As relative newcomers to the scene, Krusnix has garnered quite a fanbase over the last 2 years with their speedy and aggressive style of old school thrash/speed metal. We speak to the band to learn more about their origin story, their recent 2-track EP, and their influences. Catch their infectious live performance this 5 May at Metal United World Wide, Singapore.
Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Krusnix was formed back in 2016 with the intention to play uncompromising old school metal. Could you tell us about the circumstances under which the band was formed?
Afiq: Thank you for your time too! It’s a pleasure. Well Krusnix is formed by a mutual friend of ours. It was 5 of us in the beginning, not including Syazwan. Overtime the vocalist got sacked and the original bassist left due to other commitments. Eventually Syazwan joined, initially he was a temporary bassist but we loved his creativity and dedication which blends in with the band.
Caine: It was an ads which Afiq posted, and so I responded to it. Initially I didn’t thought much of it, the only thing I wanna do is just play and see how it goes; but little do I realise that I was also immersed into the band at the same time. As time goes by, I was actually delegated to more duties, such as songwriting and composing.
Tell us more about the backgrounds of each of the band members. How did your love and passion for heavy metal come about?
Afiq: Amirul and I go way back since Primary School. We got back in touch during ITE when we were auditioning for the school’s band. We instantly clicked during the audition but got seperated playing for different genre bands. I wanted more than just playing in school so I pulled Amirul to start our own band. My first love for heavy metal was my first listen to Metallica’s Ride the Lightning, which I also realised there’s many things I can do with the guitar.
Amirul: My first discovery for heavy metal would definitely be Judas Priest’s Painkiller. Eventually as time goes by I got exposed to drummers such as Scott Travis, John Bonham, Neil Peart and Buddy Rich.
Caine: My love for heavy metal began when I first come across Iron Maiden’s Powerslave, which I realized how intricate their playing is. After that I got exposed to guitar virtuosos such as Steve Vai and Paul Gilbert, classic rock players like Jimmy Page and Joe Perry, also metal players such as Randy Rhoads and Alex Skolnick while crafting my playing.
Syaz: My love for heavy metal began during secondary school, when I first listened to Ensiferum’s debut self-titled album. Soon I started to discover heavier bands such as Celtic Frost and Sepultura among recommendations from other friends.
Also, what does Krusnix stand for, and what’s the meaning behind the band’s name?
Afiq: It doesn’t stand for anything really. Hahaha. We just wanted a name that is appealing to the eyes. We even used numberology to decide on our name, but in the end I came across the word crucifix, and decided to make it a play on the word by changing and taking out the alphabets.
2017 marked the band’s debut release in the form of the 2-track EP, Spill Your Blood. The band’s musical style can be described as old school thrash metal. What are some of the influences that goes into the writing of Krusnix’s material?
Afiq: It was on September 2016 that we released it on physical format but we released it on iTunes, Spotify and other digital platforms on early 2017. The 2 songs on our EP was mostly influenced by Bay Area metal artists such as Metallica and Megadeth. Some of our new materials are influenced by Kreator, Destruction as well as new age thrash artists such as Havok and Warbringer.
The band features members such as Syaz, who is also a part of melodic death metal outfit Assault. Musically, what does each of the members bring to the table, and how do they influence the direction of the band’s musical output?
Afiq: Most of the time I would usually noodle around the guitar if there’s a catchy tune in my head. As far as it goes, I want my band to sound different from our influences, if not as close as possible. As Syaz is from a band which emphasises melody, which means it’ll be something different from how we usually compose our songs. We would also put in this element subtly so that there’s a cutting edge, which makes Krusnix stands out from other bands. The most important thing is that people recognise it’s Krusnix when they heard our songs.
Caine: Some of my influences are from non musical influences such as Quentin Tarantino, Hideo Kojima, George Orwell, HP Lovecraft and also musicians Imogen Heap and St. Vincent (Annie Clark), there will definitely be a huge variety of musical output, not only lyrically – but I try to keep it consistent so that it doesn’t stray away from the band’s musical direction.
What was the songwriting process like for the band?
Afiq: We try to write each song different from the other, either in tempo or structure, so there is flow in our set or album. If not it will sound stale and generic, like most bands. Most of the time we would adhere to standard tunings, unless if it’s necessary.
Caine: Sometimes if there’s something interesting across the things we read or seen, we would write it down, and change the lyrics along the way to fit in the song structure.
Also, what are the inspirations behind the lyrics of the band? What were the themes behind the material on Spill Your Blood?
Caine: There is no definite theme to the band’s lyrics. We just write what we feel that fits in the song. Sometimes it could be things that we see from books, films and video games. Or even societal issues such as war and even things that we encountered, for instance personal struggles.
Afiq: “Afterlife” was written during a period of time when I was having insomnia and anxiety, thinking about life after death. “Spill Your Blood” was initially written out of pure anger and didn’t have any meaning to it, until there was a day I had a nightmare in which I sold my soul to the devil for fame.
As relatively newcomers as a band, Krusnix has already gained a following in the scene over the past 2 years of gigging. How has the ride been so far for the band?
Afiq: We have our good and bad moments but that doesn’t stop us coming back stronger. Every show is different. We do celebrate when we have a good show but we always try and find mistakes in each other so we can be a better band, and perform better in the future. We are taking it slow, since each show is a learning process.
Metal United World Wide will be one of the key gigs in the local scene this year, featuring an all-local lineup and Krusnix is one of the bands featured on the bill. What can fans of the band, as well as people who have not heard of the band expect?
Afiq: We are definitely playing 2 new songs since we didn’t have the chance to play them. Every song on our set are different so its unpredictably spontaneous and entertaining at the same time. We have a surprise at the end of our set list, so stay tuned!
With the last release being an extremely short one, can followers of the band expect any new studio material any time soon? And what differences can one expect on upcoming Krusnix releases?
Afiq: We are almost halfway done in writing and composing new songs. As great songs require time, collaboration and patience, we are actively sharing our ideas to each other to develop our ideas so that more songs can be completed. The upcoming releases will be different from before, since it will also covers a wide spectrum of subjects such as war and humanity.