Sunday, May 6, 2007

Tools Of The Trade

This is the interview with TOOLS OF THE TRADE; a Grindcore band from Kluang, Johore, Malaysia. These questions had been answered by Tiong (guitar/vocal) thru e-mail on Thursday, May 18th, 2006. Personally I've been admiring of what they're doing within their music. Okay, I know this quite an old interview already... but just read what he needs to say and keep on grinding!

1. Hi! Introduce yourself about anything please.
Hello. We are Tools of the Trade from Kluang Johore.Tiong wrote here and I’m guitarist and play vocal for this band. We living in a small town in Malaysia and we have a lot of fun living in here. Lot of our activities more to sport and recreation like football, indoor soccer, watching football, camping, eating, working and sleep. Yeahh!!!!

2. Any line-up changing since it existed? Tools Of The Trade now consisted?
So far we have only one line up changes for a bassist since the band existed. We got a plan to add a new vocal and let me contemplate on my guitar part. But hard for us to find out some one that can replace and take over the piece. So we stick to our original plan and just invite someone that can replace for our old bassist. Here we are Alifhu (thin slut grinder..hahahah!!!!). What I can say after 1 year the band grows up, we are now very2 consisted and I’m very glad because I work with others 2 guys that have a same passion and original soul of grindcore. Everyone have a own vision and always take an initiative to learn a new things with out any complain and fucking reason!!!!!

3. What does the Tools of the Trade really means? Is it according to laissez-faire; free market economical core theory of the capitalism? Anyway, it's also reminds me of the Carcass song's title. I bet they're the major influence of Tools Of The Trade, isn't it?
Nothing special about the name. For us we just want to find out an admirable name for the band and it consisted a consequential meaning and art utterance that can motivated us to write a good music and lyrics. For as music is a base of source or tools to aggravated and motivated human during this time. It depend how much good as we can write our song and lyrics and the way it can give an impact to the individual that listen our songs. Grindcore is not just a music, it must connected with your soul first. Feel it and raise your voice. Music is a tool. Trade is what we give and get from it. Yes, we are 200% fans of Carcass and mostly of our songs infected by Carcass. Some of it from Nasum, Napalm Death, Repulsion, E.N.T, Fubar and Dream Theater. Yeahhh!!!!

4. How old are you guys now? I do believe that you guys have your own daily job... how you separate your time between job and scene activities? Or another bands?
I’m 25, Alifhu 22 and Yusmira 29. Me and Yusmira have our own daily job except Alifhu 100% focus in music. Hard for me to describe how we separate our time for job and music. Normally we take 2 day in a week to practice and after that we will sit and spend a time together. Replacement day will be added if one of us cannot come for a practice. By the way only me and Yusmira have play in other bands. I’m play in Reconstruct as a bassist. And again I and Yusmira play in other band with our local friends’. It’s not grindcore. We play rock and funk. No name for the band.

5. Whose the one responsible for the making of artwork/layout for the upcoming Tools Of The Trade release? Your favourite artists? Tell me more about your upcoming album 'Inmate Consumption'.
We have divided the job of making the artwork/layout to the band and then to our label. From our side, we will try to get as much as we can a source or basic reproduction of design that we want to use it in our layout or design. Kia our manager from (Symphonic Blast Production) will be in charge and take 100% responsible to intend and fasten the entire source to the layout or design that we will going to use. Our favorite artist is too many. I only can give you the best top ten that we ever had:
4)Napalm Death
6)Captain CleanOff
7)Army of Flying Robots
8)His Hero Is Gone
9)Rotten Sound

-Our upcoming album now in finalizes stage and we are working now to take an official band photo to interleave into the layout. Hard for us to make it because we are not born for photogenic circumstance artist. Hahahaahah. Our entire band picture already rejected by Kia.

6. I do concern with the straight in your face grindcore sounds and creative musical structures delivered by Tools Of The Trade. How much time consumes Tools Of The Trade to make songs like that? How you describe your sound? Who made the lyrics most of the time?
Thanks for the comment. Actually as what I said we are very glad because working with a three guys that have a same passion and soul in grindcore. Each of one of us have an advantage and of coz a weakness that we must improve. So we are usually taken a chance to learn from others. And we take this chance to communicate, confer and give some input or idea about our songs. And we are very propitious because each one of us know and easy to catch up the strong point when others member composing and writing the song. So usually we only take a few hours to understand the line music and arrangement that we will play. We only need one or two session to practice a new song. For the lyrics normally one of our members will write on the draft part and we will discuss and correct some word and put some easy link statement for me and alifhu to sing. We are enjoying doing our work. For the sound enough if we can say Progressive Grindcore.

