Doch Chkae means “like a dog” in Khmer

It’s also the name of a death metal band founded by two orphans, born in the slums of Cambodias capital Phnom Penh.

Theara, the lead singer of Doch Chkae, grew up together with guitarist Vichey. They ate, played and slept in these garbage-covered slums. Both dropped out of school when they were 9 years old. They drove garbage trucks around the city and made a living by picking up waste.

Because of the involvement of the international NGO Mom Against Poverty, Theara and Vichey were able to continue their studies and no longer had to worry about making a living. However, by the time they hit puberty, they became more and more troublesome and a liability for their teachers.

Timon Seibel, the manager of the NGO, sometimes went to rock venues in Phnom Penh. Once, after watching a death metal show, he suddenly had an idea – ‘Why not introduce extreme metal music to Theara and Vichey?’ The screaming and the fierce mosh pits stunned and completely overwhelmed the two teenagers.

Theara and Vichey locked themselves inside their school’s music room, rehearsed and wrote songs. The anger in their heart became an outlet in the screaming vocals and machine-gun-like drums. After more than one year of rehearsals, Doch Chkae officially entered the underground music scene of Phnom Penh and quickly gained a place and a couple of supportive fans.

In 2018, due to the help of german music journalist Fabian Peltsch, they were invited to play at Wacken, the world’s biggest metal-music-festival near Hamburg. A dream seemed to come true. Unfortunately their visas got denied by the German authorities.

More than 10000 people signed a petition to grant Doch Chkae the necessary visa to perform at the Wacken Open Air 2018. But it took a full year and lot of negotiations until their efforts has been approved and the band will be allowed to enter Germany to perform at the Wacken Open Air 2019!

We are really glad that our documentary inspired the world’s largest metal festival to give these boys a chance and that their Visa-complications from last year were finally sorted out in an amazing team-effort.

Looking forward to shoot part II of this amazing heavy metal fairytale. All the best, guys!!

Director: Zhao Renxiu(赵人秀)
Producer: Zhao Renxiu, Fabian Peltsch, Ale Amazonia, William Griffith
Executive Producer: Jane Peng(彭珍妮)
Presented by: Subtropical Asia

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