so here we go....this is the first interview we have here with my trusted ally and kick ass buddy Mr Saha from Embrace zine , the emo punkrocker for all time, maybe he will be hall of fame one day, hehe hehehe i'm feel like an old day doing my classic zine...hell yeah!
1)Hello Saha,… how today in Kluang? How’s the weather? Tell us something about yourself? About Embrace zine? Has the new issue already out and what the direction this time? Still remain as hardcore/punk zine? How long you been in the hc/punk scene? What have you done since then? Are you happy with it? Do you ever feel bored, twisted or maybe you wanna changed to new hype in town? Hehe
I’m fine, it’s hotter than hell in kluang, so I drink a lot of water, and try to remain cold after bath. I’m 33 years old this year and have been doing embrace zine since 10years ago, and have 15 issue so far and will have a new issue pretty soon. I’ve been active in the local HC/punk scene since 1995 by doing zines, tape label, distribution and so on. I am probably the only active guy in the Malaysian HC scene that remain these days, everybody else is dead, and I’m glad for that because they never do it really good when they were alive hahahaha what a statement. But honestly, yeah I don’t think anyone from the early years is still here now doing what they do back in the days. Maybe they’re still around just hang out and talk shits, and nothing more which is still fine for me. But hardcore is more that that, to me this is my life, and this is what I do, and I’m going to do it and continue supports the scene, keep it alive, and strong, and live the lifestyle for as long as I can. Hardcore as fuck that is, and not for the fakes. I’m not gonna be anything else. And I’m not gonna change myself for someone else or for anything. Like I said, hardcore is the way of life, and it’s my life, so I feel good about it. I see a lot of hypocrites and stupidity in other lifestyle I see everyday, and I’m not gonna be like them, I’m not gonna be like people who drive the street, who works a better job, who got a wife, and think that they have it all in this world. I’m not gonna miss all that. To me, this world has so much to offer than to live like an average typical malay guy. Hardcore is about making a change, and a counter culture so that’s what important to me. If others want to be a normal person, and sit back complacent, that’s not my problem. It’s just funny that most people complaining how sucks life is and blablabla. I think people complaining about their own live that they chosen foolishly is better off dead. There’s no way living if you’re not happy with the life you lives. I would rather be dead than be in something that I’m not happy doing it. But for the moment, I’m so happy with my life. I am for real, and not into hype, trend, or fashion. Everybody else is fake, and that’s the truth.
2)For the first time I read Embrace zine in late 90’s, I assume it will remain one of the great hc/punk zine in Kluang(or maybe Malaysia history,hehe) and great!! it’s still remain until today…. When you started the zine? any calculation on it? Tell us the story in the old back years, what is the main problem when you started this zine? How much did you spend the money for copied it and print it? For each issue, how long did you prepare, collect the stuff, interview, review etc…. and got anyone who helped you to run this zine?
Well, thanks for your kind words, and for still tracking down the zine since the late 90’s. Embrace zine started in late 1996, and I have its first issue out on early 1997. So far it has 15 issue and going sweet 16 this september 2008. So Embrace zine is almost 12years old now, can you say that a lot to other local zines as well? I don't think so. I have spent quite a lot of money of course especially during early years becos I have been doing everything on the internet café back then. But only this few years since I have a computer at home things been going easy. But it’s not about the money really, becos if you love doing something, you don’t care how much you spent. You just love how it looks when you have it infront of you, and things really shapes from there. Internet helped a lot, but during the early days I sent interviews through the snail mails, and sometimes it took 5 years for the bands to reply my questions hahaha, just kidding, but email makes everything a lot more easier. I think after issue 3, I did most interviews on emails and it’s a great way to communicate with people. Doing zine these days is a lot easier than back in the 90’s, but I’m glad I have been on the both situation in the zine making experience. It makes me appreciated more of what I do, and I think that is one of the reason I still keep doing it. It is a part of my lives as well, even if it’s only a bit of it.
