The rock and metal scene is close to non-existent in Yangon if we’re not counting the mainstream wave of what people perceive as “rock.” Despite many other extraordinary bands in Myanmar, what is Kultüreshock? Min Pyae Sone sits down with the lead vocalist Sküm to get to know who they are and what they represent.
Kultüreshock is a Myanmar political punk band which stands against, as vocalist and punk veteran Sküm tell me, “the injustice, hypocrisy, and atrocities of the system, authority and conformity in general on behalf of the oppressed have-nots both nationally and internationally.”
Formed in 2009 and amidst the many line-up changes throughout its history, Kultüreshock is still rocking at many underground gigs, festivals and putting out many records. They play a fusion of hardcore punk and extreme metal subgenres of punk called crust punk, adopting a unique style of drumming known as d-beat—much like the legendary hardcore punk band Discharge, for whom the style’s named to be.
The current line-up is Sküm on vocals, Poeni Crash on guitars, Pyae Sone Aung on bass, and Lukas Frohofer on drums. However, Lukas, the drummer is away, for now, they currently have to rely on their friends who play drums.
Having released a demo called Extreme Punk Terror! in 2012 and a self-titled debut album in 2016, they’re currently writing new songs and working together on recording the second album to release before the end of 2020.
“We’re not so pleased with the current situation of Myanmar punk scene and movement altogether,” Skum says. As he has been in the scene for a long time, Skum is known for his criticism of Myanmar’s punk scene, and a very keen contributor to many other bands which he deems are true to their own values.
“But tattoos and all-black outfits alone don’t make you part of the culture.” Skum goes on to add, “Most of those so-called punk kids here focus only on fashion and dressing up like punks rather than divulging themselves on music, culture, and ideology as they should.”
“They’re just happy to dress up in punk fashion and care for nothing else at all.”
For the time being, Kultüreshock’s going to keep playing gigs, record new songs and put out more records. “We’re totally not about money and fame as it’s never our intention of becoming rock stars, spreading the messages through our songs is all that mattered to us,” he ended the conversation.
To keep up to date with Kultüreshock and their gigs, stay tuned to their Facebook page.