The Crestfall, a local Malaysian indie band with a particular focus on ACG (Anime, Comics, and Games) music, has been around since early 2012. Inspired by J-ROCK/POP divas the likes of LiSA, The GazettE, Sound Horizon, and more, the band has been playing music in ACG events big and small for the past 6 years.
Having achieved substantial success in recent years, the group now not only has a 2-piece spinoff but are also working on their own original albums. Their first music single Alter x Ego is scheduled to be released by the end of October, 2018 while their EP is scheduled somewhere in 2019. Support them HERE!
1.) Minori (Vocal)
Intro: Joined the band in year 2011, and grew the band till today. Started music since 6 and loves trying our new things (instruments and languages). Likes most of the art related stuffs.
Fav. Food: Everything (except broccoli, cauliflower, and dried oyster);
Fav. Anime/Manga: All CLAMP works;
Fav. Band: The Gazette, but I like all other songs as long as it’s good;
Likes: Eating, Sleeping, Arts, Languages, Freedom;
Dislikes: People who are late without valid reasons.
2.) CR – Stage Name: RIN (Guitar)
Intro: Inspired from K-ON, I started picking up guitar since 17, and joined a band with Taro. I am a self learner by sourcing materials through Google and Youtube. Currently playing and composing for the CrestFall.
Fav. Food: Curry Chicken, Omelette and potato;
Fav. Anime/ Manga: Black Butler, Attack on Titan, K-ON, Violet Evergarden, Eden of The East;
Fav. Band: Sound Horizon, The Gazette, Shoujo Byou, Versailles, Acid Black Cherry;
Likes: Silence and dark ambient, Coffee in the morning, Sleep;
Dislikes: Seafood, Noises, Bright lights.
3.) Daniel (Guitar)
Intro: Freelance Musician and Gamer, had some top achievement thing in Master X Master (proof in Youtube), a now discontinued online game.
Fav. TV Show: Running Man;
Likes: Going to supper, KPOP, and JROCK
Intro: Currently working as a home tutor, I’m the bassist of The Crestfall
Fav. Food: Sushi;
Fav. Anime: Tokyo Ghoul;
Fav. Band: Arctic Monkeys;
Likes: To hangout;
Intro: Rarely listens to Japanese songs unless the band is playing it (lol), but loves challenging new things
Fav. Food: Japanese;
Fav. Movie: Dark Knight;
Likes: Hanging out with friends;
Dislike: Slow drivers.
Despite their busy schedule, they’ve managed to put aside some time to do an interview with us, giving us a good idea what a successful indie band is all about!
How did you guys end up with “Crestfall” as a name? Was it derived from the word crestfallen? Feels rather melancholic.
*laugh* No, no. “Crestfall” here does not pertain to crestfallen at all. It all goes back to our first jamming practice. We had yet to come up with a name for ourselves and it just so happened that everyone was wearing something with a crest or crest-esque design so we just went with it.
Would you like to talk about the band a little?
It has been quite a rough journey for the band since the beginning, we’ve gone through more than a dozen members before ending up with this lineup. That can’t be helped though, people naturally have differing commitments and priorities.
The band was pretty much formed with professional objectives in mind right from the get go. We loved music and specifically wanted to perform in events and such. Performing live is very different from making videos, there are a lot of variables which we can not control; we can’t take back what happens but in the end it’s really fun reacting to challenges that arise!
We do try to be as democratic as possible, and that’s great but finding a genre that suits everyone is an arduous process, so discussions usually take quite a bit of time, especially when ideas clash. It doesn’t help that we’re constantly changing things up, plus sometimes, we just have bad days where we don’t have enough inspiration to push forward even when we put our heads together.
What do you guys hope to achieve as a band?
Oh, we’ve just got that typical musician’s dream. One is to be able to publish our own albums (which we’re already working on!), it’s every creator’s dream to leave a legacy behind. The other is to be able to tour internationally, or at least Japan (like FAZZ did).
What are the biggest challenges you’ve experienced as a band?
The local perception towards JPOP is unfavourable to begin with; other genres perform much more favourably here in Malaysia. It doesn’t help that on top of that, locals prefer foreign “originals” over us independent outfits. Even just in contrast to Singapore, it is a lot more difficult to achieve sustainability than here. Fortunately, the situation is improving over the years with support for independent performers going up.
We think that unity among the community is important; independent performers like us need to band together to prevent organisers from taking advantage of us and also to work together in collaborations to deliver higher value.
The Malaysian music industry is quite unforgiving. It’s difficult even getting a chance, and when you do, the expectations are high while rewards/payouts are low. It took us 8 to 9 years of persevering and consistently putting ourselves out there; most people don’t have that kind of runaway especially considering how difficult it is to achieve sustainability.
We are always trying but creating something unique isn’t easy. The market has become very competitive, even if you have a good voice or great skills, it’s not enough to do plain covers. You need to add your own little twist to it.
What are the biggest achievements you’ve experienced as a band?
To have even gotten together as a team has been a pretty mean feat in its own right. Plus in recent years, we’ve really received a lot of acknowledgement, to the point where we’re being invited quite consistently as guest performers.
The true highlight of our career however is the fact that we’re already in the middle of producing our own album. It would be amazing if it actually sells after we’re done but the fact that we’re making one alone already feels unreal.
Do you have any advice for aspiring musical talents whom are interested in breaking into the industry?
Don’t be afraid to try out collaborations. It’s easy to be shy but sometimes it’s hard to be creative alone. Teams are incredible, you support one another and bring out the best in each other. Practice a lot and don’t be arrogant; always be considerate towards other members of the band, discipline and punctuality will take you a long way.
If you really want to go pro, listen to all kinds of music to learn how the various melodies work and flow. Keep thinking about how to make yourself better, it’s important to differentiate yourself from your competitors because there are just so many people trying. Don’t tunnel vision and limit yourselves to what you thought you wanted to be or do. Keep going down where your passion leads you and make sure you’re enjoying yourself.
Ultimately, it boils down to how well you can persevere. There’s no harm in failing, keep practicing until you get it right. After all, it doesn’t really cost you any more money, and you’ve already purchased the equipment anyway! Also, there is currently a major lack of bassists in the industry, so if you don’t know what you want to learn and really just want a spot, picking up the bass is a pretty solid choice.
Anything you want to say to your fans?
Minori: Don’t give up and just keep going no matter how many years it might take!
Taro: Buy the album! Minori (girl from the future) has predicted good sales, don’t let the meme die now!
Foo: Please do let us know if any of you have feedback on our performances or any requests for what you’d like to see us perform next!
Malaysia is without a doubt a tough environment for indie bands to foster in. There are many talents with humongous potential hidden about the nation. They just need the opportunity and support to shine! It hasn’t been easy for The Crestfall to make it this far, so once again, please do support them (HERE) and help realise their album!
Author: Victor “Quietus” Law