FILSUFATIA is not new in Malaysian Metal scene. This one-man-band was formed back in 2005 and have been constantly releasing demos ever since. While others are eagerly into Evil and Satanic forms of Black Metal, Filsufatia chose and moved with pride on the paths of depressive and melancholic metal. Some of the most recent releases from Filsufatia are; “Buried Beneath & Forgotten” re-released on cassette by Fragile Branch Recordings, “Fallen Leaves In A Tide of Sorrow” split with Twilight Fauna unleashed through Spectrelight Recordings, and a great 8-track demo entitled “Melancholia, A Burden Too Much To Bear”. Well, here’s a talk with Deep, the mastermind of Filsufatia…
Hail Deep. How are you and how are things going on around you lately?
All hail to you Nath. Life is hectic as usual with my day job and personal things, hardly any time for music these days.
Filsufatia was formed back in 2005. It’s 8 years now Filsufatia in the scene. How do you see the evolution of Filsufatia; both musically and material releases?
Yes, it has been 8 years indeed. Throughout the years, the band has slowly been developing and perfecting its craftsmanship in song compositions and arrangements. It has been a thrilling 8 years run, if I can say so myself.
Musically, I personally have been holding this belief that Filsufatia has finally reached its pinnacle of personal satisfaction for me. The band started from a bed room project back in 2005, playing this sort of a symphonic and weirdly programmed Eastern Metal (metal with malay traditional feel), paying homages to local heroes in the likes of Sil Khannaz, Langsuyr and As Sahar to a genre that had finally defined my personal fulfillment and content, which was melancholic, atmospheric and depressive Black Metal, the Filsufatia that it is today.
As for the material, it has been 8 years with 8 demos, one for every year with over 30 published songs. Being prolific is indeed a very tiring process, I guess.
As said on your biography, Filsufatia plays Atmospheric Melancholic Black Metal. Elaborate further about your musicstyle; the Filsufatia’s very own brand and source of inspirations?
When the band first started, eastern metal was the music style. The songs in the first three demos (The Euphony of Regression, Tahyul and Myan Luradh) were crafted with the formula of reinterpreting the Malay mythical and mystical culture and traditions as its basic premise. These songs were based on things like Wayang Kulit (Kelantanese shadow puppet theater), Main Puteri (Kelantanese spiritual healing) just to name a few.
With the first three demos, the band was still in the midst of finding its own sound. Yes, the music and the songs were uniformed but the personal satisfaction was not there. Then, I started to listen to more obscure black metal bands and that eventually led me to Thy Light and Cold World. The music from these bands reached and speaks to me in a very ethereal and profound way. The music just speaks. It was a crazy experience.
I would really love to try and play Depressive Black Metal, but I found out that the music was not just about creating sad and melancholic riffs, but you also need to have that self-destructive, damaging and vile quality that made Depressive and Suicidal Depressive Black Metal so personal to most of its listeners. In order to be able to get that quality, you need to understand and appreciate the essential ingredient of Depressive Black Metal and that ingredient, at least to me, was hatred.
I love the subdued, sad and depressed riffs of DBM but I don’t think I would be able to write a pure depressive song. So I stuck with Melancholic and Atmospheric Black Metal.
Besides Thy Light and Cold World, the bands that I love are Woods Of Desolation, Make A Change… Kill Yourself, Im in A Coffin, Wedard, Nyktalgia and the mighty Maqabir (hehehe). To be honest, I would listen to anything with good sad and atmospheric riffs.
Fragile Branch Recordings took your sixth demo "Buried Beneath & Forgotten" to release it on cassette. Say something about this deal and release?
Yes, Fragile Branch contacted me earlier this year wanting to release our sixth demo, Buried Beneath and Forgotten in cassette format. The tape consist of 3 song from the original release plus an additional track called Senja Murung (Malay for Depressive Dawn) which thrown in as a bonus. Me being me, I tend not to think too much about the release. I was just happy that somebody out there thought that it was a good enough demo for a proper physical release. I was honored and cannot thank the good people of Fragile Branch for the opportunity.
This year (2013), Filsufatia collaborated with Twilight Fauna and released Fallen Leaves In A Tide of Sorrow Split. Let us know more about this split release, your side and your opinions over Twilight Fauna and Spectrelight Recordings?
