Mohd Ali Bin Ismail, doesn't ring anything to your ears. Do mention Ali XPDC , then most heavy metal or hard rock music lovers in the country know this guy.
I first met him in year 1999, introduced by my good friend Ahmad Nazri Hj Abd Rahman.I think most of you guys find it difficult to understand how I am close to Ali since we looks world apart in terms of appearance. But like our sifu always mention that music is universal and can relate people with different background together, actually it is no surprise at all.
That year 1999, I was still attached with the bank and the music industry was quite impressive in the country. Rock albums are selling like hot cakes and the demand for live shows for rock band such as XPDC was still sought by most event and concert organisers. To add extra income to his pockets, Ali was venturing into another additional business that is related to what he is good at. He was planning to open a music studio cum XPDC official base that comprises four rooms divided into main office area,one jamming room for XPDC,one jamming studio for rental and another for recording purposes with a 18-track recording mixer!
He was sharing with a partner En Ahmad Nazri Hj Abd Rahman, a very business minded guy with a fond for heavy metal music who also happens to be my very good friend since my early big bike days. Ali and Nazri was looking for someone that will look after the XPDC office admin matters. Nazri suggested my name and Ali agreed after we started to know each other then.
Since then we were busy setting up the studio together with Ahmad Nazri.The dreams becomes reality when the studio was announced officially open in August 2000.
Their album 'Real & Realiti' was soon released after that. The studio was always crowded and 'fully booked' especially during weekends and our regular customer comes for jamming session are mostly varsity students. Normally our business operations reached the peak hour from 10pm up to 2am in the early morning.
Izo the guitarman, then become closer to me as he hails from the same state as I am. Lola the drummer cum sessionist was the 'smart guy' in the band as he is the only one with an experienced playing all sorts of music even jazz and R & B in pubs and events around the city.He is young but so talented and he got experience from his stint with Kamikaze and Lefthanded. Then there was Yan the bassman, as sifu always addressed him as Yan from Jamaica,I managed to hang out with him only once but he is also an experienced musician as his stint with M Nasir, Ramli Sarip, Lefthanded and Search. He always have a different view compared to his other bandmates.
The music studio was unfortunately closed after two years as the nation music industry was hit by massive changes in musical direction. Music industry nowadays traded music, especially the younger generation look for the internet to download songs without having to go to a music shop. Most younger composer now even composed songs via computer music programming!
When I came back from performing my Hajj in year 2004, he and his family visited me at home and was among the earliest of friends that came in visit me and with a purpose to have a taste of the zam zam water. What a shock as this came from the unlikely guy considered as the No.1 Metal Performers in Malaysia! that is what makes Ali special , to me he is the most polite heavy metal friend that I encountered. Never smoke a cigarette, never drinks and always keep himself in a good shape with cycling and jogging. Now , he is no more with XPDC, as they have reunion themselves with the old line-up of Mael, Izo, Amy and Zua.
Anyway life goes on and I still keep in touch with him once in a while as Ali now venture into business of sound system provided for any events small or big.
So Long Bro, Heavy Metal Will Never Die.