Modern Australian Underground

Yeap & Heikal on immigrant punx and racism in Australia

Episode Transcript

C: Hi, and welcome to another episode of the Modern Australian Underground. I'm your host, Christina Pap, and on the show today I'll be talking to Yeap Heng Shen who burst through the Australian and international punk scene in the early 2000s as the lead singer of Swedish crust revivalists Pisschrist with members of other awesome bands from Melbourne at the time, and forthcoming such as Straitjacket Nation, Sucio Poder, Extinct Exists, Nuclear Death Terror, Lai and others, then going on to form Kromosom and after that Enzyme, as well as some other shorter lived projects such as Oi punk band Bloody Hammer. Yeap has a new project called Reaksi, who have a seven inch coming out this year on La Vida Es Un Mus.

Alongside Yeap, I'll be interviewing Heikal who plays bass in Reaksi, and immigrated to Australia just a few years ago. Both people are from Malaysia but not necessarily Malaysian and have their own stories of family migration within Southeast Asia that we go into in our conversation. As well as talking about Yeaps punk ventures since moving to Australia, we also go over why both of them moved here, the communities they moved out of and then into at the time of their immigration. With this comes experiences of racism they’ve encountered in both countries, in and out of the punk community, as well as for Heikal having to navigate society as a non binary trans person.

It was a heavy talk seeing that they still held pain from these negative experiences, and that they've had to adjust to live their lives to be able to get by while still randomly experiencing assaults on them as bipoc people in a Western and predominantly white country. I want to thank Yeap and Heikal for coming in and trusting me enough to open up about these particular issues. It was an insightful conversation. Heikal has a few words they want to say before we start the conversation, you're listening to the modern Australian underground

H: I'm Heikal and I acknowledge that this podcast is being recorded on stolen Land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation and I pay my respects to elder's past, present and emerging and so all of us as well. Also having like, this is a general thing where not acknowledging the use of the colonial word “Australia” in this podcast, we can try and use things like so called Australia or so called Melbourne which I have used before and my you know, radio show and stuff gets a bit of attention from people in Southeast Asia or Europe to us what it's so called and then we start explain the ongoing colonisation of the country of First Nations people here so to acknowledge more, and to try and push this towards the small scene that we have. And you know, to try and use so called Melbourne or so called Australia.

Y: Heikal grew up in Singapore and I grew up in Malaysia. So maybe our experience a bit different because technically, I'm Chinese Malaysian. I don't feel Chinese at all. Because to me, I would say I'm a Malaysian, a Malay but that's not what country I was born told me, you know, and that's not what the people that I grew up side by side make me feel sometimes you know, and would you say this is the same experience being a Malay person in Singapore?

H: Yeah a minority Malay in a majority ethnic Chinese area Yes.

C: Yeah right

H: and especially because my grandfather came, we’re actually from the islands there wasn't like Malaysia/Singapore, it was Malaya. so it was one, so that's why I don't identify with any of these countries because we are from the islands around there. After World War Two he got forced inland so he was living in commission flats. And those were all different tribes of brown people who put into this commission flat environment. all they did sell drugs, murder people, whatever. And it's the stigma just went through throughout generations. And it was crazy.

Y: Me growing up around, like being profiled because of my race, not because of who I am has always been there from the start. For example, like, because I'm not a Bumiputra, Bumiputra means like a child of the land, you know, although being born there, I don't have the same eligibility to like scholarships, to like grants or anything. I'm like a second class citizen. Since young, my parents were like, you know, “if you have the means to leave this country, you know, to seek a better life, you should´ you know? So that always been on my mind since I was young. When I got into punk, right. The punk scene gave me a little bit of escape from that whole like, you are Chinese. You're Indian. You're a Malay. Yeah, like that whole-

C: Because everyone's just there for punk.

Y: Yeah, everyone's there for punk.

C: its not the first thing you think about.

Y: Yeah, but later on though, it did creep in do you know? like, it came to my attention that like a lot. people viewed me as like, “Oh, that's the Chinese kid” because I was the only like ethnically Chinese kid that was involved at a time. Well, maybe there was one, two or three of us, but there was not many. The Chinese community on the whole in Malaysia is thought to have like a higher status in society, because, you know, they control the economy. you know? The truth is, there are a lot of like, poor Chinese people like me, you know (laughs). I got painted with the same stick, you know, like, Ah, you know, that kid

H: has lot of money

Y: yeah, got a lot of money. he's not like, he's not working class. He cant be punk, you know, bullshit like that. So yeah, like having had that my whole life and coming to Australia, was like a breath of fresh air. You know, being supported by like a group of people.

C: You felt like you could like, let your guard down a little bit and you can relax a little

Y: Yeah

C: Was it for school that you came here, or?

Y: Well, not really. I got into punk and my first band Mass Separation, we played a show in Singapore, our first show with a band called Warsaw from Melbourne. And from there, I met their bass player, Mark Harvey, who I became pen pals with we traded records and whatnot, we kept in touch way after they went home and whatnot. And so through him I got all these demos of like Melbourne, hardcore, crust bands, punk bands, and that make me interested to come here, I guess. And at a point, that was all I could afford, where the money saved up. So I made it here. In terms of society's thinking and politics, and even like, you know, what music I was into, like, in Malaysia, you know at that point, because we didn't have the internet and we had a lot of like heavy censorship and whatnot. Everything we were into, right, it was like probably like 10 or 20 years too late. So I was still into like, 80s punk and hardcore, and like, early 90s you know, like UK hardcore and whatnot like Heresy, Napalm Death and all that stuff you know? So when I came here, it was like a whole different world for me. I mean, people were like into like the newest bands and whatnot. And all these ideas that I read in Profane Existence and Maximum Rock N Roll, Heart Attack, they were actually practiced here like people was squatting people were like dumpster diving. It really caught my imagination that you know, you could actually exist out of the system. And so that really attracted me to Melbourne. And that wasn't the biggest attraction, the biggest attraction were the people I met. You know?

C: I was looking up, Yeap a bit about your bands and I kind of didn't realize like when I first met you and stuff, I didn't realise that you at that point, you hadn't even been in Australia that long. You moved over in like 2002 or three

Y: 2002

C: Was your first band here ABC Weapons?

Y: Yes it was. Yes it was. It was a band that really, it was Tim's project. And like, I kind of was the new kid in town that was keen to play, you know, music. So got roped into play. And I had a lot of time on my hands because I just moved in and we were all living at a Pink Palace together in Northcote

C: Yeah.

Y: So who lived there?  It was me, Phil Bastard, Emily and Dave from Straitjacket and Pisschrist, and James and Cret, this old Polish punk rocker and a bunch of like, people who came and went. Pointer,  we had a few people from Malaysia staying with us and few people from Czech Republic, Eastern Europe. We have a lot of punks coming through. Oh, and Tom McGuigan used to live there.

C: Oh really, that’s cool (laughs)

Y: And Tristan

C: When you moved to Melbourne, like what was happening at the time? like because you talk about dumpster diving, squatting and stuff like that. The scene has changed so much since then, these aren't things that I know of where a lot of people really do these things anymore.

Y: So we lived at a Pink Palace on Eastment Street in Northcote. Like if you take the tram and stop at the town hall up on Ruckers Hill, and basically right behind High Street. Before I lived there, I believe that place had been going for like four years before that. I lived there for about three and a half. And we used to run punk shows out of there. We even did some international ones like the Rambo show and Unholy Grave. Back then I would say the scene was less defined. You know, there was a bunch of us that was into hardcore punk but because the scene was not big, like it is now I would say now is bigger but we go to our own separate shows now. Back then, the punk scene, the DIY punk scene would have a lot of affinity with say, the activist crew, you know, like the forest activist groups, the queer activist crew. Also like the techno crew, you know, the people who organize like bush doofs and, you know, warehouse raves and what not.

