Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band is a collective of interchanging musicians from Thailand. The members of the band range from high schoolers to older men. The band is led by Viroj Yakham, who formed the group in an effort to help unemployed teenagers from his home province Phetchabun, Thailand. They started by playing at different ceremonies and weddings. Viroj’s son, Sumet, would take video of their performances walking through their community or playing at local events. These videos caught the attention of the record label Innovative Leisure, who have signed artists such as BADBADNOTGOOD. Viroj in a short documentary made it clear that his band’s primary goal is to bring joy wherever they play. Short Doc Below!
They have released two full albums, the most recent being from 2016. They also toured and played numerous festivals around this time period. As a newcomer to their music, it seemed to me that they were inactive at the current moment. However, the strong community bonds this band created, intertwined with a diverse range of psychedelic sound, made me curious about the present condition and future of Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band.
Here are some of my favorite songs, performances, and content I could find!
LIVE CONCERT LINK: https://www.bilibili.com/s/video/BV1E441167W2
Interview With Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band:
I was able to obtain a Thai translator and connect with Sumet Yakham on Facebook. Before answering my questions he made sure to let me know he would respond after consulting with the rest of the band. Here is our quick correspondence about the future of the band. It is also noteworthy that he responded in English, I’m sure in an effort to accommodate me.
Interviewer: “Is the Khun Narin Electric Phin Band still playing music in Thailand and playing shows?”
Sumet: “We are still playing music in Thailand and playing shows. We faced Covid-19 affecting to cancel/postpone some shows.”
Interviewer: “Does the band plan on releasing any more music soon?”
Sumet: “We have a plan on releasing the third album with Innovative Leisure (IL) from USA.”
Interviewer: “How is your music received throughout Thailand? Have you experienced more appreciation for your music in Thailand or abroad?”
Sumet: “Our receive throughout Thailand is good. We have appreciation from abroad more than Thailand.”
Interviewer: “I understand that the band rotates members. How has the band helped your community?”
Sumet: “We encourage youth to show skills and have earnings.”
Interviewer: “What is the significance of the orange vests you wear when you play shows?”
Sumet: “This is our characteristic that similar to Cowboy shirt in USA.”
Interviewer: “What do you hope for the future of the band and for the future of your genre of music in Thailand?”
Sumet: “Our band will change with the times but still maintain the same style.”
I was extremely grateful to hear Sumet’s responses to my questions and I look forward to the new album. Check them out on Bandcamp, Spotify, Facebook, and YouTube!