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Kapal Selam

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Biography

Kapal Selam, which means “submarine” in Malay, is symbolic of one band’s alternative means of “transport”, to make the long, lonely journey to wherever their destination in music is. In an uptight digital world, Kapal Selam remains carefree, unaffected and proudly lo-fi at a time when everyone else is more comfortable taking more conventional routes to success. Kapal Selam, formerly known as the modern rock & roll outfit Just Antidote, have turned to including five Malay songs along with five English songs on their debut album, Same Liar, staying true to their original bi-lingual approach to rock.

After dangling in the sea of faceless underground and urban rock outfits and struggling to make their mark since their conception in the late 1990s, the band are now poised for the big break they’ve been waiting for with the lineup of Zaky (lead vocals), 25, Tom (lead guitar), 28, Kuzai (drums), 26, Ijam (guitar), 25, and Azril (bass), 24. “We have always been a bi-lingual band, even since we first started as teenagers. We were discovered (by the Same Liar producer) based on our first demo back in the late 1990s, which was a mix of our own Malay and English songs,” explains Zaky.

“The reason why we changed the name was because we felt we needed a name in our mother tongue, to go with songs we sing in our mother tongue, to have the message more authentic. English is still our second language,” adds the singer. As Just Antidote, the band performed their last shows in Kuala Lumpur in 2003, and then in Kuching as support for the Butterfingers national tour in 2004. The hiatus has not gone to naught – the time taken off proved a spiritual period for soul-searching and falling in love with music again.

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