Thursday, November 6, 2008

Interview with Dull Entertainment Programme(DEP)

originally from Kuantan, Pahang .. this indie rock unit just released "this one's forever" cd re-release old DEP's materials, with much better sounding and pasture with one unreleased tracks ! enjoy this interview with the frontman, Mr Acai.. you can check and update what is going on with the band on their web

Hello dude! How are you? How’s life? Please tell me something about DEP(Dull Entertainment Programme)? What the name means to you…the current line up? what is your purpose as a band? How this band get together? What’s the reason for starting a band in the first place? What do you hope to accomplish? What do u do beside playing in a band? How many releases you have so far? How long as you been in the scene? Do you happy with it? Or you just bored and disillusioned? Or maybe u wanna jump off from the scene and start a new trend hype?hehe or maybe you guys wanna do a shuffle?hehe…. What are the bands, zines, book, model, (perhaps supermodel?), community, TV etc that damn give impact to you(influences)?
Hey dude! I’m good. Life is just great with friends and family. Apart from the depart of our good friend, Lan of Kuchalana, things have been great.
The name Dull Entertainment Programme is actually a reflection towards our local entertainment programme (tv,radio etc). It’s just how we see these programmes as… NOT entertaining at all!
Our current line-up is Tojeng – guitar/vocals, Panther – bass, Bem – drums, and me – vocals/guitar. When we started, our main intention is to play songs that we wrote, that’s all. Another reason might be because, me and Tojeng tried to do something different, musically. Because we played for bands that sound so hardcore/grindcore and stuff. So we’re looking for something quite melodic and catchy in this new band.
As a band, we dreamt that we could play for Ozzfest for a day….NOT! Nah… I can’t say this for the rest of the band because they might have different goals in mind. But for me, it’s about something that I want to do. I want to write songs…good songs. If people listen to them and they like them. I think that’s already a great accomplishment.
I have a day job. Working for an IT company to make ends meet. Releases at this current moment should be 3. First was that cassette EP, Self-Titled (1996), second Dullaby (1999), let’s call that a mini album on cassette too. And the third one is This One’s Forever (2008) CD album….but this one is just a re-released material plus one previously unreleased track. My first band was ’Minority’ back in 1991 in Kuantan, Pahang. That’s where and when my involvement in this subculture started. It was that long but my involvement are not that much. Only working with my band and some other bands that I’m close with such as Enslaved Chaos. I don’t think that I’ve contributed a lot for the scene. But I’m happy to help bands or people if they need my help on anything if the situation permits. Basically, I helped them on some technical aspects of recordings or maybe some songwritings. Still not that much. I’m happy with what I have achieved but at the same time still trying to improve in a lot of areas. I never try to set a goal for my band or songwriting which is too ambitious. Just go with the flow and do what I think is right. One thing for sure, I hope that DEP will not be a part of the music industry, locally or globally. It’s very personal to me. I prefer to have a complete control on my music. We’re fine without the industry so why care? As of now I just stick to what I believe, whether I’m in the scene or not, I don’t believe in any trend or hype. The things that influenced me come in many forms that you mentioned. Books, zines, magazines, bands, music, people, friends and family. The influence can be from anything. Directly or indirectly.
What do you think about DIY these day? Do you practice it especially in doing your music? I believe people who practice DIY ideology what to have absolutely 120% control on them and how far do you concern where your records will go especially in records store? distribution? wholesales etc.? Originally, you guys from Kuantan Talking about communication, do you guys always communicate with other bands, people in and outside Kuantan(hehehe) or maybe Malaysia? Do you do any feedback? Describe your hometown….. heard from people, in early 90’s it’s a fun city!!! But it’s a underrated by so-called journalist, but who cares anyway? Any favourite spot to hang around? Best food, drink, or maybe red-light district there(hehehe)? Or maybe you want to share the history of your hometown to the readers?
Well, I’d say that almost everybody is going DIY these days. You can see these by numbers of shows, record/merchandising company/distro that people put up. I think it’s a positive development. Don’t you think? For DEP, we financed our own releases (not forgetting, with the help of some close friends at the earlier stage) and have a complete control on our music. We never rely on any major distributor. We sold our releases with the help of close friends, families and independent distros. We try our best to maintain the price of our releases as affordable as possible. We rarely communicate with bands outside Malaysia. I’m not sure why. In Malaysia we made friends with bands at shows normally, cuz that’s where bands will be right? Hanging out I’d say… not so much. But if we’re up to something like putting up shows, recordings and stuff, then we might gather and discuss. But this is very rare. I sometimes will give feedbacks in blogs or website. But most of the time I choose to be silent and just do things. I trust that action speaks louder than words and empty barrels make the most noise. My hometown use to be serene and calm but not anymore. It’s become another city in the making with the increase of number of traffics and pollutions. Nothing much to say about it now. But food is still cheap in some places. You can still get malay kuih, 5 pieces for a buck. Not bad, eh? Telok Cempedak is a good place to hang out but it’s too crowded now with Mat Kereta and Mat Rempit. Other places to hang out, hmmm, we have lots of good seafood restaurants in Tanjung Lumpur, but recommended to go there with Kuantan hommies. Or else, you’ll get cut throat price for your food. Dig? Red light district? Is there any in Kuantan? I’m not so good with the history. Sorry.
Tell me top 5 album/bands will changed your life ? hehe ? These day you can see a lot of music genre such as hardcore, punk, crust, fastcore, grindcore, noisecore ,powerviolence etc? which one to you is more have kick in the ass? How about tour? Has there ever been an instance when you do go on tour and find yourself so different in your political sensibilities that you have trouble getting along with the other bands? So what next? Any overseas tour plan ahead? Do u like to play in exotic place? For sure, we can taste the food, experience the culture and so on….automatically we can gain some knowledge about other country/tradition….
I can say all the records/albums that I listened to have changed my life one way or another. To narrow them to 5 is really a big challenge. Here goes, in no special order :
1) Suicidal Tendencies – How Will I Laugh Tomorrow?/Controlled By Hatred.
2) The Agent Orange – When You Least Expect It.
3) The Smiths – (Collections) Best 1 & 2
4) The Ramones - ** I’m not sure which one but their collections of songs compiled in a cassette by Epit (Minority).
5) Minority – Demo 91/92 – Quantity Doesn’t Matter

