Monday 17 December 2018

LEMBANG SPECIAL ISSUE: Our first interview with Agrog, SOUND REACTION (Lembang Event Organiser).

Our first interview with SOUND REACTION (Lembang Gigs)
Date: Thursday 17 May 2018.
At: Teguh’s house, Lembang, West Java.
Interview with: Agrog (Beside) and Nce (Depresi Jiwa).
Translation by: Teguh Prasetyo (bassist, Interfectorment / Digging Up).

Teguh Prasetyo: What is the reason to make Sound Reaction gigs?

Agrog Beside: Sound Reaction is an accident. I worked in a café bar. I had a place that had a lot of music equipment and sound system. I had the idea to bring together all the bands from Lembang to play at Route 64. It is a café / cottage / recording studio at the same place. For the first gig we invited Implore from Germany (grindcore). They had a tour of Indonesia. This was December 2017. Three hundred people came to the venue and it was very crowded. After this I asked our friends who have bands in Lembang to play in Route 64.

Kieran James: What are some of the big bands that played there?

Agrog: Turtles Junior and Under 18 (hardcore). I had an idea to bring Lembang musicians to that place to do a sharing session (nongkrong). In Lembang we don’t have a place to do that. Then we had one first gig with ten Lembang bands, mixed genres. I had a problem with the owner of Route 64. At every gig a lot of alcohol was consumed in that place. I argued with the owner about this issue and so I left my job at Route 64. Originally the owner did not mind that people brought alcohol in from outside but later he was unhappy with this. The gigs were finished because I resigned from the job. There were around six gigs in total.

Teguh Prasetyo: It is hard to have gigs here without alcohol because people want to have fun in their spare time.

Agrog: After the gigs were cancelled we tried to relocate them. It is quite hard and expensive to hold gigs in Lembang so we held the gig in Ciater. At the new place we need a really high budget. At the place we don’t have to pay a lot of money to the police; the owner of the place will take care of the police.
We held gigs where 35 bands played on one day. We considered the first chapter a success so we went on to hold the second chapter with the same name in Lembang. We opened the registration and in two days 35 bands wanted to play (Sound Reaction 1 and 2). The first one had only 10 bands and the second one had 35 bands. At the registration there were more than 40 bands wanting to play. The main aim of the gigs is to promote Lembang bands so, sadly, we had to reject the bands from other cities which wanted to play. It is purely a collective so no money was paid to any headliners. Maybe, in the next chapter, we will bring in some headliners.
The second gig was successful too so the next gig will be held in August [2018]. Most of the crowd comes from Lembang. There were around 500 people in the crowd in the second show. At the first gig it was only the bands and the crews because it was invitation only, no ticket sales.
We had 35 bands with a 30-minute set each. There was one stage but with two sets of equipment. There were no break times. It was like a marathon; when one band stopped the next one started. We are learning and adapting from the biggest festivals. I played in Wacken before and we adapted some of the rules from Wacken. (Beside played in Wacken 2017.)

KJ: What are the future plans?

Agrog: The next plan is we want this gig to become an annual event. We see a lot of potential among Lembang bands but they [the bands] don’t know or think about the techniques needed to make the gigs sound better. This is why we adapted the rules from bigger events. It becomes a learning ground for us and them especially in Lembang. We never knew that in Lembang we have a lot of punk bands. We thought we had a lot of metal, rock, and reggae bands. At the second show it was 70% punk bands. We had ska, reggae, skinhead, metal, and hardcore. We are still waiting for pop musicians who want to play but it is OK for us. We have a blues band too. We don’t want people to just go to the gigs, play, and go home. We want the gigs to become more memorable. This is why we have a camping area which we open one day before the show so everyone can have a good time and get drunk together. We want the bands to come on time and not late. Many bands want to turn up late in Lembang. They want to arrive three hours after their scheduled starting time. This makes it harder to have gigs in Lembang. One band has 30 minutes to set up and play.
There is so much enthusiasm in Lembang – the bands want to play. In the future we might have gigs with fewer bands.
We have not yet opened registration for the third chapter but 13 bands already want to play. In August we will use two sets of equipment for the main stage. We will have welcome stage at the front as we got quite a big venue this time.
People just want to be part of the gigs. We are glad to know that because it means the bands really believe we can organise the show quite well. This is almost the first time we had gigs in Lembang without fights because usually we have fights among the audience.

Teguh: The second chapter was held last week, 12th May. Interfectorment had recording session in Bekasi so we could not play.

Agrog: We had gigs in Lembang before but they have been dead for a while. Now, after several years, we can start these new gigs.

Teguh: Any message for the supporters?

Agrog: Lembang is full of people who come here for recreation. I want Lembang to become a music recreation place. I hope to also bring in traditional music such as karinding as we cannot forget our roots.

****THE END****
Left to Right: Bobby Rock (Turbidity / ex-Bleeding Corpse), Daniel (Turbidity), Kieran James (Busuk Chronicles), Agung Prasetia (Interfectorment), and Teguh Prasetyo (Interfectorment / Digging Up), Bandung, May 2018.
INTERFECTORMENT from Lembang, feat. Teguh Prasetyo (second from left).

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