A Cosy Musical Enclave
When we entered Studiohive, we were surprised by how homely it felt. There were lived-in couches, a table where we presume discussions about music must have been had, and we remember seeing Seikan’s (the owner) brother playing video games and his father peeking through the sliding doors to check on how things were going — all of these features truly brought a sense of comfort and laidback ease to the place.
But Studiohive is still a place of business nevertheless. Here, Seikan offers the space up for recording, rehearsals, gear or equipment rentals, a venue for performances, as well as his interpersonal and management skills as tour manager. Bands such as The Impatient Sisters, Amoura, mutesite, and his own band Dirgahayu rehearse at the premises, and the venue has even housed a few Japanese rock acts when they’re down for a tour.
It can be somewhat difficult to find Studiohive – especially at night – among the terrace houses and the unlit row of shops, but be on the lookout for the corner lot.
Studiohive is located on Lower Ground Floor, Jalan Persiaran Syed Putra 3, Taman Seputih, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Opening hours are from 6pm to 2am on weekdays, while on the weekends, it’s 2pm to 2am.
T: 016 676 1455
E: [email protected]
Drumming Up Work
You may recognise Seikan as the drummer of math rock quartet Dirgahayu or you may have seen him play in his former band Silent Scenery. Although we got to know a little bit of Seikan in relation to his current band when we interviewed him and his bandmate Zul last year, here, we centre the conversation on his own cosy studio, and the few roles he holds when operating Studiohive.
Could you tell us the story of how and why you started Studiohive?
At first it started out as a project by my old band back in 2008, just to have a place of our own to jam. Each of us brought in our own gears, and jammed all night back then, rumours [started to] spread around friends, and [they] started renting the space and I thought I could make myself good pocket money [with this]. After we disbanded, I bought over some gears from them and went serious with this business.
How long have you been a drummer? And did you always want to be a musician?
I’ve started learning drums since I was 10 years old, so it has been about 14 years now. I never really thought of being a serious musician, but I can’t seem to see myself out of the music industry.
Are you the only person who’s running the studio?
Yes, simply because I can’t afford to share. And it’s easier to make any decisions alone.
Did you always want to model the studio where people could hang around and play video games?
Yeah, I think jamming studio is a place where all ideas get together. And I believe that a comfortable and fun environment would at least help musicians in writing/jamming their songs in a creative way.
How would you say Studiohive usually gets bookings? Is it via word of mouth, via your contacts as a musician, or via social media?
I get bookings from all sorts of routes, mainly word of mouth by musicians – people just call me up to book.
Is it difficult to manage your own studio while being in a band that tours a lot?
Not that difficult, I’d say. Thank god I have a few trustworthy boys who love and take care of the studio when I’m away.
We also understand that you provide your services for tour management; what are some of the responsibilities you have to do as tour manager?
Honestly, touring is fun! I love being in different places all the time. As a tour manager my responsibilities are, of course, booking shows, accommodations, transportations, the money part, etc. But aside from these, I think the most important thing is the band’s well-being. I’ve had many experiences where members got sick from unidentified diseases; some bands would find out that one of them is [being] an asshole after a long tour, making the tour difficult to continue – all sorts of unexpected stuff! I’ll make sure that the band stays healthy and happy during the tour.
Have there been any problems or difficulties that you’ve encountered while operating your own studio?
It’s always the money part where I try to [invest in] better gears for the studio. Honestly, music instruments are super expensive!
Do you have any future plans for Studiohive? For example, would like to expand it to becoming more of a gig space like Live Fact?
Not in the near future, but I’m planning to expand to a bigger space where we can organise gigs and [turn] the old place into a better recording/jamming studio.