Folk 9

“Rainbow Safari Polycotton”: Unpacking FOLK9’s Kaleidoscopic New Album

Last Updated on 2024-05-28 by a-indie

FOLK9 is a 4-member indie pop band based in Bangkok, Thailand.

They have previously collaborated with Japanese band Luby Sparks on a joint single release, and this year they have performances scheduled at the outdoor music event “THE CAMP BOOK 2024” in Nagano Prefecture as well as an album release party.

At BELONG Media, we have previously interviewed acclaimed Thai bands with global fanbases like Lesssugär, Death of Heather, and KIKI from the Asian region.

Similarly, FOLK9 also has fans both domestically and internationally, making them an essential band in discussing the indie scene across Asia.

In this interview, by exploring FOLK9’s origins and their newly released 3rd album “Rainbow Safari Polycotton”, we aim to reaffirm why Thailand is garnering attention as a hotspot for indie bands, while also substantiating the reasons behind their popularity.

FOLK9 Interview


Artist: Graph(Vo.)、Pa(Gt./Key.)、Parn(Ba.)、Dome(Dr.) Interviewer: Yuuki Takita Translation: A-indie editorial team

– We are a media outlet that values the roots of artists, the backgrounds that gave birth to their music, and the music, culture, and art that influenced them. Since this is our first interview with you, could you start by telling us about yourselves? I believe you are currently based in Bangkok, but could you tell us where each member was born and raised, and how you all met and formed the band?
Graph: Hello! My name is ‘Graph’. I was born in Bangkok but raise in Chonburi (cloesd to Pattaya). I started writing my own song when I was around 17 years old in 2013. It was a solo project call “FOLK9 by Graph”. At that time, FOLK9 was just me and I had to hurry forming the band in time to play an event in 2015. Then I met Parn and Pat to be bass and guitar players.
Pat: I’m Pat. I play keys and guitar. I was born in Bangkok, went to music college and joined the band after randomly meeting Parn at the local bar, also making record production with many artists.
Parn: My name is Parn, a bassist born and raised in Bangkok. I currently work as a freelance sound engineer and coffee roaster. I joined the band Folk9 after connecting with Graph on Facebook. We hit it off and decided to make music together. I actually knew Pat beforehand through other musician friends.
Dome:i’m dome, i play drums in the band.i originally from Phitsanulok it’s in the north region of thailand but not that north.actually i am the third drummer i join this band because pat is my senior in my college and he ask me to join the band so i just take it.

– Please tell us about the name “FOLK9.” What is the reason for choosing this name for your band activities, and what meaning does this name hold?
Graph: FOLK9 originated from Graph. It started when I went to the Folk Song contest. At that time, I’m blanking about the name of the band so I used the word FOLK to match the theme of the event, and added 9 to it because it was my lucky number so it became FOLK9 until now.

– When I interviewed Lesssugär, they told me that “In Thailand, musical genres differ by region. In the north, where the terrain is rugged with mountains and dry forests, folk music and indie music are popular.” What led you to start making dream pop music like you do? I’d like to know about your original musical experiences.
Agreed, every region shape how music were made sonically and aesthetically,
Folk9 started as a “Graph” solo project with a love for Folk, Psychedelic but in a pop way, at first there’s only acoustic guitar and vocal, then accidentally we getting to know each other by mutual friends, we share the similar taste in music, although we came from another style, for example “Dome” grew up with rock and metal music, then when it come to highschool era and college he tend to go with more deep in Jazz and indie music, where we share some similarities, until now we still create music we’re all passionate about at the moment while staying some true elements to the roots we share.

Roots of Folk9

Folk 9
– If you had to name three albums that influenced your music, what would they be? And for each one, could you tell us what aspects influenced you or share any related episodes? If that’s difficult, each member could tell us about one album by an artist they like.

Mac Demarco – Another One

Graph: Mac Demarco – Another one
The song on this album were in every moment of my college years. This album influenced the making of FOLK9’s music

Kings of Convenience – Kings of Convenience

Pat: King of Convenience – (Every Album)
KOC music is classic! like a safe place you come back and feel safe and comfortable.

