Our interview with Samier of GAS (Surabaya Grindcore)
By: Kieran James and Dimas Valerian
Date: 9 December 2014 @ Colors 87.8 FM Radio Station, Surabaya
GAS is: Samier (guitar), Raynold (bass), Antonia (drums), and Sari (vocals).
Kieran James aka Jack Frost (Busukwebzine): This is a Surabaya band?
KJ: Where are you putting your attention – to TENGKORAK or to this band GAS?
Samier: To this band and to TENGKORAK as well. But I concentrate on GAS at the moment. We have done an EP and a video-clip. The EP will be released soon [January 2015]. The video has already been released.
KJ: What is the reason that you started this band?
Samier: First of all I have been in bands and I love to perform and I love to practice. At that time in 2009 TENGKORAK had fewer gigs than before, so I needed to form a band in my hometown. I formed the band and I chose the players and the musical direction. This is more of my band. I almost did everything in this band.
KJ: How is the music different from TENGKORAK?
Samier: It is a little bit different. I write all the songs. The basic music is the same. I feel better playing this kind of music. It is more like my old band before I joined TENGKORAK called SLOWDEATH.
KJ: Have you got any specific influences for this band?
Samier: Yes, NAPALM DEATH. I always have played this type of music since I first formed a band in 1993. The other influence is TERRORIZER.
KJ: What are the lyrics for this band?
Samier: It is more about what is happening in this country and what I am most interested in. It is more about the reformation [reformasi] in 1998. People hoped that after the reformation it would improve but it has got worse. We have a song title “Reformasi Palsu” [false reformation]. I wrote that song in 2008 before I formed the band.
KJ: Is there any problem with TENGKORAK? Do they think you should use your new lyrics for their band?
Samier: No, it’s OK.
KJ: Does the new band have the Islamic perspective like TENGKORAK?
Samier: No, it’s more about political and social. I wrote the song “Vote for Losers” about Indonesian Football Federation. In 2008 there was a soccer scandal. Indonesia lost. It happened in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s until now.
KJ: What are your favourite grindcore bands from Indonesia?
Samier: NOXA (Jakarta) and MESIN TEMPUR.
Dimas Valerian: The song “Stupid Declaration” says that all lifestyles are equal, it is an individual choosing.
KJ: Did you choose to have female band members on purpose or it just happened that way?
Samier: I planned it. I wanted it like ARCH ENEMY which I loved at that time. I planned the female vocalist but with the drummer it was just an accident [all laugh]. We just went with the flow. The first drummer quit and my friends recommended a female drummer to me.
KJ: I heard the songs. There are no blast-beats; it’s more traditional metal drumming.
Samier: Yes, it is like old-school metal drumming such as BENEDICTION.
Dimas Valerian: Nowadays you must choose a priority. Which band do you choose if you have to give priority?
Samier: Actually I want to balance the priorities. GAS now should be highlighted so that people can know about it. People have known about TENGKORAK for a long time. I wanted to do something for my hometown of Surabaya. I want to be part of them. With TENGKORAK I don’t have a direct connection to Surabaya. I formed the band to have a connection with the scene in my hometown. Now I choose to prioritize this band.
KJ: What is the meaning of the name?
Samier: GAS is a simple word. GAS means gasoline. It is important for life.
|Samier Tengkorak and Kieran James @ Inferno Studio, Surabaya
Dimas Valerian: Long time ago, from early-1990s to 2000s, grindcore was bigger in Indo than right now. The regeneration is now slow. Is that true?
Samier: I don’t think so. In the 1990s grindcore was not so big. In the 1990s most bands wanted to play traditional Death Metal such as MALEVOLENT CREATION and SUFFO. Up until now just a couple of bands play grindcore. People in Indo want to play more complex music than DM.
KJ: What is your comment about the band DEADLY WEAPON from Jogjakarta?
Samier: It is a good band. They choose a less popular genre. Too many bands want to play brutal DM with gore lyrics.
KJ: What is your comment about the band OVERDEATH from Sidoarjo?
Samier: They are my friends. That is Agus’ band. They have not put their album out yet. They might have played one or two gigs in Sidoarjo in their own community. We don’t hear anything new about OVERDEATH. A lot of 1990s bands in East Java have the word “death” in their names.
KJ: What are your next plans for GAS?
Samier: We want to release the EP and then an album. We want to play as many gigs as possible. We want to play at Jakarta Grind Fest in April 2015. I want to promote this band.