EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE/INTERVIEW: Myanmar dbeat crust punk Kultureshock release debut record

BAND | Kultureshock
FROM | Myanmar
GENRE | Dbeat Crust Punk
WEBSITE | https://www.facebook.com/kultureshockmyanmar

Goddamn…another huge honor on the site. Today we bring you the full album stream of Myanmar’s pioneer crust punk act Kultureshock. Even though the band was formed back in 2009, they only recently released their self-titled debut full length containing 10 tracks of hard hitting straight to your face crust punk. A few days ago we were able to stream one of the tracks and we stalked the vocalist Skum online for days to find out when the full album was going to be released. We were stoked on that ONE track that went up, we were dying to get to hear the rest of the tracks. Turns out that Skum had been in jail for a number of years (6) and therefore finds himself on the wrong side of technology. So what did we do when our fellow Asian brethren need a little help? We got in there and helped set up their bandcamp page!

Skum was also kind enough to take a few moments to answer a few questions so you can get to know this band and their community a little better.

Enjoy the tracks! Spread the word! Let them know they’ve got people all over the world supporting what they’re doing in Myanmar against all odds!

Hey Skum – we’re super honored to help you get your music out there for the world to check out! Your album has been out now for a month – how are you feeling about the response?
Most of the response for our album has been positive and we’re both happy and thankful for the kind compliments we’ve gotten for our debut LP!

Let’s go back a little bit in time – you told me a few days ago that you were thrown in jail for 6 years. What happened? Why were you put in jail?
This was back when I was studying at a university and got arrested for a minor drug offense while I was sitting for my final exam…actually, the authority just wanted to lock me up and get rid of the problem-makers on the street…setting an example for the younger generation who looked up to me. Initially, they sentenced me for 12 years in prison but when I made appealed against it, they later reduced the sentence to 8 years so I only had to stay in prison for 6 years, three of which were in the notorious Insein Central Prison and three years in labour camp outside Yangon!

Oh my god…that’s crazy man! What was life like inside a Burmese prison?
It’s one of the worst prison systems in the whole world…extremely corrupt and living conditions for the inmates are terrible. I’ve seen a lot of atrocities committed on the innocent inmates by both wardens and prisoners alike. But now the conditions are not as bad as when I was there but still corrupt as fuck.

Goddamn…once you got out is that when you started Kultureshock?
Yeah when I got out in 2009 I formed kultüreshock…before I was thrown in jail I had a band called the Diehards, UK82-styled hardcore punk band which was the first burmese hardcore punk band. Unfortunately, we hadn’t released any records before I got arrested…we only played few gigs and split up when I got arrested.

Once you decided to start a band after getting out was it easy finding band members? How big do you think the Myanmar punk scene is?
No, it’s not easy finding the right members then…the Burmese punk scene had just started and most of the kids were only interested in fashion. Still there were a few young punk bands but most of them can’t play shit and don’t even listen to punk…they only want to dress up and take photos to post up on social media.

Lyrically – I assume that there is quite a lot of things to scream about because of Myanmar’s political/economical and religious situation. What are some things about Myanmar that you really want the world to understand?
Yeah, we got some issues to speak out…from the rise of buddhist fundamentalism, neo-facism, civil war, human rights abuses, social injustice, homophobia, sexism and unemployment. We try to cover most of this shit in our lyrics but there’s still so many issues to address. There’s lot of shit going on the media about the country right?

Yes – a lot…especially the way the Rohingya are being treated and the hypocrisy of Aung San Suu Kyi and the way she looks down at religious minorities like the country’s Muslims.
Yeah, exactly. Here most people here worship her and can’t tolerate any criticism towards her or her political party…but for us, her hypocrisy is so fuckin’ obvious and she’s just a corrupt politician like all the others.

Yes – there seems to be a lot of hero worship for her. Which is dangerous – if anyone feels like they’re untouchable that doesn’t help a country grow and develop because there is no room for criticism. Without the freedom of being able to criticize those in power, a country and people will never be able to develop. But it’s most disappointing when that person is Aung San Suu Kyi…someone who pretended to stand for the oppressed.
She became the exact dictator she claimed to fight against…but a lot of Burmese people can’t accept the harsh reality of the situation.

For you guys in Myanmar do you have to hide your activities from the authority? Is organizing shows easy?
No, it’s not easy but we don’t have to hide from the authority. Our main problem is the lack of venues here in Burma. Most venues don’t want to hold punk gigs at their venues.

What are your hopes for Myanmar’s punk scene?
More decent bands, distros, zines and shops around…and for the kids to be more interested in music and the ideologies rather than just dressing up to look like punks.

Yeah man…more power to you and your bandmates brother! Best of luck!
Thank you so much for your supports, mate! Cheers from Yangon, Burma!

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