They've opened for MGMT, played in major Malaysian festivals like Future Music Festival Asia, Rockaway Festival and Urbanscapes, and are fresh from their success as runners up from the music show Versus on TV9. Kyoto Protocol the band, unlike the environmental agreement, is definitely not dead in the water. Comprised of Fuad Alhabshi, on lead vocals and guitar, backup vocalist and keyboardist Gael Oliveres, guitarist Hairi Haneefa, bassist Shakeil Bashir and drummer Shanjeev Reddy, the band reveals what gadgets, gear and games keep them alive and kicking.
Fuad: My taste is always evolving. In terms of guitars, gear is always more subjective. It’s not really like “this phone is the best, that phone is the best”. Even within the same brand, you won’t find two guitars that sound the same. I started off really liking the Gibson sound and I found lately I've become more of a Fender man. My setup is really basic, just a lot of Bose pedals – nothing too unique.
Shanjeev: Different drummers have different preferences. Roland has become very handy especially their V-Drum series. We sometimes have to work remotely so it’s really handy that I can work from home with just a USB connection. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to start with the V-Drums though, otherwise you won’t know how to play an acoustic drum.
Hairi: I started liking all the analogue stuff - I always had this mindset that analogue is the best sounding thing ever, but lately I’m finding a lot of digital stuff to be good as well. I just got my first iPhone a few weeks ago and someone had given me this pretty nifty thing called an iRig Stomp. Basically it’s a guitar pedal which you can connect it to your iPhone and control everything. I’m sure it’s going to play a big part in our gigs later, but I’m still learning how to use it.
Gael: When we started the band, I was on the microKORG, which I’ve learned to love actually. I recently got a Nektar Panorama and I use it with a MacBook Pro. There’s so much to it – I can spend so much time on it. There’s one keyboard that I've really got to have. It's a Minimoog and one of my friends has it. I just don’t want stop playing on that, like ever. I even want to see what real thing – the Big Moog. It’s a massive piece of hardware that you can’t just carry around. Maybe I might be able to get my hands on one when we get bigger.
Stuff.tv: So tell us just what sort of phones you guys use?
Hairi: I'm using the iPhone 5
Shak: I'm still on the iPhone 4
Gael: iPhone 5 for me
Shanjeev: I have the Samsung Galaxy S3
Fuad: If I can be very honest, I can't live without the keypad and the BlackBerry fits my needs in this department. I hate using a touch screen because it makes me feel like I’m "special". So for what the BlackBerry can’t do, the Nokia makes up for it. It has apps like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope which is pretty cool. It also has a cool GPS, Nokia Drive which actually got us to our destination in Penang one time where Google Maps got us lost.
Stuff.tv: We know you guys are gamers, so what do you play?
Shak: We would love to be gaming more but work kind of takes its toll.
Fuad: We used to play quite a lot of games actually. This might be weird but I think FIFA on the Nintendo Wii is one of the most underrated football games in the world. The controllers for the Wii are pretty cheap so we have 4 controllers and we used to play these epic games that would get pretty heated, causing Shak and Gael to not talk to each other for a months.
Stuff.tv: How about DOTA (Defence of the Ancients)?
Gael, Shak and I still play DOTA. In fact we plan to skip DOTA 2 and go straight to DOTA 3 and become really good at it. The 5 of us will be our own clan, called KP with the two brackets in front and the back. So we’re gonna form our own DOTA 3 clan and we’re gonna win that 1million USD prize from The International (laughs).
Fuad: It’s not so much the hardware but more of the software that really takes us to new levels now. Cloud software like SugarSync has made communication a lot easier, because we can store all our songs, band profiles and pictures. If someone wants to put our picture in a magazine, we just send them the whole folder, they look through the gallery and they can choose the ones they want to download. It’s really made our lives easier. We also use Google Drive quite a bit with spreadsheets that check how much money we have and stuff.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
Fuad: We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for social media. I think we would've been a very different Kyoto Protocol without it. We started out big on Facebook first and I guess everyone starts out that way Facebook. Then over time we started included Twitter as well as other channels like Instagram and such. We also just started pushing ourselves a bit more on Google +. It won’t really replace Facebook but it has its own benefits. For example when you create an event page and click on the map, it’s sent to Google Maps which makes it really nice and cool. Social media gives us that platform to really connect to the people that like our music and we always want to be on the same level as people.
FOLLOW KYOTO PROTOCOL
Look out for their latest single, "Jelita" and follow Kyoto Protocol on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram and YouTube. For upcoming shows, visit Song Kick and you can catch their songs on Spotify.
Band Images by One Three Imagery
Interview video by Amir Rashid Othman