CLASSIC INTERVIEW: Our first interview with SICKLES (Bangkalan, Madura Death Metal), 27/1/2014

Left to Right: Arie Sickles (guitar), Jack Frost (Busuk Chronicle), Rony Sickles (Bass), and Haidir Sickles (Drums) @ Bangkalan, 27/1/2014. Irsyad (Vokalis) could not join us on this day.
My interview with Arie and Haidir of Sickles (Madura Pride Death Metal), Bangkalan, Madura Island, 27 January 2014
Interpretation Bahasa Indonesian / Bahasa Inggris by: Dwi Yudha (bassist of Osiris, Sidoarjo death-metal)
Extra Comments and Extra Questions by: Niza (Vocalist Climaxeth / Osiris) & Dwi Yudha (Osiris)
Band line-up 2012: Arie (Guitar); Irsyad (Vocals); Anton (Bass); Bayu (Drums)
Band line-up 2013-14: Arie (Guitar); Irsyad (Vocals); Rony (Bass); Haidir (Drums)

Jack Frost: Please give us the history of the band.

Arie (Guitarist Sickles): In 2012 I departed from the band called Bumi Berputar (grindcore). After I departed from Bumi I made Sickles. I made Sickles with the 2012 line-up of: Arie (Guitar); Irsyad (Vocals); Anton (Bass); and Bayu (Drums). This 2012 line-up changed again in 2013. The Sickles’ name has a meaning. Sickles is a traditional sacred weapon from Madura.

JF: How many songs have you recorded?

A: We have two demo songs: 1 “Serangan Fajar” (with video-clip on YouTube) and 2 “Amarah Bumi”.

[At this point in the interview we all went to another room to watch the YouTube video-clip for “Serangan Fajar” and I must say it is excellent – Jack Frost].

JF: Tell us more about the making of the video-clip.

A: The video tells us about rebellion between son and father. The son is Ke’lesar. The son rebels against his own father. The father is a king in Madura. This is a legend of Madura. The father does not recognize his own son as his son. Ke’lesar rebels against his father for this reason. He has a rebellion movement which fights his own father’s government. Ke’lesar has revenge upon his father.

JF: What is the killing at the end of the video?

A: At the last moment of the video the warrior of the father kills Ke’lesar. He was fighting alone and in the end he dies. So he is a hero here. This is a true story.

JF: Jasad tries to promote Sundanese culture. Has your band got the same purpose for Madura culture?

A: Sickles has a meaning – the symbol of rebellion. There was rebellion against Netherlands here in Madura. There is a man called Sakera; he is from Madura. Basically he fought against Netherlands; Netherlands exploited him to fight against Madura.

JF: What are your influences for the band?

A: Siksa Kubur, Behemoth, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour of Penance, and Deicide.

JF: What are the future plans for this band?

A: We are preparing for EP album launch. We have the EP album already. After this we will prepare for the full album.

JF: How many songs are there for the EP?

A: We have seven songs for the EP.

JF: Where have you played shows so far?

A: Surabaya, Malang, Sidoarjo, Madura – in East Java only.

JF: Where would you like to play the shows?

A: We really want to play in every show but the Sickles’ drummer is still in high-school. This is why we choose to play only East Java first.

JF: Would you like to play in Bandung?

A: We would like to play in Bandung Berisik and Bandung Open Air. The drummer is still in school but if he has a holiday we will go.

JF: What is the reaction of the fans to the EP?

A: The metalheads really are interested in the Sickles’ EP album. Many people think because Sickles is from Madura and this is a small island they are surprised that Madura even has a metal band like Sickles.

JF: Tell us about the community of metalheads in Madura.

A: Madura has the community only in Bangkalan.

Warung Metal: Drummer Haidir with SICKLES' EP
JF: How many people are in the community?

A: I am the leader of this community. We were formed in 2010 and we have 20 bands; metal mixed with hardcore and punk are in the same underground community.

JF: What are the main festivals or shows you have here?

A: 1 Madura Glory Day; 2 Free Your Voice; 3 Bersama Tak Harus Sama.

JF: What is your favourite band from Madura?

A: The most iconic band is still Rajam. It is the oldest black-metal band in Madura.

JF: Are there any other good bands from here you can recommend?

A: There are only five bands now which are still active: 1 Sickles – death-metal; 2 Rajam – war-metal; 3 Bull Race – hardcore; 4 Kremasi – metalcore; and 5 Dark Side – black-metal.

JF: What is the relationship like between Surabaya and Madura metal scenes?

A: We visit each other and play on the stages in the other city. We meet together and play gigs together. If there is a gig in Surabaya we will come and join. Also the Surabaya metalheads will come to shows here. There is reciprocity between Surabaya and Madura metalheads.

JF: Niza, what is your comment about this band?

Niza (Vocalist Climaxeth / Osiris): Sickles is a great band because they have unique characteristics and a good concept especially in Madura. Sickles and Climaxeth sometimes play on the same stage and also Valerian.

JF: What do you think of women singers in metal?

A: I think Niza is the best using hijab. She has a famous metal band.

JF: What are the jobs of the band members apart from the drummer here whom we know is still in high-school?

A: The drummer is a part of the band. The band is our own family. We will not play in Bandung or Jakarta now because the drummer is our own family. Jobs outside metal are: 1 Ari – clothing distro shop; 2 Irsyad – videographer; and 3 Roni – operator of internet cafe.

JF: Is the metal popular among the high-school crowd in Madura?

A: The metal scene is really popular here but not the old-school. The most popular are Outright from Bandung; Hatebreed; and Devadata from Surabaya.

JF: What are the biggest bands to ever play here in Madura?

A: 1 Valerian from Surabaya; 2 Brain Damage from Surabaya; 3 Divine Hatred from Banyuwangi; 4 Diabolical from Gresik; and 5 Kuret from Gresik.

JF: Which foreign and local bands would you like most to see play here?

A: Siksa Kubur, death-metal legends.

Dwi Yudha (Bassist Osiris): What is the perspective of the society towards metal bands in Madura?

A: The society still thinks that the metalheads here are bad guys. Madura is an island with a good religion of Islam. The people here are devoted to Islam so they still do not have a favourable perspective towards metal.

JF: Is it easy to find the venues to play here?

A: It is still really difficult to make a show here because the metalheads need permission from the Government. It is still from a Kingdom perspective.

JF: Did you ever have problems with the police?
Andi BULLRACE with SICKLES' EP

A: Yes, we had a problem when we made a show. The spectators got drunk and the police closed the show.

JF: Why do you choose to play death-metal?

A: We will not play any other genre. We still think metal chose us not we chose metal.

JF: OK, what is your message for your fans?

A: We hope that the Sickles’ album can be heard by everyone and will be pleasing to the ears of the listeners. Be different and be yourselves!

JF: I see your mother in the house today along with your little brother. Does your mother support what you do?

A: At first my mother did not support me. But day by day year by year finally she supports me to be in a metal band. My mother says I’m crazy about metal but now she supports me.

JF: Your mother’s comment about the video-clip?

A: She says I’m crazy! My mother did not believe you will come here to interview me!

SICKLES (MADURA) and OVERFLOW REVENGE (JOMBANG) @ Tuban Death Fest 2015

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