Thursday, 1 October 2015

CLASSIC INTERVIEW: Our first interview with JASAD (Bandung Death Metal), 24/2/2011 (English version)

THE OLD JASAD. Left to Right: Dani aka Papap (drums), Man (vocals), Yuli (bass), and Ferly (Guitar) @ Papap's house, Ujung Berung, Bandung, 26 February 2011. Papap now plays for DISMEMBERMENT TORTURE.
My first and exclusive interview with Man (vocals) and Ferly (guitar) of JASAD (Ujung Berung, Bandung, Indonesia brutal death-metal)

By Dr Kieran James (University of Fiji)

Interview at: JASAD office, Tee-shirt printing factory, Ujung Berung, Bandung, 24 February 2011

JASAD was at time of interview: Man (vocals), Ferly (guitar), Yuli (bass), and Papap (drums)

JASAD now is: Man (vocals), Ferly (guitar), Yuli (bass), and Abaz (drums)

Man and Ferly @ band practice, 25/2/2011
Kieran James: Man, first of all can you tell me about the history of JASAD and when was it you joined the band?

Man JASAD: For me, 1996. I met the band INJECTED SUFFERAGE and then [in] 1999 I joined with JASAD. JASAD is an old band, started 1989. I joined JASAD ten years later with Ferly in Bandung. Since me and Ferly joined the band we changed our music concept, music style. All old style is NAPALM DEATH grindcore.

KJ: When did you first get involved in the metal scene?

Man: Since I was young I’m a metalhead. My older brother poisoned me into some metal bands; he introduced me to KREATOR, METALLICA, [and] old version SEPULTURA. He has the oldest metal label in Indonesia, EXTREME SOULS PRODUCTION. I have always been a singer. In the beginning of 2000, I had one project called PLASMAWEED but not [for] too long, maybe [for] two years. It is grindcore, political grindcore. In JASAD [we write] nothing about politics. I write about sadism under death-metal bands. Chris Barnes influenced me to write lyrics in the past.

Ferly JASAD: My first band is called FORGOTTEN. I played guitars too. My main influences are both SUFFOCATION guitarists, technical death-metal.

KJ: Did you see there was one negative review of your album on www.metal-archives.com?

Ferly: The negative review is not a big problem of course, everyone has their own opinion.

KJ: How did the recording contract with SEVARED RECORDS in USA happen?

Ferly: First time I made contact with SEVARED by email. I sent a couple of demos to them. They were interested to sign us because of the demos. Witness [album] is not on SEVARED. It’s called Annihilate the Enemy, one album on SEVARED.

KJ: How was the response from people overseas for Annihilate the Enemy?

Yuli, Jasad bassist, 25/2/2011
Ferly: Most metal fans overseas like our style and we say thank you about that. It’s beyond our expectations of course.

KJ: Do you know how many copies were sold of Annihilate the Enemy?

Ferly: Annihilate the Enemy sold 2,000 around the world. I think there is a good response to us. We recorded it in External Studio in Bandung, the demo songs.

KJ: Before this interview Man told me you have two demo songs already recorded for the new upcoming album. Are there any changes to the band’s sound or style for the new album as compared to Annihilate the Enemy?

Ferly: It’s a different style from the previous one; it’s more melodic [and] more classical perhaps. Man has multi-layers [for vocals].

Man: I use vocal techniques...

Ferly: We push him to have three characters for vocals: low, mid, [and] high-pitch.

KJ: Man told me that there are 128 active death-metal bands here in Bandung. Why do you think death-metal is so popular now in Indonesia?

Ferly: I don’t know why death-metal is so popular. Bandung is the biggest one. Every time we have gigs here there are always big crowds. When we played Bandung Death Fest, [with] 20,000 people, we are the headliners. We always play last.

Ferly: I just write the music. I hope you like it. [The new demo song plays in the background.]

KJ: How long have you had the same line-up for?

Ferly: We had the same four since we recorded the Witness album [2001]. Everyone says we have a solid line-up now hopefully. Man plays traditional mouth organ instrument in bamboo band [KARINDING ATTACK].

Dani aka Papap, Jasad drummer 25/2/2011
KJ: Has the bamboo band had an album yet?

Ferly: No album yet for bamboo band.

KJ: How would you describe the music of the bamboo band?

Man: Death vocals and scream vocals over traditional bamboo instruments, groove-oriented music, [and] slower pace than death-metal.

KJ: How old are the JASAD band members?

Ferly: 30-years-old.

Man: 33-years-old. I’m the young one!

KJ: What does the regular Indonesian society outside the metal community think of you?

Ferly: I don’t know what other Indonesians think of us, they think we are crazy [laughs]. Mostly we had trouble with police [not ordinary Indonesian people].

Man: We have problems with police here.

Ferly: It’s all about permission [to play shows].

