It’s always good to have a back-up plan in case things don’t work out.
In the case of local street-punk band Incase, the ‘back-up’ plan is a long-awaited dream come true.
Incase, comprising vocalist Samsul Said, lead guitarist Noor Iman Shah Yunos, bassist Abdul Azim Roslan and drummer Azharie Ramli is a group made up of 30-somethings who have carved their names in their respective fields.
Samsul, 37, who penned the lyrics on all the 11 tracks in their bi-lingual album Oppression Music, is an award-winning photojournalist. His works have been featured in publications and international news agencies, including Bloomberg and Reuters.
Azim is a 36-year-old entrepreneur, whose clientele include those in the oil and gas sector. Iman Shah, 42, was an assistant health officer with the Health Ministry, until recently, while 36-year-old Azharie is a familiar name in the audio production industry.
So why cut an album at a time when they already have successful careers?
“I’ve known Samsul, Azharie and Noor Iman since 2004, but back then, Samsul wanted to focus on his photography, so we decided to keep our music dream on the back burner,” said Azim.
“During the Movement Control Order last year, I met with Azharie and he said, maybe it would be a good time to take our passion for street punk to the next level… so we got down to recording an album.”
With invitations to perform in Thailand and Indonesia, Azim said the group hoped to educate people on global issues.
“Street punk is honest music. There are no limitations or boundaries in this genre,” said Azim, a father of four girls, aged between one and five.
He said the group cut an extended play (EP) record in 2004. The songs they wrote focused on issues in the Middle East.
“Back then, we made music and our friends would come and watch us perform. We now want to take our music to the next level. We also want to explore the overseas market,” added Azim.
The band draws inspiration from UK punk band Booze & Glory, and German punk rock band, Oxymoron. The crew at Incase said they are also influenced by other genres, including reggae, metal, rock ‘n roll, as well as classical.
Among the songs featured include Tell Me Why, Merdekah Kita?, Take A Look Around, Badut and Take Back The Power. The album also features a bonus track – Skinnel Fun – from their 2004 demo album.
Having successful careers meant they were able to self-fund the cutting of their album.
“It’s pretty much a DIY (do it yourself) album, as we did everything on our own – from the engineering and mixing of the songs, to the photography for the album cover,” added Samsul.
Samsul said he drew inspiration for the lyrics from his job as a photographer, which required him to travel across the country and the world.
“People say a picture paints a thousand words, and I applied this concept to my music, drawing inspiration from the conflicts and issues that I have witnessed throughout my career.
“I wrote the lyrics and passed it to Azharie. He’s basically the maestro who puts the music together,” he added.
Oppression Music will be launched tonight (8pm) at Drum Asia Live, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.
There will also be performances by The Ghetto, Sickboyz, and Kapten Oi!
For details on their show and album, contact Azim at +6011-3900 8928 or Samsul at +6014-5422 064.