MUWW Special: Interview with Truth Be Known

Local death/thrash/grind band Truth Be Known has over the years come to be known for their energetic and engaging live performances. This year the band joins the roster of the inaugural Metal United World Wide to once again bring joy, fun, laughter, and moshing to local metalheads. We catch up with vocalist Subash to have a short chat.

Hey Subash, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. I understand from the band’s Facebook page that there is a new album currently in plans this year. Could you tell us more about the new album?

Hello everyone. Yup, there will be a new album coming out this year. Our third album and it will be entitled Equal in the Pit. We got about 15 songs ready so far. Our bassist, Josh (who writes all of the music) still has a few more up his sleeve so we gonna get that ready as well. It will probably be 16 originals and 2 covers. I know 18 songs sounds like macham we recording “Use your Illusions” like that but our songs are quite short, so it balances out, I think. Hahahahaha.

We will be recording full on in the month of June. Hopefully everything will be ready by August earliest. But then again we can be real cheebyes and change everything. Hahahahaha. But fret not, cheebye or not we will definitely release the album this year. Confuckfirm. (Which also happens to be the title of one of our new songs by the way).

Interestingly you guys have actually came out with a specific sub-genre of your own, termed “funcore”. Could you tell us how this term came about? 

This one also quite cheebye, I tell you. We played a gig at Parklane Mall years ago. As usual, we were all pissed drunk. RazorTV interviewed us. Before this, Josh and I always used to joke about different sub-genre titles like mathcore (knn, what’s next Pythagoras’ Theorem Metal ah), this core, that core and all and we should for the fuck of it, give ourselves a sub-genre title. So when RazorTV asked us what kind of music do we play? I replied drunkenly, “Funcore”. And that’s how it stuck. Good thing, I didn’t say the other title, we were thinking of. Tehcore (underwear in Hokkien).

He did find God after all. It was Tony Leung Chiu Wai.

In March, the band happened to have some minor line-up changes, with Vinod coming on-board. How did that come about?

Yea, guitarists also can be cheebyes. Hahahaha no lah just kidding. We’ve had a few changes with our guitarists. Damien left because he wanted to find God. Lyon Chua of Stillborn took over and he left when he found out the more we drank, the more naked we got. He wasn’t cut out for that shit. Brandon of Witchseeker then took over. It was like a young Damien but with hairless legs. But when he saw us naked and realised how hairy we all were, he was horrified and left. So Vinod came along. Fella could play the guitar, talk cock, drink and has hairy legs. He pretty much fit the bill. Oh yeah, Damien will be playing for us at the Metal United World Wide gig. He did find God after all. It was Tony Leung Chiu Wai.

The real God

Personally I have watched Truth Be Known live for couple of times, and one thing that always impressed me is the intensity of the band throughout the set. As a band that has performed over 10 years, does the band have any pre-performance rituals before going onstage? How does the band keep up with the physical demands of your live performances?

We have been doing this for about 13 years now and it’s like we “Benjamin Button” the shit out of every gig. The more gigs we play the younger we get. All this works because of our pre-ritual before a set. Back then, we used to rub each other with Kong Hee’s anointed oil before going up on stage. It worked out fine till our drummer, Gene started talking with a Jamaican accent and demanded to drink wine from China instead of Tiger Beer. Josh and I were having none of that shit. So we switched from Kong Hee’s anointed oil to Johnson’s baby oil (Smell nicer). Gene went back to Singlish and Tiger beer and we never looked back.

As we get older, it does get harder to keep up with the intensity but as long as there is love and appreciation in what we are doing, we will always fucking go all out. Plus getting drunk helps a lot.

TBK unleashing funcore in Vietnam, 2017

The band has performed in numerous countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia. Were there any memorable shows that still give you goosebumps till this day?

We have played quite a bit. For last year alone, the Vietnam gig and the Hammersonic gig were memorable to us. Those gigs were loud, fast and intense as fuck. We had to rub extra oil that day.

We had to rub extra oil that day.

Unfortunately, we didn’t play any gigs in Singapore last year. So for the upcoming one this Friday, I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be a memorable one for us as well.

The local metal scene has seen a surge of international bands coming by our shore in recent years, such as Death Angel’s and At the Gates’ show on 6 May, which is organised by Street Noise Productions. Having been in the scene for a while now, as a fellow metalhead and musician, what’s your take on today’s local metal scene?

I think it’s great and we are lucky to see so many bands which we listen to when we were young. Kudos to our Singaporean organisers who bring all these bands for us to watch. Mad respect to these guys lah.

As for our local metal scene, I have nothing but love. There are so many really good Singaporean bands that can and are capable of kicking TBK’s asses anytime. Well, musically they can but when it comes to drinking, we are like gods. No one can beat us. Besides the bands, there are so many youngsters of different races and culture coming to watch gigs now and that’s really wonderful. It truly is a good time to be a Singaporean metalhead now. Enjoy the music and the shows that come by.

This Saturday’s show is definitely one of the biggest shows featuring 11 local bands, and bands like Bastardized and Meltgsnow making their long-awaited return to the live circuit. What can fans expect from TBK?

TBK is a well “oiled” machine after all and as usual we will go all out.110%. We will be playing some new songs from the upcoming album. We hope you guys will like them plus the usual crowd favourites as well. If you have never been to a TBK show and don’t know what the fuck we are playing. You can check us out at Truth Be Known on Spotify. However watching us live is a whole new ball game, so be prepared. You’re definitely gonna love it.

Any last words for your fans for this Saturday’s show?

Don’t be a cheebye and support your scene. See you on the 5th. Cheers!

Catch Truth Be Known, and many other quality Singaporean bands this May 5 at the inaugural, Singapore edition of the Metal United World Wide. More details at this location.

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