Man: [In] 2008 there was a metal accident here [at show by Bandung metalcore band BESIDE]. My friend he produced first album, eleven people died but it’s an accident. People outside wanted to go in, people inside wanted to go out. Biggest problem is there is no designated place for music venues here. Only a few places can become our performance place.

KJ: How did you obtain a venue for Bandung Death Fest 4?

Man: [For] Bandung Death Fest 4 I arranged to rent a football field at army place. Basketball stadium is too small. Football stadium is very expensive for us to rent. We looked for a cheap field to rent, [and] army field is cheap one to rent.

KJ: Ferly, please tell us how you first got into metal when you were a youngster? These personal stories are always very interesting to hear...

Ferly Jasad and Ayyub Anshari Sukmaraga
Ferly: In junior high-school I heard NAPALM DEATH and SUFFOCATION Effigy of the Forgotten album, and CARCASS. I heard the three albums on tapes. My friends told me about that, that I should listen to the bands. Three months after I listened to SUFFOCATION I learnt how to play guitar. I just learnt [it] by myself.

KJ: What are some of your favourite old-school death-metal albums?

Ferly: I love all OBITUARY albums; Cause of Death is the best one I think. James Murphy has his own style every time he does solo, I love him. He did a good job too [in] TESTAMENT.

KJ: One thing missing from JASAD’s band history is a DVD. Are there any plans?

Ferly: Yes we have a plan to DVD. Right now we are focused on the new album then after that we may release a DVD.

KJ: Have you played any gigs outside Indonesia and SE Asia region?

Ferly: We had an invitation from Tokyo Death Fest 2005. We had a problem in applying [for] visa in Japan. Jason [Hutagalung, XENOPHOBIC RECORDS, sponsor of BURGERKILL and DEATH VOMIT tours of Australia] always told me about [the] Australian scene. He said JASAD must visit Australia. We want to go there. We had a lot of invitations to play gigs in other countries but [the] biggest problems are flight ticket and visas.

Man: We don’t even have enough money for flight tickets.

Ferly: The classical reason. We had invitations from Germany, the States, Italy, Spain, [and] New Zealand. It’s because of SEVARED and the promotion there. The last album sold out. SEVARED has a plan to re-release the last album [Annihilate the Enemy] with bonus tracks I think.

KJ: Are you close to the guys in BURGERKILL and DEATH VOMIT?

Ferly: We have close relation with BURGERKILL guys, they are our friends. We often play same gig with DEATH VOMIT, I don’t know who will headline [laughs].

KJ: Your favourite bands and guitarists other than James Murphy and OBITUARY?

Ferly: I watched SUFFOCATION, we are speechless, [and] it’s exactly like on the CD. I talked with Mike [Smith] and with Terrance Hobbes, he’s funny.

KJ: Ross Dolan, IMMOLATION?

Ferly: He is good.

KJ: Do you like Ralph Santolla?

Ferly: Of course.

KJ:  Man, we were talking at length earlier about your band KARINDING ATAACK and the Friday evening Sundanese culture classes you have been promoting at The Common Room Network Foundation here in Bandung. Can you tell us more about this please and why did you get interested in such issues after years of just being a standard gore-lyrics death-metal band?

[Before answering the question Man shows me the YouTube.com video-clip titled “Man Jasad interview – Kujang Rompang”]

Man: That is my responsibility to the young generation who live and stay here to keep our culture alive. Few people here care about their culture. There are a lot of good things in our culture and Sundanese philosophy that people don’t know. People here always think they become Arab and western and [they] don’t know their own culture. For example lots of people cared about this earth when Al Gore spoke about global warming but in our culture there is a tradition as to how to keep our earth, there are rules in Baduy tribes that we should not be abusing our land and our forests. [KJ: Baduy are a traditional indigenous people of West Java now divided into “inner” and “outer” Baduy.] However, they don’t need money and technology, they keep barter, not using money.

KJ: Do the Baduy live near to Bandung?

Man: In West Java, closer to Jakarta. They refuse modernity, they live in the past. Their religion is not Islam; their religion is called Sunda wiwitan. Before Islam and Christianity came there is the old faith. I am Muslim but I make good relations with people of different kinds of religion. I want to keep friendly with everyone and spread [knowledge] about Sundanese philosophy.

KJ: Usually death-metal just focuses on anti-religion or gore lyrics. Do you find death-metal is restrictive for what you want to do now? Mostly it is hardcore bands in the west who are the socially responsible bands...

