From “Warchestra” to “Sunlight”.
The seven-member instrumental Hope the Flowers uses post-rock tunes in the bars and live music venues of Bangkok, initially a project by Narongrit “Hon” Ittipolnavakul. Through sentimental dirges and emotional melodies, Hope the Flowers wants to heal political wounds and fight corruption with sound. Guitarist Hon Narongrit tells BK more as part of our “Play for Change” series.
You’re an instrumental post-rock band, which is a far cry from the usual political messages of punk or hip-hop. How can you make social change with sound?
We usually communicate via song title and visuals, such as music videos or spoken messages in the intro of some songs or during live performance, identifying the band’s political standpoints. For example, in “Warchestra” we try to recreate the story of citizens’ fight against the corrupt power in Thailand; we shaped the tune’s mood and vibe so the audience can experience that immense tension, which we hope can awaken a flame in their heart. Another example is “Life is Beautiful When You Smile”, where we try to convey a political message from another perspective, more alleviating and healing for the wounded souls to rise again.
What do you hope to see in the future?
We hope real democracy will be truly established, not the coup-controlled democracy we used to have. Moreover, the longer we delve into our music career, the more we see the younger generation loaded with extraordinary talent, motivation, and creativity. Unfortunately, their abilities are not properly nurtured yet, or are even restrained from being nourished. When we talk about music or any other form of art, the core of really being an artist isn’t just technical skill or creating captivating work, but also relaying a message to the audience. As we can see in history, art has always been the tool for the weak to express their agony, wrath, or other sentiments. [...] Another change we want to see is a significant economic improvement which will elevate the quality of life of every citizen in the country. We believe one of the reasons alternative genre artists struggle in recent decades is due to economical strife. If we can afford daily expenses while not overworking our body and time, we can put ourselves into more art and other spiritual activities.
How do people respond to your instrumental message?
In our performance in “Demo Expo,” which is a more political-themed concert, we perform “Warchesta” and other rousing theme songs along with more alleviating ones such as “Sunlight.” During, we encourage the audience to do the famous three-finger sign and give speeches. During a time when political issues in society are more intense, “Warchestra” is the song we often pick up. We use the rousing vibe to stir up smoldering dissatisfaction to enhance our speeches. Most audiences seem to be participating, but evaluating how our message stirs domestic political activity might be beyond our capability.