COLUMN: Murder Bizkitz expand their punk rock reach in Yangon by Joshua Banks

The Bangkok punk band Murder Bizkitz have been fighting their way in through the thick and thin of the punk rock scene in the city. The Murder Bizkitz play an extreme in your face old school no holds barred style of punk rock that breaks the bonds of the PC culture imbedded in the punk scene today. They speak their mind not minding who they offend. It’s a throwback to the old days of punk rock of the 80’s that was raw fast and wild. Tony was ready to take his style punk to where the street punks were hungry and wanting more hardcore gigs decked out and ready the kids would come out. Old school days full on punk kids with decked out with spiked jackets and their hair done up flaring with attitude. This is what Tony wanted to experience some real old punk rock spirit of the kids’ fists in the air their screaming out to their heart content. These were the kids of the black hole of the eighties once again emerged on the streets of Yangon.

​So Tony knowing he had a Visa run and wanting to get out and get more exposure for his band outside of the Bangkok scene contacted Jojo lead singer of Rebel Riot about a show in Yangon. Jojo said that he would organize the gig so not to worry . Now Tony had another problem, his drummer. The kid he was using is a prodigy and can play an intricate style of jazzy punk drumming that even some of the best trained drummers can’t repeat, but the kid couldn’t go. So Tony found another drummer last minute to take his place. So quickly, he had to write some new songs that were easier for the new drummer to play. This was DIY to its extreme, whatever it takes to play a gig.

Preparing to leave for a Visa run can be a hectic ordeal also getting a visa for certain countries can be tricky as well. As the scene in Yangon is opening up it’s still not the easiest getting visas to play a gig. Basically this is the way to do it like the old days, grab all the gear and merchandise that you can and get up and go. Not knowing if the gig is going to happen but willing to give it a go.

So then as fate would have it bam on February 21st the flyer is out and the gig is set just like Jojo had said and so The Murder Bizkitz are playing the Pirate Bar as the international headliners. The flyer looks professional with the band on the top with their logo and bands opening the show. After all his work he had gotten to headline the show in Yangon opening for Rebel Riot. So off they went not really knowing what to expect but knowing from the footage that it would be a show not to forget and they would finally get the punk rock dues that they deserved. That all the struggles of keeping a band together was going to be worth it. The show was going to go off and the kids would go mad not just nod their heads to the music. He wanted chaos and madness that he remembered a punk gig could be, not just kids banging their heads. Bodies flying with kids’ body surfing over the crowd with an energy in the air that only a live performance can bring. The utter disbelief in the magical punk rock madness that happens at the best of shows. That the afterward brings on a rush of adrenaline, of rubbing down scars of a mad grin of what you had just witnessed or played.

The best shows happen in the most unusual of places. Small crowded spaces where the band sits in a corner absorbing the spark from the savage crowd usually pushing in to the front of the stage. This is basically how to describe the Pirate bar. The band sits in the back corner of the room as the crowd slams and mashes in front of them. Basically the bands set up their gear and even share their equipment. The punk kids use what they can to put on a show. So this brought its own source of problems. The communal equipment even came to the guitars they were using to play the gig. By the time The Murder Bizkitz were ready to go the shared guitar was completely fucked and unable to play.

​So luckily Rebel Riot had another guitar that Tony was able to use to play the gig. So Tony had to stand on a pallet without any actual professional equipment but an old mic stand usually used for a karaoke gig. So tucked off in the corner of the room, the band began ripping into their set and the crowd responded in punk rock fury.

​The place went absolutely mental with bodies flying every which way. The kids in the front were slamming into each other creating a small pit as the kids were jumping off the balcony into the people below. Boots flying down bodies raging around beer swilling everywhere this small bar had become a chaotic scene of mad punk mayhem. As Tony sat ripping through each song the kids in the front grabbed on the mic to keep it from falling down. This is what I love about a great punk gig. It’s this deranged commotion but in with a spirit of unity where if you fall down someone is there to pick you up or in this case help hold the microphone. It’s something that really needs to be experienced to understand. The kids were loving it and while belting out “Bomb the Tories” he got the kids shouting “fuck the rich”, as the song is a shout out against the rich Tory party who support the elite not the common people. Also Work with the chorus “All we do is fucking work!” This is a real alliance of cultures, Asian punk rock kids singing along with the foreign band. This is how gigs are supposed to go.

​The Murder Bizkitz plan to once again come back to pillage and plunder the Pirate Bar with their style of hardcore in your face punk rock and plan to reach new corners of South East Asia. Stay Tuned.

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