Monday, 31 October 2016

CLASSIC INTERVIEW: As Darkness Descends on Cimahi: Our interview with JIHAD (English version)

JIHAD band. Left to Right: Veby (drums), Rozi (bass), Yudi Kancil (vocals) & Roni (guitar), February 2011
Our interview with JIHAD (Cimahi / Bandung, West Java, Indonesia death-metal)
At: Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
30 November 2012
Interview oleh: Kieran James & Popo (BUSUK WEBZINE)
Interpretation & extra comments oleh: Rozi (JIHAD) & Popo (DEMONS DAMN & BUSUK WEBZINE)
JIHAD is: Kancil (vocal), Veby (drums), Roni (guitar), and Rozi (bass).

L to R; Roni, Veby, Rozi & Kancil
Kieran James1: Thank you so much for agreeing to interview with BUSUK WEBZINE. First of all can you take us through the band history?

Kancil [vocalist, JIHAD]1: From the year 1997 we started but we just began as a covers band. We did not use the name JIHAD. The name JIHAD started on 27 October 2000.

KJ: Not 11 September 2001?

[All laugh.]

Kancil: It was just a project between the drummer Veby and the vocalist Kancil. So the name JIHAD we took from the Al-Qur’an. The reason is it is easy to remember and easy to spell. Also the meaning literally is: “do your best with your heart in every aspect”. That is the literal meaning.

KJ: Did you want the name to sound close to JASAD [legendary Bandung DM band]?

Kancil: No, there is no connection because the meaning itself is different. Also we did not have any worry that the name would have an impact [positive or negative] on other people who might think for example we are defenders of Islam. We don’t have any relationship to that. It’s a pure name with a pure meaning.

The first album was called Besok Kiamat meaning “tomorrow is the end of the world”, like Armageddon [all laugh]. The title was taken from the Qiamah, meaning “end of today”, Armageddon. The lyrics were in Bahasa Indonesian. The content of the album is about the philosophy or spirit – if tomorrow will be the ends of days then what will you do today?  The album was released by Extreme Souls Production (Bandung). The first album line-up was: Kancil (vocals), Veby (guitar), Irza (drums), Tommy (guitar), and Ablay (bass).

Then the second album was titled Strategi Setan. The meaning is “strategy of satan or evil”. In year 2004 the record label was Recluse Productions from Singapore. The personnel were changed. 

Popo2: How was the sound different from the first album?

Kancil2: The music concept was the change from old-school to new-school. The style is pure death-metal.

Popo: Romantic death-metal?

[All laugh – as AEROSMITH song plays in the background.]

Kancil: The line-up for the second album Strategi Setan was: Kancil (vocals), Veby (drums), Rully (bass), and Oce (guitar). The lyrics mostly tell about the description of one of the most evil creatures from when he was born until the end of his days. In Islam the evil one can create chaos between humans and is a sign in the Al-Qu’ran for the end of the world. The nickname is “Dajjal”, the real name is “Samiri”, and he has three eyes in his face. We call America or USA “Uncle Sam”, it means the shortened form of Samiri. The third album is still in progress. The title is: Origin of the Rebel Angels.

KJ3: How is the progress?

Kancil3: This December [2012] we will release it. Now we are still in the process of mixing and mastering. The record label is our own label called Krueger Records. We are helped by ESP [Extreme Souls Production] for marketing.

KJ4: What is the change in style for this album?

Kancil4: We have a lot of changes in the transition from the second album. The first change is in the sound. We call it “the sounds of the beast”. Compared to the second album it is heavier.

KJ5: What are the lyrics about?

Kancil5: Mostly it is telling a story about the angels. Generally it is a comparison of evil and goodness, like two sides – heaven and hell, good and evil. Almost all the lyrics are written in English with two songs in Bahasa Indonesian.

Popo6: Who writes the lyrics?

Kancil6: Me. The lyrics are mostly from me but Rozi also wrote some. The music is by Roni and Veby. The third album line-up is: Kancil (vocal), Veby (drums), Roni (guitar), and Rozi (bass).

KJ7: Tell me about the reaction you have got because of your band name.

