MONSTER CAT in the Singapore studio
A couple of weeks ago, the Asia studio saw alternative-folk indie Singaporean band, MONSTER CAT, drop in for a chat and beer. They shared with us a cross-disciplinary discussion, including thoughts behind the band’s design and musical philosophies and processes that drive their creative work—including preliminary moodboards they threw together before and whilst writing their current EP.
Copy Cat, their bassist, revealed that MONSTER CAT takes its name from the ‘bakeneko’, a cat with supernatural abilities in Japanese folklore. Intrigued by finding his very own cat’s paw prints on his ceiling one day, the band started to look at the ‘bakeneko’ as their namesake and persona. Inspired by this sense of the supernatural, the band leverages on the fascinating ambiguity of the relationship between creature and owner; stricken with a nature that is gentle yet volatile.
The visit also saw Paper Cat, their primary graphic designer who collaborates with the band on all visual merchandise, sharing the conceptual design thinking behind the band’s EP album and branding—which have been featured on The Dieline:
‘It was necessary to address the problem of validating the effort and cost of producing a physical CD pack in an increasingly digital music world. We wanted to create an object that despite its delicacy, was thoroughly physical in its experience. The looseness of the packaged content also allows the user to leaf through the items and experience the sequence of imagery and text in an organic manner. Our aim was for it to act as an extension of the music—consisting of items that would create links between that and someone’s life and experiences.’” (Source: thedieline.com)
Hentai Cat, the band’s frontman, also talked about their creative penchant of constant collaboration. Always on the lookout for creatives of all fields for partnerships and collaborations, he highlighted previous work with names like Rachel Yamagata through Snakeweed Studios and the Swedish torrent site Pirate Bay, as examples of the level of collaborative-experimentation they were willing to work at.
Also the subject of their talk was the band’s debut music video, which—impressively and unbelievably—was shot on zero budget. Another love-child of a collaboration with filmmaker students from a local polytechnic, the video was conceptualized and produced entirely on school equipment and with student directors—providing young artists with a platform to showcase their work with an imminent indie band like MONSTER CAT.
MONSTER CAT has played in gigs such as The People’s Party (alongside bands like Naked and Famous, The Jezebels and more) and more recently in Baybeats 2012—the largest annual indie musical festival in Singapore. They have toured in Toyko, Japan, and are due to represent Singapore in the prestigious Reeperbhan Festival 2012 in Hamburg, Germany, as well as the Culture Collide Festival 2012 in LA later this year.
In: Art, Asia, Brand communications, Graphic design, Ooh that's nice, What are we up to? · Tags: Bands, Brand identity, Design Bridge Singapore, Indie, Monster Cat, Music, Singapore