Loso

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Loso (โลโซ)
LOSO 2005-01-29 Mannheim Germany.jpg
Sek Loso performing in Mannheim, Germany.
Background information
Origin Bangkok, Thailand
Genres Alternative rock, Rock
Years active 1996–present
Labels GMM Grammy
Website http://www.myspace.com/seklosomusic, https://www.facebook.com/seklosorocknroll, https://www.facebook.com/sekloso.official
Members Seksan Sookpimay (Sek Loso) : Vocal, Guitar
Pradit Worasuttipisit (Dit Loso) : Bass
Vorabut Tiaprasert (Tom Loso) : Guitar
Tortrakul Baingen (Tor Silly Fools) : Drum
Past members Kittisak Khotkam (Yai Loso)
Apirath Sukkhajitr (Rath Loso)
Nattaphon Suntharaanu (Klang Loso)
Chris Borsberry (Chris Loso)
Anthony Wilson (Eddie Loso)
Eric Lavansch (Eric Loso)
Tu Loso
Tok Loso
Rob Hudson
Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs

Loso (Thai: โลโซ) is a Thai rock band fronted by singer–guitarist–composer Seksan Sukpimai (aka Sek Loso). The band was formed in the mid-1990s in Bangkok, Thailand. Its name is derived from a play on hi-so, Thai slang for socialites and the upper class (from English 'high society'), and is meant to reflect the group's humble origins. It is one of the first Thai bands to achieve success on the international music scene, having played festivals, including South By Southwest and Glastonbury, and to be produced by a Western record producer.

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

One of the first popular Thai rock bands of the 1990s, Loso was founded by Seksan Sukpimai (b. August 7, 1974 in Nakhon Ratchasima).

Seksan, the son of an itinerant rice-farming family, moved to Bangkok at age 12 and found work in a shop owned by an aunt, making jewelry. He also worked in a factory that made air conditioners. In 1991, inspired by his favorite artists, including Guns N' Roses and Carabao, he saved up enough to buy an inexpensive guitar, learned some chords and talked his way onto the stage at one of Bangkok's best-known live-music venues at the time, Austin Pub. Within a year, the 17-year-old singer-guitarist was leading the house band, playing covers of Thai rock, indie and pop, as well as Green Day, Nirvana, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix.[1]

First album[edit]

Within a couple years, Sek had written 10 songs. With drummer Kittisak "Yai" Khotkam (b. January 22, 1973) and bassist Apirath "Rath" Sukkhajitr (b. September 20, 1967), Sek recorded the tracks in a night and sent the demo tape to Asanee Chotikul of the popular Thai rock duo Asanee-Wasan. Called Lo Society, the band's demo tape was released as an album in 1996 on Asanee's indie record label and distributed by GMM Grammy, Thailand's biggest record company. It sold 1.5 million copies.

Celebrity status[edit]

Loso released eight more albums, each selling at least 1 million copies ("platinum" status on the RIAA certification scale), and some selling 3 million copies.

Among the band's most popular songs is "Som Sarn" (Thai: "ซมซาน" or "Hesitant"), which features an acoustic guitar intro that is widely recognized in Thailand. Another hit was Pantip, with its hook chorus, "ja mai pai Pantip" ("will not go Pantip" or "I won't go to Pantip"). The song is about a man dating a woman and taking her shopping at World Trade Center, MBK Center and Siam Square, but he refuses to take her to Pantip Plaza because his ex-girlfriend has a shop there.

The band's line up remained stable except for a period where Apirath was replaced by Nattaphon "Klang" Suntharaanu. Klang Loso played bass on the Rock & Roll and Losoland albums and toured with the band. Apirath Loso then returned to bass duties with the band until its demise.

Just about all the band's albums are accompanied by the release of a karaoke VCD, featuring music videos of the songs. Through the music videos and his appearance as pitchman for the M-150 brand energy drink, Sek Loso, usually wearing sunglasses, has achieved cultural icon status in Thailand. He even spoofed his celebrity image with a Sek lookalike making a cameo appearance in the 2005 Thai action film, Tom-Yum-Goong. The song that accompanies the M-150 commercials, the ballad "Teh Yang Thai" ("เท่อย่างไทย"), is another hit.