C: Yeah, it is. And I think that’s something I did want to talk about in this interview because I think it is so crazy how, like there are still like some punks that have that involvement but a lot of it has moved away from that. So when you got to Melbourne you started Pisschrist like the next year right?

Y: Yeah, we started Pisschrist the next year, I remember the first year, I after the first year in Melbourne, I went back during Christmas time to visit my family and to touch base with my friends. And then when Dave actually picked me up from the airport and and say like, “hey, how bout it?” “we got me, Jimmy and Timmy have been jamming you know, are you interested to sing this band? I think we're gonna call the band Pisschrist” Yeah, I was like sure. You know if it's Swedish hardcore, that's that's what they say, that's what they say, it sounds like Swedish hardcore For sure. That's what I'm into. So sign me up

C: So Pisschrist, everyone knows Pisschrist in that sort of music. You know, it's just like, you were only around for like six or eight years or something?

Y: Yeah.

C: But it like blew up pretty big.

Y: I guess because in that six years we were very prolific. We were also lucky because the right people saw us at the right time

C: I think that sound was pretty popular at that time.

Y: And also like we were at the start of like, when that sound was getting a bit of resurgence. The people we knew put us in the right shows, the right festivals. And yea, we got a lot of help. It wasn't just us, like we made it happen together, you know? And that's the beauty of the punk scene, you know?

C: So coming into Melbourne as well, you moved into this sharehouse where like it was like a collective you're like doing shows and stuff. Have you always been someone that is trying like trying to be proactive and like, even back in Malaysia?

Y: Yes, even back in Malaysia, like way before I was involved in putting on shows and whatnot. I was involved first in activism and whatnot. And I guess like what got me into punk was the political side of stuff. Because right until then, like yourself, you know, I was into punk because I saw like, some records with some shocking words and shocking artwork. And that attracted me to it. Going to shows then and hanging out with skinheads and street punks didn't really do it for me, because one side was really nationalistic and really gang culture and the other side was like, you know, like..

C: It didn’t feel like the right thing worth fighting for?

Y: It wasn't the right thing. But then, I met some people who, you know, we're talking about doing grassroots activism and whatnot. And you know, that music was introduced to. Bands like Crass, Conflict and whatnot. And those bands, you know, they actually did what they sang about, and what most importantly, they did sing about it and put those ideas into my head. So that got me into like, putting on the jacket.

C: Yeah, and you've never taken it off. No.

Y: No no (laughs). I was involved in activism, and then when I got a bit older about like, 16/17 I started, because true, my pen palling with people overseas. I started organising shows for those bands. You know, the first band I did was Unholy Grail from Japan. Who I'd been writing to. And they needed a show.

C: Was this in Malaysia?

Y: Yeah. So I put on some shows for them. And it was probably the worse organization but I was glad that someone gave me a chance. And then, after that was Dregs Of Humanity from Brisbane, I did a tour for them. And that was the first time I actually booked like, more of international South East Asian tour. I did Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. And I took them around, yeah, I did everything through phone. So I was honing in my organisational skills there.

C: I know like last year, you feel like you didn't do much because of COVID, but like your track record up until that point, you're either doing bands, you're doing a label or you're organising tours for bands here or your bands touring overseas. One of my favourite stories to tell people is when I saw Chromosome in Pittsburgh, and I saw you like get crowd surfed upstairs and they just like crowd surfed, like out of the room, and then you just like crowd surfed back in. that was at Jimmy and Krystyna's house

Y: Yea get a lot from playing music, you know, it, it's like an avenue for me to vent my frustrations and to be you know, if I came up to you and jumped on your head, you probably wouldn't like me very much. But you know, because I play music that's like, it breaks down the barriers, you know, and I get to sort of be who I really want to be.

C: Did you both know each other before Melbourne? Or when did you guys meet

H: Actually pretty weird that I don't actually personally know Yeap before I came here. Okay, I think Pisschrist played in Southeast Asia 2005 was it? How old was I back then? 19/20?

C: So you went to that show?

H: I went to that show. I was born in Johor in Malaysia and they did a show in Johor with all the Singapore crew. It was crazy, they were playing in a place called Youth Park in Singapore, like an old venue. And it went crazy as well. And we was like, Who is this Pisschrist? I didn't know, I don't remember whether we did have access a lot of internet back then. Probably not know right? So I was just going blind sighted cuz I was exposed to a lot of like death metal and stuff for my sister who was playing in death metal bands. So I’m like “Pisschrist sounds like death metal” and I'll just go and see this band. And then I'm like, Oh wait, they're from Australia, but on the lead singer doesn't look like hes from Australia (laughs) I was just like, this is cool! but I went for that. I didn't even pay for one of the shows, stood outside and watched it and I'm like, yeah, this is amazing. So that's how first knew about like Pisschrist and Yeap

C: So Yeap got you into punk like 20 years before then?

H: Kinda yeah, but I didn't actually straight away went into it. I just went like, okay, so everyone knew Pisschrist from 2005 onwards, it was kind of like everyone in the punk scene or even metal scene or grind scene or every scene in South East Asia had a Pisschrist patch. So you just got to have a Pisschrist patch, or an Unholy Grave patch. That was just one of the things because these two bands where people just like listening to them over and over and over again, I guess that's where it grew from there. But I didn't really actually grew into that Swedish hardcore stuff, or even punk in that phase. Because at that point of time, I was like, maybe I just want to steer away and then became like, you know, this delinquent skinhead walking around, I was just crazy, but yeah, I didn't know Yeap from there. But people did, you know hang around with him and everything and I thought it was just thought  “ This is a huge band and everything. I don't think I'm young. I don't think I'm gonna hang out with these guys. You know, just do my own thing” But we knew each other in when I kind of moved here three, four years ago.

Y:  For me, like, when I see a fellow Asian person at a show, I would go out of my way to reach out. Well actually, you know what? I go out and reach out to any new person I see at a show. Yeah. But I know what it's like to move here as a new immigrant. And it's, you know, I like to reach out?

C: Well, I think that's something that I kind of wanted to talk about, as well, because I don't know what it's like to move here from a country, and move to a western country and you know, what your family and community of punk is in that country, but still, like having some sort of discrimination because you're a person of colour in like a white country. And I'm not sure, I guess, between you moving here, and you're moving here, I kind of was just thinking about if there's been any changes, or if it's, if things are handled differently

Y: Well when I moved here, I was pretty much most of the time, the only Asian kid at the show generally, like everyone made me feel welcome. You know, we united like on our interest in music and bands or whatever we were doing, like the issue of race never really was a question particular, like, the people I live with, and my bandmates and the people around me the first people I met around me really made me feel at home. They really supported me and helped me through. I It wasn't easy when I first moved here, there were things about how things were accepted here which I didn't grow up with, you know, so it was a big culture shock. I had culture shock for a while and, you know, I was questioning like, how things are done here and how I did things right until then, you know, so, yeah, it was hard at first for sure. Sometimes isolating too. But I had I had you know, the scene and music, to you know, keep me focused, so I didn’t really ponder on it too much. It was always in the back of my head, though right until probably around the time towards the end of Pisschrist and then the stuff with Chromosome, there was a time where there were people who like, you know, like, would pick on me and point out, based on the colour of my skin and my background and whatnot, which was up until that point though there wasnt anything like that. I mean, if there was any sort of like things where I felt like, that was a bit, you know, that was not so nice. It was more like I felt like out of pure ignorance, though. It wasn't like malicious or anything. Yeah. But there was possibly one person who was malicious about it and pretty low ended about it. But then like, it was that one person but I felt like you know, the fact that, you know, the whole scene revolves around this person and whatnot. It made me feel more isolated. Yeah,

C: Yeah definitely. You talking about like the meat dog incident?

