Azlan from Hazargaddah
Interviewed by PuSSyCaT
PR: Hey Pure Rockers, I have Azlan (Guitars/Vocals) from Metal band, "Hazargaddah" with me here today. First question, which is usually inevitable with all bands – why “Hazargaddah”?
Azlan: According to Hitchcock's Biblical term it means, “Imprisoned Band”, so we took the meaning literally and applied it to ourselves and our music.
PR: You were once called “Diversity” - but after a change of name & a few changes in line-up, you managed to finally round up a complete set. It seems that nowadays, good band members are hard to come by.
Azlan: Initially we called ourselves Diversity and later changed to Andrapodon. It was difficult finding the people, it still is. In fact we're still searching for a new Lead Guitarist. They are a lot of people out there who can really play well, but finding the right attitude who are able to play in the band is a different thing altogether. Sometimes you get people who are really skillful, but then they're not open minded enough and just don’t have the right attitude. And then you have those who have the right attitude, but can't play decently even after giving them loads of time. I may sound too picky but that's how it is.
PR: I empathize with you on that. Tell us more about your own struggles to get this far.
Azlan: When we first started out it was just me and my bassist, Azli, our drummer, Shahrom, my ex classmate from secondary school - we did stuff like Nirvana, Metallica, Pantera, Sepultura etc. Back then, every one of us didn't play that well, it was at a “certain level” - in other words, we were horrible! *laughs* We all started from scratch, we learned and improved together. Doing mainly cover those days, it helped us improve ourselves individually and also as a band. We started from simple covers and moved on to more difficult stuff as we improved. Sometimes we were quite ashamed when we couldn't pull off a song because it was too difficult & people outside of the studio would be watching us through the glass window and laughing. But we just stuck to it and did our best.
PR: You sure did! And doing rather well, I might add. Any bad memories about your early days?
Azlan: Line up changes did hinder us a lot. As you know, Azli and I were the only original members from the band. We went through loads of Lead guitarists. I remember one of them who told us to our face that we weren't good enough and needed to improve. He also criticized Azli who, at that time, played as badly as I did.
PR: How did you take it?
Azlan: I couldn't accept his criticism at that time because I knew Azli was still learning and so was I. Azli had stuck with me for a long time and I knew he was improving along with the whole band – and see what’s happened today? He now plays Bass a whole lot better! Back then, string skipping was too difficult for him - even for me! *wink* But today he just picks away like water. So finding good band members took us a long time. Even now, we’ve gone through a lot of Lead Guitarists and Drummers. Our current drummer now is Gene and he has the right attitude for the band. We’re really lucky to have Gene playing in our band, the way he handles the drums are just wonderful.
PR: Phew! That was quite a mouthful! But it’s good to know you’re close to finding all the right people now. You have a song, "Heart Of Hatred". Which song by Hazargaddah would you say, is your personal favourite?
Azlan: Currently I can't say which is my favourite because we have some new songs done halfway through. The only 2 songs we've completed are “Heart of Hatred” & “Lost Future”.
PR: Hazargaddah's songs were recently aired on a local radio station’s show, "Rock Ria Rock" (Ria 89.7FM). That's a positive step for the band!
Azlan: It was quite exciting getting to hear our own song played on air at almost midnight. I was beginning to think that it wasn't going to be played because the show was going to end soon - and then it came on at the last minute! We got a lot of positive responses from people and I'm quite happy about it.
PR: That's really great to hear! So would you say that this has in some way, helped with your band's exposure to the local music scene?
Azlan: In a way yes, but I'm not really sure how many people actually heard the song, as it was almost midnight. But yeah, it did help us in some way, especially for the Xtreme Metal Gig we performed at later. It was a surprise to see that there was quite a crowd for our set - it was totally different from our previous gigs.
PR: Wow! So it really did help I suppose! Maybe some day, more local bands will be featured on the radio stations and finally receive the exposure they deserve. Are there any local bands you are pretty proud of and admire?
Azlan: Yeah, bands like Eibon, Ethereal, Meza Virs, Meltgsnow, Raspatul and lots more. Their stuff sounds good and they're really good musicians.
PR: Ok, we've come to the end of our interview. Thanks for taking the time out for Pure Rock. Any last words for local bands or aspiring musicians out there?
Azlan: Never give up. Don’t ever let people bring you down. And stay focused.