Some people helped me do reviews, scene reports back then, but they just come and go, but in this 2 years I have few local kids helping me on the zine. I have a second editor now, and 3-4 others who helping with reviews and columns regularly. This is great, and it’s cool to be a boss out of something you do haha. But all in all, Embrace is doing great these days and I think we have a few more years for it, and we are positively looking forward to that.
3)What are the bands, zine, books, model, community, TV etc that give big impact to you (influences)? Do you get them thru reading stuff or in musical aspects or from individual figures, families? Or it could be all this while you’re only own your own? What kind of music that you been listening lately? Any kicking ass music/bands? So how life you been thru in Kluang? Eating and Hang around is cool there! Tell the readers, which spot that is evergreen, classic and worthwhile to check it out for tourist down here(hehehe) any favourite food down there and a must for eat-lover or maybe eat-lover wanna-be? Hehe
There is definitely few things that keep me going, and keep inspiring me right from good music, great movies, good zines, great bands, amazing friends I have both locally and internationally, wonderful mom & dad, my great sister and her children, and so much more. I am definitely will not be strong if it’s not for them and things like that. I am willing to learn from others and I keep learning from time to time. Life is too precious, it’s huge, and it’s such a waste if you ignore it and refuse to learn and just live in ignorant and be stupid for the rest of your life. A lot of people is so timid and think that enough is enough, but life’s not like that. There will never be enough in life. You should strive for more. And I’m not talking about wealth or popularity or lust or things like that. So many people stop being marginal and be like a regular person when they reach 30 or something. But I say, age is just a number. If you think age is what matters, then you can be 23 or be 27 and feel as old as 31 or 184 years old. I say screw that. I feel young all the time, and I laugh at people who think they’re older and wiser and think that I should be like them and grow up and get wise, and all the crap. Well, if you feel old, then please, die.
Be your own self, and not what majority tells you of who you are and what you are. The majority is always on the wrong side of things, it's like there is too many voices in the crowd and you can hear that nothing is clearly right. So I say, what matters is what you think and what you feel deep down inside you.
Currently I’m listening to lots of classic and new hardcore such as Mainstrike, Nations On Fire, Carry On, The First Step, Betrayed, Sportswear, Los Crudos, In My Eyes, Ignite (I saw them live recently, they ruled!), Paint It Black, Redemption 87, Insted, Highscore, Manliftingbanner, True Colors, 108, Chain of Strength, Youth of Today, Better than a thousand, Turning Point, SS Decontrol, Outlast, Infest, 7 Seconds, and few metal bands such as Morning Again, Culture, Catharsis, Converge, Sparkle of Hope, Sauna, Refused, Kindred, Slayer, Acme, also The Ramones, Black Flag, Bad Brains, Bad Religion and like 2 weeks ago I got this amazing CD’s of Angela Aki, a female pianist/singer from Japan and I’m into her at the moment and few other bands I forgot right now. There’s too many good shit these days. Music is my life!
Well, my life is mostly about doing a record label right now, Embrace Records is busy with a new release, and future releases as well, and we keep promoting the current releases together with the older ones as well. We have few t-shirts and our distribution is getting new stuff and getting huge as well. All of this keep me busy, so sometimes when I want to be relief, I call up local friends and meeting them in the town and hang out together and talking rubbish, or sometimes serious topics as well, and hang out for hours in a local coffee shop. If anybody fool enough to drop by in this little town, they should go and stop and have a drink at Railway Coffee in the town area or another branch at the Kluang Railway Station nearby. But we always hang around at the town area shop because it’s more coolest and not as busy as the one at the Railway Station. My favorite foods and drinks overthere would be “roti keping bakar” and “teh c”, but everything is great there. The waiters is nice and people enjoying themselves while eating and drinking at this shop. It’s a great place, and a classic spot, a bit expensive but what the hell, it’s better than mamak stall that serve too many oily unhealthy foods (although i love eating at mamak stalls as well especially the kari kambing and roti nan hahhaha), and there’s always too many “rip-off” malay restaurants around here. We keep it save and cool all the time, we are the coolest kids in town so we hang out at the coolest place.