The Cardigans – Life

Parn: The cardigans – Life(1995)
Pop music with creative sound design with ear candy, I like every song not often happening to other album

Bye Bye Bicycle – Compass

Dome:bye bye bicycle – compass(2009) it’s a first start for me that introduce me to this kind of music and style before i discover a lot more and sadly this band was so underrated

– Your label “PARINAM MUSIC” has artists like KIKI and Gym and Swim, and bands like Death of Heather and Lesssugär have had their albums appreciated outside of Asia. With the launch of “SUMMER SONIC BANGKOK 2024” this year as well, I’m increasingly interested in the Thai music scene. I’m sure you’re at the center of the Thai indie music scene, but how does this situation look from your perspective?
One of the clear things that we can see is the blooming of music festivals and artists. We think it is energetic and lively now in Thailand.

– You’ve also had a lot of involvement with bands from other parts of Asia, such as collaborating with Luby Sparks on “Circles” and performing at the virtual festival “Sunset Town” hosted by Sunset Rollercoaster. Through your interactions with bands like Luby Sparks and Sunset Rollercoaster from other countries, have you noticed any differences in the Thai music environment?

From a production perspective it’s hard to tell, because it’s all working remotely, but from places we have been for tours around Asia, almost all live gear systems in many venues were very good, in thailand it did not happen so often,
And we think it has an effect on everything, the song can’t present in the way it could be, so if we can get to that level it would be a dream for many artists.

Rainbow Safari Polycotton

FOLK9-Rainbow Safari Polycotton

– Now, let’s talk about your latest album “Rainbow Safari Polycotton.” First, could you explain the reason and meaning behind the title “Rainbow Safari Polycotton”? Also, “polycotton” refers to a fabric made by blending cotton and polyester, but why did you choose to pair it with the contrasting word “safari” in the title?
It all not related, Rainbow is first word coming up on graph mind, then imagine there is some random animal drawing in production agenda whiteboard during the recording sessions, so it’s now “Rainbow Safari” but we want to make it more advance so during artwork time we found old photo that Pat shooted, it a Bouncy castle that de-inflated, we all like the texture and it kind of like polycotton and it beautifully put together, that’s how the name come.

– On your debut album “Morning Day” and the previous “My Pop Dog,” the sound gave a strong impression of being influenced by the American indie pop scene that would likely be an influence on you. But from the previous album “Chinese Banquet,” I felt the sound shifted to incorporate elements of funk and surf rock, leaning more towards a soft rock vibe. The sonic image on this latest work also seems to carry on from the previous one. Frankly, I get the impression that the band’s mode changed quite clearly from the previous work. Could you share your thoughts on this? If there were any particular triggers that caused the band’s direction or policy to change as you progressed through each work, please let me know.
We are always seeking something new. In “Chinese Banquet” it’s the first time we are working as a team, before that most of the ideas come from Graph.

This time with ‘Rainbow Safari Polycotton’ we went with capturing the raw first take energy, limited instrument, also we have only one week for recording everything so that is this challenge limited us to make music that you can hear in the album.

– What ideas or directions guided the production of this latest work? If there was an overall concept for the album, please share it.
Like in question no.8 we want to capturing the first take energy, many lines and melody you hear in the album is one take, and the concept come from limitation of tools and skill we had back then.


– The production on this latest work also sounds more intricate and refined in terms of acoustics. It seems a great deal of care was put into the placement of sounds and ensemble arrangements. What did you prioritize in terms of production?
We all have experience working in production in other areas and with other bands, so we gain some recording skills. Also we think that part of it was recording with vintage gear that we collect for a long time such as Hofner Bass, Yamaha mixer with spring reverb, minimal drums miking ribbon mics, for the arrangement part, most of it start from program drum loop and and play with synths and guitar you know fun stuff, then we just record what we think it’s right for the song.

– The prominent relaxed beats and delayed rhythms on “จะไม่ขอ” really stuck with me. “Out Of Control” was structured like techno music, demonstrating a diverse range of approaches. Which song on this album do you feel was the most breakthrough for you, or the one that made you feel you had evolved and progressed the most?
Thank you!
Graph : Mr.Rainbow Sky Saiko!
Pat : “จะไม่ขอ” I think it has the most refreshing from other song in the album
Parn: For me, “River” is a song that builds on the sound of ambience. I personally enjoy listening to ambient music with a floating beat, and Folk9 hasn’t made music in this style for a while now. That is, until now.
Dome:I’ll go with “Choco pie” cause it had some psychedelic vibe and some stner rock vibe for me and i enjoying that grooves so much and even much more when it comes to live performance, also “จะไม่ขอ” that kind of groovy is an evolved for me in this album

Choco Pie

– This latest work showcases an evolution in acoustics and an expanded range of beats and sounds, taking on new challenges and achieving magnificent success in my view. Based on this, what kind of direction do you think this album will guide the band towards in the future?
We don’t know. It is hard to tell, let future us figure it out 🙂 but This direction could potentially lead Folk9 to live shows that are more engaging than just having people listen to their favorite songs. Instead, the audience would be able to enjoy the entire show, and hopefully our music will still attract both fans from previous albums and new fans who have never heard of the band before.