Y: Yeah, It's gone on for few years to be honest.

C: Like, I mean, it's over now or?

Y: I don't think it's over for them but like, it's over for me. And sometimes you just need to, you need to put it aside. You know, I feel like

C: Nothing's gonna change.

Y: Nothing's gonna change. Yeah, you need to move on and do what you do you know?

C: When it happened to you, everyone knew about it. But it's just like people decided to just forget about it because they’d rather remember the legacy of made dog and his music, you know, and that kind of annoys me like people. I feel like people always just like, That was so good. He was so cool. I'm like, but you know that he did like his racist shit. And everybody just decided to look Boston.

Y: One person is not going to ruin everyone.

C: Yeah. But like, it's also a shit way of looking at it. Because like, when, like, I look at it from my perspective as like, like going through something as a chick the same and then being like, well, I don't want to make a big deal out of it. Because, firstly, why is anyone going to care? Because I'm just one person.

Y: That's how I felt. Yeah, that's how I felt. Yeah, you know, I felt very isolated in that way. And even at that point, when I made I said it to people that I was hanging out with at a time. They didn't really grasp the gravity of it. Yeah. How shit it was for me. Yeah, for sure. And the fact that, you know, like, a lot of people around, and my peers and my friends were like, begging this person. It made it harder. Yeah. For me. Yeah, there was definitely some gaslighting happening. But to be honest, there wasn't gaslighting. Really, of course, he there was because he was very interactive. Very brave. Yeah. The thing was the scene I came from wishes, like the DIY cross hypo punk scene is very guess, you know, we only hung out with ourselves. We didn't really hang out with more like the hardcore crew or anything. So we were kind of very shield away from this kind of ideas. You know? Yeah, that was maybe more accepted. But other scenes, you know, that came a point where I thought where I saw from Pisco is that, you know, Pythagoras is actually breaching to other sins, no, get getting acceptance. And I, I viewed that as a positive thing. I thought, like, if I reached out to different scenes, you know, and, you know, to have a biggest we can have a more united scene. Yeah.

C: Bigger shows like.

Y: Yeah, and I guess that was the point where I was exposed to more different kind of people. And I probably wasn't ready for that.

H: Which then signifies the difference between when when you're up first game and how he went through as an immigrant or a person of colour? Yeah, going into a predominantly white scene. When I came in, there was already people like Rafi Yes, people were pulling me in on the strings, Rafi, there was a shirt. I mean, totally, we're not that close. And at that point in time, also I came earlier but also could then came in, it's all these strong characters that came in from a certain region and you know, even like others from like South America or something or from Eastern Europe, like Oregon, or something like other people. So there was heaps of immigrants. So the thing about, I remember one show in one year, it was like three years ago or something. It was just an immigrant mosh pit going friggin crazy. I thought that that kind of shit wouldn't fly with us from the point I came. Well, I did get a bit of shade from people who are still here when you're going home. I'm like, yeah. But-

Y: Back then it was. I guess when it comes to immigrants. It was me and maybe one or two people from New Zealand and then

C: Now Footscray the whole scene is made up of people from NZ.

Y: I guess towards 2009 2008 that was when we saw like the first big wave of like, Kiwi punks coming is that

C: When Bernie moved over? But I think Yeah, Like that even having those people around you, it's like if something bad happens, you know, you have people that have your back, you know where you were put in a situation where like this happened, and you felt like,

H: And I guess like for Yup, I guess I've always seen Yup, as long as Christ punk is love is always like, he's always ready to like, That's all right, let's just push it, push, push it aside, first, let's do the music thing first. You know, we can try and work things out. And not really. But for me, like where it came from, or whatever I've been doing. Before I came here, I was just political from the start from the day I was born, like immigration issues from day I was born. So I just feel so strongly about this kind of stuff that our guests that even being queer, or whatever it is, this kind of shit just wouldn't fly, you know, we would just like, stomp it up with utmost force that, you know, like, that thing wouldn't even blow up that person wouldn't even exist in DC. Now I'm talking about now, you know, this kind of like behaviour of like racism or something? I think because of the support that we get on me hanging with other activist group, which involves like black people, other people, I guess this kind of people will never ever survive when it's gonna say no, see, now,

Y: I had a lot of activists people around me too, but I guess I just she just, I just didn't go around telling people. Yeah, you know, like,

C: well, he kind of downplayed?

Y: I don't blame a lot, you know, and is it a survival thing? Maybe? Yeah. You know,

C: you don't want to stir the waters even more.

Y: Yeah. And also, it could look like me being petty or singling out someone, you know, wish I I never want to single anyone, like, you know, like this person has done to me. I guess I had time to I was dealing with a lot more things like immigration, you know, trying to prove my worth to this country. Yes. You know, like, that was a lot of things going on in my head at a time panca saw, you know, my future relationships, everything. It was really a turning point of my life. And I didn't know if I was actually going to be able to stay here or not after living here for six years at that point.

C: So since 2002, you've just been here pretty much the whole time. Besides, besides like, when you've gone off to tour and stuff.

Y: Yeah, yeah, I've been pretty much

C: I think that's pretty cool. Just because I feel like these days, it's so much harder for people to like, I mean, Australia has always been a really hard country to move to.

H: That's like impossible when I first hit of like, yep, sorry. Oh, yeah, I did this during this time. Yeah. How do you even do that? I'm like, No, I'm here for one year. Like, oh, I have to get question. Yes. Study. Oh, yeah.

Y: Yeah, it was actually really hot. So I got a student visa. And I study in in congruent with playing music, and touring. So that was my first visa. And then after that, I had a person that I was seeing here, and we did a partner visa together. But two months before I was actually going to get permanent residency, she decided not to do it with me anymore. So then as hectic, then I had to, I pretty much at that point, I was left with a decision what to do. If I need to go home or I need to look for other avenues. And luckily, I had a job that sponsored me to stay I paid for everything, but they put their name out there. Yeah, to sponsor me. That's awesome. So that's how I ended up with a PR here. Yeah, it was a long process. Pretty much nine years still, I got a sure thing that I'm gonna stay.

H: It's a weird feeling, having that constant on shortness, just a constant thing.

C: And now listening to Yup, it's nine years and I'm like, three, four years? What's going to happen? Yeah,

Y: and at that point, when I left Malaysia, right, I didn't see much of a future in what I wanted to do. I want to play music, I want to take music as far as I can. And I also wanted to continue living life the way I wanted to live, you know, like not by the rules that were set up for me when I was born, which is really Malaysia kind of like the Asian way you know, like your your life is set up for you, you know, your parents, your your community, you know, have this idea of who you should be and if you're a bit different, you know? Yeah, yeah. Oh, the big you into line at that point. I didn't really See, it was it was really stressful for me because that was.

Yeah, you know, I made I made something for myself, despite not knowing if I was going to stay or go,

Y: And be sure Having said that, right, the Malaysia that became after that became something which I didn't think it would become. Yeah, like now they're like autonomous punk venues and like lots of bands, love collectives, you know, doing lots of good work for the community. So, you know, like something wish I didn't think I would see in my lifetime.

H: Yeah. So I was there during the time when rumah B was the like, the punk space was that the old space? Yeah. And it was great. You know, like I was shows every week there was chaos and rumour be every year year leader bringing even bands from you know, scum, rain, and everything all played that?

