Interviews

Interview with Cycryptic (Malaysia)


Cycryptic, the deathcore/metalcore maniacs from Malaysia, have come to my attention basically by a total accident, so to speak, and that case just illustrates my point of paying attention to many great compilations coming from the Asian countries.
In this particular case, we’re talking about SROM CD compilation volume 6 from Indonesia, where Cycryptic, although themselves hailing from Malaysia, have featured with their song “Quadrivium”.
They’ve caught my ear and you know how it goes…Rudolf just wants to know more! So I’ve contacted the band and they agreed to the interview…therefore, here it is!


First of all, many thanks for your time, guys! It’s really appreciated! By the way, what’s the current situation in Malaysia relating to the still raging Covid-19 pandemics?
Much of the restrictions have been lifted since the 1st April. Cases are high in numbers but most of them are just CAT 1 and CAT 2 which means it’s not severe. We have been having shows and gig since last December with headcount restrictions. But since April, we no longer have to adhere to social distancing and can follow the venue’s capacity of crowds. A good progress for local shows for sure.

With that being said, let’s talk about Cycryptic! From what I could find, you started in 2015 under the name Crackbang Cabbage. What can you tell us about your beginnings as a band? Especially – why such an unusual name? What style of music have you played in the beginning?
Just consider that as a learning process. The name does not reflect the genre of our older band (Metalcore). We were really young when we started that band. As we all grow older and gaining experiences as time passes by, we rebrand the whole thing to Cycryptic. You can still listen to our single with our older band entitled Amygdala on Youtube.


In 2017 you’ve changed name to Cycryptic and also change your musical style. What was the cause of the changes…did those changes also incorporate the line-up changes as well?
As we mentioned before, maturity and experiences made us wiser and we rebrand the whole thing towards something more serious and suits us more in identity, style and ideology. Cycryptic is a combination of the word Cryptic and Cyclic which reflects our music, lyrics and visuals – full of Cryptic messages in cyclical manner.
As for lineup changes, not so since 3 of our previous members are still with us till now. Only changes in drums and bass position.

Talking about the line-up, what’s the current line-up of Cycryptic? Have you had also any previous experience playing in bands before?
Our mastermind cum guitarist Rain, had a lot of experiences playing as session guitarist with big Metalcore bands in Malaysia such as Massacre Conspiracy from 2016 to 2018, Sekumpulan Orang Gila (SOG) 2018 till present, which SOG have just won the prestigious musical award in Malaysia called Anugerah Juara Lagu. He also have some experience with pop bands such as Margosa and Rina Hime (Jrock) as a bass player.
The same goes to our vocalist Khairy which replaced the SOG’s vocalist a few times including shows in Taipei and Taiwan when SOG opened for As I Lay Dying. Rain was also there as well.
Our other guitarist, Azzim have his own band called Raksar which plays Stoner Rock and they just released a new mini album recently.
Our drummer is a percussion teacher and our bassist have his own band called Black Bloods.

In March 2019, you have released your debut album “Omniarch”. What can you tell us about it? Is this your only recording to date?
Omniarch – the ruler of the universe.
Our debut album, it’s a concept album full of cryptical messages and varies in subgenres. We usually prefer to not explain on hidden messages to cater to the ‘cryptical’ concept that we are holding to.
However since we are in the end of the Omniarch era, we wouldn’t mind revealing a bit of details for listeners. For example, the song Chronometer is the continuation of Teratogenesis in lyrical context. While the album intro Artificial, is the continuation of the song Chronometer in musical context.
FUN FACT: The breakdown part in Chronometer is actually a beat of morse code which carries some hidden meanings. Try to decode it and don’t be surprised once you found the meaning!

The lyrical part of the songs…what are the themes you are dealing with in your songs?
All of the lyrics is done by our guitarist, Rain. In general our lyrics are focusing on spirituality, of existentialism confusion and even tackling social issues. However, we prefer that listeners have their own interpretations of our songs. You can always relate the lyrics to yourself. No boundaries for the cryptical seekers!



I’ve had the opportunity to see the footage from your live performance at Zerophobia in February 2022… before we’re going to discuss this particular event, let me ask – how often do you play live? Any memorable gigs you can tell us about?
We played live quite often before the pandemic hits in 2019 and most of them are local gigs. As for the Zerophobia show, it’s actually our second show since 2019. The first one was Black Owl festival which was held on December 2021. You can watch our drum playthrough video of Zygomorphic from that show on Youtube.

