Keep Your Day Job: Fuad (Kyoto Protocol)

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Image Lucas Lau

Not to be a downer but sometimes music, art and b-boying aren’t enough to pay the bills. This new column at JUICE talks about the issue. But more than that, this column highlights how truly dedicated and interesting (and urm… bipolar, maybe?) our local musicians are. Either way, we salute you! Alter egos and all…

You’re the frontman of Kyoto Protocol, first of all may we say how much we love those short shorts you were rocking in the ‘Pussycat’ video! Do you ever wear that to office?
Why thank you. I can say with all honesty that I don’t know how those shorts got into my wardrobe. Shockingly, I was prohibited from wearing such sexy attire to work, probably because of the overwhelming sex factor.

So we heard that you’re a banker. Tell us more about that.
I’m actually not a banker in the strictest sense of the term, I work in an asset management firm. To break it down: you give us money, we make more money for you, just good ol’ ‘plain vanilla’ investments. You can throw out that image of the power suit and sports cars out the window now.

Attire in this industry is not as strict as outsiders make it to be, as long as I don’t wear THOSE shorts I guess. Working hours are really flexible, I do 9am to 5.30pm. To some the 9am thing is a deal breaker, but I’m glad I’ve got a reason to get myself out of bed. I’d be hermit without it.

My main responsibility is to keep in touch with developments in the economy, the ensuing reaction of global markets and the effect on our portfolio of investments that we make on behalf of our clients. The perks of this role lie mostly in the fact that I’m being paid to be in touch with what’s happening in the world and of course a few more ringgit in the pocket doesn’t hurt. I think by now you can suss out that I’m the nerd-equivalent in the world of finance.

Working in a financial institution sounds like the chalk to your band’s cheese. How do the two relate? Ever just wanna make a song about throwing money around and makin’ it rain?
Being kept abreast with real world events that affect millions of people and their respective livelihoods comes with a different perspective, and it has undoubtedly permeated into facets of my songwriting style. I’ve written stuff about herd mentality (‘Pussycat’) that is commonplace in financial markets and even made forward looking predictions about the world in an unreleased track. I suppose the most obvious track would be ‘Big Machine’, a matrix-themed narrative of modern day work culture.

I don’t know why but now I feel like writing a song about rain. Like about kissing the rain. Oh wait, it’s been done already.

Based on that cult-ish video of a certain bank’s 45th anniversary celebration, looks like banking is the place to be! Does it pay well?
Starting salaries in this line tend to be better than professional fields e.g. legal, accounting, etc with the exception of management consulting perhaps. If you wanna get to Kim Jong-Il standards of wealth, you’ll need to throw in politics into the mix.

If you weren’t in banking, what would you do as a day job?
Maybe I should have stuck to my training as an electronic engineer… and suffer brain rot as a result. If I wasn’t in the finance industry I might have considered teaching I suppose. There’s something about moulding the minds of the future that I deem honourable. The lack of road ettiquette in KL makes me sometimes fill my head with thoughts of hitting the streets as a road vigilante and puncturing the tyres of a$$holes who cut queue, double-park, etc.

Very rock n’ roll \m/. Ever just thought, “Nyeeeeh, f*ck it! Imma do this full time, 24/7!”?
Can’t say that I haven’t. It is my childhood dream after all. It’s just not economically feasible in Malaysia, yet.

Can we expect you to follow in the footsteps of a certain female artist and have your face plastered on a billboard of a bank office somewhere?
Probably not. I’m not pretty.

Ok #srsbznz question. What’s next for Kyoto Protocol?
Srsly juswannahavefun playin our musics… Well we just launched our debut “album” (which incidentally is available online at in physical and digital formats) and we’re looking to play more venues (especially outside of KL) in support of it.

Keep up with Kyoto Protocol at