Shentonista Soundspace — Carpet Golf


Carpet Golf

There are quite a lot of things that you can do within two minutes—make your bed, throw out the trash, or get through a Carpet Golf song.

In fact, averaging about a minute and a half each, to call the four-piece band’s songs punchy would be somewhat of an understatement—they’re catchy, playful, energetic, and above all, fun to listen and rock out to, which is a clear reflection of the band’s personality.

Consisting of frontman Nathaniel, guitarist Daniel, bassist Spencer, and drummer Jordan, the quartet are longtime friends that have been active in the local music scene for years, having played (or are still playing) in various bands before officially coming together to form Carpet Golf, an emo (and self-proclaimed friendship-core) band.

With a run time of just over eight minutes, the band’s debut EP, Not As Good A Fisherman As Brock Lesnar Is A Man, was released in 2021. Now, just over two years later, the band’s working on their next album alongside their other commitments in life. But despite their busy schedules, we found the time to sit down with Nathaniel, Spencer, and Jordan for a chat about the band, their music, and what they’ve been up to of late.

Note: The video above features just three of the four members of Carpet Golf, and includes a short snippet of the full interview, which is transcribed below.

We know you guys have been friends for a really long time, but what was it that made you want to start a band together?

Nathaniel (N): Shit, okay wait, give me five seconds to think.

Spencer (S): How did it start ah? Eh, just make up a story lah! It doesn’t matter lah.

Jordan (J): Yeah, make up a story ah, like the Jimmy (a song off their 2021 EP Not As Good A Fisherman As Brock Lesnar Is A Man) smoking one.

S: Ah, just say some shit lah! As long as it’s entertaining ah.

J: Yeah, just make up a story. Started in NS ah, then…

S: Then say what? Kena confinement, you picked up guitar, then learnt to play.

J: (laughs)

N: How did it even—

S: I don’t know! We really don’t know how this band came about sia. Okay, okay, I kind of know.

J: Okay, then you say.

N: (sighs) Thank God.

S: Okay, so Nat used to play for this band called The Neptune Waves, and I used to play for Subsonic Eye. So this is where I met Nat—

N: Nobody cares about this! (laughs)

S: Wait, wait, this part is important! Because then later on, fast forward a few years, we were just jamming in Jordan’s house—he has an e-kit (electronic drum kit), you know? Nat was there, I was there, then we were just playing our instruments, then like “Eh, can write song leh.”

We started out as Charm first actually, which is now our hardcore project, but then we rebranded and wrote the music that we have today on a whim, just because we always hang out, and it’s always at Jordan’s house. Yeah, that’s kind of how it all fell into place. No real timeline there, but that’s how it happened.

Why the name Carpet Golf then?

N: We were coming up with band names, and—

S: Oh, Tony!

N: My dad has this carpet golf set at home, and I thought Carpet Golf was a cute name. That’s it (laughs).

Another question: why are all of your songs so short?

N: The reason why all of our songs are so short is because I don’t actually have the ability to write more than one or two minutes of song, because I don’t know what chords to do next. My attention span is quite short also.

S: I feel like the reason you’re saying our songs are short is because of a shortcoming. I don’t think that’s the—

N: I think it was that we were just satisfied with the first minute of the song, so if we wrote three minutes, and we felt like the nicer parts of the song were in the first minute—

S: Then the nice parts wouldn’t stand out, right?

N: Yeah, so we thought we’d just leave it at one minute.

S: One minute plus lah.

N: Yeah, one minute 30 seconds.

Tell us more about your music writing process.

N: How it used to happen was that I would write the songs, and then I would send it to Jordan and then we would jam it, and then we would send it to Spencer and Dan (our guitarist). But recently, on the album that we’re working on now, Spencer has been writing most of the songs.

S: Actually not just me lah, everyone as a band also—I just come up with a riff. I think that’s how it went for the EP too—you (Nat) will come up with the riff or an idea, then we’ll just workshop it because we’re always hanging out. But then because we hang out a lot, four songs come out only, because we’re goofing around most of the time lah.

But I think the album we are working on now is a little more focused. There’s a little bit more of a structure, you know? I write an idea or a riff, then workshop it with Jordan or Nat. Dan also wrote two songs.

N: But we hang out a lot less now.

S: Everyone’s busy.

N: So it’s really slow.

S: Yeah, it’s heartbreaking.

Tell us about the new album you’re working on.

J: I don’t know what to say about it.

S: Just say some things lah. Nonsense.

J: It’s a nice album ah. It’s a lot of songs. We’ve been writing this album for a year, so a lot of songs. We really took our time to write songs this time round, and we want to focus on very good production, so we’re really trying to make sure this album is a good album.

