It’s been two years since their last European tour, and now Shh…Diam! is back with a spanking brand new look and album, titled “Eat Your Local Fruits“! Starting from the 28th of July to the 28th of August 2018, Malaysia’s most infamous Queer Party Punk band will be hitting up the likes of Ireland, England, The Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark for a month-long journey!
After playing over 200+ shows, opening for the Dune Rats in 2013 and Anti-Flag in 2015– Shh…Diam! retains its powerful presence in the local music scene and for LGTBQ activism in Malaysia!
Recorded as the first openly queer band in Malaysia (where colonial-era sodomy law are still enforced), Formed in 2009, Shh…Diam! is finally two decades old. With multiple band member changes, transitions, crazy experiences and a lifetime of advocacy- they have certainly seen it all. What started out as an all-girl band back in the early 2000s, Shh…Diam! is now 50% male (with lead singer Faris‘ transitioning and the latest addition Afi Azizan as the drummer) but is still 100% queer!
Shh…Diam! is LGBTQ band that refuses to be silenced in a country that doesn’t want them to be heard.
Post GE-14 euphoria, the re-elected government Pakatan Harapan offers an inkling of hope for the LGBTQ community but there is much to be said and done until we reach true equality for all Malaysians. Due to the social climate of Malaysia, the LGBTQ community is still heavily discriminated against by religious authorities and by the police.
They’ve been performing actively in the local scene to spread awareness about the LGBTQ community and to fight against the misconceptions of many. Now heading off to Europe, Shh…Diam! hopes to promote their latest album and to spread their positive energy on tour!
Here are some of their thoughts regarding the upcoming tour, “Eat your local fruits” and the music industry!
1. How do you feel going back to Europe for your second tour, and how has the preparation process been?
We know we are going to meet Europe again..and we are still excited like the first time. This time, we are visiting more countries (Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, England, Ireland and Northern Ireland), playing 15 gigs in 30 days.
The preparation is stressful, we are crazy. The work behind the preparation is overwhelming, for months we have been putting extreme effort like never before, from recording, merchandising and the list goes on, all by ourselves and our tour manager, Cat Brogan has been really great with the tour arrangement. We could never do this without support from our friends, lovers, and also Goethe Institute. Thank you to everyone involved directly or indirectly. After the tour, we are going to nap for 3 months.
2. Would you say that there’s a difference between the reception of your music between local and international audiences?
Yes. Probably the queer niche market works very well, internationally. In our last tour, all our German shows were sold out. We get kisses after performances too. The international audience is less afraid to show their affection and support for an openly LGBT band. That was really nice.
3. Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming second album?
Our second album is called Eat your Local Fruits. We have 7 songs in it, and the sound and genres vary between each other. Brown sounds psychedelic, Basah is jazzy acoustic, Where are Them Girls is surf and garage. We would like to say that our style of sound is very non-binary and non-conforming.
We have also established Shh…Diam!’s brass department with Marcel (trombone), Gemma (saxophone) and James (trumpet) in this album. The brass department will be performing with us for the local Malaysian gigs.
4. How do you think queer music empowers the LGBTQ community, especially in Malaysia?
We can truly celebrate being ourselves. For some, it is a way of escaping the discrimination we face every day of our lives.
Maintaining ourselves on stage and off stage for 9 years is not easy, especially when we are queer in a country like this, only love and passion gets us moving, and we hope this inspires the upcoming local queer musicians to not discount their passion and dreams as well (tak boleh mintak kurang).
5. Is there a particular venue or gig on the tour that all of you are excited to perform at?
All also excited. No discount on that. Fixed price.
6. Would you like to share a funny story that happened the last time you guys went on tour in 2016?
We shat in a hole in the ground at a festival campsite in Gorlitz, Germany, while holding hands. It was dark and we did not want to fall into the hole. A band that shits together, stays together. We have no secrets now…..hihihihi. we are literally a shit band.
//www.instagram.com/embed.js7. What has changed about Shh…Diam! since the last tour and album?
We are older and wiser but still hemsem af. Also, we now have a brass department and a new drummer,Afi.
Marcel the trombonist and Afi are the backbones in the recording and mixing process for our upcoming album, Eat Your Local Fruits, that is going to be released on 28th July 2018 at Merdekarya. Come and bring all of your money, and savings, we have t-shirts, panties, button badges, stickers, cd, tote bag, condoms, etc etc. Faster buy em all and be stylish..!
For more information, follow them on social media! See you on friday!