THE ORIGINAL LINE UP
Once upon a time … Sons of Adam was previously known as Gypsy, founded in mid-1969 in Malaysia, the same year the first Woodstock was held in Bethel, New York on August 15-18.
The band began with a few young and talented lads with a passion for music, who spent their days listening to records of Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Wishbone Ash, Black Sabbath, Grand Funk to name but a few, and practicing in a dug-out basement of a house in the middle of Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
These teens were Haji (vocals), Mat Zain (rhythm guitar), Hashim (bass), Ruzlan or Lan (drums) and Harun (lead guitar), under whose house they had dug the basement.
One of the greatest experiences for The Gypsy was when they performed at a ‘Woodstock’ event in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur in 1972. It was also during the time of other popular bands such as The Falcons, The Grim Preachers,The Strollers, Ages and, a few of whom are still active in the music scene today.
FROM GYPSY TO SONS OF ADAM
In 1973 the boys decided to change the name of the band to ‘Sons of Adam’, a name that they felt more fitting than ‘Gypsy’, to reflect the kind of rock music they performed.
As Sons of Adam, the boys performed in clubs, lounges and pubs, such as Tin Mine, Glass Bubble and The House in Jalan Pekeliling, Kuala Lumpur, set up by The Falcons.
The band moved on to more gigs and venues, performing at dinner & dance events, talentimes and mini concerts held in Stadium Negara, Institut Teknologi MARA (ITM), Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) and Dewan Tunku Canselor. Even as the teens grew into working professionals, they still made time for their music passion.
In the 1980s, drummer Ruzlan, who worked with the Bank of Tokyo, had also been active in athletics. His athletic abilities during the inter-bank sports events landed him in the selection for national training. Not to miss this opportunity, he took a few years off from the band to fully focus on athletic training, eventually representing Malaysia as a national sprinter (100m, 200m and 4x400m relay) in the Jakarta Open. His best time in the 100m was 10.7 seconds. Ruzlan’s peers included Malaysia’s Rabuan Pit, then known as ‘Asia’s fastest man’ in 1982.
SONS OF ADAM 1980s
Meanwhile, during Ruzlan’s absence from the band in the 1980s, Sons of Adam went through changes in its line up but the name Sons of Adam remained. It was during the 1980s that the band released its first album under the label of SRC Record (Suria Record). Dilla Hussein was then the lead female singer with original member Harun on guitar, Lan Kanchil on keyboard, Amai and Talib on drums and Adin on bass and vocals. ‘Memori Duka’, performed by Adin, was one of the top numbers recorded by Sons of Adam.
After a few years in the athletic field, Lan hung up his track shoes and returned to his first passion – music. Together with old friend Harun, from Sons of Adam, Lan joined the popular band Delta, which once opened for the Commodores during their visit to Malaysia.
In the meantime, after recording a second album, the 1980s line up of Sons of Adam eventually saw its members go separate ways due to changing commitments and priorities. As a result, the band went through a hiatus in the 90s.
ROAD TO REVIVAL
As one of the founding members of the band, Lan felt that Sons of Adam had to make a comeback. After having left Delta, Lan brought together a line up which also included Harun and several musicians from popular bands such as Heavy Machine and Discovery, with the intention to revive and rebrand Sons of Adam.
The band focused on delivering Latin-flavoured performances but after a few years and several changes in band members, it too saw the end of the road. One of the toughest challenges was establishing a degree of commitment, discipline and permanency. Disappointed but still determined to keep Sons of Adam alive, Lan’s path soon crossed with young vocalist & guitarist Deli.
Deli had previously performed with ‘ZullKing & Friends’, a band that also performed blues and some vintage rock. Sharing the same passion for blues & vintage rock, Lan and Deli teamed up and approached Harun to join them to resurrect the band.
With two original members and Deli’s younger energy, Sons of Adam returned to the roots and spirit of the band that began with four young boys in 1969 – blues, rock ‘n roll and vintage rock. After a few years, Harun made a decision to retire from the music industry, leaving Deli and Lan to keep the band going, and they made do by engaging several fine musicians along the way. During this time, the band saw members come and go. There was little permanence until 2009 when Sunny, former bassist with the band ‘Made in Malaysia’, joined Lan and Deli. Sunny then brought in young guitarist Fahmy to join the band and the fit turned out to be just right.
SONS OF ADAM REBORN
These four made up the members of Sons of Adam from 2009. Lan as band leader / drummer, Deli as main vocal / guitar, Sunny on bass / vocal and Fahmy on guitar / vocal.
More than just a band in the club scene, Sons of Adam, under Sons of Adam Entertainment (now Sons of Adam Music & Events), organised the inaugural Rock & Blues gathering in 2010, alongside veteran blues band, Purple Haze.
The annual Rock and Blues event began out of the sheer passion for music and to keep the rock & blues genre very much alive among the local music community. It is also an opportunity for Sons of Adam to showcase and support selected bands and independent musicians, both the ‘otai-otai’ and the new, as well as to strengthen the bond among the local pubs and clubs and the musician community. The event celebrated its 9th year in 2017 at Thai Club with the permanent theme “LONG LIVE ROCK & BLUES”.
In 2013, Sons of Adam received an award for “Kumpulan yang masih aktif selama 30 tahun” from PERFOMA (Persatuan Pemuzik Profesional Malaysia).
Sons of Adam have since performed in venues such as the Crazy Elephant in Singapore, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Hard Rock Cafe, Kuala Lumpur, and the long standing pubs and clubs such as Ol’ Skool (now called Heritage) in PJ and Sportivo in Seremban, just to name a few.
The band also writes its own songs, a few being ‘Lepaskanku ke langit ungu’, ‘Speedwheel’ and ‘Come Home, Joe’. Sons of Adam was also the first band to be filmed and featured on HyppTV’s Capital TV programme “Jammin’ Session” which first aired in 2015.
After 8 years with the band, Fahmy opted to pursue his own interests by the end of 2016. The band decided to bring in a keyboardist to add to the 70s flavour and took in Dato’ Satiman, formerly of NRG and Ella ‘n the Boys, and also an established songwriter/composer.
SONS OF ADAM JOURNEY CONTINUES…
In the meantime, Deen of the band Touch Mahal stood in briefly as a featured guitarist. Alias, also a former national athlete, then joined the band on vocals until October 2017 and was replaced briefly by guitarist / vocalist Ben Harleim.
Eventually, the 5th spot in the band was filled by Idzham Shah, a talented guitarist who in 2016 had entered the MBSJ Battle of the Bands competition under Herrin Band, which not only emerged as Top Band but also saw Idzham win the Best Guitarist award.
Musically, Sons of Adam still maintain a distinct raw 70s tone, style and flavour to their sound. Sometimes you need that edgy gruffness, like the way you used to hear music being played in the basement to truly appreciate the tone & groove and how it sounded in the 70s.
Over the years, the band has gained regular followers from both the local & international community who appreciate that something nostalgically special in those vibes, and that keeps the audience coming back for more.