As Blood Runs Black in KK: “Trust and Believe. It applies to everything.” Carlos, Afraid Clothing

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Chneoh Beng Hin, aka Carlos, is founder of clothing line AFRAID.

AFRAID is his own brand. “I do it for the love of the music,” Carlos said, when we spoke at Fook Yuen coffee shop in Gaya Street, together with the Chee brothers Amos and Nuk.

Carlos owes his metal head to Amos. “We used to play golf together,” said Amos. “I was influenced by Emmanuel [Nuk] when it came to music, and I in turn influenced Carlos. I mean, it’s not easy getting another Chinese guy into this music. Me and Nuk used to be the only ones. We’re not very typical Chinese when it comes to this kind of thing. In fact, we’re really odd.”

“Back then, Carlos didn’t know anything about Metal, Hardcore, anything like that,” said Nuk. “So some of it started to rub off on him, new metal bands like Slipknot, Limp Bizkit. He slowly evolved on his own and started listening to Murderdolls and Slayer.”

Carlos, who has been in Sabah since he was four, went to KK High School, near Lido. His parents were worried about the metal thing when he was younger, but are okay about it now. Carlos works for the family’s general clothing business.

His store Mint is in Wawasan Plaza. The store also sells apparel names:

  • MACBETH FOOTWEAR
  • DROP DEAD CLOTHING
  • ARKAIK CLOTHING
  • OBEY CLOTHING

Like the Chee brothers, Carlos works with his younger brother Sky. “It was Sky who picked out the name ‘Afraid Clothing’,” said Carlos. “I thought it was a cool name for a clothing line. So we stuck with it. The business started just this year, although we have been preparing it for about one year.”

Nuk said, “Mint sells legit merchandise from the States, which was so hard to get even five years ago. Carlos slowly started to import rare items, like he has a signature guitar – a new guitar the same make as the one played by Synister of U.S. band Avenged Sevenfold. He’s also got some very rare shoes. He doesn’t even wear them. They’re not for sale, just there for display. People all around Malaysia actually get in touch with Sky, for all these kinds of rare shoes. People as far as Indonesia are placing their orders. That’s orders from Indonesia to KK! Not to KL, Singapore or the States.”

Working with Shockwave

“Our paths came together when we started to do shows,” said Nuk. “What really got Carlos interested was that he was already into metal, and at the same time he’s into clothing as well. He conveys his ideas to an artist, who then draws the art.

The artwork is done by two artists: metal band 4AG’s guitarist Lim Sheng Haw, and Philip Hong “The Vegetarian,” Carlos added. “They’re my brother’s friends.”

“The first project where we worked together unofficially was Destroy Shred Destroy Sabah” said Nuk. “Carlos gave out about 30 over T-shirts from Afraid Clothing. Back then, they weren’t for sale. It was just to let people know, “Here we are.” It worked, that marketing move worked. People were asking, “Where can we get more of these? Who’s is this?” People started to take notice.

“The second time was Fear of the Titans our third show, which was in February 2012. He had some freebies there too – some badges. Our show T-shirt ‘Fear of the Titans 2012’ was printed in his factory.

“We approached him for As Blood Runs Black because Carlos seems like the only guy who really understands what we are trying to do. Remember our first show at Cowboy Bar? You were there. When all odds were against us, that was the beginning. Then we brought in two bands from Brunei. Now we’re bringing a band from L.A. This band has over a million people all over the world that follows them. So for us, it’s a friendship thing with Carlos, and it goes way back.

“I guess he’s doing it for the friendship too, and nowadays, in metal and hardcore, automatically, the clothing line culture is there. I don’t know about other types of music. I didn’t see that at the jazz festival.”

Our slogan is important, said Carlos. “Trust and Believe. Because we trust it and we believe it. It applies to our friendship, and it applies to everything actually.

U.S. metal band As Blood Runs Black performs in KK on July 9th, at Razz Ma Tazz in Kota Kinabalu. Supporting bands are Maria Campbell [Philippines], Befalls The Argosy [Kota Kinabalu] and Search & Destroy [Sarawak].

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