Local band M1LDL1FE now love computer music too

M1LDL1FE comprise (from left) Jeryl Yeow, Paddy Ong, David Siow and Tan Peng Sing.
M1LDL1FE comprise (from left) Jeryl Yeow, Paddy Ong, David Siow and Tan Peng Sing.PHOTO: JASPER TAN/VADBIBES

Down from a quintet to a quartet and armed with a new sound, the home-grown indie band formerly known as Take Two have rebranded themselves as M1LDL1FE and released a new self-titled EP.

The band, which first came to prominence when they won the Noise Singapore Music Award in 2014, launched the EP with a soldout show at Henderson Industrial Park last Saturday.

Frontman Paddy Ong, 29, says the band members went through creative and personal changes over the past year and the new EP was the best way for the band to reintroduce themselves to their fans.

"With the new name, we feel like we are at as good a place as we have been to do so. And hopefully the fans can hear that in the music and come onboard with us as we plough ahead into the future."

Guitarist Johnathan Lim left the band last year. Instead of finding a replacement, the band, which also comprise guitarist Tan Peng Sing, bassist David Siow and drummer Jeryl Yeow, decided to continue making music as a four-piece outfit.

Their old, guitar-driven music has been enhanced with textured, electronic sounds in the new songs.

"We are a band that grew up listening to guitar music, but matured falling in love with computer music, so this new songwriting process does well to marry the two influences," says Ong.

"Musically, we wanted to try something with a little more emotional depth than what we're previously used to. So, many of the themes in the songs are inspired by personal experiences."

On Lim's exit, Ong explains: "He just didn't really see music as something he wanted to do long-term and we totally understand.

"When this band first started, it was just something for fun, something you get together with friends in school to play with. We all have our own paths to take and we're still good friends with John."

Another reason the band ditched their old name was to avoid confusion.

"Take Two" was too common - a prominent Italian apparel company shares the same name.

Pronounced "mildlife", the new moniker has a stylised spelling with two number "1"s in place of the "i"s - one plus one equals two, a reference to their old name.

Formed as a cover band for their alma mater, National University of Singapore, in 2012, the group first made their name when they won the university's talent contests Supernova 2013 and NUSSU Band Challenge 2014.

In 2015, they released Pairs, their debut EP, and went on to play at local music festivals such as Baybeats as well as gigs around the region, and in China and Spain.

Besides the new EP, the band are also busy with Pop-Up Noise: The Great Singapore Replay, a project by the National Arts Council and investment company Temasek in which they collaborate with singersongwriter Jawn to re-work Dick Lee's 1989 release The Mad Chinaman.

"No pressure, we are just covering one of our country's most prolific songwriter-entertainers. But really, we've done some really interesting things to the song and we're excited to share it with everyone," Ong says.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2017, with the headline 'New name, new sound for former Take Two'. Print Edition | Subscribe