Friday, August 16, 2013

Humiliation: "military death metal" from Malaysia

Humiliation (Malaysia)
Humiliation’s “military death metal” is all about traditional school dm, in the vein of Bolt Thrower. The songs are direct, no-nonsense heaviness. From 2009 until 2013, Humiliation has at least 8 EPs, albums and splits. Their 2013 album “Turbulence from the Deep” convinced me with one listen, and the rest of the time I just listen because it’s memorable. If you like classic-style death metal a lot, then Humiliation is for you. Anyway, in this interview, growler Bear Bee explains a bit about Humiliation and death metal in Malaysia, in Southeast Asia. Malaysia is a multicultural country of some 28 million people, with Malays, Chinese and Indians as the largest groups. The country’s constitution protects freedom of religion while Islam is the state religion. It is in this complex context that Humiliation plays death metal, as vocalist Bear Bee clarifies in this interview. FYI, all the relevant contact info is at the end of this conversation.
-- Greetings! Can you please give some information about your band and the scene in Malaysia?
Hello, thanks for your interview, really appreciate. We are from Kuala Lumpur, capital city of Malaysia. It is located in Peninsular Malaysia. We do not play much in Malaysia, only 3 to 5 shows in a year. In Malaysia, we have small scene. The scene started in late 80’s with few bands like SilKhannaz, Brain Dead, Suffercation and Rator (to name a few). The progression of metal music is very slow here. Most of the old bands only have 1 or 2 albums since existence. By the way, there are too many gigs around here nowadays. We also have annual event in Malaysia called KLMetalCamp (KL means Kuala Lumpur). This year, Germany’s mighty Destruction played here in KLMetalCamp. DRI and Hate Eternal played last year. KLMetalCamp is organized by a metal community, so you can imagine the billings for this event, it is totally underground.
You make a new album every year, correct? How have you been able to do that?
We started in mid 2009 and release our first missile, mini cd ‘face the disaster’ with 4 tracks. After that, we never get exhausted to produce new tunes. We try to be uncommon bands in Malaysia. We target to produce at least one new release every year (ep / full length / split). For this year, we have 3 releases, 1 full album “turbulence from the deep” and 2 split 7” with Decrepitaph (USA) and Warmaster (Netherland), respectively. In Malaysia, lots of new band always pop-up like Succubus, Lavatory, Cruelty Division, Deathevoker and many more. It is good sign for Malaysia metal scene to grow. Yes, it is not easy to produce an album every year. We need to sacrifice lots of time. But we love it & we want to be like this, so it is not a big problem.
Here in the U.S. most metallers do not know much about Malaysia. How is the economy there? Can young people find jobs in Malaysia? Can the metal public in Malaysia pay for concerts? At metal concerts in Malaysia, is there also a diverse population, like Malaysia itself? Do Malays, Chinese and Indians go to the same shows?
Malaysia is a newly industrialized market economy. Lots of job vacancy here. Because of insufficient workers, most of the general labors come from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and Nepal. This happen because some of Malaysian young guys don’t want to work. The concerts here are also expensive. For example, Metallica will play in August and the cheapest ticket rm190 (USD57). The local shirt is affordable to buy but not the imported shirt, it is considered expensive. Yes, all races will go for the same show regardless what type of show, from Napalm Death to Loudness.
Is the style of the new album different from your first EP and album in 2009 and 2010? Do you think that Bolt Thrower and old death metal is your inspiration?
For us, we work the same way for 2009 EP & our first album in 2010. No major changes, we only improve in terms of sound/tone. We are abused by 90’s death metal and for sure Bolt Thrower is our main influence beside Benediction, Asphyx, Massacre and many more. Mudon and I (Bear Bee) listen to metal since late 80’s and we grow with evolution of metal music from thrash metal to grind core and death metal. Most of us in bands before, but previous bands are not so dedicated to produce own music and it is more to hobby activities.
The tradition for Humiliation, like Bolt Thrower, is lyrics about war, and war only. You call your music "military death metal," correct? Which war or wars do the lyrics for "Turbulence from the Deep" cover? How do you research this history? What was the situation for Malaysia during World War II?
Yes, we are military death metal band. All our lyrics are related to war, nothing other than war. Most of the lyrics are about World War II in our country and emergency period when communism’s conflict with government. We do the research especially about our country during World War II. Back in 1945, Tanah Melayu (the name before Malaysia) was invaded by Japanese and it begun when they first landed at Bachok, Kelantan. The song title “Bachok’s Invasion” in “Turbulence from the Deep” tells this story.
Is Bolt Thrower the perfect death metal growling, in Bear Bee's opinion?
The major influence for vocal style is Karl Willets. Of course, Martin van Drunnen crosses in the mind if we discuss about vocal style. Karl Willets and Martin Van Drunnen are the best death metal vocalist in the world. Their method of singing never changes & we like them so much.
What are the sick thoughts that motivate guitarists Asraf and Matt to write such heavy riffs? Do their neighbors hate them for practicing their guitars too loud?
Hahaha, they use headphones when playing guitars. Both of them are more into mid tempo death metal, so not a problem for them to create such riffs which perfectly fit with Humiliation’s music.
A lot of death metal bands in the West like to attack religion. Are there bands in Malaysia that write against Christianity or Islam? If a band writes against Islam, will that band have legal problems with the police and government?
In Malaysia, we have multi races. Malay & Indian, Chinese are the major race. And we are also live in multi religions society. We respect each religion and people from all races. This is our stand. We try not to involve with any religious confrontation. There are bands in Malaysia that write against Christianity and Islam. They have problem with police and government. It is hard to organize black metal show in here. We need to apply police permit if we want to organize show/concert/gig with proper authorization. I think you can imagine how tough to convince police department that the show will be in peaceful and harmony situation all the way from the beginning till the end.
For people reading this interview who want to find out more about Malaysian death metal, what are some bands that you think are good?
We have lot of potential newcomer death metal bands such as Succubus, Blood Legion, Lavatory, Cruelty Division and Purge The Arbitrator. They play great death metal and totally recommended!
Have you communicated with the other band called Humiliation, from Indonesia? They started after you.
We feel great that you know that we are the first one to use the word humiliation as band name. We never contacted those guys from Indonesia. Most of the metalheads got confuse by the name, but we didn’t care at all. People will know which band deserve the attention.
Last question, do you like the drum sound on your album? I hope next time the drums sound a bit louder and also more analog! Humiliation deserves a heavier, more brutal drum sound.
We realized the drum sound is not good enough for the real old school death metal. Definitely we will improve the drum sound in future releases. By the way, we will have 7” split with Obscure Infinity (Germany) under Brutal Art Records. The target release date is in October 2013 where we contribute 2 new tracks exclusive for this 7” split. Please visit our wbsite at www.humiliation.my & feel free to contact us at humiliationband@gmail.com. Our facebook support fanpage is www.facebook.com/humiliationmalaysiadeathmetal. Thanks & greetings from Malaysia. Death metal to the bones! THE END. www.humiliation.my

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