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Death.Becomes.Her (Band)

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Death.Becomes.Her
Background information
Also known asDBH
OriginMalaysia Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
GenresPost-PunkGothic RockDarkwave
Years active1994-2004 路 2016-Present
LabelsMaschine Lounge 路 Love Cult Records 路 One Voice Records
Associated actsAuteuristThe Lovecraft 路 Projekt Fiktion 路 Dash OwnSecond Combat 路 Gets Sky Proper 路 Mind Paralyzed Fanzine 路 Human Drama Artzine
Members
  • Tun Farul Azri
  • Pitt Idris
  • Firdaus Ariffin
  • Fazrin Ahmad
  • Ahmad Firdaus
  • Jeffy Safiee
  • Akiyama
Past membersSee personnel section

Death.Becomes.Her or sometimes known as DBH is a post-punk band from Malaysia, formed in 1994 in Klang, Selangor. Their music was heavily influenced by the late 1970s and early 1980s post-punk, electronic and gothic rock bands mostly from United Kingdom and around Europe. Although being non-English band, their lyrics is written mostly in English. Some credible sources has also cited that they are working on a few Malay Language songs for future releases that are purposely targeted for local Malaysian market. After achieving early underground fame in Malaysia, the band had their commercial breakthrough in late 1990s and sustained it until the early of 2004.

Death.Becomes.Her was originally known with the name Extraterrestrial, formed by bassist Huzaimi Hussein and Tun Farul Azri, started out as a punk rock band. After several line-up changes, they鈥檝e permanently changed the band name to Death Becomes Her in 1998 and gradually added dot ('.') in the year 2016 in-between their name after they've discovered a metal band from United States who are using the same band name as theirs (in later years). The band was on hiatus for 13 years with no releases and no public performance, but has been actively performing again since December 2016 in Malaysia underground music scenes.

They have two studio album EP which was scheduled to be released in 1999 called "A Killer In The Eye!" and another one in 2003 called "B-Sides" under Malaysia independent label, Love Cult Records, but due to some financial crisis, the two studio album remained unreleased to public.

Both of the albums has now being remixed again and currently in the final mastering process. It has been scheduled to be fully release in 2017 under their new label, Maschine Lounge. Rumors has been said that they are combining the two albums in one full-length album although the differences in musical styles and sounds between the two.

History[edit]

Early Years (1994鈥1998)[edit]

The name Death.Becomes.Her was adopted from 1992 American black comedy fantasy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and scripted by David Koepp and Martin Donovan, starring Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn, and Isabella Rossellini. The name was suggested by Saiful Sijar, the frontman of Love Never Dies in 1998 when they first met in the town of Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. Back then, the band was still performing around Malaysia with the name Extraterrestrial, the name which is also happen to be adopted from another Hollywood blockbuster by Steven Spielberg.

Extraterrestrial was formed among a group of skateboarders in Klang by bassist, Huzaimi Hussein and Tun Farul as a vocalist and guitarist. Apai joined in later as drummer. Apparently, Huzaimi and Apai did not stay long and left the band due to furthering studies in another city and their position was quickly replaced by Pitt Idris as bassist and Syed Khairul as the new drummer within the same year.[1]

The new three-piece line-up wrote their songs with using only acoustic guitars in the skate park and occasionally performing on small gig venue. In 1996, they recorded 10 songs in the studio and published a self-release cassette demo album called The Duck From Outer Space. During this time, the band song entitled "Why Don鈥檛?" which was co-written by Huzaimi and Farul in 1994 has become some sort of anthem to the local gig goers in Klang. The cassette has received positive feedbacks and good reviews in many of local fanzines[1] and news publishing including The Sun newspaper through a column called "Blasting Concept"[2] written weekly by Malaysia punk pioneer, Joe Kidd of Carburetor Dung.

In the year 1996-1998, Tun Farul was also found to be actively writing[1] for a local radical political fanzine called Mind Paralyzed[3] with his co-editor, Saiful Nazwa a.k.a Ah Chong. In 1999 Farul later published a single issue artzine called Human Drama[4] which contained mostly poetries and artwork drawings by himself and the band鈥檚 bassist, Pitt Idris.

