Tuesday 27 October 2015

NEW DEVADATA INTERVIEW: "Bandung is Police City, Surabaya is Freedom" (Surabaya Hardcore)

Bodas Devadata (vocalist) with Kieran James aka Jack Frost @ Surabaya, 26 January 2014.
My interview with Bodas, vokalis of Devadata (Surabaya hardcore legends), Surabaya, 26 January 2014
Interpretation where necessary by: Dimas (Valerian Guitarist) & Verrel (Valerian Drummer)
Extra Comments and Extra Questions by: Dimas & Verrel
Band line-up: Bodas (guitar / vocals); Ronald (guitar); Roy (bass); and Dando (drums).

Jack Frost: Please start by giving us a brief history of the band.
Bodas (Devadata): Devadata was formed in 1998. The first line-up had three members: Bodas (guitar & vocals); Dando (drums), and Joe (bass).

Bodas Devadata and Jack Frost (interview)
JF: Please tell us about the album history.
B: The first album was in 2003 Shutdown then 2005 Emotional Breakdown and 2014 Disrespect.

JF: Why did you wait so long to record this new album?
B: Two albums were cancelled due to the sound quality and the quality of the music.
Verrel (Valerian Drummer): I recommend it; must-buy album.

JF: When people say you are a legend of Surabaya hardcore what is your response?
B: Thanks a lot for that compliment but I didn’t expect the band would be so amazing to have a 15-year journey; and to still exist; and to be more amazing than before. In February 2014 we start to tour to promote our new album.

JF: Why is the album title Disrespect?
B: The album tells us about politics; we do not like the politics and corruption in Indonesia.

JF: What are the main lyrical themes?
B: Social critique in three languages – English, Indonesian, and German.

JF: What are your influences both for the lyrics and for the music?
B: The lyrics are inspired by the news reports. The music is inspired by Pantera; Biohazard; Sepultura; Disorder; Discharge; Exploited ... Rancid [laughs] ...

JF: Tell us more about the hardcore scene in Surabaya...
B: Very good; day by day it gets bigger; we have many big events here. Nowadays hardcore is accepted more and more by younger people. We can play at high-school events and music parades.

Bodas Devadata, Jack Frost, and Dimas Valerian
JF: Maybe this is a hard question but do you think the values of hardcore are accepted so easily in Indonesia because of Indonesian cultural values?
B: Yes. Five years ago it was difficult for hardcore to be accepted by the society but nowadays it is spreading.
JF: Yes, it may be easier for a young person to wear a hardcore shirt saying “respect” than if she or he wears a gory death-metal shirt; I mean it may be easier for the family and the school to accept the hardcore shirt than the death-metal shirt.
B: Hardcore is now very acceptable to the young people in Surabaya and Indonesia.
Verrel: The music is more likely to be accepted than death-metal.

JF: Which city has the best scene in Indonesia for hardcore?
Dimas (Valerian Guitarist): I think Surabaya is the biggest scene in Indonesia.
B: Surabaya Hardcore community formed in 1997; it began with 65 bands; it began because in the punk scene hardcore could not be included. Hardcore could not be accepted by the punk and metal communities. In 1997 it was a minority. I formed SBHC with Joe to raise the community itself in 1997.

JF: Please tell us more about the history of the community...
B: 65 bands started in 1997 and this decreased to five bands in 2003. Now it has increased again. Now I have resigned from the committee but I am still a member. The committee nowadays is managed by the younger generation.
Dimas: He is the most respected person in the hardcore community in Surabaya...
B: The next generation now continues the community.

JF: OK, can you tell us your favourite hardcore bands in each city. First: Yogya?
B: Something Wrong.

JF: Surabaya?
B: Full Frontal.

Bodas, Edo Valerian (standing at back), Jack, and Dimas
JF: Malang?
B: Screaming Factor.

JF: Kediri?
B: I don’t know [laughs]. For death-metal: Killharmonic.

JF: Jakarta?
B: Straight Answer.

JF: Bandung?
B: Outright.

JF: Bali?
B: Lorong.

JF: Balikpapan?
B: I don’t know.

JF: Medan?
B: I don’t know.
Dimas: If the father of hardcore doesn’t know we don’t know too Jack.

JF: Do you think hardcore has become popular because metal has become too evil and negative especially since the black-metal craze hit in 1992?
B: The reason came not from lyrics and music but from community movement. Death-metal is very exclusive here. Sometimes they have ritual of drink blood, eat cats, and bite rabbits [laughs].
Dimas: Mr. Samier already told you about the ritual, right?

Dimas: What do you think of the metal music scene in Surabaya?
B: I have an open mind. I think the scene is maturing and opening up.
Dimas: Nowadays metal and hardcore scenes respect each other more than they did a few years ago.

JF: Do many people support both metal and hardcore?
B: Yes, I support all types of music.

JF: Including Peterpan?
B: No [laughs].

JF: What is your comment about the band Straight Answer?
B: Old-school band with good music; it’s very famous in Jakarta.

Bodas Devadata and Dimas Valerian
JF: Will you still be playing hardcore when you are 60-years-old?
B: Yes, until the end; because I enjoy and am very happy with the music.

JF: How did you get the band name of Devadata?
B: The name is from Buddhism. It is the dark side of the whole universe; without the dark side the universe is perhaps not perfect. Devadata is like Jesus in Buddhism. It’s like yin and yang, black and white. With that balance life can go on. Devadata is the dark side.

JF: I read once where someone said hardcore only works for you if you believe in it but this is not true for death-metal. Do you agree?
B: My little brother on drums is straight-edge; he has a good philosophy for himself. Only my little brother; only a few people in the scene here are vegan and straight-edge. For me drink, drunk is OK, no problem. My religion is Buddhism. Music is not religion.

JF: Are there any weaknesses in the hardcore scene here where it needs to improve?
B: We need to be open-minded towards all people and all music. We must always enjoy hardcore music. We don’t choose friends but everyone comes to us as a friend.

JF: Can you give some examples of practical action by the hardcore community?
B: We give to an orphanage charity; we aim to support the poor people. We give used tee-shirts away to people.

JF: Do you think the scene has reached a limit or can it become even more popular?
B: It depends on the people themselves and whether they can be open-minded and welcome others. The second point is that our band has an ambition to make the music more widely enjoyable and acceptable so we are very optimistic [that the scene can grow further].  

Bodas Devadata,. Dimas Valerian, and Edo Valerian
JF: What other jobs do the band members do outside of the hardcore scene?
B: This store for me. Ronald has a restaurant. Dando teaches the drums, my little brother. Roy is a team-leader for cigarettes, the supervisor of the sales promotion girls.

JF: What is your message for the people reading this?
B: Thanks to Mr Kieran James / Jack Frost and all metalheads in the world!

JF: What is your message to the fans of Devadata?
B: Wait for the new album Disrespect in February – buy our new album and enjoy! And respect to everyone! Disrespect to my Government!

JF: Last question: What do you think of the Bandung police?
B: Surabaya is Freedom!
Bodas Devadata, Jack Frost, and Keceng Fraud
Jack Frost with band members of FRAUD (Surabaya Hardcore)

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