Karl Cromok The Interview: 6 comments

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Cromok is a widely known and popular thrash metal band coming out from the shores of Malaysia. They first made their name within the Australian Underground Thrash Metal scene rising the ranks along with Australian Godfather bands in the likes of Enticer, SSDC, Mortal Sin, Frozen Doberman, White Trash, Addictive and Detriment. Cromok consist of Tarmizi Mokhtar - Drums, Shamsuddin Ali - Bass & Vocals and Khairul Anuar Shariff - Guitars.

First of all, it is an honor to be able to interview this legendary icon, on of the many reason why a lot of young kids were attracted to heavy metal in Malaysia back in the middle of the 90's. Everybody knew the band and everybody knew the riffs from the 1993 Forever In Time and everybody went over the top for Another You. It was the year 1995 when I first listened to them. I have heard of the name quite a lot before but was never bothered to find out. I was too busy with my radio rock ballads.

Until one fine day, I decided to fulfill my overstaying curiosity about this rock band with this odd (kelantan-isque) name, Cromok. I persuaded my uncle to buy me Forever in Time at a local record store in Kelantan, my third cassette with the first two being Helloween's Keeper of the Seven Keys and Kreators' Endless Pain, went back and played Forever In Time on the cassette player. Once Karl's first chord and solo note in the introductory riff to Memories, weighted with Miji's thundering bass drum kick followed with chugging guitar section moving along with Sam's spoken words, stomped my ears like nobody's business, I was never the same again. I believe at least a few younger metal heads out there shared the same story as mine.

It took me quite some time to really appreciate Cromok's first album, Image of Purity which was released in 1991 most probably due to the ugly sound. Now, I listen to Image of Purity more than I listen to any of their later albums.

I consider myself a big fan of Cromok and just like everybody else at that time, went gaga crazy when I first heard that Cromok will be releasing Yours Truly, a new album in 1996. I also bought all the albums by D'Cromok, Din's solo project (Din was the original guitarist, another founding member of Cromok who left the band in the midst of the bands biggest break in their carrier in Autsralia, an opening gig for Motorhead).

I followed the silent war between the two camps (Cromok and DCromok) via their thank list, made obvious to those who were sharp and die hard enough to notice. Cromok chose not to mention Din in their Forever In Time thanklist. Din, in the thanklist for his IIV Years IIV Days part 2 album, thanked Cromok for not mentioning him as a sign of frustration. However in the later 1996 album Yours Truly, Cromok mockingly mentioned Din in its thanklist with the tag: a very special mention. It was funny and I loved both bands to death but I honestly think Cromok was being a bit harsh on Din at that time. Din later died of Malaria in 1997.

i stoppped following the band after original guitarist Karl left the band. Although his replacement, Hillary Ang, was a guitar maestro and a legend in his own league, truthfully he does not belong in Cromok. I stopped buying Cromok's albums post Yours Truly. Not as a sign of protest but because Hillary's riffs and solos were not that appalling to me. I was too familiar with Karl's melodic solos and not in good term with Hillary's ultra technical yet less melodic solos. I parted ways with Cromok, the band responsible for introducing me to Malaysian Metal.

A couple of years ago, there were some rumours that Cromok will be reuniting with Karl. I was so excited. This is my interview with Karl Cromok made via FB. I would like to thank Abang Chot for his warm welcome and answers. Thank you. Here it goes:

1- How are you these days?

Great! Apart from writing songs for my new solo album, i am running my seminar in educating people on how to evaluate a business opportunity using the 16 fundamental criteria.

2- There were a few events in the likes of the April showcase, the inspiring moment showcase etc signifying your return to the music scene. Is this a definite return?

Yup definitely. I met some very talented musicians and i was so disgusted with music industry now. So I decided to do something to help those fellow musicians and other artistes. These musicians are so talented but they have no avenue to promote themselves. SO perhaps by collaborating with me, I can help promote them.

3- What inspired you to return after all these years? Fans? Passion? Heavy Metal?

Tangan gatal nak main! Ha! Ha! I met a frined of a friend 2 years ago in one of the concerts in KL and he mooted the idea of my comeback. In orincipal I agreed with the idea but could not find time to do it. After 2 years I decided to do it. So in december 2009 I started writing songs for my solo album. I started my facebook in January 2010 and up to now i have 3700+ friends. The support from fans has been very encouraging and that has kept me going till now. I am still passionate about heavy metal as you know my motto is Metal Forever!

4- How does it feel to be back on stage in front of a very driven crowd?

It feels great! Karl & Friends in MyEvo Clubhouse was a fun project. We enjoyed ourselves and actualy I was testing myself to see if I could play again on stage. See whether i still have the guts and skills to be on stage! Ha! Ha! I still have butterflies in my stomach everytime before going on stage especially after 14 years of dissappearance! Those friends (Shah & Zali nrocinu and Affey) were really good and actually they make me feel comfortable on stage knowing that i was performing with one of the best heavy metal musicians in Malaysia.

5- Everybody is waiting for a cromok reunion. Will it ever materialize?

Only time can tell.........

6- What have you been doing all these years being out of the band? Are you in constant contact with the other two?

I have not contacted Sam for 10 years until we jam recently in Hot Sound studio in Wangsa Maju. Check out my facebook photos. With Miji, I think we only spoke about 3-4 times in that 10 years. I spoke to him recently though. All these while I have been busy building my career in the marketing communications industry.

7- Did you bought any of the post Yours Truly albums? What do you think about the all the albums recorded with Hillary Ang?

I have never heard any of their songs!

8- Can we expect another showcase/product from Karl or Cromok? Another album maybe?

Insyaallah my single will be released during this fasting month. I am collaborating with one of the legendary singer in malaysia. I will announce it soon. My solo album is schedule to be released after Hari Raya and many more stories and activities to come. I will announce all those when the time comes. So stay tuned!

Karl Cromok Website | Facebook
6 Responses to 'Karl Cromok The Interview:'
  1. aku suka bunyi nusantara yg cromok buat..memang lain dr yang lain...

  2. Bunyi tak generic bro.. sebab tu dekat Aus boleh femes. Sebab orang nampak originality.. Kalau cromok ikut juga thrash style sama macam band disekeliling dia pada masa tu, mungkin takde impact pun.

    Satu lagi, permainan diorang sangat tight

  3. hahaha...betul, cromok ada design yang tersendiri...hmm, apa pendapat kau pasal band yang kuat ikut pengaruh dia? means ikut style band kesukaan diorang?

  4. bagi aku... tak menjadi masalah.. mungkin platform untuk diorang mencipta identiti sendiri dalam satu jangka masa. Lagipun, selalunya kita akan memulakan sesebuah band pun sebab terpengaruh.

    Tengok pula lah sejauh mana keseriousan sesebuah band tu. kalau sekadar suka suka jamming tak jadi masalah nak tiru solo kirk hammet sebiji sebijan... tapi kalau band yang serious sebagai karier maka terdapat sedikit masalah disitu... pendapat aku je...

  5. oo...ok thanx..hanya nak tau pendapat lain-lain orang...

  6. yup.The malay sound in heavy music is something different in Australia scene. Even kat malaysia pun malay melodic sound dlm local heavy music scene pun tak banyak.Mungkin itu sebab Forever In TIme boleh jual lebih dari 100,000 unit. I hope cromok will di one more album featuring abg chot.

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