Post-Punk & Gothic Rock Era (1998-2003)[edit]

The band saw a massive line-up changes in 1998-1999. Syed Khairul left the band and the drum section was replaced by Shahrul Nizam. Fazrin Ahmad who is a bassist for a local hard core/punk band called Dash Own joined in the band as lead guitarist along with Firdaus Ariffin, an ex-member of straight edge youth crew hard core band, Second Combat,[5] joined in as the band keyboardist. Throughout a few rehearsal sessions, Shahrul didn't stay long and left the band only after performing one show in Seremban. He was later being replaced by Ikhwan, a drummer who was already a member of a Malay rock band. Ikhwan work as a sessionist at first before they took him into the band as a full-time drummer.

Within a couple of months period, Ikhwan publicly stated that he did not agree with the direction Farul was taking the band - Which according to Ikhwan, the band wanted to keep their underground status. Due to the differences in ideology and beliefs between Ikhwan and the band, he left the band in 1998 chasing stardom in the mainstream music industry.[5]

The later four-piece band finally decided to use a drum machine on all of their stage performances as a replacement of a live drummer and hence becoming one of the most sought-after band in Malaysia underground music scenes because of their unique of no-drummer-policy among the hard core/punk movement in Malaysia. The four DBH band members had agreed to name the drum machine as "Elizabeth - The Digital Lady Drummer" by taking inspiration from the band The Sisters of Mercy who had their drum machine named to "Doktor Avalanche".

It is very uncommon and a very rare sight in Malaysia during the 90s until at least the late of 2005 for a punk or a rock band to perform without a drummer and using just a drum machine. There was only a few band who are performing with a drum machine at the moment but Death.Becomes.Her was pioneering the scenes.[6]

Some local fanzine and music magazine in Malaysia has cited about the band sound as electronica, gothic rock.[7] and some did even label them as post-punk and darkwave.[5] The band however never agreed or regarded their music as any of those genre except for being 鈥榩ost-punk鈥. "A period after the punk years"; according to Farul in the interview.[7]

It is very rare in a scene with full of moshing and jumping hard core crowds to find a band who took their music approaches towards electronically design (but not dance music), crafted in dark, melodic and gothic-rock styles in Malaysia. A country where those music can be considered as 'never existed'. The band musical approach was not dance floor friendly and hence they never aimed towards the club culture scenes. They were not carrying heavy guitar riffs with pumping drum beats that makes the crowd wanted to jump as well, but rather they choose to create dark ambience with flangy guitar works, tuned into heavy reverb and chorus that echoed through the space. A few of vocoder usage on the vocal parts leave huge impressions on the crowds and they usually enjoys it in their own ways. Death Becomes Her sit in-between the two major crowd preferences and still become one of the favorite local band with their beautiful, unique and mesmerizing songs.[7]

1999-2003 was the commercial breakthrough year for the band where they started to played on big concerts and festivals in the region. One of the major concerts they performed was on the launching of Soundbuzz which they shared the stage with UK pop sensation Atomic Kitten. At this stage DBH was getting major recognition with a numbers of air-play and coverage by Channel V Asia despite they still remained in their underground and unsigned status.

Somewhere in between 1998-1999, they joined one new independent label called Love Cult Records, founded by Saiful Sijar of Love Never Dies with a terms of their own including the band maintaining their copyright to all of DBH recorded material. The band went in the studio and recorded 5 songs including the crowds favorite "Sanctuary of a Love Cult", "One More (Treacherous Night)" and one instrumental ambience entitled "This Is The End (How Beautiful You Are). They also recorded two more songs that were rarely performed entitled "This Reality" and "Recognition of Love & Pain".

However, the 5 recorded songs did never find its way to public release due to some financial issue the band was facing along with the new born label. The band re-recorded "Sanctuary of a Love Cult" and "Recognition of Love & Pain" in a live recording format and released the two into One Voice Records compilation album, Bukan Untuk Kepentingan Diri in 2002.

In early of 2000, the band was scheduled on their debut Asian Tour along with Japan's grind core, Damage Digital by another independent label in Kuala Lumpur, but due to some management issues, the tour was canceled. Love Cult Records was again actively organising show with Death.Becomes.Her headlining most of the show, promoting the band and supporting the supposedly release EP. One of the show was held in 2001 at The Factory Club in the heart of Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur called "Indie 路 Goth 路 Electronica Festival" where they performed along with Laila鈥檚 Lounge, Spacebar and Cyberwerks.

