They keep it in the family
Local band Shoe Size Nine have stuck together for 10 years
By Syahirah Anwar
November 03, 2010
CHOOSING a band name, especially one that’s easily remembered, is never easy.
BOYS WILL BE BOYS: Vocalist and bassist Muhammad Asraf Abdul Jalil, guitarist Muhammad Firdaus Noah and drummer Muhammad Fadhli Zainal.
But with a moniker like Shoe Size Nine, it’s unlikely that this local melodic punk-rock group will be forgotten.
And before you start wondering about the feet of its members, the name isn’t reflective of their shoe sizes.
Guitarist Muhammad Firdaus Noah, 25, told The New Paper: ‘We were trying to come up with a band name that would be unique but we weren’t very successful.
‘We saw a shoe advertisement and decided to link our band name to a shoe. After toying with (other options), we decided to name ourselves after a shoe size and the number nine just had a nice ring to it.’
For the record, their shoe sizes average an 8.
Shoe Size Nine has three other members – vocalist and bassist Muhammad Asraf Abdul Jalil, 27, drummer Muhammad Fadhli Zainal, 25, and a second guitarist, Muhammad Farhan Rahmat, 26.
The quartet, which has played together for 10years, says its has stuck together because of family ties.
Firdaus, Asraf and Fadhli are cousins.
‘There’s no way for us to break apart. We’re tight as a family unit, we see each other all the time, and that bond we have has allowed us to stay together for the past 10 years,’ said Firdaus.
Farhan, a close family friend, joined the band in 2008 after one of the band members left.
For the past decade, Shoe Size Nine has played the underground circuit, mainly at community centres and jamming studios.
In 2003, it made a self-produced album, Best Foot Forward, and sold it within that circuit.
It has also played at Esplanade’s Baybeats in 2004, and last year it cracked the semi-finals of the Singapore Band Challenge.
But come Friday, the band will be part of Singapore’s biggest showcase of independent local bands, the inaugural SG Stomping.
The three-day music festival will feature 36 bands.
SG Stomping is part of Mettle Games, Singapore’s first and largest action sports carnival, which has drawn international competitors from countries like France, Spain and Australia.
The carnival will feature sports such as wakeboarding, drag car racing and boxing.
Getting a spot for this gig was not easy.
The auditions were held over two weekends, but they almost missed the auditions on the first weekend.
Explained Firdaus: ‘Our lead vocalist was called up for reservist training at the last minute. And we couldn’t do the auditions the following week because one of our members was going overseas.
‘Luckily, our vocalist managed to make it out of camp just in time for the auditions in the first week.’
Asraf also got a bad cold during the auditions.
He said: ‘I felt like there was no way we could make it through the auditions because of my cold. I thought I sounded horrible.
‘I was shocked when I found out we actually got a slot to perform at SG Stomping.’
Shoe Size Nine has been given a 45-minute slot at the event. The band will play 10 original songs and they promise that their segment will be ‘full of energy and fun’.
WHAT: SG Stomping
WHERE: Pit Building
WHEN: Nov 5-7, 2pm to 6pm
PRICING: $15 for day pass and $24 for three-day pass, from Pit Building from Nov 5 onwards.
Visit http://mettlegames.com/sgstomping/ for more information