7. Negation, Fallen World & Eyesore are great. When & how the ideas to make 4 ways split with them came up? Tell me more about Eastern Grindcore Unleashed.
The first idea for this project came from Mazmi and me. We start discuss about the original project from Strain Eyes that already delay for long time. So Mazmi ask for my idea and straightly I suggested for him to make a split cd and one shot we are thinking about 4 way split cd consist band from Malaysia and Singapore. Eastern Grind Unleashed is a big project consist a good band from Malaysia and Singapore. We are very glad and thankful for Mazmi to give us a chance joins this split. Eastern Grind Unleashed is a first project and this is out first step to moving forward more after this. Grind!

8. Complete these sentences: He’s eating pizza while I’m shitting in my pants happily without him knowing what’s really happens...
...around the world, the essentials and certainty of the earth now days.

9. Why grind? Why not sludge?
We are trying to be honest on making music. For us grindcore is our soul and mind. Our music represent our self and Tools of the Trade. If we are not honest in making music, we are lying to our self and to the people. But its not mean we cannot admit sludge. Sludge is the good music. It’s a superior music and it’s really a good defy to maintain your tempo and stroke when play sludge music. It’s not easy for us and it really challenging to play sludge!!!!

10. Symphonic Blast or Relapse Records?
So sure Symphonic Blast Production. We know what we choose and personally before we formed this band, we have witness that SBP have a great and big potential to become a huge and excellent label in future. We put 100% commitment to SBP and we know SBP can bring us to the world broad.

11. Concerning to the Eastern Grindcore Unleashed 4 way split cover artwork, what’s the intention to spread within that image? I think the artwork is quite lame.
For me the artwork is not lame. It’s normal if you can see now, a lot of cd cover prefer to put some cartoon imagery to show some motive or message from the wrap. For me what I can see the artwork try to bring up how struggle and burly we have to fight back for anything happen that will take our life. Beware and Fight Back!!!!

12. Are you considered yourself political? Is Tools Of The Trade a political band? Your view on DIY activism?
I not considered my self political. But I just rather to call my self is some one that try to bring up the good music to all people and spread our word through our lyrics, material and friendship. Tools of the Trade are not political band. We never think about this and we just thinking about our music and writing. And we will see how good we are to ensure our lyrics can deliver successfully. But it’s not mean we are reveal with our friends in political. We got a lot of friends and very closed, changing a lot of idea’s and opinion. Open talk and discussion is very important. Fuck backstabber.

For me Diy activism is one of the source and attempt to bring up our vision and implement it into our life, community and some of freak ignorance out there. It’s one of way to let all members to communicate and connect each others. Its is an activity to all members and get them out from negatives behavior.

13. What do you think about Malaysia generally?
For generally I really like Malaysia and love to living in here since I was born and child. I can live with out any pressure or scared. No war and cost of living in here are very reliable. This is the main spot why I love Malaysia. But inside, still a lot of factor that make me not fulfilled about this country and it’s really need to change and progress .A few sector that I think is critical and need to do something is infrastructure, entertainment, sports and local economic. We need to see this entire sector grow in balance. Malaysia should focus more in local economic like plantation, perikanan and tourism. Lot of potential for Malaysia actually came from local industries. Some more a sector for infrastructure need to grow in balance with socio economics to ensure it can be seize for elongated term. Malaysia also needs to encourage all Malaysian to involve more into e-economic and k-economics.

14. As being ‘Malaysian’, how you feel about the recent issue of Malaysian government planning to give the poor citizen subsidy to start a business on their own instead of just giving 'em sum of money as a welfare.
I’m not agreeing with both of the plan. What I can glimpse, its just only can solve the problem for a short tenure. But not for the long term. And some more it‘s not fair for others poor citizen which already sacrificed and put a lot of work to perk up their life’s. I’m so sure not all of poor citizen will get the subsidy. A lot of things need to clarify before it can be approved. For my opinion, I think only citizen who has a problem with their healthy can get the subsidy or welfare. Other’s maybe we can offer them a job, motivation course and give their children welfare for their school budget. Its better I think. And we can see they will put an effort and exertion to improve.

