For detractors, today’s pop music is glossy pap churned out in some music studio and driven by little talent. Apparently, only pop music from the 1980s and prior is worthy. But isn’t all music a product of its time?
Paperplane Pursuit could care little, and in fact, should care little. The Klang Valley-based band is unashamedly pop and its music bears resemblance to the likes of Maroon 5, Bruno Mars and One Republic – there are no pretences here.
The quartet, comprising John O (vocals), Isaac Ravi (guitar), Dru Yap (drums) and The Chief (bass), has a history which clearly defines how tight-knit the members are: John and Yap started a band when they were 14, while still in school. Along the way, Isaac, John’s childhood buddy, was signed up, While the band was recording its current and second album, Second Date, The Chief made it from an intern at John’s studio, cutting his teeth on production work, eventually playing bass on the album, and now becoming a full-fledged member.
A healthy mix of current pop favourites, classics, in the guise of The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Queen, metal and hip hop, have all been sprinkled into a seething cauldron, creating a heady brew that is Paperplane Pursuit.
And like its name implies, Second Date is the process of the band better understanding its audience and itself. Internet Celebrity takes the Mickey out of the self-serving generation the world wide web is breeding, while Woohoo sounds like one of Maroon 5’s better songs the American band didn’t write.
The pop on tap reaches 10 by the time the album concludes with Everybody Wants Somebody, sewing up this sophomore effort as a bonafide head bopper.
This is an acquired taste for the uninitiated, but it’s not that difficult to acquire that taste.
1. What is the story behind the band’s name?
We wanted a name that was both catchy and meaningful to us, rather than just random words or syllables strung together. We liked that “paper plane” painted a picture of childhood fun and innocence. Paperplane Pursuit reflects the fact that we are after that pure passion, chasing our childhood dreams of making music.
2. How have people taken to the band’s music?
The typical response we often get from Malaysians is that they are totally shocked that we are a local band. We’ve been extremely fortunate in that fans often tell us that we make them proud to be Malaysian, and that means the world to us. It’s been a long, hard road to get to this point, but today, we’re happy to say that everyone from the general public to the media is extremely supportive of our music and what we do.
3. Ultimately, what do you want to achieve and where do you realistically see it going? Can a career be made out of this?
As a matter of fact, we have made a career out of this. Three of the four members of the band do this as a full-time job. Yet, again, our only outlier is Dru, who to this day, is a practicing medical doctor who runs his own clinic. We still have a long way to go, though. We are the kind of people who say, “What’s next?” once we’ve achieved a set goal. The ultimate goal is to be able to travel the world playing to fans who know and love our music.
4. Where is Paperplane Pursuit’s place in the music scene, and would you rather be somewhere else?
We try our best to keep our heads down and just keep working one day at a time, rather than thinking too much about our place or our role in the music scene. What we do believe is that we are exactly where we’re supposed to be. We’re definitely looking forward to travelling more and sharing our music with even more people around the world, but there’s still plenty of room for us to learn and grow right where we are.
5. Given the chance, which artiste would the band most like to work with and why?
Without a doubt, Twenty One Pilots. They embody something that we, as a band, can relate to. There’s always an excitement in the air whenever they release something new.