Published by Sang Freud Press, the pocked-sized 88-pager documents Jay's travels and thoughts through Peninsular Malaysia. We sat down with Jay for a brief chat on the book.
What inspired you to want to write a book?
I always loved reading and writing. I love to share stories with other people and that’s why I started making music in my teen years – to tell stories. In mid-2009, out of nowhere, local publisher Sang Freud Press offered to publish a book [for me] and I thought why not, since I love writing and telling stories. By writing a book, I can elaborate more on the stories (than with just lyrics).
Were there any writers that you were particularly inspired by, besides Jack Kerouac?
Besides Jack Kerouac, I'm really into Charles Bukowski, Salleh Ben Joned, John Fante, Henry Rollins (yes, the guy from Black Flag) and writings by Richard Hell (of the Voidods). Their writings will punch you in the face!
Why a roadtrip/music travelogue?
In June 2009, I did this one crazy thing. I backpacked and traveled alone around Peninsular Malaysia. My publisher thought it was a good story to publish – to share what happened along the journey with the readers. I started out with only RM10 in my pocket and end up with few hundred ringgit when I arrived home. I did secret shows, busking and other stuff to gain the money (buy the book so that you can find out how I survived the trip!). I don’t think there’s any local rock 'n roll literature that has been published in Malaysia; and as a so-called rocker myself, I thought why not write something that related and was important to me - rock 'n roll. So, I mixed stories of the road trip and my experiences as a musician together.
When/how did you do most of the writing? On the road?
When I was travelling, every night before I went to sleep, I’d write what happened that day - that was the first draft of the book. I started writing the whole book again when I was back at my kampung during Ramadhan. I spent the nights writing while waiting for sahur.
What were some of the memorable experiences writing this book?
Having to rewrite the whole book non-stop for about 13 to 14 hours a day! I stopped only to bathe, eat, pee and go to the loo.
28 Hari: Jurnal Rock 'N Roll (Second Edition) is now available at Badger Malaysia for only RM15.00