Electronic Music Era & Disbanded (2003-2004)[edit]

The year 2002 until 2004 was the year where DBH took a new direction in their music styles. Fazrin left the band leaving Farul working alone on the guitar part. At a later stage, their keyboardist Firdaus Ariffin left the band as well due to his day time job commitment as a school teacher. This has left both only Farul and Pitt Idris remained in the band. Ahmad Firdaus from another local hard core/punk band, Uphold who has been admiring Death.Becomes.Her music for years saw this opportunity and offer himself to joined the band as electronic devices operator, mainly on "Elizabeth" (drum machine) and synthesizers part.

While actively touring around as a three-piece band, they wrote a number of new songs and started gaining attention from local club culture fans during their performances. The band musical approaches at this stage has been shaped into a more serious electronica sound, build around the basic four-to-the-floor 16 beats drum programming with sometime breakbeat, shaped with Kraftwerk and Devo influenced synth line. They wrote most of the new song in a hotel room while touring in Johor Bahru.

As a result, they recorded 3 songs in the studio entitled "Far From Home", "Empty Room" and one heavily vocoded track, "You Should Have Stayed (For The Sunset If Not For Me)". This three recorded songs was later scheduled to be release on another EP entitled B-Sides but never find its way out. According to Farul in an interview with Dragon Music Magazine, they called it B-Sides because of the different sound style than their previous numbers since 1999.

We tried approaching new direction with this new songs by making it more danceable and but the result was still dark and gloomy as usual. Perhaps it is in our nature.[5]

By the end of November 2003, Love Cult Records shut its door and the band saw the departures of Pitt Idris and Ahmad Firdaus. This has left Farul alone and operating DBH as a one-man-band. Farul at this stage has slowly showing a decreased interest in DBH's and already started focusing on his new band, The Lovecraft fronted by a female vocalist, Miss Lynn. In December 2003, Farul was approached by Fariz Fahami of Lurks and Kvlts inviting him to send a couple of songs to be featured on an electronic music compilation. Farul later went in the studio alone and recorded the single "Tonight", which was originally written in 1998 but never been recorded before. He send the singles along with a couple of The Lovecraft songs.

On February 28, 2004, Farul performed on stage carrying the name Death.Becomes.Her but performing as a one-man-band at Blue Planet Club, Kuala Lumpur. The show was held in conjunction with the launching of the compilation album entitled Systematrix: The Independent Sounds of Electro Fusion. The compilation featured DBH with other electronic acts such as Cyberwerk, Ctrl Alt Del, Lurks, Syko G, along with Farul鈥檚 new band The Lovecraft and a few more of other local acts. The show and the album received positive reviews from local major music and lifestyle magazine including KLue[6] in an article written by music journalist, Abigail de Vries.

More satisfying show from the day was a one-man new wave show, Death Becomes Her, who proved able to merge some charisma and showmanship. No mean feat considering his simultaneous operating of said heavy machinery and actually performing. He was suitably anguished, with a warble that had a slight Ian Curtis quality and carried everything off well.[8]

Farul later announced that Death.Becomes.Her has officially been disbanded right after the show. This has somehow disappoint most of the band fans and friends. However, he did mentioned that 鈥榳ho knows what the future might hold鈥.[8]

Farul later focused on The Lovecraft and was busy touring all over Malaysia and Singapore, sharing the stages with national celebrities such as Siti Nurhaliza, Wings, Mawi and a few others in big concerts and festivals while still keeping his underground status checked with no signing to any major labels. Later in 2015, after disbanding The Lovecraft, he start another solo project call Auteurist and released a number of singles internationally on iTunes[9] and Spotify[10] under the label Maschine Lounge. Beside the few singles, Auteurist has never released any albums up until today.

Later Years (2016-present)[edit]

On 24 December 2016, Death.Becomes.Her appeared in their first public performance after 13 years of hiatus, celebrating "Second Combat 20 Years Anniversary Show"[11] at Makespace, Quill City Mall in Kuala Lumpur with their full original line-ups consist of Tun Farul, Pitt Idris, Fazrin Ahmad, Firdaus Ariffin and Ahmad Firdaus. The band apparently has introduced two new band members as well during the show. A new live drummer, Akiyama and a new guitarist, Jeffy Safiee. They announced that they will once again continue their work and promised the full-length release in the coming years.

On the recent show, the band showcased their performance with a live drummer, tagging-along with Elizabeth. The band are currently back in the studio working on their new and old material that should be release somewhere in 2017. Although the band has announced they鈥檝e opted of using drum machine, some part of their new songs from the snippet uploaded on their Soundcloud account are still machine oriented and hence the sound of Elizabeth can still be heard here and there.

