Interview | Vishal Rai (Wakk Thuu and Extreme Underground Metal Society Nepal)

Wakk Thuu is not a new name if you're closely following the Nepalese underground scene for quite some time now. Formed last year, they have generated quite a following through their aggressive and offensive format of deathgrind. We catch up with Vishal Rai, the founder of the band, who's also the founder of Extreme Underground Metal Society Nepal.
What was the primary motive behind forming Wakk Thuu?

To play extreme metal, do some memorable live gigs and record some badass songs! When we first met we all were angry with this scene. So we all wanted to do something heavy, brutal, offensive and very different, and I think we’ve pretty much accomplished our mission!

During the initial days of Wakk Thuu, you had received a considerable amount of hate messages, which seem to have stopped now. What do you think had led to such behavior?

I don’t know why they were acting immaturely. This is underground metal and everyone has the right to speak his words, whether you like it or not. You speak your mind and get the fuck out – that was me, but some people took it personally. And most of the hate messages I used to receive (I still get few in months) were from fake accounts. WTF! Go die you faggot, hate me when you are real! Yes, they were not real so didn’t give a fuck!

In Wakk Thuu's Facebook page, I noticed a lot of pictures from fans holding Wakk Thuu sketches. What were all those? They seemed completely alien to me, since I have never seen those in other bands’ pages.

This all started when few people messaged me that they really dig Wakk Thuu and have done sketches, badges, fan signs, etc. for us.  And they wanted us to share those from our band page and we did that. And after some time, it almost became a trend. Big thanks to all of them who have supported us in their own ways!

Do you think if Wakk Thuu is more on the grindcore edge or death metal?

I think we are extreme metal, deriving lots of influences from old-school death metal and grindcore from around the world. It’s the people/zines who label us with these genres. People especially here in Nepal and India call us grind; maybe since we have micro-songs. But, elsewhere they label us with death metal. And we really don’t care about what genre we fall in since we love both of them.

Tell us something about the forthcoming Wakk Thuu EP.

We were supposed to release an EP in August but this record label from Singapore/France who had promised us to help with our release has postponed the plan till February next year. So we are thinking to do it independently, but it will just be a demo. It will have 8 songs that will be promoted with a mini-tour in Nepal and few cities of India.

I read somewhere that you find those bands a little pointless who record and release albums without playing live shows. Why do you think that playing live is more important than recording albums, while you can create history by writing songs rather than being on streets preaching? Burzum could be an example.

I think you read that wrong. I once said that if you’ve got a band, focus on playing live first. Give time to your band and sound and understand your fans.

I am against those bands that practice few riffs, hit the studio, and come out with an album. You know, this is the basic formula of mainstream, not underground. If you got money, go record your songs with the help of few musicians; pay the radio-stations to play your songs; hire few teenage girls and do a music video; when your video is done, upload it in Youtube; and all those girls who are in that video even for a few seconds will share it in social network sites tagging most of their friends; and in short time, that video will get many hits, and just to keep the heart of the girls, most will say the song is nice and wait for next few weeks, you are a goddamn superstar.

In the underground scene, if you want to your music to reach more people, then you should play more gigs. Above all, underground music is meant to be live and played heavy, brutal and full of anger. So, playing live is the easiest and the best way to reach out to more people. And I don’t mean doing an album(s) is wrong, it’s a part of a band. Sooner or later you will do an album but live shows will only get few opportunities.

There is a video of Shannon Scam in Youtube called “Mosh and Unite”. Every time I watch that video, I am like, “if only I were there to enjoy and feel that fucking energetic vibe.” That’s the power of live shows.

I was going through the band's biography, and it was written April 1, 2012 as the formation date of the band. Is it a co-incidence that Wakk Thuu was formed in the April fool’s?

Actually Jay, Rozan and I were already planning to form a band and we were looking for a bassist, and then one of my friends recommended our former bassist Prashant Maharjan and then fixed a meeting with him. At first we didn’t believe it, since it was on the April fool’s, but it was a great first meet. So you could say Wakk Thuu was formed in the April fool’s!

I have come to the hearing that you had left Nepal in your teenage and have returned back just a year ago. Tell us about your life in between.

It’s true! In short, it’s all about drugs, job, rehab and back home. It feels life has bettered just recently.

What is EUMSN (Extreme Underground Metal Society Nepal) and what were the objectives behind its formation?

It’s all about supporting extreme metal whether black, death, grind, hardcore, thrash, etc. We support every form of proper metal. The main objective of its formation was to unite the extreme bands of Nepal & South Asia and play gigs together, and also bringing many extreme bands together from around the world and put up in one compilation, share each other’s local underground scenes, support bands with every possible way like sharing videos, demo promo, interviews, reviews, etc.
Just another follower of KtmROCKS! They started this and now we the young ones are following up their steps to keep this scene alive.
Tell us something about Nepal Deathfest that you're organizing in sometime.

Actually, Nepal Death Fest is the brainchild of Zivon Gurung (Brutal Pokhara). He wanted to put up a decent death metal festival in Nepal and we at EUMSN were just there supporting him. The bands are chosen on the basis of their formation and band with at least an EP or demo are called up for the fest. This is the first edition of NDF and we want to continue this every year. I hope to see big number of crowd in this fest.

