Interviews

Emocalypse upon Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore – Southern Asian emoviolence/screamo scene analysis

Emocalypse
Little is known of South Asian hardcore scene and I guess it’s fair to say that details of its scremo/emoviolence niche subgenres must be pieced together from direct communication and various writings, most of which are not available online. The picture that emerges from our conversation with Hazim Jaafat, the author of 3 massive compilations dubbed “Emocalypse” is a colourful one. In the feature below, we find a man possessed of a curiosity, willing to discover and explore both new and defunct independent hardcore bands, and share some insights from his investigation and some of the outstanding artists from this voluminous package.

Good day to Malaysia! Thanks so much for taking some time with us. Who are you? How are you? :)

Thank you so much for arranging this interview. It’s an honor for interviewing us by one of the finest DIY music online magazines in this world!

I’m Hazim. The person that came out the idea to make the compilations. Thank God, I’m still breathing.

How about you Karol? I hope you’re doing great over there buddy ;)

Cool. Thanks, I’m great, recently got back from a nice trip to Croatia and now taking advantage of every weekend and leaving Warsaw for smaller towns and countryside :)

Ok, so back to you buddy, how did you get into compiling this compilation of compilations? Tell us about the idea of Emocalypse.

Back in circa 2011 – 2012, I’ve make 3 compilations that called it as “P A I R S Compilations” (DOWNLOAD part 0 HEREpart 1 HERE, and part 2 HERE). Every compilation has 7 bands with 2 songs for each bands.

I’ve got the idea for the PAIRS based on few compilations such as Emo Apocalypse (listen here)& Emo Armageddon (listen here) by React With Protest & Connection Part 1 (listen here), Connection Part 2 (listen here), Connection Part 3 (listen here) by Moment Of Collapse. These 2 labels make me think, if they are able to collected songs from all over the world into a compilation; Why not I’m trying by myself to collects Malaysia bands into a compilation?

Later on in 2013-2014, I’ve got an idea to enhanced the PAIRS compilations into a compilation that won’t be forgotten (I hope so) just like Emo Apocalypse & Emo Armageddon, that I’ve named it Emocalypse Compilation. The screamo/emo violence scene wouldn’t be survived by Malaysia alone. When we talked about “South East Asia Tour”, mostly the bands from the outside of the world won’t missed to tour these 3 neighborhood countries. So I added up Singapore & Indonesia into the bill. Then I started searching the best song from screamo/emo violence bands that still active, disbanded & hiatus from these 3 countries. For the active & hiatus bands, I’ve personally sent them an “invitation” emails. Mostly the feedbacks that have been received are very overwhelm.

How does one begin to search for lost and forgotten screamo bands in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapura?

Well, this is quite critical part during the compilation making. As people might know that screamo/emoviolence scene were started/active in circa 2000’s. Back on that years, the bands choose Myspace as the main platform to share their music to the world. So, this is the few steps on how I search their songs –

1) I find the old flyers & check the bands that playing for the shows.

2) I find their Myspace & check whether there are still have songs that left at their Myspace.

3) If the inactive bands still have their songs at their Myspace, I will download their songs.

4) If there is no song at their Myspace, I will send the “invitation” emails to them.

Step 4 is definitely relying on the miracles! :D

Haha, Myspace, awesome! You’re old school that way.What are the next steps? Technically, how was the process of putting it together?

Hahaha. Well, it’s not “old school”. It’s only one way that I have, I guess. What’s next? So

Here we go (continued from the previous steps)

5) I sorted the songs into 3 different files from where the songs belong (Malaysia, Singapore & Indonesia).

6) This is the trickiest part too – When a band got a few songs (Especially the defunct band), I need to listen all songs repeatedly and choose which songs that will give “eargasm” to the listeners. For a few defunct bands that I knew their band members, I asked one of their bands members what is their song that they love the most.

7) Lastly, I’ll uploaded the songs according nationality & alphabetically, the artwork & published it to the world on the 16.6.2016.

To be honest, actually this compilation is a “failed compilation”. Sigh~

Why?

Also, what makes these bands’ work so special? What was the selection key criteria?

