Afifi Rahim ‘Instrumental’ is a very general term.
Zulhezan We play music without vocals, that’s about it.
Would you consider yourself a post-rock band?
AR, Seikan Sawaki & Wan Azry No.
Z No, with a capital ‘N’.
A lot of bands aren’t comfortable with the label ‘post-rock’, why is that? I mean, when I say post-rock, what comes to mind?
Z It’s a predictable, repetitive formula: you have a soft verse, then a harsh, heavy chorus. It’s tiring, it’s shit.
For some, there’s an itch to fill in the space left behind by the lack of lyrics – like an invented narrative, or a story. Do you do that when you write the songs too?
WA [pause] No, it’s all lines.
SS To be honest, we just write a bunch of riffs. It’s a lot of chaos, and it ends up more progressive than musical.
Has the idea of adding vocals ever been discussed?
SS The idea of changing genres has been discussed [band laughs]. I’m always complaining, ‘Why is this shit so difficult?’
Z Anyway, I don’t think we sempat also, to play and then sing on top of that. Our instruments speak for themselves.
Anyway, congratulations on your full-length debut, ‘Commemorate!’. Now, what are you commemorating?
WA Seikan [laughs].
AR The album release.
Z The band.
SS It’s an accomplishment for us. We hope people get inspired – and I think also, we’re inspired by Malaysian history.
Z Yes, from the Malaya times to pre-Malaya times; you can see it in our designs or in our song titles. There’s so much hidden in history.
What’s hidden in the album, then?
Z Ah, you’ll have to search for it.
SS You’ll have to use a magnifying glass.
Let’s talk about ‘Istinggar’. I looked up its meaning; it means: ‘senapang kuno, menjadikan meletup’. Would you say that’s a good description of the track – or even, by extension, your genre?
AR Both, I think. That track, for me, is the most difficult to play.
SS It’s quite relatable to the track; it’s punchy, mythical.