C: Are you doing stuff to help out?

H: I was doing other shows. Yeah. And remote because I know man running around someplace. I was doing other kinds of shows. Were doing other feeding stuff projects. And this kind of stuff is more like a community space. Because there's like a record store upstairs. There were people doing bike workshops or something. There were people doing other stuff. So I guess it did grow. Like it grew into something very cool. Yeah.

And like, Yeah, definitely. Things that I saw here. I didn't think would would have been back at home, but it did. Yeah, it was great. Yeah, the nine years did shake me a lot because I came here very idealistic and always up for you know, like being involved more than just music but in in like, the activism part of it. What really changed for me was that I had to kind of keep a low profile for Australian authorities and what yeah, definitely like, so that, you know, I don't, I don't rock the boat, my chances to stay here. So I really made a conscious decision. If I can do the best I can do support something like say a course that I want to support. I'm going to put 100% into the punk community where I believe I can be most effective and I can affect change and help people.

I think you've done a good job of it. You said that, like at the moment you're involved in like some community stuff when you're back in Malaysia.

H: Yeah, you were doing we were doing something like Food Programme for homeless people around like places where there's a lot of drug use or you know, rough sleepers and we were trying to do the audit and Food Not Bombs, you know things around the rules around food not Bowman's right. It's not supposed to be made or anything, but it's not sitting here, I just thought you just have to add a bit of meat or something. So we need something else. And then I guess I just float in and out within like, I didn't want to live in this country is just not me with me fully tattooed on trying to explore myself for everything. And it's just so society itself. They're just so constricting dichotomy,

Y: the idea of a tattooed person is very foreign. Do I got that? Because I wasn't born Muslim. Right? And what still with me having terrors I had to cover up. Because if you have tattoos, you're in a triad or something. Yeah. Yeah. And then a couple years later, you know, I see like, ethnically Malay kids getting better. That's a big thing.

there's a big thing in like, the social psyche. I feel,

H: yeah, that's like a statement, you know, breaking boundaries. So it's people and stuff like, Hey, you know what I respect you, you know, I grew up in a Muslim family, I respect you, and all my mom or whatever, my family to have your decision and stuff, but I'm going to physically show you that I do not believe in that. And by doing that, it's just not like, I look like I mean, I try it or something. But no, I just go like, you know, full on, okay. I'm, you know, this associating with you, in a form like, this is my identity, and I'm gonna take it, I'm gonna own it. Whether you like it or not, well, a lot of people didn't like it.

Y: Because right, and then right, when I was living there, a lot of my friends and people around me were like, We will punks. But at the same time, you know, our culture, and religion was very much a backbone, and in the midst of a mental, mental dnw lives, you know, in a few years, they go back to, yeah, what they grew up with, yeah, getting married, and then seeing a new generation of punk kids in Malaysia that will like, you know, getting tattooed and more open to its queer rights went towards, like, different ideas. Yeah, like, there was a lot of still a lot of sexist and homophobic ideas, like back when I was there, which I didn't agree with. But I had to, like, close one eye because everyone was like me against the whole world. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

H: I guess that's what I went to as well. Because then me coming on. I was like, walk. Hello, my older friends like well, we kind of knew kind of like, you know, softie, in a way. Okay, cool. But when I came in, it gave me a platform. No, I, you know, try to explore myself when I came here. My, my main aim to get out Well, I went to Europe and stuff and it was just too hectic. I didn't know what I'm gonna do is this is the closest, so I got a bunch of money to try and morphia and whatever, go to trade school, the cheapest rates cool. Yeah, experienced life somewhere else in a western country where I think I could explore myself. And finally I didn't like okay, this is me now. and blah, blah, blah. Well, then coming back to my friends is looking at my Instagram. And you're like, what happened to you? Yeah, some of them were like, yeah, we were friends for 15 years and whatever. But this is where we're drawn to. So you lost you've lost five loss. Heaps? Yeah, they would just let and some of them were like, yeah, you just do cook the when Australia party too much, and something went short circuit in your brain. And now you became this other person. And I think I would say at least half of the friends who actually that's where we draw the line, guys, you can do tattoos, and whatever, you can do this, you can do that. You don't want to pray, you don't want to fully release religion, it's fine. But for us accepting you being this way. As a non binary trans person, they will be like, that's where we draw the line because then it's us versus our God. And you know, we can't support you. Yeah, fair enough. So

C: you came to Australia, like you just said that like you came here knowing that that was something you wanted to explore. So I feel

H: like actually not specifically that so I came to Australia thinking that why did I come here to actually explore myself in general, you know, music wise or activism or like myself in general and I think I kind of like halfway found that you know, yeah, and I got more involved in your activism I got super deeply involved in all this kind of stuff. And also music was true also, you know, like EOP. And everyone I got more involved studying and bandwidth. Yup, and got more involved in playing back the bass again, getting involved in music. I missed the whole era of like, hot shots or whatever. Pink pellets and also I came at a point where there was nothing. There was no space where punks would congregate and there's no place it

H: It just says there can be spaces and even with like, IRL in first sharp it's kind of like it's not big enough where a lot of people can go Yeah, you know, It's not it's just like a bookstore where Yeah, they did like, you know, different stuff where prison letter writing and everything, so I knew people that end later on in Britain and everything from there, and I was like, Okay, first because I didn't need him first. I knew like, the other punks first, because I saw Rafi at some wasteland show at some abandoned factory in Footscray. And I'm like, yeah, wait, I totally got into whole punk thing. It's get drunk and blah, blah. And I'm I want to do something else. Yeah, and I saw this other group of females doing stuff like, Oh, you have that library thing? Where did this come from? And then I heard about hot shots, or communities based that will also run by essentially punks.

Y: I would say my life is in Melbourne was pretty much like yours. When I was first came by the time you came here. I'm knee deep in like diapers and trying to raise a child you know, so yeah, pretty much that wasn't my life anymore. Yeah, but yeah, you know, like Melbourne back in the day. I feel old saying yeah, it was it was really cool, you know, living at a pink palace because it was a real autonomous space where like, people came and we collaborated with them with whatever they wanted to do. Yeah, I we had forest activists like fundraises like we had a bunch of queer Knights It was like it felt like a very different time Well, I you know, there was less like red tape and

C: um, I kind of wanted to hear about like yeah, the activism that you were doing and then like what you're doing now as well like even just to say like that there are things still happening but yeah, there's like a little bit of difference with the time the kind of activism are doing well. The spot Oh, even pre card. Like I think pretty COVID Yeah, because I was just going to rallies and stuff what I learned about this country which is so dark I just don't know when it before I came here. I was like, Australia surfing country. Well, you know, this, this, this and that. And I came here my oh my god, colonisation is still ongoing places like jeopardy. I went to Japan, the country to stand Vietnam blockade frontline cops came everyone knowing that my visa was on the line. I believe that I came here. Also, as a settler being presented the wealth from stolen land, that is people that has been grabbed from this from the First Nations people have felt really strongly towards that being having better with like a lot of immigration issues or racism issues that since I was born, because I wasn't Malay, I'm a Buddhist person who is from the alien. We have five genders. We are totally different from a lot of people in Malaysia, you know, so I've been facing that. So I felt like okay, I need to do something. So I've been jepang You know, I'm trying to protect the sacred trees. 800 years old, hopefully now. It's just, you know, not going to happen again. Yeah, mostly a lot of First Nations stuff. And I knew people from West spot were actually just last two years, and I was oh, what's happening there. And you know, my descendants were from Indonesia of some parts and Indonesia now is actually colonising west part with you know, a lot of mining interests from huge companies that were and the Indonesian army and everything what tre is still trained by the AFP to kill innocent indigenous people there and I'm like, What am I doing with my life? When and this friends now all my family, they live in the north side in the Collingwood flats? I spent a lot of time there. Although I'm the only punk I would hands down, I would say I'm the only punku you know, hang on does that we do shows that a Collingwood underground show where we try to introduce punks to black communities to flat communities. Yeah, different communities and yoplait as well to shows that and it was super sick because we had rap hip hop punk. And then and now you know, like the West poppin. Guys, I want to start a punk band. I want to start Yeah, so the intensity of it. When they first talked to me, they were like, what the hell we thought punk was a white thing. But then we saw you on my Hello.

