Butterfingers - kings of Malaysian rock music  
In Malaysia, a country obsessed with rock music, Butterfingers are almost certainly the biggest home-grown rock band. Formed by a group of students in Malay College in 1993, the band quickly gained a fearsome reputation in the local underground rock scene. Grunge was breaking and the raw energy of their sound, plus the charisma of front man Emmett, caught the young audience's eye.
Their first demo tape, entitled 1 Goat, 2 Apples and 16 Oranges, caught widespread attention, with many people thinking it was an upcoming, unreleased Nirvana album that had been leaked. Their first album hit in 1996. Entitled 1.2 mg, it was critically acclaimed and it resonated with the grunge-loving young Malays. The follow up, Butter Worth Pushful was similarly well received, but it was their third LP, Transcendence, which hit in 1999 that truly made the mainstream breakthrough.
While it retained the grungy anger of their earlier albums and contained much of the ferocity of their live shows, it was a more intricate affair, with some terrifically sophisticated song-writing. It sold more than 50,000 units, which was then considered unprecedented for a Malaysian artist in a marketplace dominated by foreign groups.
The band followed Transcendence with one of the most critically acclaimed rock albums in the history of the country. An epic departure into complex rock music, it was seen as a true tour de force by Malaysia's music press. Unfortunately then fans did not agree: it sold disappointingly. Though Butterfingers had developed, it seemed their audience had not, as they still called out for the three chord rock that made Transcendence such a hit.
The next major project was a Malay-language album called Selamat Tinggal Dunia. While many other big name bands were recording in their native language around this time, Butterfinger's effort felt unique as it continued their exploration of new musical ideas and strange lyrical ideas.
Butterfingers released another album in 2008, named Kembali, before taking a sabbatical while members of the band studied for various different degrees. At this time, they have not officially broken up but have not released any new material as a group in five years. Their legions of fans across South East Asia, however, still hold out hope for more.