Shop Talk – Dead Beat Shop, Penang


Ah, it’s been ages since I did my last interview (excluding Dark Funeral, which I have no plan of releasing it anytime soon, that’s another story). Anyway, we’ve been around for almost 3 years, but in our experience we have never interviewed any merch shop. I think in order to support the scene, you don;t only support the bands, gigs and zines, but also shops. Because you can find almost everything in merch shops, just name it. From vinyl to cassettes, flyers to zine, shirts to flags..the possibilities are endless. I think there is no better shop to do the honour to be the first shop to be featured in DtE than Dead Beat Shop! This is quite a lengthy interview, so you might wanna brace yourself. It’s not gonna bore the hell out of you, I promise!

Hi Dzul/Jill! First of all, a little introduction about yourself please.

Dzul: Hello there, I’m Dzul, I’m a village boy from Kedah where there’s padi  fields all around my house. I then moved to this beautiful Penang island after in high school, working here, skating and hanging out with my buddies, going to a lot of metal and hardcore/punk shows here. I love eating. I’ll eat anything especially the food with garlic on it, that’s my favorite. I also loveeee coffee. Any kind of coffee I don’t mind. I skate and go skimboarding twice a week. I ride my
cruising board everyday to the post office to mail all the customer’s orders. I love buying/trading stuff (vinyl, tape or cd). I also love to draw if I’m in the mood and have an idea. But I’m a lazy artist. I did some artwork for some bands that I really like. I didn’t recommend people asking me to do artwork for the cover album of their band because of my laziness. Plus my artwork sucks! I love movies! Any kind of movies. I’m a lucky man to have such a wonderful woman in my life who enjoys movies as much as I do. We don’t just watch the movies. We take the quotes from the movies and apply them in our everyday life.

Jill: Hi! Well I’m Jill, an Italian-American living in Malaysia for the past four years. Not doing much of anything except running our shop, reading lots and lots of books and watching lots and lots of movies..

Jill! You’re not from Malaysia, so what made you come and settle down here? What
do you like about Malaysia most?

Jill: That’s right, I’m originally a New Yorker. Well.. I used to come to Malaysia every six months or so to visit my best friends Mr. Man Berex and Mr. Masumi DiGiorgio of the bands Spermblast and Goresluts, and their families. I used to meet a lot of friends here, and eventually I met this long haired metal/punk skateboarder dude named Dzul. In 2009 I left my job at my previous label and as I had already bought a plane ticket to come and visit Malaysia again in a few weeks, I came here and just never went back. The thing I love about Malaysia most? I could name a lot of sentimental things but probably the one thing that makes me happiest is that there are so many people here that are as short as me. In America I got teased all my life for being so small, but here I see old ladies in the street that are actually smaller than me. It’s a good feeling. I feel like I’m among my own kind, the Hobbit people. (that got me cracked up – Ed)

Dzul! You used to have a distro called Kandar Mosh, do you still run it now that
you are operating Deadbeat with Jill?

Dzul: Kandar Mosh is still operating. At first, before we have Dead Beat Shop/Media, it’s a label for my band’s releases (Weot Skam) and some friend’s bands. At first Kandar Mosh released mostly cassette in limited quantities like 100 – 200. Then I got excited about putting out some releases and trading with a lot of other labels. But now since we are busy with the Dead Beat Shop/Media and there’s a lot of upcoming releases are planning, I slowed down a
lil bit of putting something out on Kandar Mosh. I also got frustrated on the higher shipping price rate that went up crazily in this year in Malaysia. I think now it’s more about distributing stuff. But yes we’ll be putting out the new Weot Skam CD under Kandar Mosh pretty soon. I think Kandar Mosh is kind of hardcore/fastcore/punk stuff while Dead Beat Media is more to metal/grind/death kind of stuff.

Now let’s get to the important part of the interview. What the heck is Deadbeat

Dzul: Dead Beat Shop name is the idea that came from Jill. It’s the name of her sub label
called Dead Beat Media before when she was still in New York. I think it’s a great name. We put “shop” in the back of the name as we concentrate on selling merch
in the shop.