It's it's all about representation, I guess. Yeah. You know, like, and that brings more people. If they wasn't, you just have to put on a brave face and Yeah, go for it.

H: Go for it. Yeah, so I guess that's the most I guess I I wanted to do more stuff. You know, like maybe I'll look more into doing stuff where I actually not on the front line anymore because now I'm hearing like, yup, stories or a lot of people you know, what visa issues and stuff or legality issues or what I'm doing and stuff. I felt like sometimes I just flip and just whatever, I'll just run around the country and Yeah, sometimes it's From my experience, I tell you, hey, you should watch out, you know, okay, and that's coming from coming from a place of care, but it might sound like I'm just telling you, but you know, like, maybe now after hearing my experience, you might go, Oh, okay. It's not just talking of his ass, you know?  Yeah, I mean, like, yep, always does give me a lot of advice and stuff. I always just think of the heat of the moment. I'm like, I'm gonna do this, let's go do this. Let's organise all these people go out, stand on the front line and stop by I think there are other things like, I respect people who do it through music, like I've just shared recently with Europe. They're gonna organise, you know, playing in front of Swanston Street where they're keeping, like 20 refugees there, and Otto and swansons Jake Carlton seminar once once and they called them they were trying to do a show that I think the punk thing was anything So yeah, I was like, I want to play, you know, not so young was giving his music thing to like, I can't do this, but I can do this. And we're gonna make a lot of noise in front of that.

Y: Actually, you know, like that thing, like, was done back in the day to you know, like, reclaim Melbourne and whatnot. Claim your streets. That was something we did like, every two or three years where like, different groups come together and just reclaim streets in Melbourne, like reclaim Smith Street. Yeah. So it's good to hear that still. Yeah, I

think it's still I'm just trying to, you know, I don't know people are doing a lot of stuff. Now. People are busy people have, you know, careers or families or everything. It's very hard to like, try and get people out. Yeah, get people, actually. And I think like, yeah, I feel that as well. Because people are doing like people do raffles for example. Start a holiday.

H: Yeah. Oh, yeah. That's a huge thing. You're getting money for all these families who wants to get Christmas hampers for needy families? Yeah, that's another form of activism. Yeah. When people say, Oh, you're not on the front line. So what if you're not and people are doing online stuff, raffles, people doing music stuff? And you know, yeah, we made a band and everything about empowerment itself. So

Y: we raised money through music, and we donate it to all these things. Yeah, maybe we don't put it on social media and say, Hey, we donate that doesn't mean we don't do it. Yeah. And I come from a time where, like, nothing we do goes on social media. So sometimes, you know, like, it stays like that. I guess back then, like there was almost every show Pisco was played was a fundraiser. Yeah, like we fundraise for everything. We fundraise for like the Melbourne anarchist group, we fundraise for like women's inside all kinds of organisation we've we fund raised a lot for the Blackstar collective we fundraise for gongura everything that we align politically do we did yeah, it was like the richest poor has been

C: most high goal is this your first band? This one you're doing with the up? Over here?

H: Yeah, I did have like when I was younger, some project bands that never kicked off, but this is one of the with Yup, taking me on his wings with all his music stuff.

C: You know, his so are you singing in this band?

H: Oh, yeah. Singing a bit singing and playing bass as well. Yeah, I try to sing as much as I can. While playing. I can't. I'm still I write a lot of the lyrics as well. Yep, of course, that's a lot of music. But then we come together with Rafi as well and try to you know, change it here and there. Yeah, the songs I've got. So it'd be like political but more of like songs of empowerment. It's up to it's supposed to be like a fun. Yeah. So yeah, first band here. I learned heaps. You know, I just come to band practice. I don't even know how to set my basis. Yeah, what's going on?

Y: Now, it was good. It was good. Having Heikal and bought, you know, I've always wanted to start a band that could sing in my native language. And it was, but it was good to share it with, like a bunch of kids that came from where I did. And yeah, you know, like, I've been thinking a lot about what we've been discussing. And what I did really enjoy about reax II was because, you know, apart from playing music, after we play, we could talk about our experiences, and I didn't have to really explain myself, but they would just get it

Y: So up to the up until the point where this person started writing mock in the racist, racist interviews of me in his scene and stuff that painting like racist murals of me. I have been So conditioned that like, this is just another person try to bring me down. Yeah, I mean, you know, out of the punk scene in Australia to like, I take a train to jilong or whatnot, I take a train to Eltham. You know, there were people who wanted to fight me just because like, I look like punk and I'm Asian. Yeah, I went to IKEA, like, two years ago and like that was a guy who like spat on me. But like, I've been conditioned,

C: I mean to laugh. I just like, yeah.

Y: I mean, this, I've been conditioned to have less skin. So I know, like, I should be angrier when people like, you know, racist towards me. Yes, it does hurt, but I am not going to be victimised by them. Yeah, I know. I got my eye on the prize. And I know what I want to get out of like, and you're doing Oh, yeah. And I'm doing it. You know? So yeah. I tried to take the negative and use it to do something.

C: Have you like had experiences like Yo, Genie, Australia, public and punk?

H: Yeah, punk. Actually, no, but you can kind of feel that sometimes in a circle, you're excluded. You just kind of feel that and in terms of like, generally, yes. There's a lot of racism that goes on here taking the train, or I've been well, actually, just when I started dressing more femme that even got worse. Hmm. Because when I'm being like this, I think because, like my hair and everything, if I'm more like male presenting, people don't really go up to me and be like, we kind of like don't want to touch this person. We don't know where they're from. A bit violent, like some rate Indian or something, you know, I don't know what's in your mind. But I guess, you know, just a year ago, something or one and a half years, where, you know, started being more femme presenting, I was kind of like attacked three times. One of it actually was very funny. I think it's almost three years ago, there was this rally in St. Kilda, it was the far right rally. And we came as a counter protest. I went with my den housemate last three years ago, Jane and his other peers and john who was working with a green so whatever, you know, like but we were just this political group going they're stupid enough. I will fall down dress pants when they're not knowing anything. I was like, having a bit of drink like I called St. Kilda. I saw Tessa actually. So we went there. So I was there in the first frontlines. So you know, the right wing people were there all those popular True Blue Crew all there. They were huge, and they were on the pace we could see. So then they saw me just behind the police line, they will like dead. Yeah. Kinda like that one. They started sick heading in my face. And I'm like, this is bullshit. I don't know Australia have this shit. So I told a cop like, Is it legal here for people that do this shit. And the guy just sick hitting my face and I lost it. I went in front and I was just kind of like choke claim medical. That's when I knew I'm out. I don't want to be in this part of Israeli I don't know the people left and right of me. I gotta get you know. So I went back. And Tessa said, Hey, hi. Can you know accompany me to the car? I feel a bit scared. You know all this because we were broken up by the cops and the Nazis were or the right wing people were actually trying to attack people, pockets of people going home. So fair enough. We walked me Tessa, john and Jane, walk back to Tesco. And suddenly this guy came in. This is a mapping Chairman. I don't understand he's all he was. Right. Was that I don't know. Is it sunlight? That's my picture. I don't understand who was talking to john who was a bit clearer. So John's like blinking. And then he got peers started attacking this person john and now I flipped it I'm like, Don't touch my friend. I was like get out yeah, it was so like pockets of Nazis trying to attack us right and then Tesla's just like froze. And I'm like, What do you want is like I'm not a Nazi. I'm from Queensland Am I oh my god this is crazy. Yeah, I don't even know you're a Nazi. Yeah, what do you What don't you like you don't like this person because he's trying blowing kisses at you or I thought you don't like me so here I am like you know attack me so of course that was one of the party we got attacked by we got away and you know went home. But then the other one was like a squat party that was more of me that was when I was more male presenting so when I was more femme presenting as being as a bipartisan is presenting you putting yourself way down in society or nothing already, you know, being by boxes there. Being like trans or non binary is just, you know, yeah, just nobody went to squat parties almost got jumped, attacked at the door by like, led to something and then last two years.

