Thanks to my boredom, one day I stumbled upon Spiritual Cover When Mao Gao, a zany YouTube cover music channel that delivers more than just run-of-the-mill cover versions. And if the name (literally translated to “spiritual cover when high on glue”) didn’t already tip you off, this is a channel where four dudes (and, sometimes, their friends) come together to put their very own spin on original hits – so much so that you’ll be left scratching your head and thinking “Hold on, how does the original goes again??”
Who are these guys and what exactly is their deal? Let’s find out, shall we?
ปฏิภาณ “Pleum” ชื่นชอบ – vocals, bass
คณธัช “Petch” รัตนอำไพ – drums, rapper
เวทิต “Kraten” สืบนุการณ์ – saxophone
พีรณัฐ “Mike” แสงแก้ว – keyboard
“Because “cover” equals “high”
How did this channel come to be?
Pleum: The name began as a hashtag in the beginning because we were usually high on something when we created content. It was like we came together mainly to party and whatever covers we ended up doing was a bonus. When we finally decided to create a channel, we just settled on the name.
Petch: Our channel actually began with a Super Saiya clip. Before that we’d been posting our stuff on Instagram or our personal Facebook accounts. The Saiya clip happened after I went beer drinking with Pleum. When we got home, we felt so inspired that we finished the whole thing in one setting.
Mike: My keyboard was on the wrong side so I was like “No, no, don’t record yet!” but Pleum was like “Let’s do it!” (laughs).
Kraten: We started playing music at my condo when the pandemic hit. I remember I just bought a small set of drums but it made so much noise that my neighbor made a complaint (laughs).
Petch: It’s fun to make music when we’re drunk. It’s the two things that I love.
Are you guys usually drunk?
Petch: Always! Even if it’s during the daytime, I still get drunk.
Kraten: I don’t know how to answer that question because we’re always drunk.
Pleum: We get lit on everything, except for glue.
Kraten: No, we don’t do that.
What makes your channel stand out from the rest?
Petch: We transforms originals into completely new songs. It’s more like a rework than covers, actually.
Mike: It’s like a party. We get to enjoy ourselves as we get drunk and play music together. It’s like we get to unleash something inside of us and put it out there. Sometimes if we want people to hear jazz, we’ll sneak in some jazz into it. Each one of us want to do something fun with their instrument. The end result is basically what you hear on our channel.
Pleum: Like Mike said, we like to inject a bit of jazz into everything we do. It doesn’t matter if it’s sam-cha, there’ll be elements of jazz in it. This is because we all had jazz training at school. With COVID and everything, we felt like we needed a kind of release.
Kraten: Pleum’s style of editing. It’s quite memorable (laughs).
What does this channel mean to you?
Kraten: Because I went to music school, I felt like [this channel] fulfils my need to spend my life making music.
Pleum: On this channel, I just let loose and go all out. After I graduated, I got a job playing gigs at Fly Me to the Moon. It was fun when I got to play difficult pieces, but that didn’t happen very often. Part of the reason I decided to create this channel because I wanted an excuse to play something more challenging.
Mike: It’s a place for us to express ourselves musically. It’s like a hobby where we can just go nuts. After we finished school, we really missed playing all those difficult pieces we used to play back at school.
Petch: It’s like a hobby to me. The more I do it, the more fun it gets.
What is your favourite cover?
Kraten: All of them are cool! I’m not good at choosing so I can’t choose just one.
Petch: It’s always “Long Jai” for me.
Mike: I have quite a few, but I do love “Goro Goso” and “Another Level.” I had so much sweaty fun dancing in that video.
Pleum: I’ve also got a few. I love “Leave the Door Open,” “Long Jai” and
“Another Level.” The shooting of that video was super fun. Another fun one for me to edit is “Panda Bear” which I referenced a lot of hip-hop videos for. Took me 10 hours to whip evertyhing into shape.
Are you happy with the end product?
Petch: Yes, I like everything I’ve created.
Pleum: Tooing your own horn, aren’t you?
Kraten: I love listening to our stuff. Well, I like other people’s stuff too but I always come back to our stuff. I’d listen to it on repeat and go “We ain’t so bad actually!” (laughs)
Any unforgettable moment during production?
Kraten: My computer acted up and didn’t save the project that we’d been working on since 3pm. When I tried to save it later at around 3am, it somehow restored back to 3pm earlier!
Pleum: You mean it didn’t save automatically?
Kraten: I think it did, because I could see that it did at 4pm the day before. But it probably didn’t save anything at all after that time. When I clicked ‘save’ at around 3 or 4am, all I saw was a spinning rainbow. Everything vanished! This thing already happend twice with the same computer.
Pleum: I love it when we have guest artists coming in to jam with us. Some get really drunk and loose and start to spill major tea. The atmosphere is super fun when that happens. I also love it when we play FIFA – we always lose!
Kraten: We always say we’ll beat them, but it’s just all talk.
Mike: We beat nobody.
Pleum: It’s like losing a championship (laughs).
What are your plans for the future?
Pleum: I want to keep doing what I do and keep growing. We’ve been at it for a year and I must say I’m pretty happy with the number of our subscribers. I’m sure that we can grow bigger and if we keep doing it. We get lots of ads coming in so there’s a potential there.
Petch: I don’t think we’ll expand to other platforms other than YouTube. We want to focus on one thing and make it better. At the end of the days, we can’t really put our covers up on Spotify or Apple Music.
Mike: I think we’ll keep doing what we do and see if there are other opportunities for us along the way.
We hear that you already bagged a sponsor or two?
Pleum: Yeah, most of them just give us money and let us do whatever we want to do. Some give us a brief to stick to, but it’s all pretty fun. We try to keep it trashy as much as we can (laughs).
Which nasty comments burn you guys the most?
Pleum: This comment, likely from a conservative, saying that they will unsubscribe to our channel because they were disappointed in us because we are too political in one of our clips. Well, good on you. We couldn’t care less.
Petch: A comment that says, “Thank you for abusing your talent.”
Anything you’d like to say to your fans?
Pleum: Keep an eye out for future collaborations on our channel. We have a lot in store and let’s just say it’s all going to be worth it with all these super wavy guests. For those who left comments saying we should do this or that cover, it’s not like we haven’t read them or didn’t want to do it but sometimes when we tried it, it didn’t work out. Keep the comments coming though, we appreciate it!
Kraten: Thanks for supporting us!