Perfect Scums, a Bruneian Alternative Synth-Rock band from Brunei Darussalam, Formed initially as a one-night-only prom band for their school peers in 2009, armed with Nirvana and Muse covers, with a side of J-Rock, the band started pursuing their own legacy and writing their own music which resulted in their EP debut - Social Anarchy - in 2012. Prior to this, the band has gained public attention by reaching the finals of a high-profile nationwide televised Battle of The Bands. In 2014, the band released their first LP - Chapter 13, which displayed an evolved version of their initial sound, and their introduction to the use of Synthesizers. Mixed with their heavy guitar sounds, the band cites inspiration from albums such as "White Chalk" by PJ Harvey and The White Lies.
Perfect Scums released their single “Dreaming” from their album titled “Luna”. “Dreaming” is a dream-like hypnotic single that begins with their popular synths they’re known for. It shows they stick to their artistry and knows how to show various of different genres in one song, making him a standout artist in today’s overcrowded music industry. I like how the song has some elements of soul as well, especially in the hook when the background vocal adlibs beautifully complements the lead vocalist’s voice, still hypnotizing us and drawing us in with its magnetic appeal.
Listen to "Dreaming" here and get to know the band in our exclusive interview below!
Hi Perfect Scums! Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello, Buzzmusic! We're Perfect Scums! We are Jaz (Vocalist and guitarist), Theo (drummer and backing vocals), Alley (Bassist) and Kai (Guitarist and Synth-player). We're an Alternative Indie band from Brunei, which is pretty much on the other side of the world from LA. We've been a band for nearly a decade now and have put out 3 LPs and 1 EP since 2012.
Knowing you guys started out as a band for your school performances, what are your favorite songs from Muse and Nirvana?
That's a difficult question considering that Nirvana's entire catalogue is pretty flawless. But if we had to choose, it would have to be Rape Me, In Bloom, All Apologies, Lithium and Milk It, just to name a few. We're not very big fans of the most recent Muse releases. We're pretty big fans of albums like Supermassive Blackhole and The Resistance. Every song in those albums were amazing.
Do you consider it musical fate that brought you all together?
I think luck and boredom sounds more fitting rather than musical fate. Each of us had our own takes on music as a concept, and we were just lucky that we are all able to work together despite these creative differences. Instead of arguing over whose ideas are better, we pretty much just throw everything into a boiling pot of our own creations, and I suppose that's what defines our sound. We could have all easily been in bands that would fit our own personal taste in terms of genre, but being in Perfect Scums is something different. It's like being a part of an abstract painting where anything can happen, and anything goes. It's luck and boredom that allowed for us to work together and give each other freedom to experiment.
In your own artist perspective, what is “Dreaming” about?
Dreaming is about looking back at an ego-death I (Jaz) had 2 years ago from a bitter-sweet nostalgic perspective. I had a bad run in with substance abuse at that time, and I remember there being a distinct feeling of great fear and excitement. Now looking back, I think I could have died if not for the people who were around me, letting me know that I should quit. I've been clean ever since, and from time to time I like to look back on those days when I wasn't even conscious about my physical surroundings under the influence. It was like I was dreaming all those times. It was quite a frightening time. In a nutshell, Dreaming is about me trying to get out of that state of being high all the time, into being sober. It's about that transition, essentially.
Tell us a bit about the creation process of "Dreaming"
We're not gonna lie, we're a studio band. We write songs individually, in our own spaces, and we trade ideas through emails. When someone creates a backbone of a song, like a basic structure, it gets passed on to the next guy, and he adds in his ideas into it. He then passes it to the next guy and the entire process goes round and round until it comes to a point where you can't add anything in anymore. After which is the process of removing things from that song just to give some of its best elements some breathing room. After all is said and done, that is when we take it to rehearsal and that's when we figure out how to execute it as a band during live shows. We think this process works very well for us. It gives each of us our own private spaces to work with. Did we mention we are all introverts?
What challenges did you face in the recording stages? How did you overcome them?
We recorded Dreaming with a local telecommunications company here called Progresif, who also delves in producing multi-media content - one of which is music and podcasts. They have these seasonal albums put out called Locals Only, which is a compilation album of local musicians in Brunei. We were featured in volume 2, and we recorded Dreaming with them. Getting the instruments and vocals recorded was pretty easy. We all know what we want and what to do. The hard part was the intricacy of the overall sound that we wanted. Dreaming has a lot of ambient elements to it, and we had to work with the sound engineer very closely to ensure that those elements are just enough to allow listeners to know that it's there, but it's not in your face, and it's not taking attention away from the more prominent sounds we want to highlight in the song. We sat in the studio for hours, making sure that those elements were the way we needed them to be. Mr. Shahrin (the sound engineer) said it himself that we're probably the most intricate band in the whole album.
Any live performances coming up?
At the moment, we can't really say. However, there has been talks about moving out of Asia currently in the works. We will still be playing shows around Asia, but we are trying to focus our attention to playing outside of it. For the feels. Also a lot of our interactions on social media are from the US, and some of them have been asking us to come over, so who knows.
What's next for Perfect Scums in 2019?
We are putting out a new album called Eclipse, which is our 4th LP, and then we'll be working on our 5th LP - SOLIS. Apart from the travels and shows, we're always working on creating content for our audience. We like to keep them on their toes, and we like to keep ourselves busy. We're work addicts in an artistic sense.
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