Influence[edit]

Death.Becomes.Her have cited in many of their interviews[5] that they鈥檝e gained inspiration from David Bowie, Joy Division, Gary Numan, The Cure, Bauhaus, the Velvet Underground, Cocteau Twins, The Sisters of Mercy, Mot枚rhead, Suspiria, Covenant, Depeche Mode, BUCK-TICK, Everything But The Girl, Luna Sea, Atari Teenage Riot, Kraftwerk, Manic Street Preachers and Human Drama as among their influences. The band shares influences with other bands in the international second wave of what is termed "post-punk" and "goth music".

Whilst the band enjoys a considerable fan base with overlapping interests in so-called Dark Culture, Death.Becomes.Her consider themselves first and foremost a post-punk band.[7] They have actively discouraged their association with "goth" and "darkwave" via regular public statements in the press. Nevertheless, this has not stopped them from appearing at festivals where this music is featured, such as Indie 路 Goth 路 Electronica Festival in Kuala Lumpur.

Personnel[edit]

Members[edit]

Elizabeth[edit]

The original incarnation of Elizabeth was originally a Roland R-5 Human Rhythm Composer drum machine. The band was touring around with this unit for the whole of "A Killer In The Eye!" era. Due to lack of memory space on the device and finding a new memory card for the unit is impossible in Malaysia (due to its vintage status), Elizabeth was later being pre-programmed and save in Korg D8 Digital Audio Track Recorder. They continue performing around with the output from the D8 connected to the venue house system.

The D8 was also being used as studio equipment and a few tracks from the band earlier years was recorded with this unit. Soon after the B-Sides era, Elizabeth appeared in the form of a set of Hewlett-Packard desktop PCs, which had to be scrapped after a few shows because of its bulky size and being a burden in carrying around during show. Elizabeth once again appeared in a custom-built smaller sized laptop designed by Farul and constructed by Hewlett-Packard running Cubase VST.

In recent years, the "Digital Lady Drummer" has been moved to a MacBook Pro laptop running Ableton Live and subsequently reinforced by Apple Logic Pro wired through Focusrite Scarlett interface.

Discography[edit]

Album[edit]

  • The Duck From Outer Space (Cassette) - (1996) - Self-released
  • Bukan Untuk Kepentingan Diri (Compilation cassette) - (2002) - One Voice Records
  • Systematrix: The Independent Sound of Electro Fusion (Compilation CD) - (2004) - Lurks Records
  • A Killer In The Eye! (EP CD) - (2017) - Maschine Lounge
  • B-Sides (EP CD) - (2017) - Maschine Lounge

Singles[edit]

  • Sanctuary of a Love Cult (Bukan Untuk Kepentingan Diri compilation album)
  • Recognition of Love and Pain (Bukan Untuk Kepentingan Diri compilation album)
  • Tonight (Systematrix: The Independent Sounds of Electro Fusion compilation album)

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Review". Rebel Zine. No. 3. Klang. 1996.[unreliable source?]
  2. Kidd, Joe (1996). "The Blasting Concept". The Sun.[not in citation given]
  3. "Mind Paralyzed". Mind Paralyzed Fanzine. No. 1鈥3. Klang, Selangor, Malaysia. 1996.[unreliable source?]
  4. "Human Drama". Human Drama Artzine. No. 1. Kuala Lumpur. 1999.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 "Death.Becomes.Her Interview". Dragon Music Magazine. No. 3 Merdeka issue. 2002. p. 20.[dead link]
  6. 6.0 6.1 de Vries, Abigail (2004). "KLue". KLue Magazine. No. 54.[dead link]
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Rhea's Obsessions Death.Becomes.Her Interview". Rhea's Obsessions Fanzine. No. 1. Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur. 1999.[unreliable source?]
  8. 8.0 8.1 de Vries, Abigail (March 2004). "As reviewed by Abigail de Vries, KLue Magazine Music Journalist". KLue Magazine. No. 57.[dead link]
  9. "Auteurist on Apple Music". iTunes. Apple.
  10. "Auteurist on Spotify". Spotify.
  11. "Second Combat 20 Years Anniversary Show". Second Combat 20 Years Anniversary Show Facebook Event Page. Facebook.[dead link]

External links[edit]


This article "Death.Becomes.Her (Band)" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.