From boys to men

The duo behind Jaggfuzzbeats display a new musical maturity in their latest EP

08 Jun 2021 / 11:30 H.

IT HAS been little over four years that rock band Jaggfuzzbeats broke into the Malaysian indie scene with their debut album Rest Now in 2017.

The two rockers told theSun that they knew each other well before the band even existed.

“We were like a high school act jamming around. It didn’t really fly after high school,” explained frontman and guitarist Azrul Zainal.

He would move on to eventually form Jaggfuzzbeats with Omar Aiman in 2014.

The duo would then start putting their materials out into the world through Soundcloud. After three years, they dropped Rest Now.

“Even in high school, we already had all the songs from our debut album ready. We just never found the right time or way to release them back then,” said drummer Omar.

“After we decided to post it up, the feedback exceeded our expectations.”

He said when the band began, it was on the basis of just having a good time.

“Then we just went along with it,” added Azrul.

Developing character

Through the latest EP, the indie rockers lay bare their testament to growth and maturity.

In their debut, the sound and lyricism denoted late teenage years and themes, capturing their coming of age and getting to know themselves, along with falling in and out of love.

Subtle Shift is more about carrying the weight of responsibility and facing the problems that come with growing up,” explained Azrul.

“Initially, we did have an idea of being ‘angrier’, I guess in a sense. We wanted it to be more vibrant with how we express ourselves. Compared to Rest Now, which was feel-good and laid back, Subtle Shift is more in-your-face.’’

The change is noticeable when both releases are played back-to-back, with the EP being “heavier” even in sound.

Work on Subtle Shift’s songs began not long after Rest Now was released. Azrul claims they probably began playing the songs at live shows a month after the latter’s release.

Pandemic stricken

Although the songs for the EP were completed by 2020, the release was more or less pushed back due to Covid-19.

“It was supposed to come out earlier in August last year. But then the whole situation with Covid happened, and things in our personal lives forced us to take a step back for a bit and really look back. We actually had a full album ready before Subtle Shift,” revealed Omar.

“It was not supposed to be an EP, but after everything that happened, we felt like some of the songs didn’t fit the situation right now”.

Not only disrupting the EP’s launch, the pandemic forced Jaggfuzzbeats to look inwards and examine themselves in regard to the music the duo creates.

“During Rest Now, we could sort of plan when we could find money and for us, it has mainly been live shows, which is where we promote the band the most,” the drummer elaborated.

Ultimately, the band had to review what they were doing, thus reconfiguring their mindset in music.

It had to become not so much aligned with money-making, but rather doing it because they want and love to do it.

Given the importance of live shows for the band, neither Azrul nor Omar know where the current pandemic will lead in regard to the return of live shows.

“This gives us time to churn out something within our means, which we can save for future stuff. We’re just going to keep doing our best and hopefully, it turns into something fruitful in the future,” said Azrul.

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