Posted by Nevin Domer on 30. Jun 2009
Can you give us a short introduction of your band?
Ian: Hong Chai plays the guitar, Mumat plays the bass and I play the drums.
How long have you guys been playing together?
Ian: The band has been around for quite some time. It started out three years ago but I joined the band two years ago and the bassist one year ago. We have changed our line-up many many times.
What does your name mean?
Hong Chai: "Deng Deng" in Chinese it means "waiting." Everything you've got to wait for. You wake up tomorrow morning you wait for work, you wait to finish your work, everything you have to wait for. So Deng Deng is waiting. Waiting to die, waiting for everything!
All of you are ethnically Chinese?
Mumat: No, he is Malay (pointing to the drummer).
I have been in Malaysia and Singapore before and I haven't seen many Chinese kids in the scene here.
Ian: It's very rare. That's why in this Chinese scene we are trying to bring all the kids together. Some of them cannot speak English and some of them cannot speak Malay. So we are trying to build this scene to bring them all together. We have this Canto-Mandarin scene and we play and sing in Mandarin, but we are trying to break out to the other scenes as well.
What do you think the reasons are that there are not so many Chinese kids in the scene?
Ian: It's just very common that Chinese kids don't really dig the underground stuff. They just prefer the radio shit and commercial stuff. It's very common. But lately it's getting much better.
Are there many bands with Chinese members now?
Ian: It's coming up. There are not many but it is coming up.
All of your lyrics when you sing are they in Chinese?
Hong Chai: Some are in Chinese some are in English. The new songs are in English.
Ian: Most of them are Chinese; it's just the newer ones that are English.
What are your reasons for singing in Chinese?
Hong Chai: Because it is natural. I don't know much English.
What type of things do you talk about in your songs?
Hong Chai: Usually I talk about my own life and social issues and my situation. Anything....
What is your situation like? What is it like to play underground music in Malaysia?
Hong Chai: Very difficult. There are the problems of money and time.
Are there many places to play shows or many chances to record CDs and get them distributed?
Ian: There are many places to play, but it's all about knowing the right people. Some promoters are like a clan and they just give the shows to their friends to play. Every week you just see the same fucking bands. They don't like to bring other bands up so sometimes it's hard to get a gig.
I heard that you guys have been to Beijing before.
Ian: He has (pointing to Hong Chai).
When were you there?
Hong Chai: In 2005
Did you see any shows there or meet anyone in the music scene?
Hong Chai: I played at MIDI music festival and a show at 13 Club.
Did you meet any bands there?
Hong Chai: I meet the SUBS and Brain Failure and uh, I forget...
What did you think about the Chinese music scene at that time?
Hong Chai: It's better than here. China has a lot of places to organize a gig but Malaysia doesn't have very many.
Out of the people you met in China is there anyone that you stay in touch with?
Hong Chai: Zhang Fan, the principal of Midi school.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Hong Chai: I think that everywhere it's pretty much the same. Everyone should try to work together to build the scene. I think that everyone is the same.
Check out Deng Deng at http://www.myspace.com/dengdengetc or contact them directly at dengdengetcband(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
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