Man: [No], in death-metal we can express what we want. Everyone who lives in this world should care about their environment; it’s not only about hardcore [ideology] or death-metal [ideology].If we have profit here from Bandung Death Fest we buy seeds and plant the trees in the mountains. We are not politicians [only] talking, we have a movement. Today and five years ago are different. Five years ago if there was cultural ritual only old people came, now many young people come wearing black metal tee-shirts and batik tied around their heads [KJ: Man shows me the batik tied around the head]. I’m not campaigning about our culture, I campaign to all people I meet. A lot of people still think we are weird. They are familiar with Arabic dressing – there is an issue [for some people] if I mix black tee-shirts with traditional culture. A lot of people are adopting Arabic, Roman culture for Christianity, western culture, Arabic culture as Muslims. I refuse that.

KJ: Tell me more about the Islamic fundamentalist metal scene in Indo?

Man: I know some Islamic fundamentalist bands mostly from Jakarta. They are pushing their ideas to the [metal] society. I disagree about this. If they want to spread about Islam in good ways there are better ways than fundamentalism. There is an Islamic spirit within Sundanese philosophy; we can spread by laughter and respecting each other.

KJ: What is your comment about the Bali bombers?

Man: I think they are stupid people who do that. Islam is not [to] hate each other but [to] spread love to the universe. Some want to “give hell” to other people. One month ago I demonstrated [just as] one person. There is some pop star here [KJ: “Ariel” or Nazril Irham, the vocalist for PETERPAN] going to the jail for porn case, it was stolen and spread on the internet. I came to court when the punishment came. Many fundamentalists demonstrated outside the building. I’m in the middle. Many demonstrated in favour of the pop star. I did a banner: “Peace. Do not fight each other, mother****er”, in Sundanese. People were all very shocked. Lots of national TV wanted to take my picture but I refused them. I don’t want people thinking I want to become famous.

Last year [2010] my friend had some issue, on FaceBook there is a group. One hundred thousand people became my supporters. Many thought I was serious to want to become Governor (Mayor) so my friend made the sticker: “Man Jasad for President”. On FaceBook [it is] “Man for Mayor” started by my friend.

For campaign about Sundanese culture, I use local TV programme here. I have one TV programme each week for arts and culture in Bandung area so I can expose some arts or artists not familiar [to people] here in Bandung.

KJ: Do your parents support your metal and culture promotion activities?

Man: My parents support me; my mom is my favourite supporter to become metalhead.

Ferly: They have no problem with our activity.

Man: They support us.

KJ: Is the band sufficient for you to support yourselves and your families?

Ferly: We can’t make enough from metal for our life.

Man: The death-metal people here work many kinds of activities. Some police and army become metalheads. I have three snakes in my room, last [time was] five snakes.

KJ: Kerry King of SLAYER likes snakes...

Man: They are same like mine; Kerry King has a carpet python. My dream is to go to Queensland. Many snakes there - extreme pets for extreme people.

KJ: Man, who are your death-metal influences?

Man: My influences are Chris Barnes [CANNIBAL CORPSE], Frank Mullen [SUFFOCATION], the vocalist from KREATOR, Mille Petrozza; others are Sundanese puppet masters from wayang. There is a death-metal technique and there is also a technique from wayang.

KJ: Other influences?

The mighty DEMONS DAMN, 25 Feb 2011
Man: Tom Araya...

Ferly: Tom and Jerry [laughs].

Man [laughing]: Glen Benton. One of my snakes [is] named Benton.

Ferly: Indonesian metal scene is big but I don’t see one metal magazine here. I don’t know why.

KJ: What are the most popular Indonesian bands?

Ferly: Most popular death-metal bands [are] DEATH VOMIT, DEAD SQUAD, BLEEDING CORPSE, ASPHYXIATE. Many Indonesian people are groupies for metal bands. There is a TV show every Sunday night for metal bands, my friend does that.

Man: I try to introduce Tarawangsa to the young people.

KJ: Have you considered having a second guitarist?

Ferly: Personally I want to get a second guitarist but the other members don’t allow me to get one, I don’t know why.

KJ: Do you guys drink alcohol?

Ferly:  We always drink alcohol after we play gigs in other cities, vodka with 40% alcohol.

KJ: When you began to promote Sundanese culture in death-metal were you influenced by what SEPULTURA did with Roots?

Man: I was not really influenced by SEPULTURA but I love all the albums such as Arise and Beneath the Remains. I like Roots album but [it] did not influence me so much. In junior high-school I had a band [which] played SEPULTURA and KREATOR songs.

Bamboo band KARINDING ATTACK @ Old Common Room
Man: I hope you can realize our dream to perform in Australia. The most important thing for me is I want to meet my brother and sister metalheads there.

KJ: What are some important recent developments in the scene here?

Ferly: Over here maybe ten years ago metal and punk were separate but these days they unite. That is one of the recent developments.

KJ: Last of all: have you got any message for your fans:

Ferly: “Thanks for your support”. Actually, personally, I don’t like the word “fan”. I would prefer to call them “friends” or “supporters”.

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