C: Well, this was in punk. Oh,

H: no, there was like a fundraiser squad party. So I always go, this activates fundraiser squad party stuff. So it was like a techno party or whatever. So of course, lead came in trying to find the weakest link almost got, you know, like, roll for my money and whatever. So I was like, No, no, they're like, I'm the weakest link. Now. I gotta be careful. But next year, New Year's, not this last two years or something, you know, a year before we went to sunshine silos or something. I was alone. I was wearing a nice dress and everything. I should have known. You know, this bunch of dudes came up and like, we were all punk girls, you know? And then yeah, we were just like, I knew a lot for us even into guys and stuff on our ship. This is going to happen again. But I was like, we're gonna have fun. Fair enough. The guy went and asked me for something. And I'm like, No, I'm gonna give you Yeah, just punching me repeatedly. And that actually set the path for my whole year. While I was just kind of traumatised, I'm like, What am I doing myself? Or people like me? We have to have a lot of preventative measures just to have that also,

like, I mean, yeah, definitely. But also it sucks that you like I should have known because you shouldn't have to be like, yeah, you should not have those preventative measures where you don't have to like, yeah, you're gonna go out and address and you don't have to, like be like, okay, where am I going? Is it safe for me to go out and address here? What type of people around it?

H: Yeah, everything has to be pre planned. So I did that. Because I was too egoistic, a man, I'm gonna take my space and I'm gonna do it. But this year, I was being more proactive. And I said, I'm gonna stay in groups. I'm gonna stay in this. We went to a squat party, actually, this new year's, big in reservoir, state, save heaps of crazy people around but stayed safe because I stick by the plan. Because I took a step back, and I didn't take space. Yeah, no, I just hid behind people and stuff was pretty sad. But I guess like, that's just how life you know, you call it? I don't know, I don't know how else to prevent it from happening. Because that thing, I thought it was strong. But those few instances where it just shaped my life. Just so paranoid about everything.

C: It's hard to fight sometimes. So fight for space, and like the attack that you get back is like, sometimes it's worth just taking a step back, which is that you have to do that. But you have to think about like, Is it worth? Which is like the same shit like, you know, with you and my dog and stuff? Maybe the

Y: same? Yeah, yeah, I think that is the similarity. different experiences one similarity. Yeah. The latest incident that happened to me was actually last year. Yeah. Around hardcore victim, so actually, it is the first night where we've got all the bands that were playing like from Korea and Japan, and Malaysia, they were all in Melbourne already. And I put them up at Bendigo hotel. It was late in the night, and we were down doing shots and playing pool in the front area of Bendigo. Yeah. And there was like some drunk people, like drunk dudes. And I didn't, I didn't really hear he looked like he was friends with like the bar manager. You know, he was rarely drunk and belligerent. I didn't really hear what he said. But I heard what he ended with was like, you know, he was he was staring at us all the time. And we were goofing around having fun. Yeah, drinking and just, you know, loud music was blaring, we're having a good time. And I did not really hear what he said. But I heard the tail end of it was like crazy fucking Asians. So I, you know, I let myself get angry and I totally jumped on him. And I had him in a headlock, and I was gonna beat the shit out of him. A lot of times when people are racist towards me, I get so angry because I'm usually at that point. I'm shocked.

Yeah, I'm shocked. I didn't know how to I didn't know How to react. Right? I didn't know how to react later, when I think about it as I should have, like, you know, reclaim my rights then, like, this is the other side of my psyche. Well, you know, yeah, you just Yeah, like, I'm gonna put it aside, I'm gonna take this negative thing and do it positive. But there's another side of me who is really hurt. And I'm fucking angry. So this was that one time where my other site came out, and I grabbed them and I got him in a headlock and whatnot. And then, like, then my other site set in Well, I, this is not even the first night of hardcore. If I beat this guy in the home, yeah, I might be in the slammer. Yeah, and the festival would be gone. You know, this festival that we put up, which invited all these bands from Asia, you know, to show like, my scene in Melbourne that an Australia that, you know, like, we don't always have to look towards the west. Yeah, hardcore punk. You know, we can look through all our neighbours around us in Asia. Yeah. So I waited up and I was like, You know what? This piece of shit is not worth it. Yeah. When I just kicked him out. Yes. And that was it was great. He got kicked out. Yeah. Like, yeah. That was really apologetic over it.

Y: Yeah, the bartender was, but yeah, we did our own kicking. Yeah. Yeah. It's bullshit. Yeah. And it makes you It baffles you in 2019. There are still people like that. In the inner city. Yeah, definitely. Having said that, it does not really surprised me when there are people in palm. And, you know, in activists in and whatnot, there are a lot of conditions. a condition like to use that as an excuse, but it's like even people that think that progressive, still have that condition in our life. We all have something. Yeah, that Well, yeah, we know, it's not the way we know that there's a different way of thinking, but we've been brought up and we have this Yeah.

H: How could we educate this kind of people? How can we include them? Yeah, instead of exclude them? I don't know, maybe that's the future numeric thing, but I don't know, I had

Y: this experience, you know, well, I thought similarly, you know, and probably was, in my time in chromosome where I felt like, a wish, as a scene, or a band or person, you know, who's doing things should be more active in like, trying to breach that gap. And to close in the gap. And we we played with, like, metal, like, metal scene and like, Sometimes in a skinhead scene, you know, and sometimes it's not worth it. You know, the bands you play with, like, yeah, they, you share a lot of similarities with them, and you have a lot of things, they got good politics, but you know, their fans might not.

C: Yeah, and especially with punk, I feel like there's always that element of people going to a shark cuz I know it's a chance for them to be in a pit and, and like, be macho and stuff inside. And there are people that like, actually enjoy, like, you know, being in a pit enjoying the music like that, like release of energy of like dancing around, but some people actually just go to bars. Yep. to like, pound on people.

