Catch Up with Joe Lee, Drummer from AL4HA

Catch up with Joe Lee, Drummer from AL4HA, on their latest debut 《重新出发》- Restart

Tell us more about yourself!

An avid lover of Mandopop music and an aspiring songwriter as well. My greatest influence is JJ Lin, particularly because of his unending pursuit of experiential sounds, perfection as well as his gift in songwriting and vocal talent.

How did you guys manage to come together as a band?

Desmond (Vocals), Simon (Guitar) and I have known each other for about 5 years now, but we’ve all been busy with our own gigs and work all along. We caught up with each other casually over supper one night at Liang Court, and realised that we were all jaded with what we were doing at that point in time, it led to this idea, to have a common dream we want to achieve.

What can you tell us about the band’s new single?

重新出发 (Restart) is our first single. It tells a story of how 3 individuals want a ‘restart’ in their lives to embark on a journey to better themselves. We hope that the song will bring courage to people, to give themselves a chance to start afresh to pursue their own happiness in life.

How was it working together as a new band for the track?

We played to each other’s strengths and weaknesses well, sometimes giving in from our own stubbornness to reach a compromise. Plus, we were blessed with an experienced production team to give us advice and ideas, which helped a lot. A shout-out to our producer (Nic lee), lyricist (Shin Xu) and songwriter (Bryan Liu) for the awesome job.

How long did you guys take to complete the song? What was the greatest challenge to complete it?

The initial concept was drafted a year ago. The greatest challenge of all was managing each other’s expectations as we all had our full-time jobs on hand, how we had common understanding and respect for each other’s daily activities. Coming together for discussion was a luxury and breaking the work process down to individual parts worked out for us.

There are various interesting drum fills in the song, how do you come up with it? What was the writing process like?

The initial draft of the drum track was proposed by the arranger & producer, after which I was invited to listen and to give my input. From there we sat down and scrutinised the important parts stem by stem to express the dynamics and impact we wanted for the song.

You guys managed to shift the Yamaha drum kit for the video shoot! Where was it? What were the challenges to set it outdoor for the video shoot?

The outdoor video shoot was done at a secluded area of a reservoir, as we wanted a visual of light nature without any modern structures in frame. The first challenge is definitely logistics, as well as the hot weather during the filming as in was done in the day. A huge kudos goes to Lex(s) Entertainment Productions (Aaron Tan) for helping us in the setup, and 31 Productions (Johnson Zhang) for the amazing MV.

Why the Yamaha drum kit?

We had a few options on hand but chose to go with Yamaha as it is widely recognized in Singapore. From a marketing point of view, we hoped that this association assures our audience of our commitment to quality sound, and effort which we put into our productions. (We didn’t expect you guys to see this though! Oops!)

What excites you the most about the new single?

It is the hard work put together by a group of friends who is brought together by music. We’re excited to show this to the world and are eager to see their response!

What are your thoughts towards making original music in Singapore?

There is an exciting evolution going on in our music industry. Musicians are willing to stretch further now, diving into song covers with awesome arrangements and MV productions. Many, (like us) are also stepping out to make original music, some even crowdfunding to achieve their dreams. The accessibility of media platforms and financial-aid platforms puts us in the golden era of independent music-making.

What advices would you give to aspiring musicians to come out with their originals?

As an independent artiste, we can only say:

“Make the money. Save the money. Make the music. Save the world”

What are you into and outside of music?

Apart from doing music, I am a digital content producer specializing in graphics and video content that resonates with people. It is always nice to bring people together using content and making them smile every now and then.

What’s next for you? What would we be expecting from you or from the band in the future?

I’ve recently bought a new set of cymbals (Zildjian K Custom Dark and Special Dry Crash) during the recent Yamaha sale (sorry cos indie :P) and can’t wait to put it into our upcoming projects and share the sounds which I am so addicted to! Look forward to our next few songs put together by our local talents!

Where would we be able to get yours and your band latest updates?

Our first new single, 重新出发 (Restart) is now available on: