Our interview with OUTRIGHT (Bandung Hardcore)
By: Kieran James and Popo Demons Damn
Expert Comments by: Edo from HELLBEYOND
Date: 11 December 2014 @ Funhouse Studio, Bandung
OUTRIGHT is: Ricky (vocal), Ryan (drums), Irvan (bass), and Barata (Bart) – guitar
|TARING (Hardi second from left)|
Kieran James: Please tell us the history of the band.
Bart (guitarist): We started as a school band. We studied at the same high-school. We tried to play some hard music, such as punk rock influenced by RANCID. We thought why we don’t play heavier like BIOHAZARD and RYKERS and HATEBREED and CRISIS. We started as a HC band in the middle of the DM scene. DM had become a very popular genre. We played metalcore around 2004. We tried to build a scene. We recorded our first full-length album Hardcore Strikes Back. After we released the album we toured all over Indo. In 2010 HC in Surabaya was nothing. Now it has grown so much. We were there and we were just so happy. It’s getting bigger and bigger. The scene is alive you know? We released a single and toured a lot. We tried to arrange songs for the second album. Our vocalist for the first album Ricky left the band for personal reasons. After three years working with Hardi as vocalist, Ricky came back to the band. Hardi formed a new crossover band called TARING. He made a new band and we don’t think we will be together again. Ricky recorded on our new album Persistence.
It took three years to record because we are very busy and touring every week. We have shows every week. We toured all over Indo. We had an Asian Tour in 2012 in Malaysia for three weeks. The new album was released in 2014. We have our annual tour called “United by Hardcore Tour”. We hold it every year with friends such as FRAUD and TRAGEDI. We played in so many places; Indo is very big. So we had to plan it very well. We have Ricky on this album. Hardi left the band during the recording process.
KJ: Why did you choose HC instead of DM because as you know Bandung is the famous city for DM?
Bart: We play through our heart; we have friends in DM and Butche the punk rocker supports us. Not many people were playing HC then. We were also influenced by the groove and sound of DM. We love to play HC and we love touring. The main thing in HC is to spread the word.
KJ: Does it make it easier to succeed because you are from Bandung?
Bart: Bandung is the most important city as the music barometer. If you can survive in Bandung you can survive anywhere in Indo. Many bands from Bandung set the new standard for the music. It has become an industry and nothing wrong with that. Then the people from outside Bandung think if it is from Bandung it must be a good band.
In the late-1990s or early-2000s, not many HC bands had releases then. MADBALL, HATEBREED, and AGNOSTIC FRONT are consistent; we made them as a reference for us. HC stars now are legends. We had HC bands from around the world come to Bandung. The HC bands which came to Jakarta are HATEBREED (twice), SICK OF IT ALL, FIRST BLOOD, and others. It made a new perception here about HC. Many people here get interested in the HC lifestyle.
KJ: What does HC mean to you?
Bart: It is a way of life; what you are living for. It’s about strength for what you think is right.
KJ: Do you think HC culture is suitable for Indo?
Bart: The pioneer band in Indo was PUPPEN. They were real geniuses. In the late-90s it was not like today. We had less technology. When I was a kid I listened to them. When I got into PUPPEN I started to love HC. They sound like BIOHAZARD. At that time I don’t know how they made it. In 1994 they released the first debut album called This is not a Book EP. Indo has a big influence from DM. Every band in DM has its own trademark just like Addy of FORGOTTEN. We have a good relationship with the DM guys and the BM guys. It’s really cool to have a great relationship with them. People ask us: “why do you play in the DM shows?” It’s OK because they are my friends. We give them an option as to which band they should choose. I think it’s alright as long as we are together as a band. Our band members have different influences.
KJ: Are you influenced by hardcore-punk such as the EXPLOITED and GBH?
Bart: No, we are influenced mostly by American HC. Our first album is European-influenced (for example, RYKERS); it was deep and dark.
KJ: How does the second album compare to the first?
Bart: It is much better as we have much better technology and gear. We know what to do with each other. It’s really us; we put our heart 100% into this album.
|OUTRIGHT show cancelled by police @ Soreang, 1/4/2012|
KJ: Do you remember the show in Soreang on 1 April 2012 which was cancelled by police just before you were due to play? I saw the OUTRIGHT fans leaving the venue in their OUTRIGHT shirts that day and they all had such sad looks on their faces.
Bart: They are very loyal. I think I remember that day. I understand they were disappointed. We told them backstage that we will see them again. There was nothing we could do about it.
KJ: What do you think of the HC scene in Surabaya compared to Bandung?