Y: I mean, yeah. I mean, I've been at like, marching orders show before. Yeah, cuz I like that ban, you know, and, and, like, there was a bunch of like, a bonus there with like, swastikas. Like, you know, on the head and everything. Yeah, that were like looking at me the whole time, you know, like trying to intimidate me and like z calling in my direction and stuff, you know? Yeah. So those were the things that I felt like in the end, and then at a metal show, like we played a metal show and this plane cloth. Dude, you you wouldn't think that this person is dodgy at all, but tried to recruit chromosome to play an ns, like, party. You know, like, I was like, hang on, dude. Can you see that? I'm like, not quite. On. No, we're not. We're not about like, racial leaning and stuff. Just about like about National Socialists. That's all

Y: well, well, that's the thing, you know, like, I think, I think the messaging has changed, and they're trying to clean the profile, you know, like, like, you know, like, back in the day when you see a bonehead with swastikas on them, you know, like, I'm going to stay away. But nowadays, you know, they infiltrate rarely, which is Yeah, which is really scary. Yeah. So like, I actually pulled back you know, and Thought that like, only working with people that I know, and booking bands that I know, you know, politically aligned, it's not that you're trying to stay in like a certain group or be narrow, it's just that you have tried to branch out and you get to pick when you want to do and when you don't want to do it, because it's trying to be open to everyone. Like you're not getting back in. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Like, you know, and that's what led me. I mean, like, you know, I've heard some people like, you know, over the last few years, say, like, why books are always the same bands? Or why, as hardcore victims elite days, it's not that we are, it's because of experience that really, let's keep it small. But at least we know, what we have is cohesive, you know, and we built from there, rather than trying to cast the net real far and make it real big, but then it's just diluted, you know, yeah. You know, like, people just don't get that what we're about. I mean, I can safely say that I went to a hardcore victim last year, and like, you know, everyone was having a good time. And it felt good that, you know, you know, like, seeing faces that we know, and like, we're all having good time.

C: Such a great time.

H: Yeah, it was so good. It was one of the best, I think, like for calling a lot of Southeast Asian bands, who are the top tier, you know, like, even top tier more than benstead here, you know, it's downright one of the craziest bands ever come out from that scene. And also lifelock, one of the oldest punks in Southeast Asia, and brain cell as well. oldest bands and paying that sound like Doom style, you know, like when no one actually really placed it over here. And I guess like, bringing them all together with all the flight tickets and accommodation and whatever, that hardcore victims and also mates from Southeast Asia flying in, and everywhere, and everyone's just in a group. I felt like yeah, that was kind of like that turning point where I think that maybe I do want to play in a band, you know, I do want to engage in this, because there is a good there is good stuff as much as like, you go through those experiences. Sometimes you're just like, why do I put up with so much shit? And like, and keep doing punk stuff? You know? Like, you're like, why am I still here? If I've, if I've been copying so much crap, you know? Oh, you just have to fight to keep doing something that you like, you know, that's the thing. It's like you like it enough that?

Y: I mean, when I was younger, yeah, it was about community and whatnot. But now being 40 it was pretty much I'm doing it. Also, for me, you know, my own selfish reasons

C: getting laid cut on Winter Garden.

Y: Yeah, that's what we check out in the garden. But no, I mean, the selfishness is not about doing it for myself, but doing it for myself as in bringing the bands that I want to see. And not just like the bands that contact me and say, Hey, can you do a show for us? Is that Yeah, I'll do it for the scene, you know, because I, I might not be into you, but I think you're gonna give everybody something. Yeah. But like, when nowadays, like, I don't get to do much. So I have to pretty much just like, Think Like, who do I want to, you know, who do we want to bring out? And the whole reason behind bringing out all those bands was like lifelock from Singapore. shum shum said the bass player, he pretty much stood me in the right direction when I was a teenager. Like the right bands to listen to, you know, like, he put me on to like, more of like, the Japanese like 80s Japanese stuff, like confuse and late, you know, like the 1990s Yeah, he was like my Yoda, you know, he put me on to like, disclose like the contemporary 90 stuff. brain cell. They were people I grew up with, you know, like, we were teenagers together, like we were from the same area, you know, so it was pretty special to bring out like all my friends, you know. And Zeno's, you know Toyo who's been doing artwork for for chromosome and like all my projects like for many years and scum rate who I did not grade and pen pals and trading. Yeah, like it's really, really selfish pleasure. Really, you know, and I think the turning point, you know, where like, I felt like, everyone knows now is not cool with the whole meet doc thing was really when straight, not straight jacket like webydo when scab, ido Really cold out? Yeah, hold the coke. In particular. Yeah. You know, like, seriously, what, what am I gonna do? I I've said it in the past. And people say like, but you're Yup. You know, like, Who is he? You know, like, if you go out on a witch hunt on him, it's gonna look like bootsy pinballing, which is what he was doing to you. Yeah, yeah. And on the other side, everyone just shrugged it off as like, beef, you know? Yeah. It's not private. But yeah, like, you're not attacking something about my person. You're attacking something about my profile and my race, you know, something that I have no control about? You know, and yeah, I think that was the turning point where like, it brought into the psyche of people like, hey, maybe it's not okay. I think it needed to come from white kids.

C: No, totally white guys, and understand that, like them, saying things to their friends about why like, you know, like abusing women or stuff like that. It's just like the chicks say it guys just don't get it, guys don't get it. And then guys just don't understand why they're the ones that have to talk to their friends. Like, they don't want to lose those friendships. And it's just like, they're not gonna listen to a bunch of chicks, you know, they're gonna listen to their guy friends, you know? And it's like, and if you're losing a friend because of that, then they're not fucking worth it just


really hit it on the head. Like, yes, yeah, that's right.


You have to Yeah, everyone has to make a 10. So all my everyone has to make their friends accountable for their actions. That's as easy as that. And accountability doesn't is not a form of like, outing people know, it, we should introduce it as a language of love, care and compassion for your friends. There are people who know how to do stuff like under Colonel RL, there are people who are trained in this kind of stuff, who have been saying that they are trained, and they are willing to help. But that's where you go to different avenues or different NGOs or other people to go and try and seek support people who are trained or who do studies in this kind of thing to try and, you know, yeah, how about how it started hardcore victim, so it was 2009. At that point, me and Bernie been together for a year, and we were hanging out with our dear friends from tear gas. And the second release on hardcore victims first release, that's really first ever right. And at that point, they only had like this awesome demo. And I'm saying like, Hey, you know, you guys should really record a seven inch and go touring. Like, I think the wall would really want to, because being out there myself, I've been trapped at that point. I've been, you know, like, chaos entails.

ve been to Europe, I've been to America played those festivals, and Japan and whatnot. I was like, Guys, what you got? You really could bring this band and tour, you know, like, you guys should do it. And we got no plans to record we got no one to release a record. And Bernie was like, you should do it. Yeah, you know, as I do not know, like, up to that point, I've released records for four bands that were like libanon dodon, I released lead tape, I released like something for short live, but they were like, no label releases just to help the tour. And Bernie was like, you should do a label and like, you know, help this bands from our community. Get the same experience you have, you know, in piss gross, and like, tried to expose more bands like outside, you know, and that's pretty

C: regretted that like, eight years later, you're putting out stuff and she was like, help me take care of the kids.

Y: I said to Bernie, I'll do it. Yeah. If you come in on it with me. Yeah. And so it was like our first child you know, victim is really our first child you know


Yeah, we've grown a lot over the years and like starting with tear gas, you know, putting out their records and getting them in touch with you know, Greg and Timmy and all the shows and for them and then it really grew from there really?

C: Am I allowed to talk about your release your band's release cuz this is your this is your next release? Gonna tell me do you guys want to tell me a bit about go free?

H: Yep, you go for the band name. We thought about was a lot of band names. They were thinking about I didn't want to be too much or maybe in creating everything by ob you know. So we got a name called Roxy which means reaction, which means that reaction when you get when you see me playing UK to LA You know, I'm going to be presenting as hell, and what's your reaction or the reaction that we get from colonisation or from the borders or from immigration or stuff, that's the reaction that we get. And this is the reaction that we're going to give it to you. So that's the band name that we thought about.