– Who would you like to listen to “Rainbow Safari Polycotton”? Or in what kind of situations would you like people to listen to it? If there are any particular points you’d like people to pay attention to in the lyrics or sound, please let us know.
Graph and Pat : We think it both equally important, but since our brain tuned a bit towards sound and texture, there’s a lot of fun sonic landscape pack in this album
Parn: Personally, I would like people to pay more attention to the sound and music, but it’s up to them. I don’t want to dictate what they have to listen to, I just want them to enjoy it. As for when to listen to it, it’s hard to answer because the songs on this album fit many situations in life.
Dome:Let go and enjoy! Don’t think to much just try to listen and you’ll hear what you want to hear

– You have a tour in Japan coming up in June. Finally, do you have any messages for Japanese listeners?
Graph: CHI KU WA
Parn: Japan is my favorite country to visit and I am a huge fan of Japanese bands that have influenced my work. It’s nice that I got to play for you guys. See you!
Dome: We are delighted to have Japanese fans pay attention to us. We hope this tour will be a great tour for everyone.
Pat: Hope you enjoy our music and then see you soon!

FOLK9 Album Release

3rd Album “Rainbow Safari Polycotton”

FOLK9-Rainbow Safari Polycotton
Release Date: 2024/5/29
1. Mr. Rainbow Sky
2. Choco Pie
3. Mala
4. Whispering
5. Melancholy Man
6. จะไม่ขอ
7. Out Of Control
8. Feeling so Confused?
9. Safari
10. River

FOLK9 Japan Tour Details

FOLK9 tour

6/6 Thu. Tokyo / MOONROMANTIC
6/7 Fri. Nagoya / K D Japon
6/8 Sat. – 6/9 Sun. Nagano / THE CAMP BOOK 2024
6/10 Mon. Fukuoka / Livehouse&Club PEACE

FOLK9 (from Thailand) 3rd Album “Rainbow Safari Polycotton” Release Party
Performers: FOLK9 (from Thailand) / Special Guest / DJs
Time: Open 18:30 / Start 19:00
Tickets: Adv 4500 yen / Door 5000 yen (+1 drink)
*Tickets on sale from 4/18 20:00
*First-come, first-served

BIG ROMANTIC LIVE ─── Dolphin Police (from Taiwan) x FOLK9 (from Thailand)
Performers: Dolphin Police (from Taiwan) / FOLK9 (from Thailand)
Tickets: Adv. 4500 yen / Door. 5000 yen (+1 drink)
Time: Open 18:30 / Start 19:00
*Tickets on sale from 4/18 20:00
*First-come, first-served

Venue: Fujimi Kogen Resort, Nagano, Japan

Venue: Livehouse&Club PEACE

FOLK9 Band Profile

An indie/dream pop band based in Bangkok. Their melancholic yet catchy guitar riffs and melodic refrains have captivated indie pop fans around the world. After releasing their 1st album in 2017, they quickly rose to the forefront of Thailand’s indie scene. In 2022, they were booked as the sole artist from Thailand for the virtual festival “Sunset Town” hosted by Sunset Rollercoaster, solidifying their status as a beloved presence among indie pop fans across Asia.

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Writer: Yuuki Takita

A freelance writer born in 1991 and from Tomakomai, Hokkaido. After graduating from the same university as TEAM NACS, he enrolled in a music school and majored in the writer course.

There, he produced three music free papers and conducted interviews with artists and editing.

He used his experience to join a cross-music media company that has free papers and web media, where he wrote and edited review articles and experienced sales.

After resigning, he changed jobs to a clerk at a large record shop and also wrote disk review articles for his own media.

That was the trigger for him to start working as a freelance music writer. He is currently a salaryman and music writer who dreams of holding an outdoor music festival in his hometown Tomakomai.

He likes cats, watching movies, and reading books. Nana Komatsu and curry & biryani exploration are his lifestyle.

You can find the articles he has written so far [here].
You can find the articles he has written for other media [here].
Twitter: [@takita_funky]

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