|Interview by Burt Wolf with Bentara, guitarist of LANGSUYR!
Interview done April 7th, 2008.
CAN YOU GIVE SOME HISTORY OF THE BAND UP TO THIS POINT?
I can cut & paste the history from myspace hehehe...anyway, to cut it short, LANGSUYR was born in 1991
when we were kids. Just playing, you know because we love Metal. Strange was that we really want to put our
own songs so we didn't actually concentrate on cover songs. By 1993 we released our first demo, "OCCULTUS
MYSTICISM" ( we were 17 years old). And the follow up was "THE EASTERN CRUELTY" EP in 1996. Things
got slow after that. I went to further my study. And the other guys just doing their own things. Malaysia is not a
great place to start a Death Metal band, I can assure you that hehehe...
ANY PREVIOUS BANDS MEMBERS WERE IN BEFORE?
Yep...we had a few bassists & drummers. LANGSUYR is basically me & my mates, Azmaniac (guitar) &
Azlanthor (vox). We stayed that way until now. For live or recording we got help from friends.
WHY WAS THE NAME LANGSUYR CHOSEN AS
THE BANDS NAME?
Metal scene has exploded. In Malaysia, it sent a great wave.
Most of the bands at the time were influenced by it. So we
got bands dealing with Norwegian Folklore which I think
was absurd since our culture has no relations at all with
them. We want to write something is closer. So that's why
LANGSUYR was chosen because it relates to Malay
culture. LANGSUYR is a woman vampire by the way. It's
old Folklore & bullshit, but I think it fits with the idea at that
WHO OR WHAT HAS HELPED INFLUENCE YOU IN
CREATING YOUR MUSIC?
These bands: KING DIAMOND, MORBID ANGEL, AT
THE GATES & IRON MAIDEN. And of course I was
listening to Heavy Metal since I know how to read.
WHY WAS THE BAND PUT TO REST IN 1999 & THEN RESURRECTED IN 2005?
Malaysia is not a good place for extreme Metal. You can't really go anywhere. You can't make it as a job & you
barely get anything out of it. By 1999, I am already pursing my higher degree & life takes over. And I planned
not to play in a band anymore. In 2005, Azmaniac contacted me again & asked if I like to put the band back in. I
kind of settle down at that time. So why not?
YOUR ALBUM "ASYIK" CAME OUT IN 2006. WHAT HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN LIKE TO IT?
Locally, we are like the most recognized extreme Metal band. But that does not translate well in terms of sales
because as you know Malaysia is the land of pirates. Our album was pirated. If the album was pirated, it means
that the album can sells. Unfortunately, only true fans understand why it is very important to buy originals.
THIS WAS PUT OUT BY CLOCKWORK RECORDS. HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH THEM?
We were looking for a label to release the album. We said to ourselves, if nobody is interested, that's it we will
not record. After a few calls, CLOCKWORK responded well. We were the first Metal band on their belt. They
were exclusively Ska, Punk & Oi! label. I guess we made an impression to them that they wanted to sign us.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE COVER ARTWORK & THE MEANING BEHIND IT?
The artwork was meant to describe the song "Asyik" in the album. We wanted to have a model. We don't
actually have money, so we just hooked up with a mate. And he agreed with a free CD fee hehehe... The song
"Asyik" is about a journey of a man to find the truth. He almost became crazy because of it. He was mad. He was
angry. But in the end, he found it. It was already embedded in him!
WHAT IS SOME OF THE LYRICAL CONTENT IN
On the demo & EP they were more about Malay Folklore.
Dealing with ghosts & ghouls. To add more taste, I put
some of my own ideas. In the end, it means nothing
hehehe... Otherwise now, I wrote about almost everything
which I think are important to me. For example, the song
"Mata Ayer" is about love (!), "Liberalisasi Songsang" is
about arrogance & everything.
CLOCKWORK RECORDS ALSO RELEASED A "LIVE
AT PLANET HOLLYWOOD" VIDEO CD RELEASE
FOR YOU. CAN YOU GIVE US SOME
INFORMATION ON THIS RELEASE?
