were irrelevant to the punk genre. “These songs are much deeper than my ‘punk’ songs yet more genuine emotion,” he explains to me. The songs are connected to each other, as if it’s a story being told to the heartbroken, misunderstood listener. While it may be easy to sing along to, the meaning of each verse has its own dark gloomy sentimentality. “We wanted to convey the emotions behind the ambiguous phrase of ‘losing someone you love’.” For example in their title song Thel Loon Za, he sings about how all these memories cluster up to make him long for a second chance.
His outlook for the Indie music scene in Myanmar and the distribution of new music was expressed in eager, “There aren’t many pirated CDs but the increase in online leaks (people ripping the songs and making them downloadable) has made it difficult to new contenders to make a living. CD sales have nose-dived and people expect to make it big just after a few days.”
With producers getting picky with their funding, it’s actually hard for newcomers with potential talent to get a chance of being heard. This, according to Eaiddhi, is the reason why he launched Jam It!.
“As Jam It!, we want to showcase all these underrated bands, and select the very few we think are going to make it big”, Eaiddhi said. As both NO U-TURN and Abnormal December plan to release more tracks in the future, he won’t be going away from Yangon’s underground music scene any time soon.