INTERVIEW/PREMIERE: Malaysia’s experimental rock act Yong Belar release new EP

yong belar

INTERVIEW : Yong Belar
FROM : Malaysia
PHOTOS: Najeeb

Some people you just have known for too long who have a strong track record of whatever band they’re involved in hands down frickin’ rules. My buddy Arwith of Second Combat fame is one such person. He is easily a household name amongst the Southeast Asian underground hardcore circles. Anyway, when I found out he had a new band called Yong Belar I raced on over to their bandcamp page to check them out. Was I surprised to hear immaculately structured instrumental post rock instead of youthcrew hardcore? Of course not. Like I said above, this dude writes great music and thus has displayed a sound knack for pushing musical boundaries for himself.

Yong Belar is most definitely a force to be reckoned with. They have just released an EP of 5 instrumental post-hardcore tracks that are worth your time and heart.

Once they sent their EP to me I quickly asked their guitarist, Adrie, a few questions to help get more of a background for this band. Enjoy the music and the interview below:

yong belar

Give us a brief background to the band please for those who don’t know about you guys.
The band started in late 2013, know as fu. At the time it was just me on guitar and Fakhri on drums (ex VIJF, Piri Reis). We played more ambient/postrock loop type of music. We only released 1 demo and then Arwith and Azhar (ex VIJF, Split Tongue) came in around April of 2015. With adding another guitarist and bassist we were no more fu, and changed the name to Yong Belar as well changing the genre too. You can hear a massive difference between the demo and EP on our bandcamp!

fu – demo released in 2014

What does Yong Belar mean?
Yong Belar is a mountain bordering the states of Kelantan and Perak in the Titiwangsa Mountains of Malaysia.

What was the decision for the different musical direction?
Our biggest influence were Godspeed You Black Emperor, older releases by Mono, Russian Circles, etc. Having said that, we don’t really want to stick to one genre.We play whatever sounds good to our ears. We are experimenting with our music. If they wanna play skram riff just go on and do it man! As long as it doesn’t ruin the song it’s all fair game!

yong belar

Tell us about the new release
It consist of 5 songs recorded, mixed and mastered by Tom Bollocks on a small budget. We first released it at The Wall, Batu Pahat on January 1st of this year. Tom is a member of the band The Bollocks.

Why did you go with Tom?
We did look around before we chose to go with him. A few friends also recommended him to us, and we definitely think he was the right choice. It was easy to work with him and he taught us a lot about recording. Even with our small budget, he still did a great job.

Last question – so what’s next for you guys?
We have few shows coming up to promote our EP. One this weekend and 3 next month. And we’re still looking for more. Full length? Hopefully by the end of this year at the latest.

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