Getting to Know


If you’ve witnessed Roman Anton playing live, then you have seen the humble hero, who diligently works in the background.

An omnipresent force, he constantly supports the Roman Anton band in every way possible. Whether he’s checking the sound levels, managing the stage equipment, or perhaps, driving the wheels which carry them forward on their journey - Rath is always there.

After eight years with the band, Jirath Apiwachnithik aka “Rath” has become an integral cog in the Roman Anton machine. Yet, what’s the story behind this silent member of the Roman Anton Band?

As a Thai national, Rath grew up in Kanchanaburi, where music was his true childhood passion.

“I loved singing and taught myself how to play the guitar from a young age - even though I didn’t own a guitar! I studied music books and learned to play through reading music.”

Rath enjoyed jamming with family around his home, borrowing old, rustic guitars whenever possible. In between classes during school, Rath would practice playing with his friend’s guitar.

Fortunately, Rath’s friend had not learned to play the guitar yet. Therefore, Rath became the designated guitar player to lead the jams at school. A role in which he thrived.

Later, Rath set sail to the ‘Big Smoke’, Bangkok, as a 12 year- old boy, where he was forced to integrate with new people, in a an unfamiliar environment. Inevitably, he seamlessly blended into social circles through playing music.

“In Bangkok, I made new friends through music. We would play music together and sing songs at break time. I formed a small band and we played at some shows. During that time, I graduated from playing the acoustic guitar to electric guitar.”

Life, and indeed, new life, took Rath away from playing music, as he embraced fatherhood and the challenges of adult life. However, the necessity of finding reliable, paid work to feed his family never deterred him from strumming his guitar when he was able to find rare moments of solitude. The escapism of music remained a powerful force in Rath’s life during the pre-Roman Anton era.

“I always had a guitar at home, and whenever I was free, I would play my guitar. I taught my child to play the guitar, and we enjoyed playing songs together. Now, my son is an excellent guitar player.”

It seemed inevitable that Rath’s life would lead him into music. Yet, as a DHL Courier in Bangkok, that didn’t seem likely, until he fortuitously met the leader of Roman Anton. In fact, Rath applied for a job as Roman’s driver, completely unaware that Roman was a musician and composer.
“When I met Roman, he was working for a company and I didn’t know he played music! I was his driver. I had an interview with him and he was satisfied, and gave me the job as his driver.”

“I remember when he took me to his studio at Sukhumvit 24 for the first time, I was surprised when I saw the band, with Roger (former drummer) and Frank (bass guitarist).”

Rath immediately took to his new role, and was able to establish himself as a mainstay in the Roman Anton setup - the band’s resident jack-of-all-trades.

It soon transpired that Rath could not only drive, but was a natural around music. Indeed, he was able to assist in managing every facet of the Roman Anton backstage setup.

Rath would progress quickly from being the band’s driver to assisting with all aspects of Roman Anton, from stage management, to podcast filming, to managing the Roman Anton Music Store.

Rath summarized his role in the setup with his trademark humility.

“I take care of Roman Anton’s equipment, and all the musical instruments in their shop, such as the KingPhin Guitars. I go on tour with them to places such as Pattaya, or Chiang Mai, and help to take care of the band and all their equipment, and even the sound engineering! I am not great at any one thing, but I can do everything.”

Ultimately, Rath’s involvement with Roman Anton goes far beyond being the band’s right hand man. Roman Anton’s “Mr Reliable” is always there when they need him, and he even enjoys the occasional jam with the band himself, recalling precious moments where he’s jammed with Frank pre-show, and even performed a Sek Loso song to Roman backstage.

Rath has found a home in Roman Anton, where he can be around his childhood passion - music - every day. Whilst being regarded as a legend by the band, Rath is humble to the core, and grateful for his opportunity.

“I have worked with Roman Anton around 8 years, and they’re good people. Roman is a very kind man. He gave me an opportunity to work in an environment with music. I work with all my heart, and give my all for them.”

Fittingly, Rath plays the starring role in the new Roman Anton movie “KingPhin - The Delivery”.

The movie, which can be purchased on the KingPhin website, documents a Deliverer's journey to the heart of north east Thailand to pick up a traditional Phin guitar, and deliver it to the hands of Roman.

The movie is based on reality, as Roman Anton owns its own unique brand of Phin guitars, both acoustic and electric, which Rath - in real life -actually delivers.

“The movie is very meaningful, and is about the beauty of the Phin Guitar and its rich history, rooted in the north east of Thailand.”

“Also, the movie shows the journey of the Phin guitar from its maker to hands of the owner, Roman.”

The film gracefully depicts the story of east meets west, and Roman Anton truly is an east meets west band, with Roman at the helm from America, together with Frank (Philippines), and Shogo (Japan).

Proudly representing Thailand is Roman Anton’s lynchpin Rath, the man who effortlessly helps to keep the Roman Anton World spinning.

Whether its live podcasts, KingPhin deliveries, album Launches, or festivals, Rath will be ever-present in his vital supporting role, providing his infectious energy to the band on their journey.