You would never guess that the four teenage boys sitting cross-legged on the rooftop of the IFC were the members a band whose album rose to Number Three on the Hong Kong iTunes chart. But that’s exactly what this rock quartet has achieved in less than a year after they started to play.
Meet Asyndeton: lead singer Benjamin Man, bassist Joshua Francis, drummer Aaron De Guzman (all aged 17), and guitarist Harmeet Bhatia, 16.
At KGV’s Lion Rock Festival in March, Benjamin’s dreamy vocals, Harmeet’s power chords, Joshua’s bass riffs and Aaron’s powerful beats won them a slot playing at the Rugby Sevens.
When asked about their debut, The Other Side Of My Mind, the band is humble and grateful for its success. All members stress that creating an album was a collective process; everyone contributed ideas. Harmeet, who goes to West Island School, tells Young Post: “If I showed a little idea on my guitar, [the other’s would] be like, oh that’s this song. I’d bring one idea, and then we’d change it a bit. It’s not one person who does it, it’s all of us.”
It’s easy to see why the band has grown in popularity so quickly: they share an infectious creativity and passion for their music.
The tight-knit group fondly remember their first gig at West Island’s Innovation IX concert. “At our first show, the police came because we were too loud,” Harmeet says.
But despite getting to perform their own music live, being in a band has its drawbacks. With exams and deadlines, there aren’t a lot of students that have the time and dedication to produce an EP of original music. And now, the increasing demand for Asyndeton to play gigs has meant there is even less time to study.
South Island student Joshua’s parents are supportive of their son, as his dad is a guitar player himself, but Benjamin confessed that he has encountered challenges with his family. “Recently we’ve been getting more gigs, and my parents are like, ‘after New Year’s, you can’t play anymore’.”
It’s hard to say what will happen to the band once they graduate secondary school next year. But one thing is for certain: each member has been bitten by the performing bug and wants to carry on playing as a band for as long as possible. “I’m not good at anything else,” Aaron jokes.
Pursuing a career in music – especially in Hong Kong – isn’t easy. But there’s no reason why, with so many fans already behind them and such a strong debut under their belts, Asyndeton can’t go all the way.