Otherworldly New Wave band, Enterprise, is out with a new album, Episode Two: Fantastic Planets. Continuing upon their penchant for creating surreal and psychedelic atmospheres (whether of this world or the infinite space beyond), this album is packed with story-like undertones with danceable and breathtaking tunes. Take the charismatic, spaceman baritone of Ismail Ibrahim, and you’ll get an unforgettable audio experience.
The band also released a video alongside their album release for their song Through the Milky Way. It’s a visual trip on steroids.
We went for their album launch showcase and managed talk to Ismail and the rest of the band members, Tariq (percussion), Shahriman (bass), Hanafi (guitar) and Nazree (drums). Check out the interview below!
Is the album Episode Two: Fantastic Planets a story and is every song going to have a video?
ISMAIL: It depends on our budget *laughs*. Even though it says “to be continued” at the end of the video. I could continue in this album, or continue in episode three. Every song has it’s own story, and the genre for each song is different
What was the thought process behind making the album?
ISMAIL: We approach each song differently. Evey time we start with a new song we don’t think of it as a continuation of the one before. Usually, I would create the core of the song form my upright piano at home and I just compose it and give it to my band.
So you guys come from a dance punk background, why did you change into the space electronica kind of atmosphere?
ISMAIL: Actually it’s been like that since the beginning, even with the song Rain Dance (their debut single). Because when you talk about the rain, it’s basically about admiring God’s creation. Fantastic Planets is about going straight into an adventure. Each planet is a different episode. If we could make a video series, we’d like for it to be like that music anime Interstella 5555 by Daft Punk. I mean, we are space and time travelers in pursuit of saving the galaxy.
A scene from Interstella 5555, a ‘music video movie’ by electro duo, Daft Punk.
If money wasn’t a problem, what else would you guys add to the performance?
ISMAIL: Dancers, good props, and then costumes, like uniforms and stuff. That would be awesome.
What are your influences?
SHAHRIMAN: I mostly record and engineer each track in the album. All of the song tells a different kind of story. When I make the song Voyager, a lot of my influences come in. I like Justice, that influences me a lot.
ISMAIL: Miami Horror, Midnight Juggernauts. When I studied in Australia, I got my influences from there. Went to several electronica gigs. I know that this kind of music is a bit hard for people here to accept. So with this album, I hope it acts as a passport for to break out.
NAZREE: For now, I listen a lot to Foo Fighters. I used to listen a lot to alternative, emo rock, like Poison the Well.
HANAFI: Currently I’m listening to Queens of the Stone Age.
Why is it so hard to Malaysians to accept your kind of music?
ISMAIL: Most of Malaysia are Malay song listeners. For a start, we don’t have a band that is similar to us. Here if we have a post-rock scene, you can invite the post-rock bands and fans. For us, we are always with Pastel Lite. We don’t have a big scene locally. Some people have even told us to write a Malay song. They keep saying “write a Malay song so that people can feel it”. But I can’t. I can’t feel it. I can’t force myself to do something I can’t feel.
How would you describe your music?
ISMAIL: It’s New Wave. It’s not anything new. Bands like New Order have always been a huge influence for us. I mean some people call us “space opera” but you can’t really define the music, or put yourself in a box like that.
One of Enterprise’s major influence
The band name Enterprise might be a big giveaway but are you all Star Trek fans?
ISMAIL: *laughs* We are all more like Star Wars fans actually. I personally like both. Why we call it Enterprise is because Enterprise is a group of people travelling together helping each other, and we want to reflect that in our music.
What would you say to your fans?
ISMAIL: Thank you very much and thank you for supporting. We’ve been here in the scene for like 6 years. After tonight we were surprised to find out that we still have fans. Without you guys we’re nothing. Follow us, because we’re gonna keep on evolving. We’re gonna have to go to a world tour.