I hope you asked me at least 20… hehehe. People won’t believe me if I said my songwriting (words) influenced a lot from Mike Muir (Suicidal Tendencies). That’s where the “rhyming” in our songs come from. For me, a kick ass band doesn’t have to be the most fast/loud/skillful/political kinda band. Enough to be just honest and true to what they are into. There are many bands emerging nowadays, but we have very few that really have the qualities of a good band. Most I would say just fucking trendy and jumping into the bandwagon, dying for crowd acceptance. Playing in bands not because your friends play in bands. You should play in bands because you want to play in bands, write music etc. Everybody have their own reasons but please… NOT for the wrong reasons. I have to say this and this might hurt a lot of parties but yeah, truth hurts! So just live with it! There are only plans for tour for DEP but this will only remain as plans for the time being. I have a family and that’s quite hard for me. I trust that the rest has job commitments and stuff. I hope I can do that if the situation permits, like Indonesia or Thailand touring because the experience will be good. Bands should go on tour as this will help in promoting their bands and getting heaps of exposure on how performing beyond their comfort zone. Invaluable experience.

Last question, How do you define love and happiness? Do you believe in love? hehe Do you agree that love can make people’s life valuable and it also reflect to make people’s life miserable? hehe is it enough of it in this world or am I blind enough to see and forgetting that so much shit happened all over he world? Any last words, what would you like to see changing in 2008/2009? thanx for the time bro…keep on rocking…!!
Love and happiness will be so much better if they are accompanied with loads of cash. Hehehe. Yes, I do believe in love and I agree with your point there. I hope that for 2009 (since we’re at the end of 2008 already), people will make some effort of buying local bands’ releases rather than downloading/ripping them for free. Independent bands need your support. Not that “Indie Major Label” band ok. Please don’t get confused. Buy music only from non-major bands/distributors. For major (label) bands/music, I leave it to your creativity and technology on how to get them for FREE!
Thanks for your time preparing these questions and your patience waiting for my answers. I wish you all the best.

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