Hot off their cross-country tour last Christmas alongside fellow musicians Hariguem Zaboy in support of their latest album Indelible Stain, the veteran indie rock quintet Desktop Error is back for another musical journey, the Discography Unplugged Tour 2023.
Throughout this month, Discography Unplugged Tour 2023 will see Desktop Error --Peewarayus "Lek" Kongphaibun (vocalist), Adisak "Bird" Poungok (lead guitarist), Wuttipong "Aof" Leetrakul (rhythm guitarist), Chanarong "Tui" Jamkow (bassist) and Chaiwat "Meng" Chartsuriyakiat (drummer) travelling across the North and Isan regions of Thailand. Their mission? To perform stripped-back, acoustic renditions of their greatest hits selected from their nearly two-decade career.
The tour kicked off earlier this month at Proud To Be club in Nakhon Ratchasima province, followed by soul-stirring performances at Sawasdee in Surin last week, and enchanting venues of Khon Kaen's Somewhere Only We Know and Udon Thani's Grafik Cafe on Sept 12 and 15, respectively. The group is set to venture further north, with scheduled dates in Chiang Rai at The Backyard today, and a double dose of delight at the North Country Fair in Chiang Mai on Saturday and Sunday. Fans should stay tuned for additional dates, to be announced on their official band page.
From left, Chanarong 'Tui' Jamkow, Peewarayus 'Lek' Kongphaibun, Adisak 'Bird' Poungok, Chaiwat 'Meng' Chartsuriyakiat and Wuttipong 'Aof' Leetrakul. (Photos courtesy of Desktop Error)
"This marks our first time ever doing an acoustic set," the band said on their official Facebook page. "We're looking forward to taking the songs back to where they started, as ideas on acoustic guitars, and bringing a different level of intimacy between the audience and us. So we'd like to invite you to make a new history with us on the tour."
Ahead of the tour, Life had the privilege of sitting down and talking with Desktop Error's lead singer, Peewarayus Kongphaibun. In our conversation, we delved not only into the upcoming tour but also explored the inspiration behind the acoustic set, the band's remarkable career, Peewarayus's passion for travelling, their pre-show rituals, and their enduring connection with both old and new generations of music enthusiasts.
When asked about the inspiration behind presenting their shows in an acoustic format, Peewarayus shared the band's creative motivation: "You always have to think about the format when you're planning for a new tour. We thought it would be nice to give something different to our fans, and at the same time, challenge ourselves too."
Desktop Error's decision to embark on an acoustic journey required dedication and a willingness to reimagine their music.
Peewarayus continued: "Because we spent time rehearsing and rearranging some of our songs into an acoustic format, which will have a more intimate approach. Even though we played a lot of loud rock and roll music, behind all the layers of guitar effects, most of our songs were just pop music.
"So we believe our fans should dig all these new versions. Each of our projects has its own merit but there are similarities. We need to practice our instruments and get the band together, put a production together. Just try to give people a good time."
Desktop Error took matters into their own hands for this tour, opting for a DIY approach to organise and manage everything themselves. When questioned about this decision, especially given the band's regular concerts in Bangkok, Peewarayus provided insight into their indie spirit: "There aren't many promoters who want to invest in tours for indie bands nowadays anyway. However, we often organise tours among ourselves. Fortunately, the band has many acquaintances and a listener base in various provinces."
Their love for live music and the sheer joy of performing drove them to personally reach out to venues across the provinces. "As musicians and artists, we like to play live music as often as we can. And because each member of the band has their own day job, money and income are probably not our most important concerns. So we decided to tour this time only because we wanted to play music together."
For Peewarayus, touring is more than just performing; it's about forging connections and embracing the unexpected: "For me, being on tour is all about an opportunity to hang out with your friends and entertain ourselves. There are always new surprises when we are on the road, especially meeting our fans at every place we visit."
Their extensive fanbase extends even to places like Phuket, which has been a delightful revelation for the band, said Peewarayus. "Touring is really all about the chance you've been given to perform songs you've written for a captive audience. It's also something you don't take for granted. Because we are all much older now, and many of the newer generations of listeners or concert-goers may never have heard of us. We have to always try our best wherever we go."
Curious about how the band decides on the songs to play during an acoustic tour, we asked Peewarayus about their process. He shared: "I'm not sure about the other guys in the band, but my personal favourites to play are songs like Everyday and Pud Ju Pun Na because we spent quite a while rearranging them as well as expanding the length and adding different parts. So I'm excited to play these songs because they sound so fresh."
With 17 years' worth of music to choose from, the challenge lies in balancing fan favourites with a desire to introduce new elements. "We want to give people the songs they love, but also want to challenge them with something they might not be familiar with."
Before stepping onto the stage, many artists have pre-show rituals to help them focus and stay grounded. Peewarayus shared his approach: "I still get nervous sometimes before the show, so a kind of meditation helps. At some shows, we would get together in a huddle and meditate in order to stay focused. However, for the acoustic tour, we are probably too busy organising things to have time to get nervous. Plus, it doesn't really seem like we need to get too psyched up since it's going to be a more mellow vibe."
As the acoustic tour unfolds, we couldn't help but wonder about Desktop Error's future plans.
Peewarayus provided some insights: "When this tour is over, we will probably go back to our day jobs. Bird is currently playing as a live musician with many other artists like Noi Pru, Hugo and Ornaree, so it will be very busy. And I also play a solo set that incorporates various kinds of guitar effects. But it's really nothing serious, just a fun hobby."
Tickets are priced at 500 baht and available via ticketmelon.com.