It’s always nice to provide this platform to people who are the true definition of “lifers” or “veterans” of any Asian punk rock/hardcore community. Over the decades we’ve built relationships with people who’ve given their entire lives to the world of punk rock because of what it means to them – it’s so much more than music. These people were inspired by the substance of the culture and wanted to use it to better the world that they live in. It wasn’t just a soundtrack to slam dance or mosh or stage dive. It was a soundtrack for conversation, debate, reflection, and real authentic change, and of course, music to lose your mind to when shit gets dark. It is a music and an ethos that challenges the systems that govern and dictate how we live our lives. Fuck all authoritarian governments worldwide that restrict and constrain the human mind and spirit.
This, to us, to this day – is what punk rock and hardcore is about.
A good friend in Nepal – S.Rai – is the definition of all that.
We are so honored that she took the IMMENSE time to write and share her journey with us. It’s so extensive that we are going to break it up in parts. We are doing this mainly because the world’s current attention span only lasts a 2 second IG story, so we don’t want you to miss ANY of this.
Here’s part 1…
A long time ago in early 2000, somebody wrote to me from the band King Ly Chee from Hong Kong. We exchanged emails and zines (Yeah, I remember getting a copy of Start From Scratch!) and news about each other’s bands. I spent a bit of my childhood in Hong Kong and never got a chance to see any alternative stuff going on, so I was excited. This was just before the word ‘alternative’ became a f-ing genre co-opted by MTV.
Rock n’ roll years and years forward, and here we are still doing this shit 25 plus years on! For the love of being obsessed with music and resistance – like quicksand – we could never get out of it and only got deeper! So, I’d just like to say thanks to Riz for allowing me to give Unite Asia an introduction of myself. Riz you said ‘the more detailed, the better’ – so here it is, a voice from the other side. The female side? The anarcho-punk side.
One of us [The Kathmandu Killers] is paying respects to Mount Ama Dablam (behind) right now! Jai Nepali punk rock & the mountains that fuel me!
I hail from a long her-story of bands to name a few: Skinhead Barbie (1990), Bruce Lee (1992), Rai Ko Ris (2000-2014), Tank Girl (2005), The Fabulous Maxi Pads (2007), Naya Faya (2009), Yuva Ekta (2013), The Kathmandu Killers (2016), and Slime Baff Toilet Surprise (2018). I’ve been running The Infoshop with radical literature in Kathmandu since December 2004 and have been co-running RIS RECORDS since 2016 with my bro Samn from Rog/Anauto Prasna and my partner Bahula Maila.
So, here’s some news and views from this veteran Asian she-punk. In fact, the pic of me at the top of this post was taken back in 1982 in Dharan, when I lived in East Nepal, at a punk party my big sis organized at home. I look completely WTF but felt like I looked really punk and cool at the time! These were desperate times when I wanted to be a punk boy before I got boobs and didn’t have enough access to different, non-fashionista-type women role models. What did one expect? I was living in East Nepal, 9 years old and craving that evil sound! We danced to a Blondie cassette at this party! If you would like to know a little bit more about how this punkass got hold of Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Iron Maiden or Adam Ant records in Dharan the same year that picture was taken, there was a nice book that came out a couple years ago in the U.S. called Brave Punk World by James Greene Jnr. and Chapter 3 contains a glimpse into her-story from Nepal.
RIS RECORDS + THE INFOSHOP
Our collection so far consists of Nepali punk band releases and compilations including the complete archive of Rai Ko Ris’ discography (aforementioned Nepali anarco-punk band circa 2000-2014). We are gathering material from socio-politico bands we like, past and present from Nepal so we can all be found in one place.
We have exciting new releases that include:
AND the most exciting…
A CASSETTE release! Yes! This is again a collaboration between RIS RECS plus RIOT AND DANCE RECS = “RIS AND RIOT RECS” (lol, math punk!). It’s going to be a split tape between Slime Bath Toilet Surprise and the female post-punk indie duo that’s fabulous called WRACKSPURTS.
I LOVE TAPES! That’s what we grew up with. They feel so nice to hold, to fiddle about with before slotting ‘em in the cassette player and pressing play. Oh man, is it just me or don’t you just looooove that feeling? And I love most female punks I’ve heard. It’s something else.
Come back for Part 2 in a few days!
Until then go keep yourself updated with Ris Records awesome stuff at the following links:
DIY films and live music videos on their youtube page: