Daighila are an influential Kuala Lumpur based band, perhaps best known in Australia for an ill fated tour a few years ago where they were refused entry into the country, put in detention and sent back the day after arrival. They still insist they had a good time whilst here!
1. When and why did Daighila start as a band?
Around 2001 we started to get together after high school and decided to form a band. We didn’t really plan anything serious but we ended up recording some demos and started playing shows. We played our first show in a Punk Picnic in Port Dickson. Our original drummer left and Epit who used to play second guitar took his place.
2. What other bands had you each played in previously and what happened to them?
Amie used to play in other bands but it didn’t work out. The others are not playing in other bands except for Epit who plays in Infinite Delay with a bunch of guys he went to boarding school together. They are still around.
3. Is Daighila a political band? What do your lyrics deal with?
Somehow we get this question all the time. Well, we do see ourselves as political individuals because life in general itself is political. We do have personal restraints and self-control in making choices in which we think is political. Our daily choices, what we choose to eat, not to eat, the clothes we choose to wear and not to wear and stuff. We believe every single thing we do affects other things and would lead to something else. It’s so too subjective and holistic nowadays to term politics. Our lyrics are written a lot on personal experiences. Mostly interpretations of what we think is going on. About oppression, depression, friends. About the world. About us and our choices.
4. How is it to be a DIY punk band in Malaysia? What difficulties are there that you have to deal with that perhaps other bands around the world don’t even have to think about?
It’s ok. It’s a welcoming scene. Bands no matter local or foreign, well known or not can easily find somebody willing to help arrange tours, release or distribute stuff or whatever here. The DIY connection is good. Difficulties… just the normal stuff I guess. Instruments, backlines and stuff aren’t cheap. We usually share equipment in shows like most S.E.A. countries do. Sometimes the same equipments are used by 6 to 9 to 12 bands. But it’s all ok I guess. I’m not really keen on talking about what is bad and what is good in the diy hc/punk scene here. ‘Difficulties’ are just excuses.
5. Is there a ‘scene’ in Malaysia and is it built around attitude or around music genre?
Yeah. A lot of genres or sub-genres are getting a lot more of their own followers. More bands isn’t a bad thing I guess, but ‘segregation’ is.
6. Tell us about your difficulties when trying to come to Australia to tour?
Well okay. It was just bad luck i guess. When we arrived in Melbourne Airport we were called and our bags were turned inside out. They checked our cash, which wasn’t much of course. So they suspected we were there to work and we were a part of the group of other foreigners that were detained earlier. We told them we were tourists and showed our tourist visas and return tickets. We didn’t bring any equipment because we were planning to use our friend’s. We told them our friends are outside waiting to pick us up. But they told us our friends have left and they told our friends that we were already sent back. We gave them our relatives and Malaysian friends contact numbers and address. They ignored and sent us to a holding room. We demanded a call to the embassy but they told us it was late and nobody would probably answer and no matter what we will be sent home. After interrogations and interviews we were sent to a detention centre in Brownstone about 30km from the airport. We stayed there for a day before being sent back.
7. Do you have plans to play shows in more countries?
1. Rehearsal cassette (Self Released 2001)
2. Daighila Demo cassette (Utarid:Tapes 2005)
3. ‘This is Not a Break Up’ compilation CD (Papakerma Records 2006)
4. Split cassette with Noisy Sins of the Insect (Yehonala Recordings / Utarid:Tapes 2007)
5. ‘You Mean the World to me’ compilation CDr (Face First Production 2007)
6. ‘Miscellaneous’ collection CDr (Third Arm Records 2008)
7. ‘Happy Little Creature’ compilation CD (Third Arm Records 2008)
8. ‘Henceforth’ EP cassette (Stoneville Records 2009)
9. Split cassette with Sarjan Hassan ‘Redefining DIY’ (Revulsion Records 2010)
10. Split 7″ vinyl with Fanzui Xiangfa (tenzenmen / Eastcore Records / RevulsionRecords / Stoneville Records 2010)
11. Split cassette with Circuits (Stoneville Records 2011)
12. Split 7″ vinyl with This is Atlantis (Epidemic Records 2011)
13. Split cassette with Pazahora (Epidemic Records 2011)
14. Split 7″ vinyl with Grinding Halt (Bullwhips Records, Granrepbuleek records,tenzenmen soon!)