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US music diplomacy continues in KK
Published on: Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: The United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur continued its music diplomacy by bringing in one of America's hottest rock bands – ASIDIC - to entertain music lovers at the Black Box venue at Suria Sabah on Friday.

"The US budget is a matter decided by Congress and the State Department and we hope to continue this next year as this is an investment in people (ties)," a spokesman said, when asked if such concerts would fall victim to new President Donald Trump's cost-cutting.

Electrifying performance was the consensual verdict to describe the energetic rock music show by most standing-room-only music fans attending the four-member band's performance.

After performing in Kuala Lumpur and Kuching, the hardest-working, hottest young rock band in Southern California descended on the State Capital here wowing the audience, representing the US as official international cultural ambassadors of music diplomacy.

ASIDIC consists of lead singer/guitarist Michael Gossard, drummer Matt Whitaker, guitarist Josh Bennett and bassist Max Myrick.

ASIDIC plays the sort of dense, noisy rock that's not quite metal, not quite punk. But with its pulsing rhythms, not-too-serious lyrics and towering guitar solos, it's the kind of rock that begs to be heard.

Frontman Michael Gossard is a force of nature, connecting to his audience and his band mates in ways that make an ASIDIC show highly electrifying.

ASIDIC beat 300 competing bands to join the 2016-2017 touring season with the prestigious American Music Abroad programme, through the US State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Michael Gossard produced ASIDIC's very first full-length CD, Ironic Dreams, while still a high school student.

"I am studying for my music degree now," he told Daily Express, agreeing that his fusion of music tastes from the period growing up with his mother, a Beatles fan, greatly influenced him now heading a band of three guitarists and a drummer like the Beatles.

ASIDIC was Rockwired.com's 2016 Readers' Poll Awards: Best Band, Best LP Recording ("Creatures"), and Best Video ("Chicago").

Meanwhile, the US Embassy's press assistant officer, Thomas Chong, who liaised with the media, is a Sabahan who hails from Inanam-Manggatal. He worked for the Utusan media group prior to his joining the Public Affairs Section of the Embassy doubling as a Mandarin language translator. - David Thien

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