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Playing catch up with An Honest Mistake


Since their debut in 2008, An Honest Mistake has been nothing short of impressive, performing at various music festivals and gigs across Asia, sharing the stage with plenty of renowned international acts such as Boys Like Girls, Motion City Soundtrack, and Against The Current, and releasing 3 albums in the span of eight years.

Despite almost reaching a decade, the quartet band’s music journey is just getting started as they have recently signed to Universal Music Malaysia, and have just released their debut single under the major label, titled “We’re Alright”.

Even before going mainstream, the band which consists of lead vocalist Darren Teh, lead guitarist Leonard Chua, bassist Tomas Tam and drummer Ian Ng, already have a huge following in the indie music scene, especially outside of Malaysia, as the band is known for actively participating in countless regional tours in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Although An Honest Mistake (AHM) has been in the music scene for quite some time now, they are still considered as new in the mainstream industry, so now that they have finally signed to a renowned music label, it is a good opportunity to reintroduce them to the people!

See what lead vocalist Darren and lead guitarist Leonard have to say about the band's recent updates!



So guys, tell us! How does it feel to be part of Universal Music, and how did it happen?
Darren: The first initial meeting was at an event, organised by Universal, and I happened to be there. So I started talking to them, and then they’re like “Oh yeah, we heard of you guys. Why don’t you come to the office.” So that was the first initial meeting, which was last year's October. We officially signed to the label in March.

Why did you guys decide to finally join a major label, and do you think it’s the right thing to do?
Darren: A lot of independent bands will think that signing to major label is like signing their life away. That’s not entirely true. If you have the right understanding of how things are then you will be able to move in the right direction. For us, signing with a major label in Malaysia, it only means that now we have a team that is working behind us for marketing and for doing all the legal stuff.

Leonard: Yes, it’s just that prior to this, we’ve been doing it on our own.

Darren: At least now, we can focus on the craft of creating good music, for us and for the people.

So will Universal Music have a say in how the band would sound eventually?
Darren: Previously, a lot of people would have this perception that they will be controlled. But we have come to the understanding that it’s a partnership rather than a label owning us. So our sound will still be the same, nothing will really change.


Now that you have signed to a big label, what are some of the plans you have in the future?
Darren: The most immediate plan is that we’re coming up with a Christmas EP which is going to be released in December. But at the same time, we will be playing at a lot of music festivals this year and also next year. We’re planning for bigger things and to have more regional stuff like working with regional artistes under the Universal umbrella.

The band has been around for 8 years, how do you feel about your progress over the years?
Leonard: Good! [laugh]

Darren: The band started off as a side project, and it wasn’t even our main focus in the beginning. Previously, the biggest line-up that we had was 6, we had a violinist and a female vocalist but it didn’t work out. So we’ve been around for so long, and we’ve already got 3 albums. It shows that we are still able to produce music and sustain ourselves in a scene that is constantly changing and developing. We have also taken the position that we will go with the change, rather than to maintain one type of sound.

Leonard: We’re still keeping our original sound but having all these different sounds, like all the elements of it in our music.


You guys recently performed at Zandari Festa so where are you guys heading off to next?
Darren: Next week we’ll play in Penang for the Northern Music Festival, and then we will play in Philippines for Threadfest Manila, and possibly in December... we might go to New Delhi, India for the Vans New Wave Festival.

Any future albums coming out soon under Universal Music?
Darren: After the Christmas EP, we’re aiming to release an album by mid next year. “We’re Alright” will be included in the album. We’ve already got some demos done, so it’s just waiting towards forming and creating the album.

Anyone you would want to collaborate with in this album?
Leonard: The priority would definitely be someone within the Universal family. Usually we would also collaborate with friends within our circle who share the same vision.

What about plans for AHM's own headlining concert or tour?
Leonard: Ultimately, that is the goal.

Darren: That’s definitely the plan. Once the album is out, we’ll do a full on album launch and promotional tour.

Leonard: But to put up a concert, you definitely need to be up to the community. So what we’re doing at the moment is putting a lot of effort into building the community and fanbase. So that during the concert, there won’t be just 50 people coming! [laughs]

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