Malaki's is a No Gimmicks, No Make Up, and No Bullshit Type of Act!

The project started back in 2009 and now a few years later, Malaki is a rock act that has no gimmicks, no make up and no bullshit! They released an all new EP and have got so much more in-store it's going to be nuts! These guys took some time to talk about this EP and other plans they have lined up.

1. What type of band are you?

We're a hard rock/metal band that stresses realism and emotion above all else.  There are far too many acts out there that are so image conscience that they forget about perfecting their craft: Music.  We put all of our emphasis on writing the best songs that we can that will connect with people that are hungry for emotionally driven honest music.

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

I (Josh buma) started up Malaki as a project in 2009 after the break up of my previous band, Four Star Youth. I was tired of compromising certain elements I wanted to hear in my music, and decided to write all of the music and lyrics myself.  After about 6 months of writing, I starting working with a vocalist to help flesh out the ideas I had, but numerous conflicts preventing us from taking it to the next level.  I soldiered on, trying out over 150 musicians until I felt I had the right guys both musically and professionally to give the music life. Drummer David Gentry had previously toured and played in Otep and Trigger Point, bassist Joe Guerra previously of Flatline was a perfect fit, someone I'd been playing music with since I was 16.   Guitarist Michael Breamer was already a touring veteran at 20 years old, and Vocalist Aldrich Policarpio moved to California from the Philippines less than 6 months before we found him.  We played our first gig in the Winter of 2012, and then released our first EP at a House of Blues show on the sunset strip in April 2013 in front of hundreds of people. The word is apparently getting out there, and its a great feeling.

3. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

The topics of the music are things anyone can relate to.  Bad relationships, questioning your faith, lost friendships, etc.  I feel we approach them in a creative and lyrically cohesive way, where any person listening can put themselves in that same place where the songs came from.  They're fairly easy to connect to.

4. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Most of the Malaki material I wrote before I even had a band to play it, demoing things out in Pro Tools with programmed drums, etc.  I agonized over every note, and each song took between 2 weeks to a month to finalize.  When I put the band together, the other members already had a strong platform to base their playing on, and seeing a live band perform this music with their own feel and touch is something that makes me happy every time we step on stage or get in the rehearsal room. I couldn't have found a better group of guys in which to make my musical vision come alive, and I look forward to writing music as a band going forward. I wrote everything out of necessity in the beginning, but I'm glad I can rely on each band member to contribute to the music in the future.

5. Who are your musical influences?

Anything that moves me.  I grew up on the Seattle bands, like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, etc.  When I listen to those songs, there's a deep emotional connection. You can FEEL each vocalist's plight, and empathize with their words.  Newer bands like Thrice and Deftones are also amazing story tellers, both musically and lyrically.  I get off on anything that is musically heavy without being clumsy or hamfisted;  vocals that not only tell a story, but do it in a way that leaves no emotional stone unturned.

6. Tell me about your new EP.

Its a bit difficult in this day and age to release a full record.  Once its out there, you essentially have to start all over again and it might take 2-3 years to be happy with a new group of songs. We've decided instead to release a series of 3 song EPs, and we feel the songs on the first EP (Crutch, Miracle, and Ordinary Life) represent a perfect introduction to what Malaki is about: Emotionally driven hard hitting songs with massive hooks and huge riffs.

7. How would you describe the overall sound of this EP?

Dark, brooding, and heavy. Each song has a huge chorus to really hammer the point home.

8. What would you say is your favorite track off it?

Probably "Crutch".  I always try to push myself as a musician, but Crutch was a song that was the easiest and most basic of all the songs I've ever written.  Although I'm not a fan of guitar solos in general, it probably has my favorite I've ever written, and the chorus is so simple, yet catchy and powerful. I'm really proud of it.

9. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this EP?

Our main goal was capturing Aldrich's singing in a way that really showcased what this band was about.  We're a very vocal-driven band, and it was very important to make sure the songs were conveyed correctly and with power. I also went back and re-recorded most of the music from the original demos to get the tones and feel I was after. We got to really take our time with the EP because we did it ourselves, and I think it shows in the final product.

10. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Until Malaki, I'd never recorded anything on my own, but the last few years I've familiarized myself with Pro Tools, which gives me a lot more creative control over how everything should sound. The whole recording process was very DIY, and that was very foreign to me at first, as I had no one else to rely on.  In terms of instrumentation, there are a lot of pianos and other synth sounds that we added to each song.  You can't always hear them out in front of the mix, but when they're not there, you can definitely tell that something is missing. I also experimented with loops and a few other things that helped the songs out tremendously.  In "Ordinary Life" in particular there's even a prank call that a friend had on his voicemail that we threw in to the track.  You can barely hear it and although you can't make the words out, it fits perfectly into the background of that particular part in the song.  You never know if something will work until you try it!

11. When did you start writing for this EP?

I had some riffs and ideas laying around for this project since 2008, but didn't really start putting them together until 2009. One song, "Sunshine", which will be on the next EP, I had presented to my previous band but it was rejected, and I'm glad that it was, as the sound of the song was much better suited to Malaki.

12. Can you go into one or two tracks on the new EP? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

"Crutch" is the first song I've ever written that has a swing feel to it.  Initially when I wrote the song, it was in a major key, but it sounded like a Thrice song without me realizing it so I scrapped the idea and started over fresh. The new version literally wrote itself within a few hours.  The solo was one take and I had no idea what I was even doing, but after I tracked it I didn't think I could improve upon it.  The lyric is based around wasting someone else's time in a relationship.  I think just about anyone has been guilty of that at some point, and what I was going through in my life at the time, I needed to find a way to be as honest with that person (and myself) as I could.

"Ordinary Life" is about someone trying to change your life and you as a person, essentially robbing you of who you are. A lot of people are attracted to someone, and then try to make changes to who that person is.  What you're typically left with is someone who has abandoned their passions and is no longer desirable, and this song is about freeing yourself from that situation.

13. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

you can check us out on Facebook and Reverbnation;, and respectively. We plan to be putting the EP for sale within a month, it should be available everywhere to purchase shortly.

14. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?

I think there are certain things that bands might not be able to do for themselves, so we are currently looking for management and representation to get the word out. There's talk of doing a tour later this summer or early fall. Our plan is to continue to release new music every few months and work with people that enjoy our music and want to help get us out there as much as we enjoy playing and writing it.

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