Here's an old interview being done by the late, sadly departed great friend Rohaizad of Mortal Flames 'zine back in 1998. One of the better interviews I've ever answered, to be honest. Some information about RANDOM is to be find here, the era is post-issue#2. Absolutely unedited, yet most of them are still eerily relevant till these days.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RANDOM is another good 'zine from Pahang. Its second issue has been released in May, committed to metal genre. Below is a chat with the editor, Shahrizwan.....
Sejahtera Shah. Would you mind to give us a retrospect of the beginning of RANDOM? What's the sense for using RANDOM as the name of your 'zine?
First of all, greetings to you and the readers. The idea of unleashing a fanzine came up in my mind in the year 1994. But there's nothing done and planned until the year 1996 when things started to happen and finally, the first humble issue was revealed to the masses in July of the same year. Nobody, except me knows exactly why RANDOM was destined to be the name of the fanzine, even if I try to explain it. So, it's pretty useless to tell more about it. Besides, I think that the name is easy to be remembered and will not make your tongue twisted in order to pronounce it, right?
I would like to felicitate you for the release of your second issue. How you see the improvement compare to the first issue? How about the selling, so far?
When you're comparing the first issue with the second issue, the improvement is very vast I think. I'm not very lucky with the first, I mean lots of unreplied interviews and so on. I even had to ask friends too to type it all. In short, lots of obstacles and problems. For the second, it's vice-versa. I've stopped selling the first issue after the number is slightly over 150 copies, and right till now, the second issue have been spreaded for about 100 copies so far. I don't care so much about how many copies have been sold actually. It's the satisfaction of the readers that counts.
What are the things you emphasize on in the making of your 'zine? Do you have any inspirational 'zine? Do name some good 'zines from your point of view.
Just like what I've been said above, it's the satisfaction of the readers that counts. I try to make the readers enjoy it as much as I do. I try to show some progress with every issue released. I think any good 'zines that I have encountered inspires me in one way or so. Some good ones might be Morticianumbskull, Fear of Life, Tales of the Macabre, Skogen, Isten, Imhotep, Voices from the Darkside, etc, etc. (ed-how about the local ones?)
You have worked the 'zine all alone. Are you really please to work alone? Does the work bother your life, study?
Yezz, I'm very pleased to work alone. And I think it will forever be me, myself and I. It's better to work this way, but of course you have to do it extra hard. You do it all by yourself too, Rohaizad, so you should know. Of course it affects my life, studies whatsoever but this is what I've chose and I'm ready to face the risk. I'm not complaining. In fact I never will.
Regarding the second issue, it has only featured one interview with local band, that is PURNAMWULAN. What's the reason for the barrenness of local features?
I only interview bands that interest me and willing to co-operate easily. There's too many big-headed, uninteresting bands in the local scene these days, but I can sense this will change soon. Besides there's too many interviews with local bands that you can read in various local 'zines. Whatever, you could always find interviews with worthy local bands in future issues. It's a must for me to support my own scene.
How you provide the interview questionnaire for bands? By the way, what would be your favourite question? Which feature do you tend to, the new rising bands or big name bands?
Of all the process in the making of the fanzine interviews is the most important aspect for me. And of course it consumes a lot of my time. I try to make it as interesting as possible. I hope that I succeed to make it that way. Every questions were carefully thought of and arranged, at least that's what I try to. I can't name any favourite question, it never came across my mind. I don't care how big or small a band is, what's important is the music that they play. I'm looking for capabilities rather than popularities.
Again on your second issue... Sorry, but I must say that the cover is not attractive enough, so does the logo. The artwork is not very convincing, people might think it's not an interesting 'zine although the contents are rather good. What do you want to say about that?
Many people told me that, and what can I say. It's their own opinion. As for the logo, I've decided to use the original one instead of the second issue's, so what do you think about it? Do check out my third issue cover soon, it might be more interesting. As for those who think that they can draw better than the guy who made that cover artwork, why don't you try to send your artwork to me? It's more than welcome. By the way, 'don't judge the book by its cover', ha!ha!
How goes with your third issue? Tell me something about its possible features.
I'm sorry. I can't reveal anything yet. It might be more interesting than the second. Just keep on waiting. Good things take time.
I'm interested to study your musical taste. What are your favourites to date?
Mostly it would be Metal, although I could say that I listen to everything that's decent enough to my distorted ears. There's too many favourites to mention, but Sweden's death and black Metal bands rarely dissapoints me.
How's your view on our local scene in general? I conclude that the people here are mostly adhered to black Metal. Don't you realised that the scene lacks of doom Metal bands? What's your opinion towards u/g commercializing?
I'm more or less agree with you. But I think it's getting better day by day. More power to the local scene. Commercializing the underground? The word 'underground' itself shows clearly that it's out of the concept. What's been 'commercialized' is not 'underground' anymore... Think about it.
I've recently been informed about the establishment of a black Metal circle in Johor. Have you noticed about that? What do you think of such movement?
Hmm... I think it's called Black Pentagram, right?(ed.-Black Penthagram Johore Club). I don't know much, so I couldn't comment more. But if it's just for fun and image... FUCK! Another example of worthless scheme. (ed.-I've read the interview in UPANISHAD #2. They are totally stupid kids who were mindlessly shocked by black Metal. I'm wondering how evil they are. Again, honest from me... FUCK!!!)
Give your personal view on IMPIETY's boycott.
Again, I don't know much about it. But, as long as it doesn't involve me, who am I to interfere and shout about it? Tell me more about it, Rohaizad. IMPIETY is one of the strongest band in the regional scene, musicwise. (ed.- The boycott was evolved by their former circlemate, AS SAHAR's One Barchiel. He declared Syaithan a great hypocrite. Syaithan egoistically condemned Malaysian scene back then but when Ultra Hingax Prod. released Impiety's first album, "Asateerul Awaleen", he pretended to be kind to draw sympathy from Malaysian metallers to buy the album. Furthermore, he started to answer interviews from Malaysian 'zines. That's what I quote from the flyer. Hey, haven't you got the flyer?)
The number of the scene follower is increasing day by day. Do you see this as a positive progress? Do you really support new entries?
It has its negative and positive. I don't know whether I really support new entries or not. But it really makes me laugh when I'm reading some of their letters. Maybe we should give them more time huh?
Well Shah, we have to part now. Do leave some parting words.
Thanks to you, Rohaizad for granting me this interview. It is very much appreciated. Nothing much to say, just believe in everything that you do.