Are there any Wakk Thuu gigs and tours coming up soon?

Yes there were few but we dropped most of the gigs in India except Undergrind 2013, because this is really important and big call for us. We will update about this gig soon. Also, we are doing a show in Kathmandu soon, around November.

Jay Ram, Wakk Thuu’s original drummer had recently announced a break from all the bands he's involved in for two years, which may have come as a shock to you as well as to all the fans. How do you take this decision of his? How difficult was it to find a replacement for him, especially for the Extreme Tour in such a short period of time?

When I got the message from him, I was literally stunned! But I know when people decide to take a break or move on. So it really didn’t affect me but for Wakk Thuu it did, because around that time we had many gigs to play, and we had to cancel all of them, and we even wanted to cancel the Extreme Tour but few of our well-wishers insisted us to do this tour (thanks to them, esp. Aabeg and Utsav), and if we had dropped this tour, this would have definitely left a big disappointment for Wakk Thuu. So I called up Aabeg (Dying Out Flame) to secure the service of Prachanda (DOF’s drummer), and then Rozan and I decided to go with easy and simple songs for this tour. Prachanda really worked hard in a short span of time and in weeks, we were ready with 8 songs and a Binaash cover.

And one thing, we have not replaced our drummer, though I got few messages from various drummers to try out for Wakk Thuu. But Jay told me he will return, so if we get any tour or show then we have Prachanda and Sarbesh (from Aakrosh) till Jay returns in the band. And much thanks to them because they agreed and are really so dedicated in Wakk Thuu too!

It seems that a general amount of Nepalese underground bands do not try hard to reach to people beyond the national boundaries and are contented with their audience in the local circumference. This sometimes reminds me of Indonesia, whereas bands in let’s say, India, are trying their best to get signed with international record labels and gain international exposure. Just an example would be Binaash Vs Gutslit, who play quite similar style of music and are equally brutal and impressive. What do you say on this?

Indonesian bands are already in good labels but these days, too many rip-off bands and deathcore shit are coming out from there. Well, I don’t think Binaash is contented with the Nepalese crowd only. Like every band out there, they also have some plans. For now, Nepali metalheads are really weak, and are supporters of foreign metal. They spend their bucks on fat chicks but cannot buy local bands’ merchs. Oh, wait they can buy foreign bands’ CDs/shirts, and support rip-offs from Thailand but cannot buy those from local bands. So fuck them first!

Tell me, which band doesn’t work hard to get bigger! Every band has a dream to get signed with a major label (I don’t mean Sony, Roadrunner, etc. though). India on other hand, have bigger scene and the bands there can get more exposure than Binaash and Nepal. Besides, India has already had some internationally known underground festivals, and the crowd there is great! In Nepal, we don’t have a single proper metal fest, and it’s all about genre-based festivals here with each festival trying to drag more crowds and in the end failing miserably.

Binaash playing in front of shitty metalcore fanatics would just leave them wondering. So, first we need to have a proper metal fest, where everyone comes and enjoys the same kind of music and understands what exactly the bands are giving us. And then we have to utilize the every single way of social networking to expand our local scene and bands. It’s not hard as it was in those tape trading days. Internet has made it easy for bands to reach wider places. So if we all focus on these things then definitely one day Binaash or any other Nepali band will be reckoned by the world.  And honestly, Binaash is better and heavier than Gutslit. I am not offending Gutslit and their fans but I am trying to state my view.

Also, there are too many metal supporting pages and groups in Facebook who are giving wrong information about the bands to their followers. Fuck them too! Underground is not a story book that you buy and read it to your children. If you want to support the bands, then first be real. Collect information of bands and then only open up your mouth! And if you really want to support those bands, then go organize a fucking gig. And WTF? You are making the shirts of your Facebook pages and you want that to be bought from us? Fuck you, assholes! Go make the shirt of local bands and sell them!

Also, we need to expose extreme metal in other cities of Nepal too. Extreme metal is limited to Kathmandu, Pokhara, Hetauda, etc. only.
Let’s talk about the lyrical contents of Wakk Thuu. You have lyrical subjects that are pretty new in terms of local scene that include direct Anal Cunt styled abuses and assaults. What particularly made you directed towards this dimension of lyricism?

We wanted to sound bad, offensive and rude. That’s why we came out with those abusive and offensive titles. We were tired of common subjects from bands. As soon as you read the title, you understand the content of lyrics. Every band is following the steps of successful mainstream bands. So, we decided to do something new with our songs.

And Hold on, Anal Cunt is not the only band who wrote abusive and offensive songs. Jugaa is there too! Above all, if we wanted to write songs like every other metal band next door, then we wouldn’t have make it here. I think our song-title also gave us a bit of exposure in the local scene.

There is one song in particular entitled "Achhi Black Metal" that had stirred a bit of controversy with members of some local black metal bands. What did happen?

