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"Go Gerila! on the offensive"

Go Gerila! on the offensive
By Nur Aqidah Azizi | nur@nst.com.my

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Band’s popularity propels it to release seven-track debut album, writes Nur Aqidah Azizi
IT all started as an experiment for members of Go Gerila! when they decided to compete against other local bands in TV9’s Versus in July last year.
Comprising Aizat Amdan as vocalist and keyboardist, Anas (guitar), Amir Jahari (vocals), Mohamad Firdaus Zulkefle a.k.a. Pito (bass), Mohd Ashroff Mohd Shariff (guitar) and Ruviyamin Ruslan (drums), Go Gerila! came up second in the battle of the bands-style competition.
The support it received throughout the show, however, was unexpected.
“Honestly, we didn’t expect to receive such an overwhelming response from fans, even after the show ended. It just goes to show that we do have our listeners who want us to continue with what we do and see how far Go Gerila! can go,” says Anas.
With that in mind, Go Gerila! released its seven-track debut album, Blackbox, recently.
Never mind that Aizat and Amir had already established their solo careers before Go Gerila! came into the picture. Being in the band provides them an opportunity to do something different.
For Aizat, juggling both is not an issue, despite the challenges.
“As a solo performer, I have more freedom to work with my ideas. I can be creative and have more space to let my music style speak for itself which is not the case when you are in a band,” says the talented singer/songwriter.
He adds that everyone in Go Gerila! has his own respective style and music preferences.
“Some of us love jazz, and some love pop rock. But when we come together as a team, we try to put our differences aside and come out with something new and fresh, a fusion of sorts, that can represent us as a unit. It’s tricky because of the nature of the music itself, but we are trying to deliver something different,” adds Aizat.
Although producing a new sound can be difficult, the process has been an adventure for the band.
“It can be really crazy. We are so determined to ensure that we leave our individual music style behind, that we end up making a lot of ‘noise’ instead. And when we get to the part of filtering the noise, it’s just amazing how the sound turns out to be,” says Aizat, whose talent was first noticed when he was a contestant of Astro’s popular TV reality show Akademi Fantasia (Season 5).
For Amir, who had recently launched his solo album, Penghibur Jalanan, being part of the band does not eclipse his solo career.
“I am aware that the release of these two albums are close to each other, but I am confident that it will not eclipse each other’s potential. I believe fans are already familiar with my music style (as a solo performer) and they are embracing the kind of music I am presenting with Go Gerila!,” he says.
With him and Aizat taking the lead as vocalists of the group, Amir says each member has a role to play.
“Everyone works as a team and we have our moments to shine during our performances. As for Aizat and me, we have our own distinctive singing style which is recognisable,” he says.
Produced by Kasi Gegar Entertainment, Blackbox is a mix of rock and roll and other beats, including Brit pop and alternative music.
Except for its two special cover versions — Datuk Hattan’s Biso Bonar and Rahim Maarof’s Cinta Kristal — other tracks are composed and written by Go Gerila!
The inclusion of Biso Bonar and Cinta Kristal in its debut album means so much for the band, since it performed the tunes in Versus.
Anas says that Biso Bonar was also the first song they rehearsed together as Go Gerila!
“It was the first time we entered the recording studio as a group and since we did not know each other at the time, we just performed the song which we had randomly picked. And surprisingly, our first trial on the song blew everyone away. Even I was surprised,” says Anas, who is also a composer.
“We nailed the song and from that moment on, we knew that we had to make it even more special and we finally got the chance to perform it on the Versus stage. And following the overwhelming response, we decided to include it in our debut album,” he adds.
Blackbox also features a collaboration with singer/songwriter Loque. Entitled Perjalanan, it came out “organically”.
“Loque dropped by our studio one night and heard the song’s melody. At that time, the lyrics were not ready but he liked the sound and suggested that we collaborate.
“It was an honour since Loque is a very talented musician and we have always looked up to him. We were excited at the prospect of working together.”
“Aizat quickly worked on the lyrics which took an hour or two to complete, and even the recording of the song was done in one night! It was an amazing experience,” says Anas.
However, despite their camaraderie, they do argue at times.
“Of course, arguments do arise on what should and should not do. After all, everyone has his own ideas but at the end of t - Sunday Life & Times - New Straits Times


Still working on that hot first release.



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