Y: Yeah, it's a five song seven inch that's going to be released in Europe and US on lavida. And available in Asia and Australia, true hardcore victim, really, it's, it's a, it's a project of passion, really, you know, getting together and being able to sing in our native language. The EP is his title. So hurry company, anchieta, which literally means tomorrow belongs to us. Yeah, and, and it's a bit of like, a shout out to like, all the kids back at home, where we come from, you know, like, yeah, life is tough, you know, but we got to keep pushing and more like I thought tomorrow

you Katie to our message is generally positive. Not nihilistic, like, despite of all the bullshit that's around, not, you know, like, that's not much. We were born in, like, pretty much a dump. But, you know, we managed to do something of ourselves, like, you know, we made it here, we made a ban, you know, that, that's a small achievement in itself, you know, and we're just trying

much more, you know, just being yourself being green, claiming your identity and coming together, as, you know, people from the same region, which is normally called the nusantara, which is Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and those region and then we come together and make this music. And I guess, I'm super stoked to see how this would turn out. One of the lyrics itself, like we came up with it together. And then one point of time, I was gonna cook something at night, but I got this like, you know, thing when I was listening to a lot of like, old school mulay ballads and stuff about romanticism and love, which is much more of my culture, where it's about our culture, you know, like, where we come from. We love ballet. Like, yeah,

H: passed down through generations. Yeah, different causes, you know, like, so I guess that's why I got a lot of the thing for the legs as well. We put it in and you're like, Oh, my God, this is crazy. in the morning. I'm like, Where do you get this legs? Like, my veins have been caught in? Like the blood. be one of the kinda like the lyrics day. It's just like, really deep.

Y: Like, very, very poetic way to get like, we we write the lyrics together? Yes. Great. Got to bounce off. Yeah, it's a pity that Rafi our drama, his visa was denied. So yeah, just Oh, yeah. Like, you know, this is one of the examples where like, rough he's been here for six years, six years, you know? I mean, after six years, you pretty much well set up in a place. Yeah, definitely. then having to uproot yourself again, or odd. You know, it's all three of us would know.

C: Yeah. But like, I mean, you guys moreso

having to go back to Jakarta in the midst of COVID Yeah, he was. It was just it was such a culture shock. to him. It was Yeah, I guess now he got a job, you know? Yeah. Yeah, I think it's gonna be good.


Y: So yeah, check it out.

C: well, what else do you have coming out in 21 2021?

Y: Yep. So the execution second EP hacker EP whenever the system to avenge will be ready. Yep, that will be done and figured a lot yet a lot. A lot coming out. And hopefully we can at some point in 2022 hopefully the hardcore victim. it's not it's not a new anniversary. Last year was 10 years. So yeah, it'll be some something. But yeah, hopefully bring Creek shock and schizophrenia and lotion. Definitely. Hopefully they're still bands. Ah,

C: so if someone was listening to this podcast, and they wanted to maybe donating to like a local DIY organisation, like do you guys have any recommendations of like, places they could check out or support in some way donate food, donate money?

H: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I would start with directly like the punk itself, like IRL in Photoshop. Then from there. I guess that's more other donations from like West pop. I've been wanting to there's so many things going on. But I guess to start with, because we're talking about punks and things that were run by essentially punks who play in bands like exorcism, who played man's like a cop blood inland lays and oni and everything like that. Those are the people who run IRL info shop.

C: Is there any other like DIY punk like stuff like in Photoshop besides in Photoshop, though, because like, yeah, there was a point where there was so much more

at the moment. Yeah, it's just, yeah, I mean, last year, towards the end of last year, I mean, Stu, and we were trying to get a collective of people who will be interested in going in on like, a space to start like, oh, no man space, you know, so we can do shows up there. I was getting tired of doing shows at a pub, you know? Yeah,

no, different. We need to bring back that edge. Oh, yeah. We we have in Melbourne.

C: It was great. You know, it's like just such more of a relaxed vibe and feeling like I mean, like, it's great that we have like pubs that will let punk music happen, but like, you know, doing it DIY show under a bridge at a skate park at a house. You know, they're all things like, I


mean, we in Melbourne, lucky, you know that we have that culture behind us and we need to do our best to like, you know, uphold that. Yeah, you know, if you'd like to donate maybe to asrc or war? Yeah,


yeah, it's true.


or the drug SRC your rise


Alright, as he or drop warung to jump around.


H: I guess now the injunction has happened and they're not going to build a highway. I guess just follow Instagram. All you can do is just google stuff like Jacqueline de JBW. ru and J. So that's the indigenous struggle and and warn of who you are RN of OFK and a K on Instagram, when you follow this kind of stuff on Instagram, they just linked to each other. More like First Nations struggle and stuff. And yeah, there's a lot of stuff like war warriors of Aboriginal resistance, that's going to be invasion day is going to come coming. They might need some for something.

C: So maybe name a couple of your favourite Australian releases that have come out in the last like five to 10 years that are off your label. Yeah, looks like shit. Oh,

Y: I guess you know straight. It's the first straight jacket nation. LP chip chip cakes. No. Yeah,

it doesn't six. Oh, what? Is it?

Y: Too old? No. Well, yeah, yeah. Really like the alien nose job site. Yeah, yeah. I actually haven't received a swab. Demo. Yeah. I like I like watching them live. So I look forward to their seven inch that's coming out. I like that. That helped demo and that's a lot of good stuff in Australia. Yeah. Oh, I like the no class record. Yeah, the no class record a I gonna do something on a hardcore victim.


Oh, you know, I've i i've Oh, we've always offered but they they snap this for like, wow, like a control Records, which is basically pop punk people graduating to become skinheads now. I'm not sure. about this. Or that. So. So so many good records out there. You really put me in the sport.


I do have to say, bands and on the Hot COVID.


Well, maybe maybe not all hot. I think

H: like enzyme abuse of power. That's pretty good. And the way these guys perform live, it's just explosive. Like every time this is the first time I saw them. People just go crazy when life goes on. And you know the whole band itself. Vampire. Oh, yeah. Great.

Y: Oh, yeah. Well, vampire is great. Yes. That's one of the things that I repeatedly he does. Listen, I actually offered like we actually offered vampire to put out a record to the big IP, or big Yeah, and the hacker demo. Yep. Yeah. Awesome. Future suck. bands. Yeah. I'm sorry. But really, you know, like, we are very lucky to live in Melbourne, but like, you know, like, that was my first impression when I came to Australia right outside. And as so many good bands in all of Australia, how come I didn't know about them to know? I guess because we live in the US and of the world. You know, not many bands actually get into the rigmarole of like, you know, network or like writing or trading records

H: you know, I better do more of that not many bands here for a lot of longevity, you know, like I love lying when it came out you know? Yeah, I liked it. I liked the language use I liked the intensity of the music I like the vocals that been female fronted and stuff and know you know, that the envelope, but I guess other records that as a punter, I love pandas. exactly the kind of thing that will listen every day. But I guess because of, you know, the lyrics and I've been listening a lot of pondering like, lockdown

Y: debacle. Yeah, debacle. Yeah, debacle real strong. Not do like 90s cross, you know? Yeah, yeah, the stuff that I guess when I came to Melbourne was very, yeah. The layout LP is actually quite exceptional to a lot of good records. Yeah.

C: Thank you so much for coming in and talking to me.

Y: Thanks. Thanks for having us.

C: Thanks again to break you up and coming into the studio to chat. Yep, also sent me his top five releases for 2020 Australian releases. There has been the oily boys LP low life EP located EP nerd future cassette and the longtime a learn number one compilation cassette. I hope you got something out of this conversation. Next week. I'll have another Radio Show episode coming up. So stay tuned to the madness giant underground. Don't forget to contact me via Litmus dotnet littmus Media