Going solo[edit]

After the release of the 2002 live album Loso Concert, Loso broke up, with Sek Loso becoming a solo act. Kittisak and Apirath formed a new band, Fahrenheit. Sek released his debut solo album, 7 August, in 2003 and duetted with veteran string and luk thung star Bird McIntyre, for the 2004 hit album, Bird Sek. The pair played sold-out concerts at Bangkok's Impact Arena.[2]

Sek, meanwhile, had aspirations beyond the Thai music scene: In Thai music terminology, he wanted to "go inter". He had been reading biographies of his rock idol, Jimi Hendrix, and decided that to achieve international stardom he needed to go to England as Hendrix had. In 2004, he moved to London and enrolled in an ESOL school, and after six months of intensive learning, he could speak English with an upper-class British accent. He began writing songs in English and placed advertisements in NME for a bass player and drummer to form a new Loso, auditioning prospects by having them perform the entire Hendrix album, Are You Experienced.

The new Loso[edit]

Loso playing in Mannheim, Germany in 2006.

So with drummer Eric Lavansch ("Eric Loso") and Anthony Wilson ("Eddie Loso") on bass Sek took his new band to Thailand for a six-month tour. During this tour the band was supported by the Thai band Silly Fools.

With the help of Tim Carr, an American writer and former A&R executive living in Thailand who had worked with such bands as the Beastie Boys, Megadeth, Ash and Cornershop, a demo tape of the band was sent to some producers. The first to respond was Owen Morris, who had produced albums by Ash, Oasis and The Verve. Morris was flown to Thailand by GMM Grammy to be introduced to Sek. After seeing the band perform before 50,000 people at the Pattaya International Music Festival, Morris was duly impressed. Hitting the studio, Morris produced three songs from the demo album, "I Wish I Could", "I Just Wonder" and "Fly Away", along with "Love Is My Religion" and two "rave-ups" that were improvised and developed in the recording sessions, for Sek's debut English-language album, For God's Sake, which is awaiting release as of December 2006. Sek also recorded some Thai tracks with Owen Morris, "Chun mai sum-oiy" ("ฉันไม่สำออย"), "Karm chun pai korn" ("ข้ามฉันไปก่อน") and a punk version of the earlier hit, "Pantip", which are included in the 2005 compilation, Sek Loso:The Collection.

Owen invited former Oasis member and rhythm guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs to Bangkok to see the band. Bonehead loved the band's sound and ended up playing on some tracks and he also played gigs with the band. Eric and Eddie returned to UK after the recordings were finished for a well earned break with their families. For various reasons Eddie Loso left the band after recording an advert for Yamaha with Sek in London.

Eric went back to Thailand (with new bass player Rob Hudson and Bonehead) to work on the final mixes of the For God's Sake album. In early 2005, the whole crew returned to England to finish the album at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios. There they were invited to play at Glastonbury and the Patti Smith Meltdown Festival. After finishing the recordings Rob Hudson decided to leave. He didn't want to be away from the UK for lengthy periods required to do the Thai concerts, and subsequently the US tour.

In January and February 2005 Sek took Thai musicians Vorabut Tiaprasert (Tom Loso), Tu Loso and Tok Loso (on rhythm guitar, drums and bass guitar respectively) on a very successful tour in Europe. Back in Thailand they toured during March and April at outdoor venues in Nong Khai, Phuket (where Sek donated his income from the gig for the victims of the December 26, 2004 tsunami), also Krabi, Hat Yai, Thung Song, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Chumphon. The outdoor concerts also featured Lanna Commins and Big Ass. The tour ended in Bangkok at the Hollywood Awards on April 7 to an audience of approximately 150,000 people. Using video footage from nine of the above concerts Thai-TV made a one hour concert show and it was broadcast on May 1.