Hey, maybe it would be fun if you two can list 5 reasons why we should come and
buy stuff at your shop, either by walk in or online, yeah?

1. We give the best prices we can possibly give (Raya sale, people! – Ed)
2. It is very hard to maintain a small shop, especially a Metal shop, so you should support local metal businesses!
3. We’re fun to talk to!
4. Because the editors of Dissecting the Euphony like us.. so should you! (Yes, we do! – Ed)
5. We need money so we can buy a house on the beach!

Now, who is this skeleton drummer guy in your stickers logo and even on the
metal shutters at your shop? Does he have a name?

Jill: That’s a good question. He never had a name, but if you can come up with a good one, let us know and we’ll use it. That logo was created by Adam Geyer ( in 2006 or 2007. He intended to use it just for his own artwork, but as soon as I saw it I lost my mind and had to have it. So I convinced him to let me use it for Dead Beat Media. The skeleton boy beating a drum was perfect – a ‘Dead’ Beat, get it? Haha. 

The drummer of Nile used to have a fanzine called “Dead Beat” that was dedicated to drummers. So when I saw this
drummer boy I immediately thought Dead Beat would be a cool name for the label along with this logo, and not bad for a tribute name to the mighty Nile, wouldn’t you agree? (I know you’ll agree because you are the ultimate Nile fan!!) (All hail Pharaoh Karl and his men! -Ed)

Dzul: I think we just called him “Drummer Boy” if you can consider that as a “name”?

I assume Deadbeat Shop runs 7 days a week, now what would you two do on you day

Jill: On Wednesdays I sit home and do nothing. You’ve probably noticed that I post more pictures of talking cats on your Facebook page on Wednesdays than any other day of the week. (Hahahahahaha yes! – Ed)

Dzul: I will surely go to the beach on Wednesday (our only day off) for a skimboarding or surfing. Sometimes if the wave condition is not that good, I’ll go to skatepark to skate. The day off is important to us. Sometime me and Jill go out to the Botanical gardens (if Jill is up for it) where there’s a lot of monkeys coming out to look for some food. We enjoy walking there while giving them some peanuts. Wednesday also is the day where we go check out movies in the cinema. It’s cheaper on Wednesday. And we will have dinner before the movie in our favorite restaurant. (This is a life that I always wanted to, tbh – Ed)

Dzul, I had the time to visit you and Jill at the shop last year and it was hilarious when I came to the shop way too early from its opening hours! Jill even made my photo wailing in front of the shop as DB shop profile photo for weeks! Now, let’s say I’m going to visit Penang again next year, where would be the best place for makan hunting?

This is what happened if you’re too excited to shop and forgotten the operating hours. Next time, call first.

Dzul: I think the good and easy place to eat in Penang for an outsider is all around the center of town. If you come to Komtar (Dead Beat Shop), you can just walk from there to Penang Road (where you can find all time favorite legendary Chendol). And then also in Penang Road just straight to the line you can have Nasi Kandar at Line Clear although it use to be cult legendary eating place. But now it’s too mainstream and quite expensive though. Still, it’s worth trying sometime. It’s easy to find for foreigner/visitor. From Penang Road you can just go down to Chulia Street to Little India where you can find indian food. Really delicious eating rice on the banana leaf. 

If you have a car or a friend that can drive you around Penang, you can try more food in other places. Place like Deen Nasi Kandar, or Nasi Kandar Imigration, Nasi Beratur or you can try Nasi Beriani at Kapitan (Jill likes it) or maybe you can go up the hill to Balik Pulau to have delicious Mee Udang. You can try Pasembor or laksa at Padang Kota but my favorite is chinese laksa at Weldquay next to Jetty Ferry. At night maybe you can go to Gurney Drive to have some delicious rojak. There’s a lot more. Maybe we can bring you somewhere when you are here. (Editing this section during puasa really put me to test. Food! – Ed)

Tell me about Deadbeat Media.