Let’s get back to aforementioned Zerophobia… I have immensely enjoyed your live set and I have a question – what’s the symbolism beyond your stage theatrics? Khairy with the baby doll, the make-up…what is the meaning of it in the message of the band to your fans?
Various issues tackled in lyrics from the album, however we chose Teratogenesis as our main theme for the whole album. It’s about the soul of aborted babies getting revenge from their parents thus explaining the album cover and our theatrical ‘baby mascots’ on stage.
The gimmicks – it all started as fun and games and finally it comes to live, literally, which means our mascots are not dead, there are souls in there and we have been using them ever since, with limitations for sure so we won’t be the typical story of “musicians selling their souls to the devil”!

I know Malaysia as a quite a strict Muslim country and we, outsiders, especially in Europe, don’t have much information about the music movements in such a country. I am aware of hardliners here and there calling for the music to be forbidden… For bands like Cycryptic – how hard it is to function/play/perform live? Do you have (or have you ever had) any problem while existing as a musical band?
Of course there are restrictions in Malaysia. We totally respect that since it’s the norm of the society since hundreds of years ago. Nothing can be done since it’s how a ‘young nation’ supposed to act like. A country have it’s own cycle, like us humans, from child, teenagers, adults and old. Perhaps Malaysia is a child or adolescent country before since we are quite new im gaining independence compared to other countries? As the cycle moves forward, a country with its ideology will become more mature and accepting to other styles and beliefs.
In early 2000s it was super bad for any heavy music performers and fans as they were ostracized and accused of doing bad things such as burning the Quran during shows, drinking blood and much more during shows. Many events will get raided based on those accusations, even for Punk shows.
These scenario have changed which those assumptions are no longer that prominent in our society since 2010s and they have become more lenient since then to local bands, up until now.
Thus there are lesser challenges for us so far even though we are playing evil music with sinister looking gimmicks. We can go to the mosque with our Metal shirts, or even perform prayers in the backstage before performing if we want to. Some older generations might judge us for it but it won’t affect us that much. We just continue playing what we love.
Our personal opinion is that it is safe to say that the country have been much more liberal as time passes by. As we mentioned before, the country is getting older ideologically along with its people thus everyone is getting wiser and more accepting towards each other. More leniency for us members of Metal bands and Cycryptic to be specific.
However, in context of international bands we can’t really tell because years back, there are protests when organizers tried to bring Lamb of God to Malaysia up to the point it is cancelled, most probably due to the name itself. We can only determine if the society is more accepting towards international acts once organizers start bringing in those kind of bands back into Malaysia. Let’s just wait and see what happens after Covid restrictions fully ends.

I confess the following question is my favourite one – what can you tell us about your local scene? Any good metal/HC/punk/other genre bands from Malaysia you would recommend to our readers to check?
It is safe to say that it is growing especially since Covid hits. Many bands making a come back and all bands are busy releasing new materials. The scene was over saturated before Covid hits. The lockdowns could have resulted to booming in creativity and ideas thus the scene is much more colorful and in a unique state we can say as for now.
Even a Metalcore band like Sekumpulan Orang Gila can champion a mainstream music awards like AJL while performing screaming vocals in national television watched by millions of normal citizens. Isn’t that crazy? The scene is in a state of superbly bizzare in a good way now and we are excited to venture further on what the scene has in store for all of us!
Recommendations: Purbawara, Frost and Revenge, Zerophobia etc.


The year of 2022 is in a full swing now – what are plans for the band for the rest of the year? When we can expect some new material to appear?
You can expect a new album by the end of this year. We have moved on from the Omniarch era and we are super excited to share our new materials to the world. The release of Transient music video recently officially marked the end of Omniarch reign. In the meantime we will release a few singles from our upcoming album. Stay tuned.

And mentioning the new material – we’ve mentioned your debut album. Is it still available? If so, can you direct our readers where to buy it?
Yes Omniarch physical copy is still available. You can contact us through our social media directly for local purchases. As for international purchases, you can get it from our Shopee sellers and also few other distributors on Ebay.

As per any other merchandise – anything for sale for the fans?
We just released a new cool tshirt in accordance to release of Transient music video. Check out the design on our social accounts, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

Coming slowly to the end of this interview…final message to the readers of Indokult?
Follow us on our socials, just search for Cycryptic and it shall pop up in the recommendations as we’ll be sharing a lot of updates there. We are super excited to tour outside of Malaysia, South East Asia and Indonesia is the first in our list once the new album is released. Thus organizers are welcomed to contact us to discuss on this if yall think that we are worthy to do a visit to your local hometown!

Bandcamp: https://cycryptic.bandcamp.com/releases

Rudolf Schütz

I am the founder/owner and editor-in-chief of the Rubber Axe webzine, the underground/overground cultural publication, publishing also this website dedicated to all things Indonesian. I'm a happily married guy with 2 kids and a fantastic wife, and I'm a relentless discoverer of all things cultural and culinary. An everlasting dreamer and idealist.

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