Bart: I think the scene in Surabaya has grown up so fast; it has gone boom in the last three years. So many people started new HC bands and each with their own style. I think the spirit is good. In Surabaya there are more shows as the rules are not so tight. They have so many bands with potential in Surabaya. In Bandung it is harder to get gigs. In Surabaya the rules are not as tight as in Bandung. We are very happy about that growth in the Surabaya scene.
KJ: Why do we see so many OUTRIGHT shirts in Surabaya but few DEVADATA shirts in Bandung?
Bart: We have newcomers. DEVADATA is like a symbol of HC in Surabaya but there is a new generation of bands. They release their own albums and have tours. They are so productive. We cannot say that because there are so many bands in Surabaya playing like OUTRIGHT that it is because of us. The new bands from Surabaya now make a name for themselves. FRAUD has made the HC movement there really massive. They stay here in Bandung to learn about how the scene works.
KJ: Dimas of VALERIAN did the same thing when he spent some time here in Bandung with Popo and Bobby.
Popo Demons Damn: I have a personal question. I know OUTRIGHT has a new album. Is it in progress?
Bart: It’s already done; it is released.
Popo: When was the CD released?
Ryan (drummer): June 2014.
Popo: What are the differences between the first and second album in music and lyrics?
Bart: We did not change. We just grew up. We know each other better now so we can perform better in the studio. We make an option for the listeners. We want to show our new progress with a new line-up and a new sound. This is how we felt during the recording session. The third album may have different style. It may have more anger in it but I will keep it as a secret.
Popo: Why did you change vocalist?
Bart: In the second album Hardi had a problem with his voice. We did not push him to be like Ricky but it was a problem for him. We had no problem with Hardi personally but in the recording session he could not adapt. He felt pressure. We felt that the show must go on and that the recording had to be done. He resigned from the band. Then we called Ricky back (nickname “Kinoy”) to come back for the recording. We felt the same chemistry.
Popo: And he’s not a new person in the band.
Bart: Yes, it was easy for us to rebuild the chemistry. Hardi is a good vocalist but he could not adapt. We are still a friend. He founded a new crossover band. It is not a problem.
[Note: Fans can hear Hardi singing on song #8 “Pukul Balik” on the new Outright CD Persistence.]
Ryan: He felt like he was working under pressure and that he couldn’t do it.
Bart: His new band I think is very good. There is a bad rumour going around that he was fired from the band but it is not true. We gave him a chance during the recording session to show us what he had but he couldn’t make it. We are talking about meeting for around two years in the studio. For the last one year it was not working. We wanted to do it again with Ricky (“Kinoy”). We had so many shows to promote the album. Not too many people know it is Ricky on the vocals.
KJ: In what way was Hardi not good enough?
Bart: First we thought he had good potential. But with our new songs for the album we wanted to see how he could sing or shout with it. We had waited for two years, man. We felt it’s not good. We did not demand it to be perfect. He felt too much stress and he felt that we demanded too much. Many bad rumours abounded as to whether Hardi was fired. But we want to tell the truth because I feel very uncomfortable about the rumour. People all around Indo ask my bass player “why is Hardi out of the band?” I get sick of it; let’s move on. The rumour spread very fast through the internet and many people attacked us.
KJ: Do you think HC can grow more in Bandung?
Bart: I think so because many international acts come to Bandung and they are mostly HC. It will get bigger in the next two years. When many different bands come here it gives people more options to choose. We are waiting for BIOHAZARD to come here. We are very huge fans. 20,000 people were waiting for RYKERS to head line at Bandung Biersik. If it was BIOHAZARD there might be 30,000 people coming from all over Indo. We had HATEBREED playing at Hammersonic and tickets sold out.
Popo: As I’m a vocalist I just want to ask about lyrics. After Hardi left during recording did you use the same lyrics or did Ricky make his new lyrics?
Ryan: When Hardi had the vocals the lyrics were still mine.
KJ: The lyrics were all written by Ryan?
Ryan: Yes. The lyrics tell about persona conflict, struggle, survival, and human rights.
KJ: What do you think about the President of Indonesia being a metalhead?
Bart: He is the Number 1 Guy; people underestimate him. It does not matter how big you are. If he has good ideas then why don’t we support him? He is a metalhead. I haven’t met him before but I think he’s a good guy. As a citizen I will respect that. A good guy will have so many enemies but bad guys have many friends. We should give him a chance to support him. When he was young he listened to many good bands. When you look at the background I think he is a good guy. He was a businessman before he was a politician. As a businessman you must be honest.
Popo: What are your next plans and goals?
Bart: Very simple – to spread the HC word. We will make a new album immediately.
