Family reunion here for Irish rocker

When Irish post-rockers And So I Watch You From Afar play their first show in Singapore later this month, It will be a family reunion of sorts.

The band's drummer Chris Wee, 29, is related to two local entertainment stalwarts - his older brother is Hot FM 91.3 DJ Shan Wee, 31, and their cousin, singer Sara Wee, 27, is with veteran live music band 53A.

Speaking over the telephone from his home in Belfast, Ireland, Chris tells Life!: "We are all in entertainment, it's quite strange. The last time I visited Singapore, I got up (on stage) to play a song or two with Sara and it was quite fun. We did the song The Pretender by the Foo Fighters."

He adds that there is a possibility he might ask Sara to join him on stage when his band perform at Zouk on Feb 28.

"You can expect an energetic and fun show, and lots of jumping around," says the bachelor, whose mum is Irish and dad, Malaysian Chinese.

He and his And So I Watch You From Afar bandmates have known one another since they were teens. The Belfast-based instrumental rock quartet also include guitarists Rory Friers and Niall Kennedy, and bassist Johnny Adger.

Formed in 2005, the band are influenced by post-rock and instrumental bands, as well as by post-punk and post-hardcore acts such as Fugazi, At The Drive-In.

Their driving rhythms and guitar melodies, on tracks such as Big Thinks Do Remarkable and Ka Ba Ta Bo Da Ka, have led them to be compared with similar acts such as English instrumental rockers Three Trapped Tigers and American post-rock band Russian Circles.

He says the band have their bassist Adger to thank for their long name.

He says: "Johnny's got a favourite song lyric from a band called Team Sleep, which is the side project of the singer Chino Moreno of Deftones and he sort of adapted that lyric to our name."

And So I Watch You From Afar have put out three albums - their self-titled debut (2009), Gangs (2011) and All Hail Bright Futures (2013).

Their third and latest album sounds more upbeat and lighter than previous work, which had more aggressive and heavier guitars.

Chris says that it "captures a really good time for the band when we were going through a lot of hardship".

"We were really inspired to keep the band and the momentum going, and we realised how important the band are to us and that came through the music. That's where the album gets its bright and sort of summer-y sort of vibe."

The band are currently touring France and after their show here, they will be performing elsewhere in Asia, including Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Hong Kong.

The band plan to write and record a new album this year, says the drummer.

While their sound may evolve further, he says, "there will always be elements that people will recognise as our band".

"I don't think we would want to go over old ground and come up with the same music every time," he adds.

Book it


Where: Zouk, 17 Jiak Kim Street

When: Feb 28, 8pm

Admission: $55 from or at the door

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