15. How about political condition in your place when concerning to the cultural activities, daily life, the system, the people etc. Do you find it hard to keep on living in Malaysia? Have you been involved in street protest lately?
Politician condition in my place is totally sucked and fucks up. Mostly of the activities or plan especially for cultural still not in grow and not in fair for all people especially for teenagers. All politicians are pro-life. They are proud to be who they are. As bastard politicians they want to be a lead or role model to our young people .Its suck. I didn’t see any good point or grounds for us to support them. They just talk, narrow minded, double face and do nothing. Most of the activities that they organize are just more to traditional and conventional. They never plan, never assume and never observe. They are sightless humanity.

I never involved in street protest since I get involve in the scene and playing in the band. I really was looking for an occasion to join the protest activities. It’s a good and positive behavior.

16. How much capitalist and multinational corporations have ruined your life? How much it has strengthened the value of your life instead? Are you financially okay?
Malaysia Public Works Department and the ministry Sammy Valu. What is going on with Malaysia infrastructure? A budget from Malaysia government gives to this sector is more than what barely we can see now days. We still need to pay an excise for it. But it seems nothing. We didn’t see any a good development from this sector. A lot of interactions need to extend especially from the village to the main town.

-Personally my financial is quite ok this year… and I’m very happy for it. But I still need to work hard to ensure my dream will come true. Eheheheeh.

17. What is your favourite food? Tell me some worth bands to check out from your hometown. Do you like reading books/zines? Tell me your favourite one. I do believe that you have your own favourite list of bands, mind to tell me?
I love this question. Eating is one of my hobbies and I love to try eating a lot kind of food. I love to eat a spicy and fried food. My favorite’s food is fried rice with spicy paste (sambal) + egg. Slurrpp... nyum nyum.

Some of others band in my local hometown that I recommended are Reconstruct and A//Rose. I’m not a book worm but I like to read a lot of magazine about music such as for drum, guitar and old history about elderly band. I also love to read a lot of zine from local and recluse. For example Violence magazine, Kerrang, Embraze Zine, Maximum Rock n Roll, Asylum newsletter, Engine, Sonis Splendour, Perosak Minda and Synthesis.

18. Do Tools Of The Trade consume drugs? Beers? Are you guys vegetarian/vegan?
All of us have taken a drug before. It happen last 3 or 4 years. It’s very old stories and we don’t want to remember it anymore.

For beer, only Alifhu concentrate for it until today. Ehehe... me and Yusmira didn’t take it anymore for a healthy reason. But we are the drunken friends before. Hahahaha… and we love to smoke like hell!!!!

19. After years you get involved in this phenomenon called 'scene', what you've got through this? What you've expected to gain in the first place when you've decided to enter in before? What made you interested to get involved? What's the condition that you hope for to be adapted and to be practiced logically/practically in this grind/hc/punk scene?
I have faced a lot of good and bad memories since I involve in the scene. Some of the memories will keep on remain in my mind and some of it teaches me how to countenance this life and give me a good experience to breathe in this earth. I learn to think wisely and be smart and strapping to face a predicament. I’m more positive and logic to raise my accent for anything that I fell not contented. I have convened a lot of people, friendship and love.

My first expectation when joining the scene is want to sees a freedom in my life. Before joining the scene I got a lot of friends engross in social activities that will nearly kill my life and future. I’m ensnaring to where I have to go. I got no sign and intimation about my living and futures. I have spent around 2 years join a friends who never gives some guidance to improve my life and personality. Everything is shifting when I involve myself into scene. I’m proud of it!!!I was attracted from the scene from the community and unity that they are stand for. It starts when I join a couple of friends and go to local gig. I saw a band not just perform, but spread out the message through the lyrics .Sing together, raise a voice together, dance together, sit together and spend a time together. I saw a link of friends spread out the flyer about bullshit capitalism and racism. It made me thinking and upward up my mind to become more sensible and realistic.

Only one condition that I really need to adapt into grind/hc/punk scene: *Honestly and truly do what you want and be yourself.*

20. Which shows you guys played enjoying a lot all these while? Any great event happens in Kluang/Johor publicly? What's the last event/show/gig that you've attended lately? When? Is it great?
1) Benefit gig for Domestic Doctrine in Paul Place.
2) Extreme Assault Festival Prt 1 (our first show)

Honestly I didn’t care about any event and any activities in Kluang.Because I know the outcome is nothing. The last event/show/gig that I attended was in Klang (Tune Stone Studio). Its quite good. Just need more extreme band.

