Ahead of his Man Gai Mak concert this weekend (Aug 27), beloved alternative music idol Ittipong Kridakorn Na Ayutthaya aka Tar Paradox tells us about his childhood music and the dream project he hopes to achieve before he dies.

How I appear and how I really am are at odds. People thought that I was well-behaved but I wasn’t. I would get voted head of the class, but outside of class, I was a nuisance.

I really love the Indiana Jones movies. As a kid, I would pretend to be an adventurer, exploring around my house in Sattahip, Chonburi.

I liked going to nearby islands to find treasures in caves, wading through water or exploring haunted houses to test my bravery. It brought color to my life.

I also love cartoons from both Disney and Japanese manga. They really captured my imagination and increased my love of art. Later, I went to Chula to study arts.

My dad is a musician. He used to play at an [American] G.I. camp before. Once he started working as a condominium manager, he just played recreationally with family and friends.

He always played guitar at my bedside every morning to develop my love for music. But I wasn’t interested at all.

I changed my mind after I went to a high school friend’s house and saw that he was trying to play the guitar without a teacher. I was impressed by how he was trying hard to learn on his own. Me, I had someone who was ready to teach me but I hadn’t bothered. At that point, I decided to start learning.

I created a band and we sold our own CDs. Then one senior friend suggested we contact record companies.

We joined GMM the same day that I applied to Satit Chula School to be an art teacher. My mom, who was also a teacher there, wanted me to follow her. Music was just my hobby back then.

I decided to quit teaching after seven years. I decided that if I wanted to do something well, I had to devote myself to it entirely.

We love to do musical experiments on the audience. I love to see how they will react. Others may say, “Please buy our album,” but we might say, “Don’t buy it.” I always have crazy ideas.

Our next album might go beyond crazy. People love heartfelt lyrics, but we will offer them up in an abstract style. We want to use unusual language to make it like a big canvas when you listen, and make you imagine what the message is. Some might think about a whale while others might think about rain.

The songs and bands I like are all flops, but I still believe that they are good.

I have the same principle I had when I was a teacher, which is to create inspiration. When kids love something, they will find out more about it and there won’t be any need to push them.

It’s strange, I never lost my inspiration. I always encounter new things to try, like soundtracks or scores for movies. Now my friend is talking about doing an animation project.

I don’t like selfish people. They make my life stressful and difficult and just waste my time. I’ve learned a lesson on how to choose who I work with.

I love to bring out people’s talent and polish it until it shines. I will highlight what is good and bury the weaknesses. It’s fun!

My biggest dream is to be a director. Just only for short films. I think I might make it better than my music. I once filmed a friend and cut it to be a horror film like Friday The 13th. If I could make a short film, I could then die in peace.

I think everyone needs an objective. If we have an objective, we will focus on our goal and not let it go. Those who aren’t successful are mostly people with no objective, and they get distracted easily.

Thailand also needs an objective to be stronger. We are an agricultural country and we need to stress that. We have to think about how to make our country continue to be naturally beautiful.

If people are romantic, we will love art and each other, and not be robots like in some other countries.

Many Thais might think Bangkok is so chaotic but if you’ve been to other countries, you will find it’s actually quite pleasant and genial. If someone is sitting on the street crying, there will always be someone who will ask them what happened. It’s our character.

I would promote people’s spirits and minds to be more beautiful if I was Bangkok governor. If we have a good mind, everything will be better too. Interview by Monruedee Jansuttipan and Numchok Kamwan


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