Some people got offended with the song-title but we eventually sorted it out. To be honest, I am not against black metal. The song is about those black metal fans who are making black metal look like a poseur shit. Black metal is a very complicated genre because with genre, there comes a philosophy too. And many people out there are not getting this point. They are black metal just because corpsepaint looks cool.

Have you ever noticed some black metal fag during Holi? What is the use of doing corpsepaint and wearing bullet bracelets and Mayhem shirts and roaming around like Norwegians in our cultural day?

What's up with the two-second song? Was it just for some musical value, just for the sake of it or for some fun?

We did it for metal, for fun.

Is "attitude" an undeniably essential element for every band?

Yes, to give a certain identity to a band and to create richer atmosphere when you are live. Look at Pratik Neupane (Binaash/UgraKarma) when he is off stage. He is really a humble guy. But when he is on stage, my fucking god, I love that badassery that he exhibits, and the amount of wrath he throws from mic. That certainly makes us feel stronger in the pit. Let’s not forget Vishal Rai of Jugaa too, his attitude gives more life and identity to Jugaa.

What do you think about people who say music is their life and that they cannot live with music? When asked about this, the other Vishal Rai (Jugaa) answered, "Try living the life of a deaf person, you heartless bastards." Does your viewpoint differ from this in any way?

Music is only a part of life and there are already many people who are living life without music. Vishal is right. Be a deaf person and live your own way or else someone will complain about you and you will start ignoring yourself too.
How are humans different from animals?

Animals don’t harm humans, animals don’t cage humans, animals don’t use humans for their entertainment, animals don’t wears human skins, animals don’t worry about goddamn fucking progress!

How do you think will the world end?

That’s too far question. If we don’t bring down our corrupted politicians, Nepal will end first.

Friedrich Nietzsche had said, "To live is to suffer; to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering." What's your interpretation?

So true! If you have couple of hard times then don’t get worried or do something wrong that makes you regret for rest of the life. Take the suffering, that’s how you grow up like a man. Yes, you grow up instead of failing yourself.

What do you have to say about these?

God – Every time, if someone says “bhagwan” I remember I was with this Christian girl few years back. Every Sunday she used to go to church. And one day, I asked her, why she always went to church on Sunday? Her answer was that because her parents want her to. What the fuck! You go to church just because it’s holiday? You go to church because your parents want it? What if there is no holiday? What if your parents don’t want you to go church? So, for me god is just an “excuse” and “pressure” from our parents and elder ones.

Society – If you live in society you will not understand it. If you understand society you cannot live in it.

Downloading music – As long the bands are giving you free downloads, it’s ok. The band is giving you free just because they want to reach out to you. Simple as that but I will not support all those illegal downloads and rip off CDs.

Kollywood – Hey, old-school Nepali movies are really good, like “Lahure”. “Saino”, “Kanyadan”, “Samjhana”, “Behuli”, “Koseli” etc. It’s good to have our own film industry because it carries the legacy of your time you once lived. It speaks about our people, cultures, movements and progress. But, I can see there are too many unworthy actors, actresses and wrong peoples in this industry too. It’s all so messed up and fucked-up. These are the basic reasons why the younger generation doesn’t watch Nepali movies.

We need quality people in this industry and then only we can drag our people to watch Nepali Movies. I really hate when big malls in the city do not approve the Nepali movies in their halls. But their gates are always open to foreign films. Also, I always find it funny that a typical douche here in Kathmandu says “fuck dhoti” and every other weekend you can see them buying tickets of Bollywood movie. How?

The Nepali rap battle stuff that's gone viral in the internet lately – Yama Buddha is an asshole and his team too. Fucking morons, how can they upload those shitty videos in YouTube without censoring them? Such irresponsible peoples! And hey, what a cool feeling that you still haven’t passed your +2 and you go around talking shit and stand proudly in front of a 16 year old girl using cuss words! I really found it so funny because, most of them were abusing girls, and teenage girls were finding the rap battle so cool. Anyway, girls are stupid, they fear a man who growls but appreciate a man who abuses them and calls them whore.

Every trend will die. See, disco died, rock and roll died, nu metal died and this rap battle will die too because it’s not real and people who consider this as music are fucking stupid. It’s only entertainment not music.

Your favorite method of dying – I am a big fan of shotgun death. I’ve always loved the explosion of heads in war and horror movies. Also I always have this feeling that I will allow my friends, brothers, sisters to keep my remains if they want.

The coolest and the best band on planet – Nocturnus, because they have “The Key”.
What's next for Wakk Thuu? What can fans expect?

We will try to release our demo as soon as possible that will lead us to a mini tour in Nepal and a few cities in India. Wakk Thuu will try to play more and more live shows, and yeah, we will never sell out. And also, we want to notify those stupid organizers, please don’t call us in mela, food festival, etc. because we are not a crowd favorite band and above all, we really don’t like to get stoned. Thanks!

Finally, I am done with your questions. Thanks for the opportunity and keep supporting underground. And I am really surprised how you know that I am “Rai” because, it’s a top secret. And so far I haven’t revealed that except with few close people here. Anyway, cheers to you, keep it sick and brutal. And long live Nepali extreme metal!