Pat Rocks

Rocking the Substation: Interview with Electrico's Dave Tan

By Patrick ChngEvents - 15 October 2014 8:00 AM | Updated 25 October 2014

Rocking the Substation: Interview with Electrico's Dave Tan

It was 18 years ago when Dave Tan, Desmond Goh, William Lim Jr and Keith Colaco formed Electric Company to perform at their neighbourhood church’s funfair. The band carried on as a trio when guitarist Colaco left in 1998, and then a year later, disbanded.

The band reformed as Electric Co, and was eventually renamed Electrico, with former Livonia guitarist Daniel Sassoon joining them in 2003.

Sassoon’s stellar guitar work, the rock solid rhythm section of Lim and Goh, and Tan's songwriting and strong vocals made them one of the most exciting live acts in the scene. The addition of keyboardist Amanda Ling expanded the band’s sonic palette.

The buzzing Singapore indie music scene that was at the height of its popularity in the mid-1990s began sliding by the turn of the millennium. 

It was the band’s 2004 hit debut album ‘So Much More Inside’ that revived and helped put Singapore indie music back in vogue with mainstream radio and music fans. 

Lim and Ling left the band in 2008 and 2009 respectively, and their departure was a big blow to the band’s ambitions.

The remaining trio took a hiatus in 2010 and returned last year with a set of mostly new songs at Baybeats Festival.

Looking set for a revival, they will perform at The Substation on Sunday 19 October. 

Proceeds from the pay-as-you-wish ‘Love @ The Substation’ concert will go to The Substation’s fund to renovate its gallery space. 

Frontman Dave Tan gets cosy with talk about the upcoming show and family life. 

Electrico. Photo: Colin Wee

What exactly happened with the Good Vibes festival at Kuala Lumpur in August?

Torrential rain and wind shorted our stage just before we went on, so they had to close the stage and dry it out… but we are electrico after all – we have always had electrical problems!

What can we expect from The Substation show? New songs, mostly?

Yeah, we're looking forward to road-testing much of our new material, but we've some of our older songs in there for good measure. 

How would you describe the new songs?

I think our three-piece line-up has challenged us to get creative with our sound with fewer instruments, but we're really enjoying what's coming out. It's a lot more raw and back to our rock and punk roots. 

William has two children and Desmond recently became a father, too. And you were married recently. What kind of effect do you think fatherhood and marriage will have on the band?

We're taking it (the music) more as an outlet and something to enjoy as a passion project, instead of chasing any particular outcome, but if it takes us for another journey, we’re all for it.

You've been deejaying in clubs for some years now. What do you like about that?

I love the variety of music it exposes me to and to be able to share these vibes for people to enjoy is great, almost an extension of being on stage.

How's the new album coming along?

We've a number of demos ready and to road-test them. We also have some very encouraging responses from some great producers... so if all goes well, we may hit the studios with one of them early 2015. 

Electrico have been on hiatus for a few years now. The Baybeats show last year was like a comeback of sorts. What are your plans for 2015?

Record, rock, then roll. 

Love @ The Substation | Date: 19 October 2014 | Time: 6pm | Venue: The Substation Theatre | Address: 45 Armenian Street | Tickets: Pay as you wish

Electrico - Love at The Sub

Electrico - Love at The Sub

Date Oct 19, 2014

VenueThe Substation