Although some may think that there’s nothing much to do in Shah Alam, trust us — it’s one of the best places in Malaysia to grow up. Yes, the place does have many unnecessary round-a-bouts which issues can easily be fixed with traffic lights instead
(any time now, gov!), but it’s also blessed with incredibly talented musicians like Liyana Fizi, Taka (Venopian Solitude) and Jaggfuzzbeats.
Hence, last week, we went to Melodiya Recordings to meet up with two guys who will be performing at this year’s Good Vibes Festival — Azrul Zainal and Omar Aiman from Jaggfuzzbeats. They are responsible for gracing our ears with hits like “Talk To You” and “Wasted Night” from their debut EP, Rest Now — also available on Spotify.
We had a short chat with them and discovered which band member is the most motherly:
Q: When did you guys start making music and how did Jaggfuzzbeats come about?
We got together during high school. In 2014, our previous band didn’t work out since some members went on different paths to further their studies and whatnot. So the two of us created Jaggfuzzbeats because we simply can’t drop our love for music.
Q: What is everyone’s role in the band?
Azrul: I pretty much do most of the writing, but I will bounce off ideas with Omar to get more insight.
Omar: I mostly handle all of the PR stuff, but I will add on whatever I can to assist Azrul. If I have nothing to add, then.. nothing lah.
Q: I have always wondered and I always hoped to ask personally, where did the name Jaggfuzzbeats come from?
It came out pretty random — Azrul’s brother suggested it. Jaggfuzzbeats actually represents the elements in the songs we make. The guitar that I’m using is a jaguar, fuzz is from the effect pedal that I like to use which gives us the fuzzy tone, and we got beat from our beat maker Omar. We initially thought that our band name would be temporary, but here we are..
Q: Let’s talk about your dynamics. Who is most likely to keep the band sticking together/motherly one during difficult times, and who is the mischievous one?
Azrul: Oh bapak (damn), I feel like Omar is the motherly one.
Omar: That would be me, I’m the mother. (laughs) Wow, maybe I am. That’s the first time anyone has ever asked us this question.
Azrul: Yeah, Omar always keeps us on track.. but I think we are both equally mischievous.
Q: How would you describe your sounds?
We have a variation of somber, folk and alternative sounds since we are heavily influenced by 90s music. Especially the pop rock era like The Strokes and Kings Of Leon. But to make it simple, we just call ourselves an indie band.
Q: Are you working on new music at the moment?
There’s definitely new stuff coming up, but we haven’t made plans to release it any time soon since we’re still focusing on our current album, Rest Now.
Q: Let’s talk about your lyrics and what they are generally about.
I guess in general, our lyrics talk about past experiences, enduring all those adolescent stuff like heart breaks and going through social anxiety. This album is a bit dark, but we try to channel it in a more positive light. Even though the songs are pretty sad, but hey, we gotta live and learn from our mistakes.
Q: Is there any band ritual you guys must always do before every show?
We would chill together to blow off some steam before performing and try not to think so much. It helps to calm the butterflies in our tummies.
Q: Who are the people you want to reach out to through your music?
Hmm.. the millennials? (laughs) I mean, we don’t really have a specific audience because we try to reach out to as much people as we can — especially those who dig our music.
Q: If you had the opportunity to share the stage with an artiste, who would it be? Name us three.
Black Keys, Kings Of Leon, The Strokes.
Q: Who do you look up to as far as music is concerned and who are you inspired by?
Omar: I look up to the people who challenges the status quo. The grunge movement inspired me so much, like how they created something new and everyone would just scream together when they hear that kind of music. I guess the musicians that really made an impact on me are Chris Cornell, Aaron Spears and Matt Greiner. You can say that I had a pretty intense hardcore phase.
Azrul: Honestly, I guess the first song that got me into music is by Carlos Santana. My dad is such a big fanboy of him, so he plays Carlos’ records all the time and he loves sharing it with me. The whole guitar thing sparked my interest to venture deeper into the music scene.
Q: This is your first Good Vibes! Let’s talk about what you have got in store for your fans.
Apart from our new album, you can expect a visually stunning live performance. We’re doing it differently this time and our songs won’t sound exactly the same as the studio version — so don’t miss out!
Q: Who are you most excited to see perform at Good Vibes?
Phoenix and The Kooks. We’re actually more excited to see them live than performing. LOL!
Q: Have you been to a Good Vibes Festival and what do you love most about it?
Yes, last year’s event was so much fun. We had to travel all the way to Genting Highlands to experience the ‘togetherness’, and pretty sure a lot of people had to go through the same thing too. I mean, who would hang out in the middle of a horse ranch to listen to music? (laughs) But it was definitely pretty cool, Good Vibes did a really good job with the lineup selection. Mark Ronson’s set was the most #turnt, #lit ever!
Q: Any final shout-outs?
We’d like to give a shout-out to Melodiya Recording and to Good Vibes; we can’t wait to grace the stage with all the other awesome bands. And shout-out to our friends and fans who are going to be there!
Listen to Jaggfuzzbeats on Spotify:
Jaggfuzzbeats will be performing live at the 2017 Good Vibes Festival, happening 12 and 13 August 2017 at The Ranch, Gohtong Jaya, Genting Highlands.