Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Interview With Estranged


I'm not sure if this band needs any introduction - especially in the Malaysian music scene.

I first heard of this 'indie' rock group in 2008 during the finals of the then Juara Lagu, which they emerged winners with their hit song - Itu Kamu!

It was a big surprise win, for a notably young and 'unknown' band back then - and for a group whose album was actually all English, except that one winning song in Bahasa Malaysia.

Their 'indie style' songs, which has a certain Indon song feel caught the industry in a way and with them having a string of new fans.

A follow up to their success is their 2nd album, Remain Unknown. And once again, this group went to the finals of of the prestigious Juara Lagu 2009 yet again. Though they didn't win this time round, but for them to have a follow up success is quite something - and I believe very much showing that they are no one hit wonder.

And talking bout hits... this group has a new chart topper, Arora, again making waves in the music industry.

Well, I'm lucky to have interviewed this group who have come quite a long way to where they are now... enjoy (hope it ain't that long... it won't be if you are a fan!) :)

1. How did the band started

Estranged: The band started out when Rich and Din Hormatov was studying in the same college together back in 2001. They shared the same interest in music and decided to start a band. So they pulled some guys together and started jamming, and after a while, they started doing shows around Kuala Lumpur and also started to write their own music.

2. Albums so far & the hits
Estranged: There's 2 albums. The very first is titled "In Hating Memory", which included singles such as "Velocity", "Chocolate Syrup" & "Itu Kamu". Velocity gave us a lot of experience in being a band and hearing our own music on radio networks. Chocolate Syrup had a great music video which was a lot of fun shooting with and people enjoyed watching the video thus they always knew how the song went as well. Itu Kamu was the major hit around the country, winning awards and taking the band to another level.

The second album is titled "Remain Unknown". Not to sound like we want to remain unknown, but it was more of the entire concept of the album as we touched on several issues evolving around the band and band members, which basically meant that a lot of things are happening, that people are not aware of, thus "Remain Unknown". "Yang Pernah" is the first single off the album. Which talks about the past and things that you have done and the things that you've not done. The second single is "Aurora" which most people would relate it with a beautiful girl, but they are half correct as the lyrics talks about the beautiful night sky and our fascination for such beautiful things in life. The first english single is titled "In No Time" which brings more of a heavier pounding sound of the band which is targeted specially for live shows. It's one song that we love performing live and it would usually get the crowd going. Other hits would include, "Ketika Ini", "We Remain Unknown", "The Slave in Us", "Masa" and many more

3. Who does the band enjoy working with. anyone the band plan to work with in the future? (composers/ singers). Why?
Estranged: Well, to be honest, we didn't really have a lot of time to explore and experiment working with brand new people. First of all, there's not many good musicians/composers that we're comfortable with. But so far, we've worked with JD Wong from 21:05 Productions and we seem to be alright with him. We'd love to work with new people, perhaps the third album would allow that. The band never really spoke about having a dream producer/musician to work with. but if we were to list it down, it'll be Wes Borland, Dave Grohl, Brian "Head" Welch, Ahmad Dhani, Chino Moreno, Rick Ruben, Butch Vig, and the list goes on.

4. The band's short/ long term goal.
Estranged: We wanna just spread our music and share our enthusiasm with the masses. We also want to change the malaysian music industry and make people be more aware of the talented rock bands that we have. And definitely we would love to make it international with no boundaries.

5. The band started off in english - now a mixture. why? and what's in for the future? (any other language?)
Estranged: Yeah, the band started off in english, but at the same time, we also had plans to write stuff in Bahasa Malaysia as well. Thats why we had the other song "Kembali" in the first album as well. We always never saw it as a problem for us to try writing in BM but fortunate for us that Itu Kamu put us where we are at right now. Not too sure if we're gonna go into other languages but u can never tell the future.

6. How did the Juara Lagu win (2008) for Itu Kamu open doors? Did it help in any way?
Estranged: It definitely did. First of all, the people that never heard of us, know us so well right now. And people started to pay more attention to bands, so when that happens, it generally creates a demand for bands and we had more opportunities to play at different venues. The win also gave us some cash to fund our second album and to survive.

7. Does the band describe themselves as a pure rock band? What kind of music genre would they fall into. Has their music style changed from the start?
Estranged: Yeah definitelt as a pure rock band, just a mixture of rock genres from Hard Rock, to Alternative Rock, to Nu Metal, to Post 90's rock. Our music has definitely matured from the first album, but that's always necessary for a band, but the bottomline is , we stick to our genre because we love it so much, and we can't runaway from it. So the maturity part comes in, in a very subtle way. Not too sure about music style changing, but there's a lil maturity.

8. The band's influence - locally and internationally.
Estranged: Nirvana, Slipknot, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Foo Fighters, Silverchair, Static-X, Black Light Burns, Goo Goo Dolls, Filter, Head, Incubus, Lamb of God, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Soulfly, Peterpan, Pop Shuvit, Butterfingers and many more

9. Would the band consider themselves bringing a change to the Malaysian music industry?
Estranged: Well, for a start, we never EVER want to mime for a live show and that's sticking by for this years for muzik muzik. so hopefully tv stations would take note from our actions as well as other artists. Some of them just dont work hard enough and would just rather go the easy way out. anyhow, people are the ones who should determine if we bring change, not ourselves.

Well, that's their interview and I do hope the very best to this group, which has so far opened doors to more indie groups and a more fresh Malaysian music industry!

estranged remain unknown
*Get a copy of Estranged's lastest album at an offer price of only RM25. Just order direct at .

*Estranged has also won a string of awards from the Voize Independent Music Awards (VIMA) recently.

*Get connected on the group's Myspace: Estranged Myspace or their blog: Estrange's blog.


  1. I've bumped into the band's drummer Azwin Andy before at Fitness First gym. He was the drummer boy in Latte 8 TV show on 8TV, right? Yes, Estranged is a pretty good band - I like!

    No giveaways this time? I expected to win a free album or something. Haha! : )

  2. w00t estranged!! i like their songs!!

    i'm not really a big fan of rock; but.. estranged is an exception :P

  3. One of my favourite local bands. I wish them all the best for their future and am looking forward to more good stuff from them.

  4. i like the album cover. i thnk i know the photographer.

  5. I'm not a fan of estranged but their songs are pretty cool.

  6. Love their song Aurora! Really kewl song and meet them in person at a function. They can really sing very well!

  7. @foongpc
    ya, had wanted to do so, but the management couldnt get it. will try to line up more contests :)

    ah, an estranged fan! ya, i think they are cool! :)

    kudos to supporting malaysian music! :)

    @rw fine art
    wow, that's cool! ru doing commercial as well? :)

    yes, they are. quite modern in a way, yet can relate to the masses :)

    ya i thought aurora is cool too. but i still like itu kamu as tops hehe :)


Oh hey, thank you for commenting! :)