Mohammad Hafidz Bin Samsudin, the vocalist of pioneering Singaporean hardcore band Stompin’ Ground, has died.
Hafidz died on Wednesday (February 23) at the age of 50, his family told NME. “We wish for everyone to remember him at his best, when he was still Hafidz [of] Stompin’ Ground, the short Malay guy from Chai Chee that rocked the Richter scale in Singapore,” Hafidz’s brother Zubir told NME on behalf of his family.
Stompin’ Ground guitarist Suhaimi Subandie remembered Hafidz, his bandmate and cousin, as “one of the pioneers of the skateboarding scene, one of the angriest vocalists with so much stage presence that I’ve ever worked with”, he told NME. “He brought us to another level which during that era [was] unheard [of] and never seen before.”
Subandie continued: “A funny guy and kind soul that I’m very proud to call my cousin. He was the one who came up with our band’s name. A genius in his own right. It’s such a big loss to us, and I’m sure the scene too.”
Syed Mahdzar Al-Shahab, also of Stompin’ Ground, wrote on Facebook: “Hafidz Samsudin was always the energy that I feed on whenever we perform and through his energy, I got mine and that’s when both of us will go crazy and be on air all over the stage.
“I’m glad that the last time I spend time with him was doing what we loved from the beginning, which was playing Hardcore music together in the same studio throughout our life,” he wrote.
This was the last time we had fun together not just as STOMPIN' GROUND but as friends, brothers and as a unit that…
Hafidz was a founding member of Stompin’ Ground, who formed in 1988 and released their demo ‘GREY’ the year after. In 1993, they released their debut EP ‘We Set The Pace’, which is said to have sold over 10,000 copies in Malaysia upon release.
Stompin’ Ground also featured heavily in Singaporean music magazine BigO’s influential 1993 local hardcore compilation, ‘Lion City Hardcore: Together At Last’, alongside bands like Upright, BAWLOUT, Rectify and more.
The band then put out their 1995 full-length album ‘Measured by the Richter Scale’, which reached the second spot on the Australian Billboard 100 Metal charts in 1996.
Stompin’ Ground went on hiatus that same year. Hafidz did not appear on the band’s second album, 2004’s ‘Vector Prime’, and during his time away from Stompin’ Ground, explored other genres by sessioning with different bands.
Hafidz would later reunite with Stompin’ Ground for live performances, and the band often performed with two vocalists: Hafidz and Imran (aka Mammoth). The band played their final Singaporean gig in 2011. A year later, The Substation – which housed numerous Stompin’ Ground shows – hosted a retrospective gallery exhibition about the band.
Throughout their career, Stompin’ Ground shared the stage with iconic global punk and hardcore acts like Fugazi in 1996, The Rollins Band, Sick Of It All, The Buzzcocks, Bold and more.
The band last came together in 2018 for a one-off band practice to celebrate their 30th anniversary as a group.
RIP, Hafidz Samsudin. Read more tributes to the hardcore pioneer below.
Very sad news. Our deepest condolences to Hafidz’s loved ones and the Stompin’ Ground family. RIP Hafidz.
Rest in peace to our legendary vox brother Hafidz of STOMPIN' GROUND … Lion City Hardcore has lost a precious son today.Thank you for setting the pace. Never forgotten.
Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un. I received the sad news that my old friend from the hardcore scene, Hafidz Samsudin…
We lost a dear, dear friend today. Hafidz from Stompin" Ground is no longer with us. Rest well, brother. Your legendary airkicks are second to none… pic.twitter.com/nK3WttMpGO
— Teenage Head Records (@teenageheadrecs) February 23, 2022
Additional reporting by Karen Gwee