This Sabahan Artiste Wrote A Song About Every Teenager's Worst Nightmare

Alien Lipstick Fire also shared an interesting story behind their quirky band name!

Cover image via @Samguw

Being a teenager can be an emotional rollercoaster ride.

Aside from dealing with weird growth spurts, school cliques, and studies, the last thing you need is for your hairdresser to screw up.

Image via Giphy

Meet Alien Lipstick Fire, an upcoming indie rock band who recently released their latest single about a teenager's worst nightmare – getting a "bad" haircut

Hailing from Sabah, James (lead vocalist), Malcolm (lead guitarist and backup vocalist), and Benjamin (bassist) first met each other in high school.

When they moved to KL to further their studies, they met Hazim, who currently plays the drums for the band.

From left: Hazim, Benjamin, James, and Malcolm.

Image via @Samguw

We sat down with the boys to find out how they formed and the story behind their latest single:

SAYS: Hi guys! How did you all end up forming a band together and where have you performed at so far?

James: The band formed around early January 2016. Malcolm and I were jamming around at that time and we hung out a lot. We started off with open mics to gain some experience and connections – tried to mingle around with people.

Image via Jameson

Malcolm and James: We did an open mic for Urbanscapes in 2017, performed at a Jameson show in 2018, opened for 'Boy Pablo' at the end of 2018 (which was our first big gig), and did another Jameson show early this year.

SAYS: Tell me about how you guys came up with such a quirky band name.

James: I was watching Comedy Central – a show called '@midnight' by Chris Hardwick.

It's a show where the host takes random stuff from Twitter and participants have to create context out of them.

So for this topic, it was a pattern of emojis. Doug Benson (who is a comedian) was one of the contestants for that episode. He was given three emojis – an alien, a lipstick, and fire.

The quickest person who presses the buzzer has to come up with an answer as to what it means and gets points for it. 

For this round, he (Doug) buzzed in and said that Alien Lipstick Fire is like a new indie band.

So I thought okay let's make it happen. And that's how we got our name!

Image via @Samguw

SAYS: Who writes the songs and where do you guys usually get your inspiration from?

James: Usually I come up with a draft that's basic and the rest of the band helps me complete it and make the song come alive.

I usually get inspired by listening to other music.

Malcolm: And bands!

Alien Lipstick Fire performed at Undercurrent at The Bee, Publika this year.

Image via @noahzain_

SAYS: So tell me about your latest single, 'Torchlight', and what's the story behind it?

James: It all started back in 2014. I was a very 'don't touch my hair' kind of guy.

I went to trim my hair to make it a bit more "kemas", tidy it up a bit.

And they (hairdresser) misunderstood what I wanted. At that time, the hairstyle that was trending was the pompadour. So I think they assumed that I wanted something like that and they cut my hair short.

So, you know, I went back home and bitched about it. (laughs)

I wrote some stuff and tried to generalise the lyrics as much as I could to make it open so that anybody can interpret it into anything they want.

Left pic: James and Malcom as teenagers. Right pic: The lead singer with his fresh haircut.

Image via James Laurence Sharkey

SAYS: How would you guys describe your sound or style of music?

James: We do whatever we think sounds good. The style or the genre/composition/concept comes out from our influences and what we always listen to. 

We are influenced by psychedelic elements, old school, and a bit of pop music. But we're also currently experimenting.

You can listen to 'Torchlight' and Alien Lipstick Fire's other singles on Spotify:

Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to find out where they'll be performing next!

This feature is part of the #saysplaylist series, providing your playlist with a breath of fresh Malaysian air.

Image via SAYS

If you have any Malaysian bands, singers or songs that you think we should feature, let us know in the comments below!

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