“None of us were ever inspired to be in the “industry”. We were all inspired to get the music out of our heads and express it. Then, we all eventually found other musicians as teenagers to express it with. We all learned how to collaborate, know what’s best for a song, and perform with our instruments. Next, we performed in front of people. …and here we are
This piece was taken from a recent interview between the Trio MAL and Mister Styx of Musicarenagh when they were asked ‘who inspired them to be part of the music industry. After the lockdown, the Trio decided to make a conscious effort to make music that can be a source of strength and hopes for people who are going through a hard time.
MAL is Peter Hollywood, Bass who is the Studio Musician, engineer, and formerly of bands Ding Mao and Vermiscious Kanids, then there is Kris Jung, Vocals/ Guitar who also played for Black Cast and Radio Free America, and Brendan Reynolds, Drums formerly of Flowbis and Boy Hits Car.
The Trio combined their forces and has come out with a single titled Come to Light. Come to Light is the first single and title track to the forthcoming full-length album to be released in Summer 2023
“Come to Light was what it sounded like I was singing. It made sense, so we stuck with that and I wrote the lyrics around that topic. The song is a “fuck you” to those entities and groups pressuring people to disengage from their passion, beliefs and trust in themselves.
It’s a call to action for anyone questioning their own positive spirits…especially after the last couple of years. It’s an affirmation for people to believe in their own freedom.” – MAL
Listen to Come To Light below
Follow MAL on
What is your stage name
Is there a story behind your stage name?
The bass player and original drummer were from a great underground touring band called DING MAO. One of their EP’s was titled “Mal”.
We grew tired of coming up with band names, so I shouted, “We’re MAL. That’s it. Simple. Easy. Bad. We are MAL.” Everyone agreed. Well…they were a bit biased, of course. hahaha
Where do you find inspiration?
The bass player, Peter Hollywood, and I, Kris Jung (vocals/ guitar) are always coming up with new riffs. We don’t really find inspiration. I think it finds us. Or, we inspire each other when we jam and noodle around in the studio.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
Music was a constant part of thought. Whether rhythms or beats were infecting the day’s thoughts or melodies. Mom was hired by churches as a musician, so she always brought instruments home. She was always playing, singing, and arranging music on piano or guitar.
She would take me to church (work) on the weekends and I desperately wanted to join the church band. She let me sing with the group a few times. That kind of early exposure really develops an interest in a young impressionable mind as a kid.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
None of us were ever inspired to be in the “industry”. We were all inspired to get the music out of our heads and express it. Then, we all eventually found other musicians as teenagers to express it with. We all learned how to collaborate, know what’s best for a song, and perform with our instruments. Next, we performed in front of people. …and here we are. This is where it ends for us.
We just want to play the music we like. We realized others like it too! That’s it. We just want to play. We’re focussed on recording and performing the music with passion. Any industry involvement is outside of that. However, we’ve been finding through our last two albums that we have die hard fans that buy our merch wherever we go, we’re happy to continue to produce more for them.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
My mother taught me some basic chords at 8 years old. From there, I learned to recognize intervals and play along with the albums I was listening to as a child. Then I started putting things together myself. The other members have their own stories and I’ll have to forward these questions to them.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
My mother took me to see her favorite bands at The Greek Theatre. I think my first concert was a 60’s reunion show, The Bangles, then I went to the shows I wanted to go to- Fugazi, The Exploited, Porno for Pyros, fIREHOSE at The Hollywood Palladium
How could you describe your music?
Our music is several genres underneath the Alternative Rock umbrella, much like other multi-genre’d bands ie: Queens of the Stone Age, Led Zeppelin, PJ Harvey, and so on. We have songs that can be shoegaze. We have songs that are seemingly post-rock. We use odd time signatures.
We can be prog like Rush, and some very simple songs can have a very prog-like arrangement. Yes. The arrangements of songs can definitely be “experimental” or “prog-ish”. We sometimes make listeners “work for it”, so to speak. You’ll think we’re going right back to the part you like- like every other pop song does, but then we’ll take it in another direction.
We DO take you back to what you want, but we want to create a journey of it to get you there. Sometimes it’s psychedelic (not as in the genre “psychedelic rock”, but in the song’s build up. We LOVE acid breaks – The Chemical Brothers, Crystal Method, Thos City of Angels Break Beat Records DJ’s spin at clubs. We love the Olav Basowski techy House records and how they build.
We’re far out there sometimes.
We have a song we released in December called Ritual. It’s instrumental. It’s 14 minutes long. It’s definitely heavy, psych, rock, post-rock. We made that one for people tripping on acid or shrooms. If they are capable of putting it on during their trip, we like to think it’s a good accompaniment to their journey!
Don’t get me wrong- we have a lot of straight forward stuff as well with elements of these things thrown in.
Describe your creative process.
1. parts and arrangements have been brought to us by one member. This can be altered or kept. We try all variations and stick with what we like.
2. a part or riff is jammed. Our rehearsals are recorded professionally in our lock-out. The jams often go places. Those places can be new parts. They can be new songs.
3. A riff/ part with a melody. Sometimes we sit on it and come back with a new part a week later.
Often times we like to keep things simple, and they become more complex as they go.
4. Lyrics: for some reason the melody and syllables are always there, present in my mind. Listening back to the gibberish vocals on the daily rehearsals, the mind creates words out of the muddled mumbles. Things start to make sense and then the blanks are filled in to create the story as clever and reflective of the feeling as possible.
The lyrics I write are reviewed by the band. The band will then throw in suggestions like ” I always thought you were saying this….” Sometimes the suggestion is a far better choice than the way I was depicting the words.
5. Lyrics 2: sometimes there are lines or phrases I have that I wait for a riff to match to. Then we repeat the above process.
It’s a great team!
What is your main inspiration?
The music in our heads.
What musician do you admire most and why?
Too many. Why? For the gifts they have given us!
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Personally, yes. Definitely.
As a band, mmmm maybe. I think we’ve maintained a lot of what we are. We are so many different things under the realm of what each band member loves and appreciates about music and melody. We may have become technically better at our instruments, but our styles remain. This song is definitely reflective of our styles and mood going all the way back to our first record. It’s tried and true MAL.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
Ourselves. We’re not trying to compete with anyone.
What are your interests outside of music?
Mining for gold.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
Hmmmm. I’ll have to get back to you on this
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
Come to Light was what it sounded like I was singing. It made sense, so we stuck with that and I wrote the lyrics around that topic. The song is a “fuck you” to those entities and groups pressuring people to disengage from their passion, beliefs and trust in themselves.
It’s a call to action for anyone questioning their own positive spirits…especially after the last couple of years. It’s an affirmation for people to believe in their own freedom.
What are your plans for the coming months?
We plan on releasing a few more singles while we gig and tour the US. The full-length record will be released in July and we’ll have a couple new videos as well! We’re still booking more and more as we go!
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans
What message would you like to give to your fans?
We’ve always made music for ourselves, but because you were there buying and streaming our music, singing along at shows, and supporting us where you could, we promise to always give you the best of us. We love you so much!! Thank you for yours! We think you’re going to love this new record! It’s our best work! THANK YOU <-those are giant hugs