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Meet Espressoul, a soulful band of friends


Listen up peeps! There’s a new band in town, and they are called Espressoul!

Made up of four young members in their mid-twenties, Espressoul is an aspiring band made up of Ocean on vocal, Eugene on guitar, Ijan on bass and Jayv (pronounced as Jay Vee) on drums.

The band may be new to the Klang Valley music scene as they just formed just a few months ago, but they are definitely not newbies when it comes to their experience in music.

Most of the band members started playing in bands since their college days, and as a matter of fact, three of the members are actually college mates!

Espressoul usually play at Foley's Oasis Sky Bar at Ara Damansara, every Friday, 9pm until midnight, so if you happen to pass by the place, do check them out!

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After seeing the boys perform, TheHive.Asia chatted up with one of the founding members, drummer Jayv Lim and here's what he got to say about the band that has a lot of soul!

Jayv, one of the founding members and drummer of Espressoul.

Tell us about your band. 
We are called the Espressoul. We are a 4-member band. There’s Eugene the guitarist, Ijan the bassist, Oceans is the vocalist and I’m the drummer.

How did it all start? Why did you guys decide to start a band?
We started from back in our university days, UTAR, then eventually all of us came here to the Klang Valley. But two of the original members; Alex and Edison work at a different place, so we ended up recruiting a new member to replace them. That is why we decided to change our band’s name from Double Cheese Burger (DCB) to Espressoul. At first we decided to use the name DCB even in KL, but not all members are present, so that’s why we decided to create a new band with the current and new members that we have.

Why isn't Espressoul as popular as DCB yet?
Because we just started Espressoul like a few months ago. So many of our fans do not know about us, plus we’re still new, so that’s why.

How long have you guys known each other?
Apart from the new member Ijan, the founding members which is me, Eugene and Ocean have known each other for more than 4 years. Actually, we are all from different bands, but during our second year, our respective bands disbanded, so the left overs decided to form a new band and we performed at a talentime show. Our performance was very well-received among the crowd, so that is when we decided to make the band official.

The three original members of Espressoul who are college mates (L-R) Ocean Ow, Eugene Chew and Jayv Lim.

New member Ijan who is on bass.

What is the meaning behind your band’s name? 
Because we play a lot of soulful music and also other kinds of genre, so it’s kind of like a play on the words “express your soul”. So it became Espressoul.

How would you describe your band’s music style?
We play from 80s to 90s music, even contemporary. Basically we play almost everything and usually its according to the audiences’ taste.

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Who are your musical influences?
Most of them are international artistes, but each of the members have their own taste. For me, I’m more into old punk bands like Blink 182 and Slipknot, I really like the drummers.

When can we expect an original song from your band?
We are still working on it. We have around three to four original songs, but it’s not completed yet, there are still a few arrangements we need to do. After we have perfected everything, then we will release it. It’ll probably be done by end of this year.

What language would your songs be in?
English. We also perform in the Chinese language but its very rare and only upon the audience’s requests. We use to perform in Cantonese back in university. That time, we played a lot of songs from Beyond. We also perform Malay songs like “Kau Ilham Ku” from Man Bai and “Mungkin Nanti” from Peter Pan.

Where do you guys usually perform? 
We usually perform at Foley's Oasis Sky Bar at Ara Damansara. We play there every Friday, so check us out. Sometimes we also play at BullsEye pub and we used to play at Navigator’s Bar at Jaya One.


Have you guys ever participated in any music festivals?
Currently, no. we need to get ourselves prepared first. Since we’re kind of a newbie band in KL, we feel that we need to get a better exposure first, before we get to a higher level.

What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week where you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
It is quite spontaneous. Every week we have our jamming sessions, but because all the members work at different places, we find a day when everyone is free to rehearse. It also depends on the songs that we are playing. If it’s new songs that we have never performed before, we probably will have more than one rehearsal per week.

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How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
It has definitely changed a lot. At first we were all sort of like beginners, we don’t improvise a lot. Then, as time goes by, we begun to learn new techniques and we also have new influences, like the KL band Hydra. We learned a lot from them, like how they play and arrange their songs. So after that, even when we play cover songs, we don’t play them exactly like the originals anymore, we try to add in our own style.

What's the ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?
Truthfully, we don’t really see that as our major objective. We are actually trying to explore more; to learn more stuff., We try to gain more experience by joining more events and play more gigs so that we can get more exposure. Maybe by the end of this year, after we have released four or five of our own original songs, then we can start planning things out and see how it goes from there.


What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
My advice is don’t be afraid. Mostly people don’t dare to try because they think that they’re not good enough. But if you never try, you will never know, because all professionals start as beginners too. You start by playing a simple chord and practice makes perfect. It is the same for us, the last time we couldn't even play a proper beat. But as time goes by, as you practice together, you’ll learn how to synchronise with your band members and support each other, then you’ll start playing songs that are music to your ears.

From there you start to improvise and add in your own creativity. The problem is that, people give up too early. When they fail, they think that they are not going anywhere. But you never know. All you need to do is practice frequently, watch performances from other bands and learn from them. There are always critics, but don’t be afraid of them, accept them. Because everyone has different points of view, so what you have to do is take in those critics, look back and review yourself.

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Check out Espressoul on their Facebook page.

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