21. Tell me your opinions about the condition of mother earth nowadays. As it slowly down to rot, what's thing come to your mind that you think deserve to be heard by all those evil-richness-scumbag that keep continuously sucking those mineral greedily out from the soil?
It’s totally out of mind and unwise. Human got a mind and common sense to thing and get a best solution for what things that we do. But I think all evil richness didn’t care about this. What are they want, a huge stockpile of mineral especially oil to gain 100% profit from the fucking business that they comprised. They never think about the nature, animal and population inside the soil. They want to put on as much as they can and try to bring their name into gaze at the world. This is also one of the main causes why Tsunami was happen. There’s is not much mineral inside the soil can shore up the integration with ground and interaction gravities at the surface. Earth in crisis!!!!!

22. What's your opinion to plastic images of models in some fashion magazines that being appeared gloriously to promote those wasted crap product towards readers/spectators, which is after many years human condition (especially in this globalization era!) being measured by those media that they're not cool enough, not beautiful, not fit enough, not included in 'selected circles', not this, not that etc... so that they (human) will keep consume those product in order to get those cool, beautiful, fit etc just like the images of those 'appealed models' that they've exhibited? Not just the 'normal' people being hypnotized, as we can see randomly there are also have numbers of people in the scene which care too much about what they've to wear, to act etc for their outlook rather than care about the way of their thought which sometimes leads to hc/punk is more likely a fashion show that have a dress code to be followed which I can see is all pathetic. Need your views here.
As we know we grow up in the world and within we have a rivalry of rat race with all people focus to gain more money, name and the utmost place in eyes of world. They created new products,brand,name everything just to ensure they can get finest market consign to survive. They start to use a lot of techniques and skill to promote all the products. And one of the ways is use a plastic image models to promote their products. From my open view, I got no problem if they sell out their product that will give some benefit to user and use the models to promote their stuff. What is the main problem, some of the populace try to take an advantage from their product and model to sell out some of bullshit expensive product like cosmetics, food and electronics invention where the original price for this product are 40% cheaper from the price that they selling to the consumer.

I can see the scenario happen when I go to local gig and enjoy the band perform. What I want to comment here, what is the imperative is what are we believe and belonging for. What are you wear, dress up and show up to others is not important. As long as we know what are we doing!!!! Inside and outside.

23. What’s your opinion on marriage and on having children? Did you find it necessary as a bond for a couple to keep on living together? Or is it such a state of mind (or psychology) in proving that they are already shared their life? Girlfriend korang sihat?
For my opinion, marriage and having a child is a way to nurture up our generation and for me, I didn’t have any doubt about it. As we can see, from marriage, we can diminish a problem and dilemma that we face nowadays like raping, killing and child abuse. And for me, it’s not necessary for a couple to living together. Sometime it depends in the situation. Love is about trust, happiness and it’s in our soul. Where your couple is is not important. The most important is where love is. It must in your soul and mind. Love is never ending story and theory. No formula!!!!

24. Mind to tell me your future plan? Future releases?
We plan to perform a lot of show after Inmate Consumption release and will organize a release party for it. We will start on our first tour on next year at Indonesia that will be organize by Symphonic Blast Production and some road show start from Singapore,Johor Bahru,Kuala Lumpur and Penang.The next release probably will be a split CD with others good band around this world. Keep waiting for it!!!!!

25. I think that's enough for me to ask you. Anything left to say or something to add? Mind to ask me one question about something you'd like to know? Thanks for the attempt to answer this interview and allow me to make this set of questions for you. Your participation is highly appreciated. Thank you.
Keep on extreme and enjoy your life. Stay smart and be your self. Music is just not to listen. It goes to nothing if you got 1000 title of stuff but you didn’t get anything from the music, lyrics and the sleeve. Feel it and raise your voice.

I really need to ask someone one day, what happen in this world, if we live in the same race and religion. No bullshit tradition. No white man, no Malay, no Chinese… all skin in the same color. Please answer. Eheheheh.

+ Okay, that's it. Some infos and news stated in this interview are outdated... so if you keep wanting for more updated news, feel free to visit these URLs:, and or e-mail TOOLS OF THE TRADE at Get ready for Malaysia Defilement Grindcore attacks now!


Zacky said...

nice interview ;)

Frank said...

Hello.. good interview, both questions and answers. Thumbs up!

Zach Van Alley said...

Thanks both of you. Cheers!