Saturday, March 7, 2015


I found out over the week-end that my buddy Hann Ng passed away a few days ago. I don't know too many details about his death. Through social media, I've pieced together that he was in a car accident.

Hann was one of the first local heshers I became friends with after I moved back to Malaysia at the end of 2011. The first time we met, we were in Singapore to see Judas Priest. A mutual friend introduced us, and told me that Hann used to write for Metal-Rules. At the time I knew little about the scene in Malaysia and what, if any, gigs were happening. Hann let me know about a super-secret black metal show that was about to take place in KL, and we made plans to meet up and go there.

That show was a few weeks later, and Hann picked me up and drove me to the gig (even now my sense of direction in KL is pretty basic, but back then it was non-existent). There ended up being a last-minute venue change, and we drove around Ampang trying to find the new location. One of the places we ended up at was a sketchy punk squat with graffiti all over the walls and couches that looked like they were dragged in from a warzone. That, of course, was Rumah Api, and I owe it to Hann for taking me there for the first time. I wasn't able to remember either the name or the location from that first outing, but I did take note of all the flyers on the walls and figured they had regular shows. About a month later I saw my first gig there, and have been shaking hands with people like the Mayor of Metalville ever since.

Fittingly enough, the next time Hann and I saw each other was at Rumah Api. He had joined the band Blood Legion, who were opening for Disgusted and Tools of the Trade that day. It was later in the year, and this blog had started to receive a little attention, at least in those circles. My camera (and the idiot who barely knew how to operate it) was becoming a fixture in the local scene, and I was on hand to take some shots of Hann heshing out.

The last time I saw him was when Metallica played KL in 2013. By then he had left Blood Legion, and he told me he had started his own band. I'm not sure how far he'd gotten with that project; as far as I know, he never got a chance to record anything. He had a lot of talent that seemed like it was spread in numerous directions, including writing, photography, and videography. His music may have slipped through the cracks.

I don't know if I believe in such a thing as a "good death"; but it seems tragic that someone with so much talent can die so young, in something as pointless as a car accident. I don't know if I ever would have discovered Rumah Api if it wasn't for Hann. Four years later, it remains the only part of my stay in Malaysia that I find worth talking about, or remembering. I'll always be grateful to him for that.