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MegalomaniA flies the metal flag with debut EP, Escape the World

SINGAPORE — MegalomaniA is a Singapore-based rock band that is inspired by the great rock sound of the 1970s, founded in 2012 by expats Peter Hoflich (vocals) and Valeri Obidko (drums), and Mohan Dharan (bass). Session guitarist Fah Aron completes the line-up.

MegalomaniA flies the metal flag with debut EP, Escape the World

MegalomaniA will launch their Escape the World EP at Crazy Elephant on 6th August 2016. Photo: MegalomaniA

SINGAPORE — MegalomaniA is a Singapore-based rock band that is inspired by the great rock sound of the 1970s, founded in 2012 by expats Peter Hoflich (vocals) and Valeri Obidko (drums), and Mohan Dharan (bass). Session guitarist Fah Aron completes the line-up.

According to Hoflich, MegalomaniA began as a Black Sabbath tribute band that only played Black Sabbath covers, before adding covers of other heavy-metal bands such as Judas Priest, ZZ Top and Motorhead, and then finally writing its own original music.

The result of which is its debut six-track EP Escape the World to be released on Aug 6, with a launch at Crazy Elephant.

“We’re all ‘mature’ musicians,” Hoflich explained, “having played in many bands over the years, and we’re now settling into a tight rock outfit”.

Drummer Obidko is described by Hoflich as a veteran musician who has played in various pick-up bands for more than 30 years. “He’s everyone’s drummer at open mic events — the man just loves to play drums!” he quipped.

Aron and Dharan have similar pedigrees and have played all over Europe and Asia, while relatively speaking, Hoflich has probably got the shortest music CV of all, having only been in two bands — Supertzar, and now MegalomaniA — but both times as a founding member.

Interestingly enough, when the decision was made to put together an EP of original music, the songwriting provided no difficulties whatsoever. Hoflich attributes this to the material being rather personal to the band and to Hoflich himself.

For instance, Hoflich told TODAY that the title track Escape the World was “inspired by the sad headlines we see in the news of the plight of the war refugees streaming out of war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa”. In addition, there was a personal aspect as well — “I can’t read these articles because they break my heart, and they also make me think of my own parents, who were both war refugees themselves. People don’t want war, they just want to live their lives.”

Even more close to his heart is the song Spinal Reconstruction Blues, which was about Hoflich’s own experience with spinal reconstruction surgery.

“(It) was a pretty scary moment for me,” recalled Hoflich. “At its heart it’s a standard blues song, so I filled it with a lot of the standard lines you’d expect in a blues song, but the first two verses are my pure experience.”

In that context, production of the EP proved to be the greatest challenge, and Hoflich recounted “the endless trips to the studio to move the process along”.

“We breezed through the initial recording of the tracks, laying down the guitar-bass-drum parts of all six songs live in only two sessions. The vocals, the overdubs, the mixing and the mastering took months, though.”

Listening to the dynamism, the virtuosity and the power of the music on the EP, it is fair to say the trouble was well worth the pain, and the band will mark the release with certain special activities.

“We’re doing an interview on SOFT TV and playing our album release party at Crazy Elephant. A video for one of our songs, a horror fantasy called The Wurdalak, is also coming out. It will also be available on a limited number of CDs.”

Considering the popularity of metal worldwide, MegalomaniA is looking forward to bringing its music beyond Singapore.

“We’d also love to play overseas. We’ve done shows in Malaysia, it would be great to also play in Thailand and Indonesia. Some day there may be shows in Japan and Taiwan. Can’t wait to see where this takes us. Oh Lord, yeah!” Kevin Mathews

 

 

MegalomaniA will launch its Escape the World EP at Crazy Elephant on Aug 6, 2016.

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