Extreme Rocker and Writer Marco Ferrarese's Hardcore Opinions on Living and Traveling Asia

Archive for the ‘Music’

TOOLS OF THE TRADE – Malaysian punishing grindcore

March 15, 2014 By: Marco Ferrarese Category: Asian Punk/Metal, English, Malaysia, Music Visited: No Comments →

I will be honest with you, I always though and still believe grindcore is a bunch of farts coming out of loudspeakers. When I went to Obscene Extreme Festival in the Czech Republic working for Cripple Bastards, I was forced to listen to the ungodly music for three days nonstop, developing more than a pet peeve for it. To put it mildly, grindcore to me is uninspiring and boring, especially when it explores the pathological or sexually perverted parts of the spectrum. C’mon guys, there are just four limbs and three holes, please come to grips with reality and stop belching about it, thanks.

ANYHOW… here and there, there ARE some grindcore bands who are truly interesting, gifted, or just plain face ripping. TOOLS OF THE TRADE from Kuala Lumpur is one of them, besides being a bunch of good guys with a penchant for good ayam penyet.

As I already stated in my Best of Malaysian Underground 2013, Tools of the Trade possesses those rare qualities to be found in Malaysian arts, among which perseverance and professionalism are most important. To me, they are currently the Malaysian grindcore act at the top of their game. They are about to release their third full-length LP “Proclamation” and embark on their first USA tour, where their recording has been powered at Mammoth Sound Mastering. 

Hear one of the finished tracks, “Catalysts”, and please hang to your chair as you do so. You have been warned. Catch them live and buy their stuff if you can.

SOUNDMAKER on Penang Monthly

March 12, 2014 By: Marco Ferrarese Category: Asian Punk/Metal, English, Marco Ferrarese writing, Music Visited: No Comments →

(picture credits: Cole Yew)

One of my pieces on SOUNDMAKER, Penang’s den of alternative subcultural rocking, is out now on the Penang Monthly. Read an excerpt:

“No doubt, to virgin eyes, a visit to Soundmaker might be a shocking introduction to Hell, hardcore-punk style. Cigarette smoke thickens as you throw a token to the spiky-haired punk rock Charon in charge of the door. And when the Gates of Hades open, the dominant darkness is dispersed by dim lights.

On stage, a band of young guitar gangsters with a barely necessary PA spray the walls with three-chord bullets as if they were wielding sonic machine guns. Before the musicians, dozens of “souls” slam-dance against each other furiously in a circular mosh pit. A few get trampled under army boots and sneaker-clad hooves. One of them leaps spread-eagled from the edge of the stage, but just moments before this airborne Lucifer hits the floor headfirst, a forest of limbs cushion his fall and safely guide him to the ground. All the while on the stage, the band continues to preach its chainsaw-punk gospel.”


Some press updates on my first book Nazi Goreng

February 22, 2014 By: Marco Ferrarese Category: Asia, Asian Punk/Metal, English, Malaysia, Marco Ferrarese writing, Music Visited: 1 Comment →

Last month has been quite full of activities and I haven’t had much time to upload the blog, sorry. I’m being busy as never before with, well… writing. Which should be good news for someone who wanted to do it full-time, correct? More good news are, my debut novel, Nazi Goreng, is going quite strong in Malaysia and abroad. I also made it into Borders’ Fiction Top 10. Thank you very, very much, to everyone who bought and read my book.

I recently had some interesting press attention, which I’d like to share with you.

First of all, I made it on Malaysia’s national radio. Listen to a fantastic Podcast interview for Night on Earth, titled the Power of Ideas, on Kuala Lumpur’s premiere radio station BFM98.8. Host She Fah Szetu presents an interview with my unconventional self about writing Nazi Goreng, living in Malaysia and what I know about kuasa melayu. No cuss words, this time around :-) Tune on the podcast here. (My segment start at 17 minutes) Download the Podcast here. (more…)

Best of Malaysian metal punk underground 2013

December 19, 2013 By: Marco Ferrarese Category: Asian Punk/Metal, Malaysia, Music, Travels Visited: No Comments →

Picture courtesy of Boo Hoo / Mr. Chooi

Year 2013 is about to finish, and If I look back I realize I have spent most of it rocking all over Malaysia, looking for THE ROCK. This year, all of  my travels have been in fact dedicated to explore the Malaysian extreme rock scene, meet its protagonists, and get an idea of what is going on music wise in the country.

I saw a lot of things, met many people, went to too many shows, and ultimately decided to behave like all those fancy-pants websites out there, and put up my own “Best of 2013″ list. This list, however, only applies to the most rocking, dedicated, different and original acts/people/places I found during the past 12 months of scouring the underbelly of Malaysian extreme underground. Of course, my kick ass band WEOT SKAM needs a mention. However, I still have a subcultural dignity, and I don’t like to include my own projects in a best of list as it totally clashes with the principles of authentic metal punk chivalry that govern my world.

For those who don’t know me personally, be informed that I am quite a fussy character to satisfy, and my bar is generally set quite high: this is especially relevant when observing a globalized, fast-developing Second World Nation (leave the Third to who truly deserves, and it’s not Malaysia), where bands tend to fatigue in the craft of their own, definite sounds and identities.

Trust me, I’m all for it: to find Asian rock-derivative music that won’t just xerox-copy something Western. This year 2013, I believe I found some pearls among a wider ocean of MaLAZYannes…

At last, I decided to compile a best-of list of the 5 most interesting things I saw in subcultural Malaysia during year 2013. After all, many websites are doing it, and I don’t see why I can’t jump on this trendy bandwagon. The added value is that you will get some worthwhile information.

Here we go. Please note that there is no order of importance, nor I wanted to make a chart. Just take this list as it is, acknowledge the truth, and support these individuals/bands/places as much as you can. (more…)

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