Journey to Jai Thep : Roman Anton Relishing the Road

A fictional road trip to Tierra del Fuego, the “Land of Fire” off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, inspired Roman Anton’s debut album, novel and painting and how fitting that the past year should culminate in last month’s performance at the Jai Thep Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The journey from Bangkok to northern Thailand and onto the main Buffalo Stage at Jai Thep was a very Tierra del Fuego-esque moment.

Roman, Roger, and Frank hit the road together, not for the first time, but for the most significant stage performance of their career - a moment three years in the making. This was part of the plan for Roman Anton, who has been slowly piecing together the various elements to Launch I, Tierra del Fuego.

This time it was real, the sound was raw and for Roman, this experience encapsulated why he’s doing what he’s doing, and why he’s dedicated so much to this project over the past three years.

“There was a note I hit on my guitar at Jai Thep that was a huge, powerful sound, that echoed through the mountain valley,” Roman recounted. “It was a sound you don’t get in the studio, a live sound. It was a special moment for us all.”

Roman Anton are no stranger to the studio. Prior to this performance and even prior to their first performance as a trio, on 14 December 2017, the band had worked tirelessly in the studio to perfect their sound and diligently enact Roman’s vision – an 8 Launch series of music that accompanies written and painted works.

Practice, perform, record was the name of the game for Roman Anton.

“We recorded the music for all eight launches over the past three years. This is about ten songs per Launch,” Roman said. “So we’ve been building this for a while behind the scenes.”

“The pace of our progress frustrated the band at times, but I believe the last year has pretty much been in line with my vision, culminating in our Jai Thep performance.”

The build-up to this performance for Roman Anton was characterized by a series of trial-run road trips to Pattaya, and Yangon, Burma, where they were able to make some discoveries and make significant progress as a unit.

Roman’s vision was to put the band out of their comfort zone and challenge their ability to function as unit on the road, to travel together, turn up, set-up, and play.

“We did that to figure if we are travel worthy,” Roman said. “We found-out that we were really unbalanced. We had to be honest with each other and work on things over the years. ”

“There were some natural opposition points particularly with Roger who likes to hit those drums hard. Some of the venues we played, we were just being too loud.”

Back in Bangkok, Roman Anton spent a year playing regular performances at small live music venues and clubs. They were Titanium, The Venue and the Pub, and finally the band settled on Saturdays at Henrys and Sundays at Queen Bee as they continued to tighten their performance to a level Roman felt was good enough to take to the big stage. In 1st February 2019 - that’s exactly what they did.

“I wanted to take the thrill and energy of the road into our first big gig,” Roman said. “Jai Thep seemed like a cool, American style, outdoor concept consistent with our Tierra del Fuego theme.”

“The road trip to Chiang Mai had parallels to the story in Launch 1, Tierra del Fuego. Turning the key in the ignition, going somewhere, for better or worse and seeing where it leads. The thrill of the journey.”

Roman has already released the music to Launch 1, and expects to release the art work and novel in the near future along with some custom made bracelets and gear, all of which will be available on their website, so stay tuned for more intriguing news on this page.

Another major development to look out for soon, as Roman explains, is more interaction with the band’s small, but growing fan base.

“We would like to have better communication with fans, and to perfect our marketing tools. We also have a new office we’re going to sell our artwork and creations directly out of,” he said. “We want to get some personalized stuff out to fans and we will do that all in-house.”

For Roman Anton, this year is about practicing and executing Launch 1, Tierra del Fuego, getting back on the road and playing at more festivals and bigger venues, getting the business up and running, connecting with their fanbase, and finally it’s about listening.

“I want us to meet and integrate with other local bands, fans, general music lovers, I want to listen and hear from everyone,” he said. “We want to know what people are thinking about out there and our own narrative will grow naturally from that knowledge.”

The journey of Roman Anton has only just begun. For now, catch them playing at Henrys on Saturdays and Queen Bee on Sundays, weekly.