Ryan: We have a plan for South East Asia Tour in 2015.
[At this point Bart had to leave the interview because he had another appointment.]
KJ: Are there any young HC bands in Bandung that you recommend?
Ryan: LOSE IT ALL. The music is like WALLS OF JERICHO.
KJ: Is there any connection between football hooliganism and HC in Bandung?
Ryan: No, not in Bandung. In Surabaya there is some connection. Oi punk/ skinhead bands in Bandung have connection with football but not all. But we think football is football and musk is music.
KJ: Are there supporters of HC and Persib in Bandung?
Ryan: Some bands have members who are hooligans for the football club. For example, in Surabaya people know that some bands are very fanatical for the football club. When such bands come from Surabaya to Malang they might get some problems. It often happens that bands from Malang do not want to play in Surabaya because problems might happen and bands from Surabaya do not want to play in Malang.
KJ: What is your comment about the band DEVADATA?
Irvan (bassist): It is a good band. We saw the first video and we loved the music they played. It sounds like HATEBREED mixed with SEPULTURA. I listen to the new material and it is very different to the old music. However, that is OK. It must mean the band is maturing and growing up. I still like the band but I do prefer the first album.
KJ: Your comment about FRAUD?
Ryan: They are one of the bands which made a big contribution to the Surabaya movement. Because FRAUD made people in Surabaya awake from sleep to make good music and a good community - not just HC but in the whole UG. FRAUD invited the old and senior from the UG community to come back. Surabaya had fallen asleep but FRAUD brought the senior people back to bring a new movement.
KJ: Your comment about STRAIGHT ANSWER?
Ryan: They have good spirit and good lyrics to make people to get passion.
KJ: GALLOWS had the album London is the Reason and then STRAIGHT ANSWER had the album Passion is the Reason.
KJ: Your comment about BULLRACE from Madura?
Ryan: I don’t know much about the band, I just heard the name.
In 2015 next year Barata will have a break from the band. The break will be performance only. He is still a member of OUTRIGHT and he will still contribute. Edo from HELLBEYOND will replace Bart. Bart will take leave from the band to focus on his work and family. OUTRIGHT has a heavy schedule for performances. He will come back definitely.
KJ: Did you enjoy playing at the show in Medan with JIHAD?
Ryan: It was great. The audience was satisfied with the performance by us, JIHAD, and the local Medan bands. There were more than 2,000 people. Many people from outside wanted to go in but the place only fit 2,000 people. We were the band to play last of all.
KJ: How do you feel when you see so many young people in Indo wearing OUTRIGHT merchandise?
Ryan: On one side we are proud that people want to wear our merch. But, on the other side, we sometimes have a bad feeling that young people wear the OUTRIGHT shirt without knowing our music. It is just a fashion. The young people should learn about the music.
KJ: Does Bandung HC have a community like Bandung Death Metal Syndicate?
Ryan: Yes, but without a name. It is just known as Bandung HC.
KJ: What is the message for the fans?
Irvan: Do your best; do what you want to do; that is all.
|Bandung Death Metal City|
Ryan: Do your best to maximize your potential. Don’t look at life from only one perspective. You should look at life from multiple perspectives. Look at an issue from diverse viewpoints so that your opinion will be more objective and less subjective.
Ricky (vocalist): Please still follow our music and our movement until you know who we are.
Ryan: The last word is make a movement and not just a trend.
KJ: Edo, what is your comment about OUTRIGHT?
Edo from HELLBEYOND: I think OUTRIGHT is a one-of-a-kind HC band in Bandung. They have fresh material for the era in which they come from. They are very open-minded. I always have fun when I work together with OUTRIGHT. We have been working together since the first album. I did the recording, mixing, and mastering for both the first and the second albums.
KJ: What are your five favourite Indo HC bands?
Ryan: 1 FINGERPRINT- Medan
2 LORONG – Bali
3 FINAL ATTACK – Jakarta
4 TRAGEDI – Bandung
5 SECRET WEAPON – Pontianak
Irvan: 1 SAREGALA MALAM – Jogjakarta
2 NISTA – Jambi
3 SABBER TOOTH – Magelang, Central Java
4 TARING – Bandung
5 FRAUD – Surabaya
Ricky: 1 DEVADATA - Surabaya
2 PUPPEN – Bandung
3 UNDER 18 – Bandung
4 LOSE IT ALL – Bandung
5 SPIRIT OF LIFE - Solo
|Kieran James (centre) with FRAUD SURABAYA HARDCORE band members @ Surabaya|
|Bodas Devadata, Kieran James (Busuk Chronicles), and Keceng Fraud|