Oki Haribowo (bass/ vocals) of DEATH VOMIT talks about AUSTRALIAN TOUR (Yogyakarta brutal death-metal)
By Dr Kieran James
Interview at: Yogya train station, 12 October 2011
Kieran James: Oki, do you want to do some interview now because I think we must wait here 30 minutes to collect the train ticket?
Oki Haribowo: Yes, sure, mate.
KJ: What were your goals for the Australian Death Vomit tour?
Oki: We went to Australia not to make money but to make the link so that other bands can go to Australia. We had two aims: to play all the shows and to see the [Sydney] Opera House!
KJ: And you really achieved those two things! I saw your picture at Opera House on Jason’s Facebook. Do you know Metallica had a band pic taken at exactly the same place? It’s on their website, in the 1988-91 pictures section.
Oki: With Jason Newstead?
KJ: Tell me more of your experiences of the Australian tour.
Oki: In Perth [first show] it was a good crowd, in Amplifier Bar, about 300 to 400 people. The other show had around 30-40. In Amplifier Bar we played with Napalm Death and Dying Fetus. We also played at Civic Hotel [Inglewood, Perth northern suburbs]. The next show was in Geelong then in Melbourne.
Oki: For me the most excited crowds were when we played in Perth, Geelong, and Brisbane. All the cities we played were excited.
KJ: What were the supporting bands like?
Oki: In Perth, Geelong, and Brisbane we played with death-metal bands. In the other cities [Melbourne and Sydney] we played with metalcore bands.
KJ: Here is a question I think many Indonesian metalheads want to know about: What were the fans like there compared to Indonesian shows?
Oki: I met some people over there and they wanted to buy our merchandise but they wanted to see us play first on the stage. If they like our music they will buy our merchandise. I like that, it’s different from here. Here they buy the CDs for their collections. Us three guys we were very nervous, we play [to] a different culture, a different people. In 1994-95 death-metal was born in Yogya, we use the name Jogjakarta Corpse Grinder for the community like Bandung Death Metal Syndicate. We knew each other from the tee-shirts. If I was using the Suffocation tee-shirt [in the early days] but I had not heard Suffocation people would tell me not to wear the shirt until I had heard Suffocation. It’s different from now; young people [now] will wear every tee-shirt even if they have not heard the music. We call the posers “abal-abal”, it means same as posers.
KJ: Did you meet any of the other bands?
Oki: Yes. I met Grotesque from Perth; they are nice people, in Sydney Daemonfetalharvest.
KJ: Did you notice with some of the crowds there, because it is in a bar, some people headbang up the front then at the back others just stand still watching you holding their beer glasses?
Oki: Over there the people show their respect in a different way. In Australia they stand up with a glass of beer. You cannot smoke over there in the pub, it’s different here. Three of us got the flu in Melbourne. When we played in Sydney our vocalist [Sofyan] wanted to say the title of the song, he coughed, and the crowd were laughing.
KJ: Did you see any Indonesians in the crowds at any shows?
Oki: I saw some Indonesians in the crowd in Melbourne; rich people came to the show.
KJ: How did you first meet Jason [Hutagalung of Xenophobic Records who organized the tour]?
Oki: We met Jason in Solo in Rock in Solo [when we were] supporting Psycroptic [Australia], Burgerkill and [playing with] other Solo bands, in 2009 maybe.
Oki: Jason asked us to play there in Australia, [for] all the cities we played in Australia Jason arranged all.
KJ: Have you got any other special experiences in the tour to share with us?
Oki: I remember in Melbourne it was five degrees, it was really fucking, fucking cold, I never experienced such cold [KJ: and this was spring not winter!] I went walking in a shirt to buy Smirnoff with no shoes, it was really cold.
Oki: It’s all a surprise. We could not think everything before we went there.When we were still here we wondered what was going to happen there. What would the crowd be like? Are they happy with our race, Asian?
KJ: What bands are most influential for you?
Oki: Malevolent Creation, Deicide, most of the old-school stuff, Exodus, thrash-metal, and other genres such as Janis Joplin playing jazz music. My favourite Malevolent Creation albums are Ten Commandments, Retribution, and Stillborn.
KJ: I have Retribution, most of the songs are slow or medium but the few fast ones are excellent.
KJ: Is there any new song you want to talk about?
Oki: We have a new song “Dark Ancients” about the glorious darkness, [and] everything about the hell, everything in the era of the prophets like Mohammed and Jesus.
KJ: What do you think about the black-metal scene in Indonesia?
Oki: All the black-metal people in the bands here, their religion is Islam. I don’t say all the bands but most of them their lyrics are against Christianity, for me it is ridiculous. Like with Glen Benton [Deicide vocalist] he had the real experience with Christianity because his father was a pastor...
KJ: I don’t think his father was a pastor. I think his parents just took him to the Sunday school. His aunt was a witch and that led him in that direction.
KJ: Jason always talks about Funeral Inception; they were strong in opposing the Islamic fundamentalist scene in Jakarta, right?
Oki: Yes. My opinion is [musically] Funeral Inception is like Suffocation from era ofEffigy of the Forgotten to Pierced from Within.
[At this time the interview ends because my number was called so I had to collect my train ticket]
The following conversation was when I was riding on the back of Oki’s motorcycle on the same day, 12 October 2011, also in Yogya:
KJ: What are some problems playing death-metal here in Yogya?
Oki: The problem with death-metal in Indo is money. The people need jobs and it is hard to manage both work and band. Two years ago it was hard for me to leave my job to play [shows] outside Yogya. Now I have a sandwich shop franchise with my girlfriend. I quit the job just before the Australian tour.
|Oki at hospital where Roy's baby born, 12 Oct 11|
Oki: Yes. I studied in management. After I graduated my parents required me to get a job. They did not understand death-metal! It’s a conservative culture. They will not accept a baby before marriage.
[More Death Vomit interviews are on BUSUK CHRONICLE WEBZINE including “Oki talks about Agung”].