That was the performance when we launched the album.
We played the album "ASYIK" in it's entirety plus older
songs. We made quite an impression there since I think that
was the first time an extreme Metal band played there! Also,
our first music video, "Sunut", was also put as bonus on that
HOW DO YOU FEEL THE BAND HAS CHANGED OR
IMPROVED SINCE YOUR FIRST RELEASE
"OCCULTUS MYSTICISM" TO CURRENT DAY?
We changed & improved for sure. I think, we concentrate more on the songs & lyrics now. Lyrics was not a
problem before because we just take some ghosts names & we just play around with the words. But now, we
want to write something that relates to us. Something that we really want people to feel related too. Songs are
more well structured. We are not about being the most extreme or about being the fastest. We experimented with
riffs & techniques more.
ARE THERE ANY NEW SONGS PREPARED FOR THE NEXT RELEASE YET?
We had actually recorded the 2nd album. It will be called "BULLET" & will have 8 songs on it.
WILL THIS BE PUT OUT BY CLOCKWORK RECORDS OR IS ANOTHER LABEL GOING TO BE
Yep, we signed a 2 album deal with them. This is the last one.
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY? WHO ARE SOME
OF THE BANDS YOU HAVE CURRENTLY BEEN LISTENING TO?
I am basically a Metal head. I listen to Metal exclusively. I am also a big IRON MAIDEN fan. My IRON
MAIDEN collection is still small because I only started collecting recently. I mainly listen to the bands that caught
my heart during the early days namely IRON MAIDEN, MORBID ANGEL, ENTOMBED, AT THE GATES,
KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE, MEGADETH, METALLICA & few others.
WHO ARE SOME OF THE BETTER BANDS, LABELS & ZINES IN MALAYSIA?
Labels: CLOCKWORK RECORDS, ULTRA HINGAX PRODUCTION, NEBIULA PROD., NORTH
POEM PROD., & a few smaller ones. Bands: SIL KHANNAZ, NECROTIC CHAOS, HAYAGRIVA, SICK
SOCIETY, CASSARAH, BRAIN DEAD, VODIFERATION ETERNITY, MODAR, NEGATION, VORMIT,
PYRON, NEFTARAKA & countless smaller bands. Zines: huhuhu...printed zine? I don't think they ever existed
now. I was the editor for KRENMAUT ZINE (1990-1995) now a blogzine at KRENMAUT.blogspot.com &
METAL TERUS zine (1998-2000).
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF THE BAND DO WHEN NOT DOING ANY WORK FOR THE BAND?
I lectured in a local university, but currently I am doing my PhD in Australia. Azmaniac is a freelance graphic
designer & Azlanthor works in a company. Otherwise, I am busy with my small family of 4 kids hehehe...
WHAT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE
WOULD BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT
I think, my students were surprised to know
that I play in LANGSUYR. They knew that
LANGSUYR is an extreme Metal band. A
colleague of mine was told by his students
that I play in LANGSUYR & he just takes it
as rubbish. Until I told him so & he was
surprised to know that what actually being
told & rumoured are true hahahaha... Now a
days, students came in privately to ask
about LANGSUYR & I am happy to tell
them & urged them to buy only originals
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MISCONCEPTIONS OF LIFE IN MALAYSIA?
That we live in a tree? I don't know. I think Malaysia is quite modern & is a great place to visit. But doing Metal
in Malaysia is a lot of struggle. I know if LANGSUYR is somewhere in the U.S. or Europe, we should already be
signed with bigger labels & being touring all over the world. Here, we are satisfied as long as we can play small
gigs & release an album or two.
WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT FROM LANGSUYR?
The album "BULLET" is next in row. We don't play much gigs now a days since we are all engaged in different
responsibilities. And we already have some songs for the 3rd album as well.
THANKS FOR ANSWERING MY QUESTIONS. FEEL FREE TO ADD ANYTHING ELSE.
You can have a listen to our songs on our myspace page & if you can't find our album to buy, you can contact
me at myspace to get one. I have a few copies, otherwise insist BEOWOLF to carry some! Thanks man, you
are a nice guy!