Paul Ravenwood is a good friend of mine. We started to get in touch via youtube. He often gave his constructive opinions about the songs that I uploaded there and I gave him the same with his songs. One fine day, Paul asked me if I would consider doing a split release with Twilight Fauna, without hesitation, I agreed. I believe the process took a couple of months. I was in charged with the design of the digital sleeve while Paul took over the promotion department. I even created new logos for the bands and felt honored that Paul still uses it today. Due to the relentless promotion by Paul, the split got massive feedback and eventually acceptance. The split managed to introduce both bands to new listeners and friends.
As for Twilight Fauna, Paul told me that the idea behind his band was to try and push boundaries in terms of composing songs in the metal genre. Black Metal and the black metal scene often came out very rigid and regimented with the type of sound that got associated with Black Metal. Twilight Fauna managed to do that and I respect him for that.
In 2012, you released an impressive 7th demo "Melancholia, A Burden Too Much To Bear". Talk further about this.
Impressive? Thank you for the compliment. The demo contains 8 songs including intros, interludes and outros. The songs were extremely and subjectively elaborate and extravagant. Despite the horribly polished sound, I received a lot of feedbacks complimenting the maturity of the song writing. Song writing wise, Melancholia was the ultimatum for me. The best song that I have ever composed in my entire Filsufatia life was in that demo. I often asked myself, where do I go from Melancholia?
What derive you to once changed name to Deep but then back to Filsufatia? "In Silence Somber Solace" which originally under Deep was later re-released as "Echoes of the Yonder" when you back to Filsufatia, right?
Yes. That fiasco happened back in 2009 or 2010 I guess. The main reason why I changed the name was due to the thought that Filsufatia was not a philosophically deep enough moniker for the project. The change of direction in the music for the band, I thought, justified and warranted the need for a change in the name as well. Since I was looking for a deeper and more meaningful name, I looked at the name of my alter ego and thought to myself, what can be a deeper nick than Deep. So yes, Filsufatia was called Deep for a couple of months before I realized that there were 10 other bands using the name. That why I returned to the original name, with hesitation to be honest.
With the help of our good friend Pian Nathias, a local label called Carnage Music released the bands 2009 demo, Immortalis. After Immortalis, Pian offered to release the upcoming demo which was already in the can during the negotiation (if you will, more of a discussion to be honest). In Silence Somber Solace was released under the moniker Deep, as a split release with another extremely talented Depressive Black Metal band called Animist. When the name was changed back to its original moniker, I have decided to re-release the demo under Filsufatia (just so I can re-design the sleeve hehehe).
I saw a post about the release of "The Grand Eulogy". What is it all about?
The Grand Eulogy will be the eighth and final demo of the band before the hiatus. The original plan was for me to write 7 more songs to complement the number songs which were released previously in Melancholia but due to time constraints, I was stuck at four and had not move from that number for months now. Oddly enough, when I write for Filsufatia, it tends to be extremely difficult. Even though I was unable to finish the fifth song for the project, I have written quite a number of songs for my other projects without any problem at all. Thus I decided to release the eighth demo as The Grand Eulogy. It will contain 4 songs plus an elaborate intro. The playtime is close to 25 minutes and like any other Filsufatia demos, it will be available for free download.
What’s next from Filsifatia?
Filsufatia will be put on an indefinite hiatus. It is time for me to try and venture out into new and fresh projects without the burden of Filsufatia’s one demo per year discipline that I put on myself.
Let us know something about your other projects; Mhourong and also The Bullet Belt Press?
Mhourong (a distorted malay word, Murung which means Depressed in english) is an industrial project that I do for fun, well at least for the moment. Back when Filsufatia was still called My Lovely Autumn, I used to do and wrote all these Industrial metal stuff so Mhourong is an outlet for me to revisit my industrial days. I like the name though, but if I were to release something under that moniker it might not be industrial at all. We will have to see how that one fiasco goes I guess.
The Bullet Belt Press, on the other hand is my blog where I promote local Malaysian metal scene to the whole wide world. I’ve been doing the blog since 2009. I have always wanted to do a metal fanzine and I almost did one back in 1998, but the master copy was lost, thus the metal fanzine, Patricide, never saw any light of day. Well, I guess it is better late or in my case, of a different format then never. Hehehe.
Final words please!
All hail to you Nath for the superb questions. More power to Gravesound and Maqabir. Don’t stop writing and releasing demos, my good man. To those who have been supporting Filsufatia from day one, I thank you all especially Pian Nathias, Carnage Music (RIP), HellKult Propaganda, Kelantan Metal Army, Metal II Metals forummers (RIP), Metal Terus (RIP), everybody else, you know who you are. All hail the Malaysian Depreshvn! All hail the Malaysian Metal!