The band needed a new bassist so Chris Borsberry (a long established friend of Eric from school days and teenage bands) flew out to Bangkok to be "tested" by Sek and the rapport was instant. Sek had met him previously at the Yamaha advert filming. Chris had got the part as the "Evil Guitarist" with the Union Jack guitar. It was pure coincidence as he’d only gone along with Eric to make up numbers and the producers loved his evil look. It was doubtful if Sek or anyone else realized at the time that he could actually play the guitar. So he swapped from six strings to four and Chris was working in the studio the next day. Two days later he was playing with the band at 2005 Bangkok Music Festival in front of a huge audience!

Following the death of his father, Sek released a song in his memory as a limited edition single called Tiger in June 2005. Only 100 copies of Tiger were released along with a bonus CD of songs from the Pattaya International Music Festival. Tiger is also featured on the For God's Sake recordings.

In the summer of 2005 Loso embarked on a heavy schedule of international touring, including appearances at rock festivals including South By Southwest, the Glastonbury Festival and Patti Smith's Meltdown at Royal Festival Hall.

Bonehead left the group after a few gigs during the US leg of the tour. Sek had guitarist Tom Loso flown out from Thailand, who then became a permanent member of the band. Tom is an excellent guitarist in his own right and he isn't just the rhythm player. He played on Sek's newest albums The Collection (2005) and Black & White (2006); he is seen on the karaoke VCD versions of these albums and also on the Bird Sek Live Concert (VCD & DVD July 2004). Bonehead sometimes played with the band as a guest during the remainder of 2005, notably at a concert outside the World Trade Center in Bangkok on the 20th of December.

The band played their first Middle Eastern concert in Manama, Bahrain at the Delmon International Hotel on January 27, 2006.

They appeared in "Sood Chewit Khon Thai", a concert at Impact Arena on April 25 along with other Thai bands, including Big Ass, Bodyslam, Lanna Commins and Potato.

Sood Chewit Khon Thai VCD was released in June 2006 and features performances by all the bands.

A new Thai-language album, Black & White, was released in July 2006.

Incident in Ramakien: A Rak Opera[edit]

Sek Loso was among an all-star cast of Thai artists performing a rock opera adaptation of the Ramakien national epic on July 28–30, 2006 at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in New York. Sek was cast in the lead role as Phra Rama, with Noi of the band Pru as Hanuman.

The first night's performance was disrupted by an altercation between Sek and Noi, in which Sek struck Noi on the head with a shoe. The two musicians then grappled with each other and eventually took their fight offstage. A video of altercation was shown on television in Thailand and was later posted to YouTube. Sek refused to return to the production and Loso rhythm guitarist Tom Loso replaced the frontman as Phra Rama for the remainder of the show.[3][4]

Other Thai artists participating in Ramakien: A Rak Opera were the band Modern Dog, the DJ-production duo Photo Sticker Machine, Belgian-Thai singer Palmy, rapper Joey Boy and singer Rik Vachilipilun. New York singer-guitarist Arto Lindsay also performed.[5]

September 2006 onwards[edit]

The band are continuing to tour around Thailand to promote the new album Black & White.

At some shows the former bassist Rath Loso has played as a guest. He is now the band's bassist for all the Thailand shows. This is because Chris Borsberry played his last Thailand gig at The Sky Club, Srinakarin in Bangkok on October 28, 2006. Chris is still a member of the band and will play in future International shows.[6][unreliable source?]

In November, 2006 a DVD & VCD set called 10 Years Rock was released and features 32 karaoke videos.

In February 2007 Sek Loso played with international musicians, Paul Tillotson Drums, and Alan Crixata Bass, at the Pattaya Festival. A tour of Thailand followed during 2007.

2011 Sek Loso's Drug Scandal and Family Abusive[edit]

On December 2, 2011, a photo of Sek, allegedly taking drugs, surfaced on Sek's ex-wife's (Wiphakorn Sookpimay) Facebook. Thai media widely ran the stories featuring an interview with her and GMM Grammy's executives. She claimed that Sekson is an addict. GMM Grammy initially denied allegation. Later on December 19, Sekson gave an interview admitting he did take drugs and had an affair to his ex-wife. However, in the interview, he requested that GMM Grammy should offer him an apology for stalking and phone-trapping (which GMM Grammy strongly denied this claim). On December 20, GMM Grammy announced that the contract between the company and Sekson is cancelled due to his drug problem.