Jill: I formed Dead Beat around 2007. It was originally not a death metal label but actually a label that released instrumental/horror soundtrack albums with the intention of eventually supplying the scores for real horror movies. We only had one release though, Anima Morte “Face the Sea of Darkness”. Anima Morte is a band from Sweden but they play instrumental/horror soundtrack progressive rock in the vein of the Italian band Goblin. Really amazing stuff, and the album is still available from us. You can check it out on our bandcamp page. I was going to do other releases with other incredible bands like Conspirators of the Occult (you must check these guys out, they were like Ghost before Ghost existed.. only
better) and another project involving Slasher Dave of the band Acid Witch. Unfortunately the label closed in 2009 because I was moving to Malaysia and wasn’t sure about my future in the music business. But the name and logo were too good to kill off so in 2010 when Dzul and I decided to open a shop, we brought the name back. And in 2011 when we decided to start a new label together, it was only natural that we’d start using the name for that again as
well, only this time it’s a metal label instead of a horror soundtrack label..

Dzul, I assume you are into surfing/skating. Tell me the best spot to surf in Penang, or Malaysia. Will Deadbeat sells surboard/skateboard anytime soon?

Dzul: I surf when there’s a big wave. Penang Moonson is on Mid August to End of October. I’m more into skimboarding since the waves here are more suitable for that sport. Skimboarding trains me to be fit. It has given me a strong feeling for the beach and the waves. I love sunset. I love sitting at the beach, feeling the wind  while having coffee and looking at the waves. It makes me feel good. The best skim/surf sport in Penang should be in Tanjong Tokong or Batu
Ferringgi. I’ve skated since I’m 14 years old. Now it’s been almost 20 years. I’m not pro. I never got any serious injury in skating. I go to  the skatepark to skate when the water is flat (that sucks!). Anyway I skate everyday in front of the shop. Imight not do some flip trick or so but I still roll. We did sell some skimboards and skateboards some time ago. But it’s seems out of
the concept for the shop (because not many customers are coming to the shop to buy boards). I think if we are gonna sell skateboard next time, it’s must be some kind of band skateboard or something like that. There’s some skateboards like that.

 I myself collect some band skateboards. I have Municipal Waste skateboard, Black Dahlia Murder, Dark Throne, Iron Maiden, Cross Examination and Damage Deposit skateboards. I’m still hunting for more, when I have money of course :p But I don’t know how can we get the wholesale just for all the band skateboards. So… Let us stay for a while just like this. (Darkthrone deck! Whoa! -Ed)

Jill, what’s with your Grumpy + Nyan Cat obsessesion? Will you adopt Kuala Deville (a stray cat that has been chilling around the shop) as your shop’s mascot? Don’t want to visit Grumpy next time you balik kampung to US?

Jill: It’s all your fault! Hahaha. I didn’t even know who Grumpy Cat was until you introduced me to her, and now I can’t get her out of my head. Actually it goes back even further than that, to when you introduced me to Nyan Cat and I lost my mind playing the 24 hour video version. I have to say that there’s something about sharing pictures of talking cats with you, especially talking
cats with anger management problems, that really makes my day. Thanks for bringing Grumpy into my life.

Jill posted this on my Facebook, discussing the probability of my Metallica ticket got eaten by cat. The cat below is Grumpy Cat.

 I think you, me and Dzul should start a new label called Kuala DeVille Records. It’s kind of a brilliant name. Well Grumpy never answered my emails when I asked her for a meeting so I probably won’t get to see her when I balik kampung. It’s ok though, I still have Kuala!

This photo got into the photo folder they sent to us. We assume it’s Kuala Deville, the diabolical cat.

What do you love most about operating a merch shop? Any dislikes?

Dzul: I’ve worked in a hotel as a housekeeping/room cleaner when I finished high school, then continued to go to college – graduated and then worked in a lot of different places as gas attendent, production in a factory, to a technician in another factory then as a draughtsman in architectural firm. Lots of firms. I never stayed long. I just can’t. I hate all the bosses! Whether I resign or they kick me out that’s how my normal life is. The shop is the longest work I have ever done in my life. I’m happy in what we are doing now. Of course sometime we just make enough only to pay some bills and eat some rice. But this is our freedom. Money is always important (we dream of buying a house in Hawaii – I guess we can never get that target) but opening
Dead Beat Shop is about doing and being surrounded by what you love. 