4)What album have you listened to more than any other in your life? Please list out 5 of your favorite bands? From the sources that we got(hehe)you are so damn fanatics, lunatic, die-hard fans for Asia Horror film….tell us something about this…. Some people still blind with Hollywood Horror…tell us your favorite Asia Horror movie…do you think in upcoming future, more and more Asia horror outfit will kick some Hollywood Horror ass?(infact…these day Asian Horror still have kick in the ass!!)
Wow this is another difficult questions becos I’ve been listening to a lot lately to the music that I’ve been discovered 10-15years ago. Recently I listen to the Neds Atomic Dustbin “Are You Normal?”, Youth of Today “Break Down The Walls”, Slayer “Reign In Blood”, Suicidal Tendencies “Still Cyco after all these Years”, and this were the first few music I’ve been discovered in my secondary school years back in 1992. So it’s great to have that memory back remembering how stupid I was in my 16 jumping around my room listening to these bands. But the albums that I’ve been listening like almost everyday from time to time is Youth of Today “We’re Not In This Alone”, Quicksand “Slip”, Mainstrike “Quest For the Answers”, Morrissey “Bona Drag” and so on. 5 favorite bands is difficult to give but I try: Youth Of Today, Quicksand, The Smiths, Fugazi, Slayer.
Haha yeah where did you find this information my friend? I am absolutely a die hard asian horror fans (especially jap horror) together with a mystery local friend hahaha. We like to be in a darkness life. We sometimes go to the cinema together for the recent horror movies, it’s funny because most of our other friends don’t like to watch horror movies and don’t fully understand why we are into this damn thing, but I tell you we are freaks, we literally watch any asian horror we can get and we talked about it the next days like there’s no more tomorrow, but it’s cool to find someone who has similar interest as you becos we can share and talk about it together at any time especially during our tea times at our favorite local hang outs. Well I don’t understand how can Hollywood get any great asian horror and did a terrible version of it and called it brilliant afterward. Did you watched the remake of Ringu, man that was a disaster remake version ever made by this Hollywood brats, but it’s about money and lack of ideas I think. Hollywood is a disaster industry, they probably stronger (in terms of financial and stuff like that) but the strong they become the less wiser they be, and they just come and destroy everything, they produce many garbage they call fantastic movies ever made in the world. I totally can’t understand Star Wars, Matrix, Rambo and many crap like that. I know all these movies has its own diehard fans, but I’m not into garbage. Hollywood never made any great horror movies in this past 10-15years or maybe 20years, but I never liked them anyway so I don't really give a fuck.
I loved asian horror especially because they tells the real story and the details, story that might happened around them, that closely related to their own unique cultures that they never replicate them from others, and that’s why it’s brilliant. The great thing is in this modernism it’s conflicted with science so most asian horror especially Japanese always mix tradition beliefs and science in their horror movies and makes you go around nuts watching over it because you have to view them in many aspects and it’s difficult when science involved. I'm not good in chemicals and biologies. Anyway, I would say that most Malaysian horror is typical tho, and I’m not into it.
5)Any Last words? What will the readers expect from Embrace zine in near future? Any new issue will coming out? What do you expected to see or any changes in Embrace zine on the way thru 2009? Maybe Embrace zine will change to Classic Rock zine? Hehe thanx bro for the time….see ya…
I can’t tell much to the readers about what to expect in the future as I myself have lots of expectation as well, but the new issue will be ready this September 2008 is all I can say for now. Classic rock zine is possible since I’m listening to AC/DC and Led Zeppelin lately hahahha, you got me there my friend. Well, thanks for the interview and hope to see you soon. Long live Hardcore, and death to the capitalist system that makes this world a terrible place to live in. We are the best, that’s the truth! Everything else is fucked up and doomed. Stay strong, and goodluck for the future!
EMBRACE SDN BHD
4A LRG 6, KG BARU
86000 KLUANG, JOHOR
my space: www.myspace.com/embracerecords
"Join The Fight" Bold Tribute CD
Elemae/Memorial/Soon split CD
Struggle Against "Vision Of Strength" CD
"Standing Hard" A Youth Of Today Tribute CD
ELEMAE "Popular Misconceptions Of Happiness" CD