[EDITED: August 21 to include the band’s own statement further below.]
Last night a death metal show held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was suspiciously raided by the police. The organizers, audience members and band members from various bands taking part were held for awhile before, thankfully, being let go. The reason why this was all suspicious is that a particular band who weren’t able to perform as a penalty for arriving late to the show, may have been the band that called the police on their own scene, sabotaging the show and their own community.
The promoter released the following statement:
“I am the organizer for the first Death Returns that was held at Ultimate Blast Studio on 19th August 2017. We had a great time. It was almost perfect.
Unfortunately, at 10pm, 66Roads was the last band to perform finishing up at 10.30pm. Right then we were raided by the police. We were caught off guard. They told us that there were reports of a disturbance and suspicious activity.
At first we suspected it was the nearby locals who may have reported us but this couldn’t have been true. We have been conducting jam sessions till 4am almost every week. Kids have been coming in with their fathers to check the venue’s activities. We’ve already staged 6 gigs here without incident. Why would a neighbor make a report now? We’ve always stopped all of our events for prayers. We don’t bring any trouble.
The police held us for about an hour before letting us all go. Good thing was that everyone was ok. Bad thing was some audience members had purchased merchandise and all of it got confiscated.
In the lead up to this show I had informed all the bands a week before what the rundown was for the event. I made them all check their time and inform me if they couldn’t make it. I checked and confirmed with all 15 bands that they could indeed make their slot. I also informed the bands that they had to arrive 1 hour before their show time, if not I would cancel their performance from this event. This was to discipline local bands to come early and not make the crowd wait for them. All the bands agreed to it and praised me for making the scene better. In the end, only 14 bands were able to follow this.
We had an issue arise with one particular band.
They did not report to me 1 hour before their slot. So I had to personally message one of the band members. After 30 minutes, this person replied and apologized for waking up late. Not only that, this person even assumed the event would be delayed. This person said it’s unusual for an event to start on time. I replied politely and just advised him to respect everybody’s time. I even told this person not to shower and come straight to the venue.
I checked my previous messages with this person and I mistakenly had sent him a previous rundown. I apologized for my mistake and informed him their band’s slot was 5pm and not 4pm as I had originally sent. I was able to give them another hour to reach the venue. But this person refused and said the other bandmates are coming from far away and will not reach the venue on time. He also complained that other organizers usually give them a slot after Maghrib prayers. This ticked me off but I calmly replied that bands that are not from KL are able to arrive on time. Why can’t this KL band come on time for an event that is being held here? This person replied that the slot that I gave them was not fit for them. But let me reiterate, a week ago this person and the whole band had already agreed to this time slot. If there was a problem why didn’t they raise the issue last week in order to manage their slot? This person tried to blame me for not organizing the show properly and said it was all my problem. I DID manage and I DID give the band a chance. After that, this person calmed down, apologized and notified me that I can cancel their band’s performance but asked if they could still come and watch the headliners. I forgave them and agreed to allow this band to come and at least enjoy the show.
Again, everything went smoothly and they finally arrived at 7pm. The other members came straight to me and apologized right away on this person’s behalf. They read our conversation and felt their band member was being rude and disrespectful. Then, the original person I was communicating with in this band came and spoke to me and asked if there was space for the band to join the show. I was like what? This band already gave me the green light to cancel them but now they want to play? I refused because all of the other bands were able to abide by the rules and I didn’t want to prolong the show. They wanted to play after all the bands were finished. I politely refused and said everybody wants to leave on time, and anyway, their band had already announced they weren’t performing, so why mess this up? Show some respect to the other acts who were all able to follow the rules. They said they understood and apologized again.
At 7.30pm, it was my turn to perform. The said band in question left the venue at 8pm, without saying goodbye. A lot of my friends, other bands and even the crowd found out that the police was also informed at 8pm. I did not want to point fingers or suspect the band because that would be a low-blow. Why would a band want to sabotage its own scene? Why take that risk? Why put everyone in danger?
Later someone else told me that it was very unusual for said band to leave early. They normally always stick around to the end. But not only did they leave but they asked all their friends who came to the show to leave with them. So I began to dig deeper, asking my police friends if they could find out who made the report. This morning, I was informed who the culprit was. I do not wish to call them out but I am forced to.
Want to condemn me? Fine. But their actions put a lot of innocent people in danger. Band members even brought their spouses and some of them are currently pregnant. During the raid, one of the police officers even called a fully clothed woman wearing a hijab a “prostitute”. One of the band members immediately defended her and said, “that’s my wife”.
Not cool bro. You did not only try to bring me down but you threw other people into this mess.
I would rather have been beaten up outside than my friends and their families to have to be treated like that. You messed with the whole scene right now.
I would like to give my thanks and apologies to the other bands especially Exhale My Ozone.
I am deeply sorry for letting this happen. I will never stop organizing shows. Thank you all for the support yesterday. You all were strong and we stayed strong together. As a whole and as family. The scene is what keeps us together.
I am very disappointed with you guys. I gave you chance to be part of something revolutionary. Thank you for the effort of putting us in trouble. The traitor of all, ASPERSIONS.”
Almost 48 hours later the band in question issued their own statement which you may read below:
“Salam….we from aspersions would like to apologize to all of u who had misunderstood us. Also do forgive us for our discipline issues and for arriving late for the show. We have been playing shows for 5 years and we never once had bad intentions or made a report to any authorities just because our slot for the show got cancelled. But this Mr. Organizer here “Dirufied Ziddy” Just accused us WITHOUT ANY SINGLE PROOF that the gig was raided because of us? We had enough proof to prove that we are innocent. To whoever that is sharing all this fake news without evidence pls stop it. We don’t deserve this. We’re just young ass and broke kids who tryna enjoy the music.
To whoever who knows the kid who is spreading this false news, please do pm us and lets get together and solve this problem before it becomes more bigger and messier.Once again we would like thank to him for for destroyed our future band career! You always be remembered<3 #DeathReturns #RIPaspersions”
All of this is very confusing mainly because if a band felt slighted why would they call the police on their own community’s show? The band’s own response seems adds further fuel to the fire in claiming the organizer is lying.
Unfortunately, everyone all over the world is well aware of how difficult it has been lately for Malaysian metalheads and hardcore kids to enjoy metal/hardcore events because they live with the constant fear of being raided by the police. This doesn’t help matters…
If you’d like to continue to read about this drama then head on over to the band’s facebook page as it continues to unfold in the comments section. There are even further comments made by the organizer.