Personally why did I say it was a “failed compilation”? The compilation isn’t complete yet! I still remember during the early days where I discovered a lot of active/hiatus bands that have a lot of songs at their Mypspace’s profiles. But too bad, I didn’t expect in future, Myspace will change their owner, change their features and so on. All songs had gone and it can’t be find anymore. I bet there are a lot of bands that still didn’t discover yet. Especially in Singapore & Indonesia. I hope some of you guys for the two countries can help me up to “complete” the compilations together :)

What makes these bands’ works so special? Personally, these bands are just not making & playing music but they’re also inspired all of us a lot to go through our daily life. Every bands got their own uniqueness. There are no key criteria for the selection. As long the bands playing emo violence/screamo genre. Then, they’re in!

If you could arrange a show with any 5 artists from these compilations, whom would they be?

Well, this quite tough question Karol. Well this is the 5 bands for the first leg–
KIAS FANSURI, UTARID, ZAINICHI, FLOWERXOFXCARNAGE, LAST KISS TO DIE OF VISCEROTH.

Ok buddy, so let’s learn a bit about yourself. What are your memories of your local hardcore punk scene at the earliest stages of your involvement? Do you remember your first ever punk gig?

“Acceptance”. That is my very first memories at the earliest stages of my involvement. How to suit yourself into something new is not an easy thing. Especially to make sure you’re not screwed up anything or something in the scene. It takes time before you were accepted. For sure this a process to make you become more mature, learn to agree to disagree, respecting each other among the society & community.

The first hardcore punk gig that I attended was 2010 if I’m not mistaken. It was a split records release party of QUANTIS; 2 ways split and VIRGINIA ON DUTY; 4 ways split. There were only 3 bands that playing, QUANTIS, VIRGINIA ON DUTY and DAIGHILA. The show was held in a jamming studio. Around 30 peoples during the show. It’s great to see, meet and greet great internet friends in real life.

Have you yourself been in a band?

Nope. My mom afraid if the instruments will explode and I get hurt. Hahaha

She’s right, haha!

Ok buddy, so let’s dive into some more details on your local scene.

How do you feel about the current state of the scene in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapura?

I can’t describe about my local scene in details since I rarely involve in the scenes directly. But what I’ve noticed based on my observations, these three countries scenes are getting bigger and keep growing from days to days. The (hardcore, punk, metal, indie) bands from the other side of our areas already kept their eyes on us. Some of the bands already toured to our areas for more than 2 times! Well, I guess that is a sign that our areas are not bad for bands to tour isn’t it?

I’m happy to see the scene flourished in these 3 countries. For sure, there will be more bands will come tour to our area next year. Finger crossed.

How are female musicians represented in the scene?

I have to say that the female musicians representative in the scenes is quite active just like the full male line up bands. It just the number of female musicians not that much like male musicians. But still, they have their own fans that following their bands progress.

Would you recommend some more worthwhile active bands, labels or zines from your area before we say goodbye?

Sure man. This are the names that cross over my mind

Bands: IMPRESSION YEAR, RESET TO ZILCH, RUTH, TAPESTRY, GAUTH, ANGSA DAN SERIGALA.

Labels: Bigmouth Booking, Framecode Records, Effloresce Records, Sailboat Records, Arkan Records, Utarid:Distro, 265 Distro, Canopus Distro.

Zines: Shock & Awe, Mosh Zine, Prasasti Di Hujung Langit, Anxiety Freak.

Alright, so wrapping it up, what are your future plans? What do you think will be the future of compilations? Any chance to see it pressed on vinyl some day?

For the future plans, I would like to expand the compilation. More countries, more bands, more songs will be fit in the compilation. It will take time. Maybe twice or triple than before. But for sure, it will be worth it. It’s quite costly to release vinyl by my own. If there are labels that interested to release the compilation on vinyl, that would be great 

I would like to take this opportunity to shout out to all Special Humans – “Happy World Mental Health Day!”. Stay alive, mix around with positive people. They’re outside there. You just need to find them at the right place & the right time. Ignore the ignorance people. They’re just a plague that waiting to extinct. Special thanks to Lenny & Nurul Hafiz for introduced me to this type of music and to all participants that keep making this scene alive (whether directly or indirectly). Without you guys, I will never change.

p/s: If you have band that play emo violence/screamo genre please email your song to us, your participants in the compilation is very precious. Trust me. 

Emocalypse

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