Discography[edit]

Loso[edit]

  • Lo Society (1996)
  • Lo Society Bonus Tracks (1996)
  • Redbike Story (1997) (movie soundtrack)
  • Entertainment (1998)
  • Best of Loso (CD 1999)
  • Rock & Roll (2000)
  • Losoland (2001)
  • The Red Album (August 2001)
  • Best of Loso (Karaoke VCD, 2001)
  • Loso Concert For Friends (VCD 2002)
  • Loso Best Of Collection (30 April 2013)

Sek Loso[edit]

  • 7 August (April 2003)
  • Bird Sek (June 2004) with Bird McIntyre
  • Bird Sek Live Concert (VCD & DVD July 2004) with Bird McIntyre Live performance at the Impact Arena, Bangkok with Bird McIntyre & Palmy
  • Tiger (June 2005, a CD single, in English)
  • For God's Sake (English language, Digital Download on the iTunes Store, 2007)
  • Sek Loso: The Collection (June 2005)
  • Sood Chewit Khon Thai (VCD June 2006) Live performance at the Impact Arena, Bangkok on April 25, 2006 (Also features Big Ass, Bodyslam, Lanna Commins and Potato)
  • Black & White (July 26, 2006)
  • 10 Years Rock Vol.1 (VCD November, 2006)
  • 10 Years Rock Vol.2 (VCD November, 2006)
  • 10 Years Rock (DVD November, 2006)
  • Sek - Album Sek Loso (May 28, 2009)
  • The 12 years Jai Sung Mah Concert Live performance (June, 2009)
  • Micro Concert with Sek Loso and Big Ass
  • Sek Loso - Forever Love Hits. Best-Of 16 Love Songs (CD + Karaoke VCD Feb. 24,2010)
  • Sek Loso - Plus (June 2010) CD + VCD, with guests Marsha, Da Endorphine, Khan Thaitanium, Nui Amporn Lampoon & Micro, Dax Big Ass, Toon Bodyslam.
  • Sek Loso US Tour 2011 Dates & Venues: August 13-Dallas, Texas @ The Granada Theater; August 14-Brooks, California @ Cache Creek Casino; August 17-Los Angeles, California @ Vanguard Night Club; August 19-Minneapolis, Minnesota @ Myth the Nightclub; August 20-Fresno, California @ Paul Paul Theatre (Fresno Fairground); August 21-Washington, D.C. @ Lisner Auditorium of George Washington University
  • Sek Loso The New Album (CD Dec. 23,2010 VCD Karaoke Jan. 20,2011 DVD Jan. 27,2011 )
  • Love Songs (Vol.1) (CD + VCD Karaoke Dec. 2011)
  • I'm back (CD + VCD Karaoke + DVD Karaoke, October 15, 2013)
  • Love and Peace (EP, July, 8, 2014)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Worathep na Banglampu (March 10, 2006). Loso's island: The Thai rocker returns to Samui for one night only, The Nation (retrieved July 23, 2006).
  2. ^ Weekend staff (June 4, 2004). Creating a flap, The Nation (retrieved July 24, 2006).
  3. ^ Soop Sip, The Nation, August 1, 2006, Page 12A (print edition).
  4. ^ Soop Sip, The Nation, August 3, 2006, Page 12A (print edition).
  5. ^ Pareles, Jon (July 31, 2006) "'Ramakien': Thai Rock at the Lincoln Center Festival", The New York Times (retrieved August 3, 2006).
  6. ^ All changes on 13.12.2006 refer to http://koratblues.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=38&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 1st post on the page KaiDao, 2nd post on the page Napoleon, 5th post on the page scottishman2, 11th post on the page stixman, Page 2 15th post on the page stixman. Note that "scottishman2" is the father of Eric Lavansch the drummer of Sek Loso's current band & "stixman" is Eric Lavansch.

External links[edit]