Jill: I love being my own boss, get to sleep as late as I want, and just live our lives every day surrounded by metal and extreme music. It’s a dream life really. The thing that I really dislike though is, of corpse, having to hustle to pay the bills, always worrying if we can survive from month to month. The worrying kills a lot of the fun. But I think if we can live our lives the way we
want to with nobody telling us what to do, then it is worth not having much money for sure!

Let’s talk about bands! What’s your favorite playlist at the moment, Jill/ Dzul?

Dzul: Midnight “Satanic Royalty” is the best album in the past 2 years and still is (in my opinion). This band plays some kind of NWOBHM with an evil spirit. Even though Midnight was formed in 2003, Satanic Royalty is their only full length so far and really kicks ass. The new Machetazo “Ruin” album is really good too! Spanish slaps grind hot cold transition slow doom. Damn good. I also listen to Ilsa (US crust/death/doom) a lot in the shop. I just discover them with the “Tutti Il Colori Del Buio” cd that we distro in our shop. I really want to buy all their stuff next time. I sometimes listen to my own band (Weot Skam) new songs in a car. It’s gonna be out in cd real soon in this year. When me and Jill are going out for dinner, we play Van Halen songs on car stereo (David Lee Roth era only, of corpse). Or Danzig, Neil Young, Black Sabbath, Midnight, Motorhead..

Sometimes Dead Beat goes mobile. Don’t be surprised to see their booth at your nearest gig.

Jill: Dzul got me addicted to Midnight and Marjinal, two very different bands that only someone like Dzul could persuade me to check out. I’ve been hit with Marjinal fever after seeing their show last month. Other than that, my playlist the past few weeks has been pretty weird. Not full albums but just one or two songs from various bands here and there (I’m a victim of the iPhone shuffle function). The new Machetazo, Type O Negative, Engorged, Toxic Holocaust, Queen, Lita Ford, Atomicdeath, Hooded Menace, Paganizer, Humiliation, Billy Idol, Gruesome Stuff Relish, Warmaster, Fondlecorpse, ‘Til Tuesday, Ritchie Valenz, Mordenial and as always, David Lee Roth and Van Halen.. well I told you it was weird. The new Machetazo album, “Ruin”, is their best album yet. It’s really a return to their roots but darker, more sadistic and brooding than ever!! Dzul is the one who is really hungry for new music and always seeking out new bands. I kind of just go with the flow and listen to whatever is available at the moment. If I really like a song I’ll just listen to that over and over again until I get sick of it. The current song I play about 50 times a day is “T.A.P.” by Midnight (Cover song). (Mine is way probably weirder, K-Pop, Metal, Jazz all in one playlist! – ed)

Any bands we should check out from Deadbeat?

Jill: You should check ‘em all out! Humanity Delete – Swedish death metal with grind/punk influences and lyrics about Asian ghosts (written by me!) and featuring Rogga Johansson (Paganizer, Ribspreader, Revolting, etc). The Rotted – Nihilistic D-Beat Death Metal from the UK featuring ex-members of Gorerotted, Extreme Noise Terror and Cradle of Filth. Then we have the Warmaster/Humiliation split 7” which is of course crushing military death metal in the vein of Bolt Thrower. And upcoming we have a new crossover thrash band done by our friends in Hooded Menace which doesn’t have a name yet but it’s killer stuff in the vein of
early D.R.I., Cryptic Slaughter, etc.

Alrightttt, dedication time! Any last words before we end this interview?

Dzul: thanks for the interview and all the support. It’s great honor sir! Good luck in everything you do my friend. Cheersss!

Jill: Thank you so much for this interview my friend! It’s a great honor for us to be featuring on your website. I hope this interview was worthy of the space! Thanks!

If you are looking for band merch and stuff, Dead Beat is the place! In conjunction with Raya, they are now having a sale! So go check em out! Tell them Dissecting the Euphony sent you! Dead Beat Shop can be reached at:


or you can just walk in to the shop if you happen to be in Penang! Don’t worry, they are nice!

  • LOT 2B-04-05 4th Floor Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR), Georgetown, Penang.

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