Mid May 2018, we wrapped up our TUNJAL album release with Indonesia tour. We’re fortunate enough to be able to perform in Japan, back to back 4 months peninsular Malaysia tour, and headlining ASTRO tour under RAKU project. We’re able to be the headline for several festivals and performed a grand concert at Vantage Bay, Johor Bahru organized by The Johor Society for the Performing Arts (JSPA) since TUNJAL album release in September 2016. We’re blessed with acceptance, recognitions and love from fans and music scene. Couldn’t ask for more.
When KREAT approached us for another project, we nearly turn them down. Why? Maybe it’s time to relax and spend more time with family before dropping another album. That being said, never cross in my mind that the band are reaching 20 years in 2019. Then I realized that it is important, to commemorate our existence after all we’ve been though. I just realized, we never set hiatus, we never stop playing, we never leave each other apart, we always push hard NOT in the name of music, BUT in the name of friendship. We don’t need huge recognition, we don’t need embellishment and certainly we always avoid unnecessary exposure. After all these years, we’re proud that we have each other and still learning to become good friends and better musician. Still have a lot to learn though…
We have a very strong relationship with KREAT creative art personnel, it exceeds more than 5 years. We believe in their passion as we believe in ours. We do a lot of projects together, building a strong bond and trust along the way. Working together for our 2 decades’ concert is crucial and important to ensure the band future. Because we believe, ARTS need to stick together, it need to be presented together in order to be beautiful, in order to be memorable and meaningful. And we know, KREAT have the capacity and creativity to excel.
Not forgetting, our saxophonist Azmal, a young entrepreneur, an artist, and the owner of Dirty Donuts, one of the well-known silk screen printer in Malaysia. We are fortunate enough to have him as a band member, supporting our official merchandise for the 2 decades’ concert. Currently curating his way as one of Malaysia prominent silk screen artist. Recently was invited to present his art at OSAKA with Horror Times Printmaking under Bomb Ink Gallery Osaka, Japan.
Amirul. A Documenter, A Foodie and one of Johor finest photographer and videographer. Just recently established Curative Visual Lab to consolidate all his work in advertisement, documentary, and music videos to name a few. He’s the band official documenter, touring the band since 2016. But, we knew Amirul more than 10 years, since we are involving in Malaysia SKA Collective together. It’s natural to involve Amirul in this project because of his unprecedented work and above all he knew the band as they’re his own brothers.
Then come to Kluang Independent Kolektif (KIK) and Wasteland. Lending KIK VAN for acoustic tour was a no brainer. Without KIK we can never tour around Peninsular Malaysia successfully. Without Wasteland stickers, the VAN just a normal VAN. Wasteland make the tour recognizable and iconic. Everywhere we go, the VAN was the star.
And then VANS. It’s an honor to be called VANS Artist. Whether it’s official or NOT, we like to think it is. The band itself was borne by Johor Bahru skateboarding scene of the 90s. Being support by VANS is significant to the band as we living the lifestyle and relating it to Punk Rock, VANS celebrating 25 years of WARP tour in 2019 is mind boggling. Ever since we join House of Vans, it has been a blessing. To have VANS believing in what you do, is next level. The trust and love by VANS drives us to move forward and continue making music.
We believe in good relationship; we believe in hard work. Being able to travel all around Malaysia, meeting old friends and fans, and making a new one is one of our personal highlights. We felt privileged by organizers hospitality. We felt grateful by anybody who say hi, showing up at shows and wishing our safety and good journey. We thankful to all for supporting us during the tour, buying our merchandise as it’s our means to go further.
Stripping down to acoustic performance gave the opportunity to brushed our skills. We realize that, playing less is much more intimate, intricate and harder. But above all, it’s easy for us to reach out. To share stories and experience. To learn and get knowledge from you, from the one who have the same passion. It’s pleasant to know that they are a lot of passionate people out there who put ARTS upfront before revenues and sales, the scene is improving and the outcome are rewarding. Because we believe that ARTS shapes the community. We believe ARTS are paving the new generation, and it will shape their identity for us near future.
Apart from promoting the concert, acoustic tour strengthens our roots a band. Reaching out, and connecting to fans is what it’s all about. Playing live as much as we can, is the essence of being a musician. We’ve prove that having a day job and family is not the reason for not progressing in music, actually it is the catalyst to go even further. We’ve balance it for more than 20 years.
The venue entrance was welcome by our popular acoustic tour VAN, ticketing table and merchandize. After the security, KREAT build an exhibition of rare merchandizes and memorabilia of Plague of Happiness personal collection. To name a few, there is fedoras, skateboard, old cassette, CDs, LPs and rare posters.
They’re Plague of Happiness shoes design too. Back in the day, 2003 maybe, we already have our own shoes. Design by our closest skateboarding friends and release by CROSSOVER, one of the Malaysian oldest local clothing brand.
Then at the corner of the exhibition hall, lies a collage of pictures dated from 1999 until present. It felt like Plague of Happiness own museum.
Then before approaching the main hall, after an escalator. VANS presented a huge Plague of Happiness 2 decades’ poster, covering most of the main hall entrance, with the iconic VANS OFF THE WALL logo beside it. What can we ask for more?
We’re grateful for the venue, and thanks to KREAT for insisting our concert to be held there. We’re very lucky.