The Oddfellow is quiet no more. Patrick Chng is actively connecting with his fans with a revived website offering previews of five new songs from his upcoming and long-delayed third album. Chng even told Michael Cheah he was prepared to speak out on issues close to his heart. And if a topic like The Politics Of Music can be found on his site, it looks like Chng is so happy now. Pictures by Fadila.

It's a real surprise to find out that The Oddfellows are offering new songs on its website. What made you decide to do this now?

Well, we're not offering the songs for downloads. It's streaming only for a week for each song. I've no idea when the album is gonna be out so I think it's nice to let people hear some new stuff in the meantime.

Will you offer free downloads in future? More musicians like Janis Ian and even companies like Matador, offer free MP3s regularly. What are your views on this?

Maybe in the future but it will be older songs from the back catalog.

Suddenly, your website is alive and active. Again, I believe you've had the site for some time now but it was mostly inactive. What has brought about this new vigour? What's the response like so far?

I don't think our website has been inactive for long in the past. But we're definitely more active now, in terms of activity, so I think it's natural that the website is updated more regularly. And it's also the fact that we've got our own domain now. We're getting more hits because of this of course, which is encouraging.

Here are some of the subjects posted on your journal at oddfellows.com: The Politics Of Music; The High Cost Of Living and a recent trip to Thailand. How do you decide what's personal and private and what's meant for the journal on your website?

I think I know where to draw the line. And I think people are curious creatures by nature and they would love to read some personal stuff too. I don't think I give too much away. As for topical issues, I'm just saying my piece. I mean, X'Ho is a lot more vocal than I am.

Your website offers free ad spaces to your fans as well as ads for socially meaningful groups whether it's environmental groups or whatever. Have you heard of the phrase No Freedom After Speech? What does it mean to you?

I've not heard the phrase No Freedom After Speech. But thanks to you, now I have. It doesn't mean much to me. I'm not someone who can do nothing while injustices are happening. Offering free ad spaces is the least I can do. The ads on our website are actually put up by me without them even knowing. As long as I believe in the cause, I'll help publicise it.

What are some of the music/band websites that you enjoy visiting? Which local sites do you visit regularly?

I visit U2's website once in a while. And my friend has a kick-ass White Stripes fan site which I go to occasionally. I enjoyed The Boredphucks site 'cos they were absolutely hilarious! But that's their old website and I don't know if they've got a new one. I visit Joe Ng's blogspot regularly, and if X'Ho updates his site regularly, I will definitely go back again and again.

What were you and Joe Ng doing in Bangkok recently?

I was on a short vacation and found out that Joe was there for something else.

So when is the next album coming out?

No idea. We've got four more songs to go!


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