An Interview with Snow Patrol

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Snow Patrol - Tom Simpson, Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly & Paul Wilson

"Yu luk foh fah mah, ok?! Fah mah waiting foh yu on da rai sie!!"

OK. Fat man. Right side. Got it.

I ended the call and went back to the right side as instructed. I had been walking up and down the airport arrival area from end to end, looking for the hotel transfer driver in vain. It had been maybe a good twenty minutes since I had arrived and didn't see anyone holding up a sign with my name on it. As I perused the area once more, I was pretty surprised to realise that not one person, man or woman, was in any way overweight in this place. People anywhere and everywhere usually come in all shapes, sizes and color. But not here where everyone is stick-thin. Unbelievable! I still couldn't see my name being held up anywhere though.
Fangirl with Snow Patrol
Finally, I get a tap on the shoulder. A man fumbling with his English shows me the partially crumpled piece of paper he'd been holding up for me. It read "Ise." I had to conceal my laughter. Why on earth would they shortcut my name to the first 2 and last letters? How did they expect me to acknowledge that even if I had seen it earlier? And secondly, this guy was at most 10 pounds heavier than the ideal weight for his height. Gosh, if he's already considered fat in this country, I wonder obese Thais are like!

In any case, I was happy to have finally found my chauffer in shining Toyota, ready to take me to the hotel. He was very pleasant and tried to make conversation with the little English he knew. It was a bit of a drive and with the traffic we had to go through, I was happy to engage in a broken conversation.
With Ian Brown - The King Monkey & I

My scheduled interview with Snow Patrol was at 5.15pm at the Dusit Thani Hotel, not too far from where I was booked. I didn't want to be late and was advised by the concierge to leave an hour early to avoid the Friday rush hour traffic. By 4pm I was already in a cab and on my way. The first few minutes wasn't too bad, at the rate we were going, I was sure to arrive ahead of time. But alas, I spoke (or rather, thought) too soon as the traffic came to a halt after we turned the corner. We stayed put for about 5 minutes, and 5 minutes just literally sitting in traffic is an extremely long wait like you'd just turned another year older. Finally the brake lights go off and we're moving again, but no more than a few meters! We kept at this pace for a good half hour and I was already scratching the leather seats with anxiety. I wanted to run the rest of the way and tramp over cars like the cool chicks do over in Hollywood (living in Manila with a similar traffic situation, I've been tempted to do this many times). But this isn't an L.A. backlot, nor am I a trained stunt person. I'm just a skinny little skeletor who, in all likelihood, would probably trip on my own two feet before they even left the ground at the first attempt to leap on a trunk of a car. Besides, this is an unfamiliar city I'd only been to once and that was ten years ago, so there was no way I was going to make it on time on foot.

After resigning myself to the fact that the only choice I had was to sit through the traffic, I remembered to text my contact at the record label for the interview details. The reply I received told me to go to the lobby and look for a "woman with long hair." I couldn't believe it. First a fat man, and now a long-haired woman. These people really know how to narrow it down for you, don't they?

So I make it with 5 minutes to go before the interview. As luck would have it, there was only one person in the completely empty hotel lobby, and this person turned out to be none other than a woman with long hair. On her cellphone. I stuck around until she finished her call and asked if she was expecting me. All I got was an empty stare and an "uh?" Fantastic. I tried to ask her how to get to the lobby (this obviously was not where I was supposed to be), and at least she understood and pointed me in the right direction. I make my way and lo and behold! It was that guy Note and the other Thai girl I had met at Glastonbury just the year before! I went up to her and after a few hugs and how-are-you's she told me that Note was still upstairs doing the interview with other press people and that my turn was obviously running late. We parted ways and I headed further up where the rest of the media was.

I don't remember whatever happened to the girl with long hair I was supposed to meet, or if I even eneded up meeting her, but in a few minutes time, I was already on my way up with a bunch of other Asian media reps. Upstairs, we waited eagerly for our turn and as the door opened, Note emerged with the same reaction I had when I first saw his friend downstairs. We only had a few moments to catch up, but he did say that the band was lovely, with no airs or star complex that one would expect. And he was right. All four were very genteel and answered everyone's questions politely, even when someone asked if they would "go out and get laid" that night. Quite inappropriate, especially for a clean-cut looking band as Snow Patrol. The band's vocalist, Gary Lightbody, replied with a simple, "I'm sorry but we're not the promiscuous type," and asked for the next question.

The interview went on for about 20 minutes after which we all had our turn getting photos and autogrpahs of the band. These 2 Malaysian radio guys struck up a conversation with me (being the only other radio person in the group) on our way out and we kind of took our time walking to the elevator while chatting. We had a pretty lengthy conversation about music and our local industries that we hadn't even noticed that the band had come out of the room and was walking our way! The elevator doors finally opened and in they went with us. The other guy was trying to find out where they were headed for dinner, but I figured my time with them was up and I didn't want to bother them with anymore questions.

Ok, so 1 down, 4 more interviews to go. Of all the international bands that would be playing at the Bangkok 100 Rock Festival, the only two bands I wasn't able to score interviews with was Maximo Park since all the slots had been taken (which was OK since they were fairly new at the time and I wasn't too familiar with their music then) and the god of all gods, the Stone Roses' Ian Brown, who wasn't doing any promotional activities at all. It was a bummer, but at least I wouldn't be missing out. However, I did find myself in rock heaven when when we finally hit the ground floor and the elevator doors opened. Who would be standing right there, all by himself, in a kick ass black Adidas track suit, probing the crowd with nobody recognizing him? Why, Ian Brown of course! And with that, the 13 year old in me dashed towards the King Monkey and whipped out my camera and notebook. I couldn't believe my luck, and even more so that nobody recognized him! That totally made my day!

And on that note, I headed back to the hotel with the biggest smile on my face, where Jade would've been waiting already.

Isabetlog says:
Hahha, I wouldn't be surprised if we did, actually. I hung out with a few Thais when I was there, 2 whom I had met in Glasto :) What time was your interview? I was with the last batch of media people.
Posted on: Jul 31, 2008
tazmania says:
hehehe maybe we'd met each other before ;) cuz I'd chance to interview Snow Patrol on that day too woo!!!!
Posted on: Jul 31, 2008
Isabetlog says:
Di ko pa kay kilala nun eh :(
Posted on: Jul 08, 2008
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Snow Patrol - Tom Simpson, Gary Li…
Snow Patrol - Tom Simpson, Gary L…
Fangirl with Snow Patrol
Fangirl with Snow Patrol
With Ian Brown - The King Monkey &…
With Ian Brown - The King Monkey …
photo by: Deats