Silence is Violence ทิ้งความเป็น Rock N’Roll ไปเลยมั้ย
Rock n’ Roll คือ Attitude แม้ว่าจะไม่มีเสียงกีตาร์ จิตวิญญาณร็อคยังสามารถอยู่ได้ในงานชิ้นนี้ครับ เหมือนกับที่เราอ่านงานเขียนของ Patti Smith หรือ Jim Morrison เราสัมผัสได้ถึงวิญญาณขบถของเพลงร็อคในทุกตัวอักษรโดยไม่จำเป็นต้องได้ยินเสียงด้วยซ้ำ
Rock music can’t really be defined. It is a way of life — “something that lives within your soul,” as musician Tul Waitoonkiat puts it. Although his new output, “Silence is Violence,” is exclusively made up of poems, the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll remains strong in every word. It’s fair to say that when you’re born a rocker, you stay a rocker.
“Silence is Violence” is an album of poems. Through spoken word, Tul conveys the beauty of his poetry accompanied by nothing more than a mere sound design. For every artist, there’s always a drive behind every album. “Silence is Violence” is without exception. What would be the inspiration behind Tul’s latest outing?
“The world’s seen a lot of changes brought on by the spread of Covid-19. We see its impact on all aspects of our lives — the way we live, our health, the economy, society, and politics. Since the conversation revolves around this “disruption,” I wanted to harness my potential as a poet and explore ways in which I could reflect my feelings about all that’s happening around me. I also wanted to break away from the conventions of poetry, pulling it out of the book and turning it into an auditory medium so that the listener can experience it through music streaming. When I pitched the idea to the crew at Sanamluang Music, everyone was on board which eventually led to this project. In other countries, spoken word albums are common, but I think this is probably the first of its kind in Thailand,” Tul explained.
What’s the message of “Silence is Violence”?
Like the name implies, I always believe that communication is the key to our understanding. The world is full of issues like injustice and power abuse, if we choose to stay silent and oppressed, it could eventually lead to violence. It’s like a kettle with its lid tightly screwed on. To me, poetry is a form of communication. It’s not going to change the world, but hopefully it can heal your soul and relieve some of your emotional burden.
Is “Silence is Violence” a big departure from rock ‘n’ roll?
Rock ‘n’ roll is an attitude. Even in the absence of guitars, the spirit of rock lives within you. It’s like reading poetry from Patti Smith or Jim Morrison. We can feel the rebellion through written words without having to resort to music.
How long does it take to write these poems?
I wrote most of these poems during 2019-2020, some are even older than that. I spent my time during the lockdown recording and working on the sound design and mastering with guest collaborators. All in all, the whole process probably took about eight months.
What will we learn from these 16 poems?
All of these 16 poems are quite diverse. They range from heavy topics like philosophy and politics to sci-fi and romance. Even if you’re not partially to poetry, you’ll still hear echoes from the era. The era when things won’t be the same. These changes, both at home or elsewhere in the world, are shaping our lives and perspectives. This is the kind of “disruption” we’re currently facing.
We personally love “Saman Mai.” What’s the inspiration behind that poem?
“Saman Mai” comes from the phrase “new normal,” so this is a very topical poem. The opening line “Finally, the engine shall move along the passage of time like it’s destined to,” implies that you can fight anything but time. I have to thank Covid-19 and what’s happening in Thailand for giving me the inspiration. This poem also has a visual on YouTube Suriyes Vanno, who directed a lot of Apartment Khunpa’s music videos.
What do music, art and poetry have in common?
It’s freedom of expression. No matter how aggressive the content may be, it shouldn’t be viewed as crime.
Why did you choose to collaborate with electronic musicians on “Silence is Violence”?
I’m lucky to be surrounded by friends in the electronic scene. We’re a small community so we can fully support each other. It’s so much fun to be working with your friends and there’s no pressure whatsoever. I always reminded my collaborators that we were not making songs, but poetry. We had the freedom to push things beyond music. What they brought to the table could perhaps be described as “sound design.” If you like “Silence is Violence,” please also check out Marmosets, Yaak Lab, DCNXXX, and Zweed n’ Roll whom I got to work with on the final track.
What moves you to write a poem?
If you were to dedicate one poem to the current events, what would that be?
This poem is titled “Labels.”
Go on and label me, If it’s easier for you To remember my name
Yellow, red, nation-hater or whistle mob Been there, done that A rocker, a conservative, a poet, a wannabe or a rebel
A rocker, a conservative, a poet, a wannabe or a rebel
Each was fitting, No arguments
We had three colors in the past It’s not so surprising that we have Three fingers, today