Earlier this year, we did a write up on the metal scene in Singapore and the bands to check out from there. As extensive as that list was, we are pleased to add Beelzebud to this list as another band worth checking out from the island country. This doom duo have released a self titled full length album and a split with Abrasion, both are a must listen for doom fiends but also for those who like their downtrodden tunes blackened with overtones of Khanate and Burning Witch. I spoke to the band about their music, touring in Vietnam and also their plans for the year, so keep reading to see what they had to say.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
Gondoruwo (painter, growler) – When I was 7 years old, my older brother let me listen to King Diamond, Sarcofago, Sodom, Bathory, as well as the usual Metallica, Loudness, Megadeth, Testament, Kreator etc. There was also a healthy regional scene for punk, hardcore, metal and rock so it was quite easy to get stuff, the rare ones are bootlegs with xerox’ed covers. Then I started visiting record shops and did my own digging into Morbid Angel, Slayer etc. My family was pretty open to it and didn’t object to it. We were also listening to other genres and stuff on the radio too. No biggie.
Palasik (skinner, screamer) – Hmm… I guess the first time I got into metal was when I was 10? The usual Sabbath and Maiden stuff. Then during my teens I was into bands like Blasphemy, Bathory, Infest, At the Gates, His Hero Is Gone, Terrorizer etc. Except for the occasional nagging by my mum on the imagery of my band tees (inverted cross, pentagram, you get the drift), my folks we’re kinda cool with it? Lol.
Why did you decide to start a doom metal band? What about the sub genre appeals to you?
G – We started out for fun around late 2011 to early 2012, we both liked slow and heavy music and mostly did improvisations and just freestyled. It sort of caught on for me and I really liked it.
P – I like how the slow tempos and heavy riffing can create a hypnotic atmosphere.
You have released a split with Abrasion who are also from Singapore. How did the idea for it come about? Tell us a bit more about your tracks on the split.
P – We were hanging out and one of us just came out with an idea for for this split. We thought that it would be interesting if a Powerviolence band would do a split with a Doom band. We are already good friends to begin with so the process was smooth. Our tracks are basically about human struggle, something we can relate to as well.
The songs on the split sound sludgier compared to those on your self titled debut album. Did you try anything different in the writing or recording process?
G – We have never pigeonholed ourselves within the Doom genre, we have upmost respect for it but we also like the relative genres that interplay within and outside of it. From as far as psychedelic rock to doom/death and anything in between. The most strangest of inspirations, but major, is our love for traditional classical music.
What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?
G – Lately I’ve been just listening to Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and hiphop music from 1993-1994.
P – I’ve been listening to a lot of Enka (Traditional Japanese ballads) and Japanese hardcore punk as of late.
We recently did a write up on the metal scene in Singapore. What are other bands that readers should check out?
G – Do check out Abolition A.D, Abrasion, Big Red Moment, Cosmic Child, Elektone, Lubricant, Fluke, The Psalms, Stoned Revivals, Drill, Magnicide, Demisor, Nunsex, Disco Biscuits, The Pagans, Electric Penguins, or drop us a message for more.
P – Kushna, Silvermachine, Sial, Daily Ritual and Green Monster. Highly recommended.
You recently toured Vietnam with Abrasion. How were the shows? Were there any interesting or funny incidents at them?
G – The shows at Vietnam were awesome, people were vibeing and feeling it and just simply enjoying themselves. I’d certainly like to go there again one day and chill with the nice people and friends there.
P – We have this picture of a cat in our CD. After one of the shows in Vietnam, a person just came up to me, showed me that picture, laughed and gave me hug. My guess was that he could see that we aren’t that serious bröötal band after all and we’re just having fun putting a cheesy cat photo in our album cover.
Do you have any more shows/ tours planned for this year?
G – I’ve a couple of songs that might need to be recorded soon and yes, there will be shows this year for sure.
P – Yeah, we’ve got some stuff in the works and future shows soon.
Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have any final words?
G – Cheers and thanks for having us, keep an eye out for us and spread the good vibes.
P – Thanks for taking the time to do up this interview with us..cheers!
Many thanks to Beelzebud for their time!
– Peter (Trendcrusher)