S: Don’t leave it up to chance lah. Just make sure our hands are everywhere.

You guys have played quite a few gigs in the past couple of years. Do you have a favourite song that you like to perform?

N: I think whatever is the newest song is probably the nicest to perform, because it doesn’t feel as old, so it feels more fun.

S: Yeah, I agree. I think with the new album, we have a lot of good songs lah. I really, genuinely feel like the new songs are great, and I love playing them live. But the old songs are great too, you know? People sing along to Brock Lesnar (another song off their 2021 EP Not As Good A Fisherman As Brock Lesnar Is A Man), you know? It’s crazy, people like that song a lot! It’s a fun song, party music.

Tell us about some of the more memorable gigs you’ve played recently.

N: We played for a New Mongrels show. That show was really nice. It was a small venue (Phil Studio at High Street Centre), but it was packed out. There were some Indonesian bands that came, and a lot of other local bands too.

J: If I were to say the most memorable show that we played, it’s probably Baybeats 2022. For me lah, that was the most memorable.

S: Dogfest was fun—Dogfest 1, the one at GR.iD. That one was fucking fun—wait, I’m allowed to say that, right? Okay, yeah, that was fucking fun. Dogfest 2 also, surprise set—we played three songs. CURB played their set, and then Dylan from Dogfest asked us to play three songs, like a surprise set. I lent Sam (CURB’s bassist) my bass, then just nice on stage we swapped. Wah, feel like sports team tag in.

Is there a dream gig that you guys would like to play?

N: A dream show that we wanna play is probably the next Dogfest, if they wanna invite us back.

S: I don’t mind playing a Japan Summer Sonic. That would be fucking sick.

N: Yo!

S: Yeah, I really wanna play that. That sounds really fun, drink a lot of beer. Anyway, Jordan? Baybeats (laughs).

J: (laughs) Baybeats! Any overseas festivals ah, that would be good.

Just like how everyone has a certain role in each friend group, what’s everyone’s roles in the band?

S: Wah, you’re asking us to psychoanalyse each other in front of each other sia.

N: I think it depends on the situation and where everyone is in life. I think most of us have periods where we’re not feeling it, so someone else naturally takes over, so it changes from time to time. And then when we all don’t feel like doing anything, then it’s Aaron, the band’s manager. He’s our best friend and his (Jordan’s) brother—they sleep in the same room.

S: (laughs) You’re (Nat) definitely the Rachel of the group ah.

N: What’s the Rachel of the group?

S: You know Friends?

N: What’s the Rachel of the group? What do you mean!

S: You don’t watch Friends?

N: Nope.

S: Okay I anyhow say that lah. I just see people say that online. I don’t know why I felt compelled to say that. “Oh yeah, every group has that guy! Oh, I’m so Rachel,” you know? Yeah, that’s you (Nat). Okay, forget it, let’s drop it.

J: Okay (laughs).

There are a lot of youths getting into music these days, forming their own bands and becoming fans of local music. How else do you hope to see the local community grow or evolve over the next few years?

J: I think for me, I would say that I like when there are mixed-genre shows, so people are more exposed to different genres. Previously, people were very stuck to just one genre, but now there are a lot of mixed-genre shows, which is good. Then people from the hardcore scene are more exposed to and will stay for other bands like dream pop bands for example, and vice versa.

S: I feel like as long as there are new bands coming up, kids are making music, and people are harnessing the power of creation, I think that’s all that matters. Because a lot of venues are closing down, then it kind of limits the platform that people can gather experiences from, you know? Going for their first gig, playing their first show, stuff like that. We don’t really have any spaces that are accessible anymore, or even if they are accessible, they get closed down super quick, which is super fucked ah. I don’t wanna go into further detail of that, but as long as people are making music and it’s coming from here (Singapore), double thumbs up, man. #SupportLocal.

N: That said, I think local music is in a really good place now. A lot of bands are putting out music. Yeah, that was it—that was a half-baked thought.

One last question: apart from the new album, what else is next for you guys?

J: We definitely wanna tour.

S: Go on tour ah. Are we allowed to talk about that yet?

J: Why not?

N: Yeah, who cares?

S: I don’t know, nothing’s been said. Imagine we say say ah, then 10 years later when people watch the video they’re like, “Eh, they never go on tour leh.”

J: I mean, yeah lah, that’s our plan that we wanna do—go on tour. Maybe somewhere like Japan?

S: Southeast Asia first maybe? (laughs)

N: We just wanna go on a holiday, that’s it.

J: Yeah lah, we just wanna go on a holiday ah.

S: We just wanna go on a holiday so bad.

Carpet Golf
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