Thai metal band Defying Decay rocks against royal insult law

The Straits Times reports

BANGKOK (AFP) – Hundreds of headbanging metalheads rock out to the roaring guitars and thundering drums of Thai band Defying Decay, chanting along to their latest politically charged tune.

The group’s single The Law 112: Secrecy And Renegades is a raucous, defiant anthem with a taboo-defying message – challenging Thailand’s draconian lese majeste laws.

Criticising the royal family is punishable by up to 15 years in jail, but calls for royal reform – once completely off limits – spilled into the open during a series of major youth-led street protests against the junta in 2020.

Saturday night’s energetic Bangkok crowd was the first in Thailand to see a live performance of the song, which had already found an audience on US rock stations in November.

The 112 of the title refers to the lese majeste section of Thailand’s criminal code, but the song’s lyrics avoid criticising any person or institution by name.

“I like to have the lyrics open for interpretation and for everyone to have their own meaning… when I write my songs,” vocalist and lyricist Poom Euarchukiati told AFP.

A line in the song about corruption could also find support from royalists or the police, not just anti-government protesters, said the 25-year-old frontman.