Kancil7: Many reactions [laughs]. Mostly with the second album the feedback started. We have been terrorized by…no, not terrorized, sorry…but banned by one of the Muslim organizations. They thought our band was a satanic worship band. As a matter of fact we are not actually.

KJ8: What is your religion?

Kancil8: 100% Muslim, all of us are Muslims. For the FPI [Islamic Defenders’ Front] they think that the three satanic bands are: FORGOTTEN, JIHAD, and HOMICIDE [hip-hop]. Also to clarify it [the name controversy] happened after the tragedy of the Bali bombing. The foreigners are also very cynical because of the name JIHAD.

KJ9: Did you ever think there are just too many problems and you should change the name?

Kancil9: No, we don’t have any idea to change the name.

KJ: Change it to JIHAD SUCKS!

[All laugh.]

Rozi [bassist]: That would probably create more problems here but not in your country [Australia].

KJ10: Do you consider yourselves to be part of the Sundanese death-metal genre?

Kancil10: We feel like we are part of the Sunda DM society but in music we are in the area of general DM.

KJ11: Did you consider using Sunda lyrics and following the path of JASAD and UNDERGOD? [Bahasa Sundanese is the traditional language of the Bandung region in West Java, Indonesia]

Kancil11: No. Most of us are Sundanese. We do appreciate those who introduce Sunda culture into DM but in JIHAD we are not like that.

KJ12: Why did the DM community of Ujung Berung in East Bandung become so strong?

Kancil12:  Because of the strong relationships or friendships we built from a long time ago. It is a very solid community. That’s what other communities do not have especially in Bandung. There are hundreds of communities. On the third album we try to open up to other communities such as the motorcycle community. Most of the motorcycle community likes blues and rock and roll. We hope to reach out to motorcycle riders who love death-metal. 

Kieran writes the words of Jihad hahaha
Roni [guitarist]: We just want to have a different concept from other metal bands.

KJ13: Give us your comment on each of the following bands: BLEEDING CORPSE?

Rozi: Her husband! [Bob Rockiller, vocalist BLEEDING CORPSE].

Rozi: I must say dangerous!

Roni: About drunken [laughs].

KJ: TURBIDITY?

Roni: Groovy!

KJ: What do you think of Dada leaving TURBIDITY?

Veby [drummer]: It was very stupid for him to leave that band. The band was very reliant upon his vocals.

Roni: But they have a good replacement.

KJ: UNDERGOD?

Rozi: Very Sundanese [laughs], very ethnic!

Veby: Funny!

KJ: SAFFAR?

Kancil: Very religious. Religious and…

Rozi: I don’t know but they are very polite guys. We call it a breakthrough artist!

KJ: DEMONS DAMN?

Kancil: I think just the woman matters [Popo], not the others.

Rozi: Powerful female [laughs]!

Kancil: DEMONS DAMN has the most beastly female vocals!

KJ: IMPISH?

Kancil: Black-metal, I like that!

Rozi: Actually they are an old band from Bandung, from 1997 or 1998.

Kancil: I just think about the masks!

Rozi: War-paint!

KJ14: What is your comment about she-males? [Popo suggested this question for Kancil. It is a long standing insider joke in the Bandung DM community!]

Kancil14: Ah!

[All laugh.]

Popo: He had a loveable experience with she-males – loveable and memorable!

Kancil: Wonderful tonight!

Popo15: What are your future plans for the band?

Kancil15: We want to go on a pilgrimage haj to Mecca with the band and our families.

Rozi: We want to make our own record label. Of course we want to have more tours. If it is possible we would like to go abroad but the problem is, like you said, the band name [laughs].

Popo16: Do you have a greatest memory in your career?

Kancil16: I fell down off the stage! I felt very ashamed! This was in the outskirts of Bandung city at Majalaya. We performed in the middle of the rice field. Most of those watching were grandmas and grandfathers, local people there.

KJ17: Any good young bands in Bandung you recommend?

Veby17: SAFFAR.

Rozi: PLASMOPTYSIS, MANIPULATORDEATH.

Popo: This band PLASMOPTYSIS is famous in other countries but people in Indonesia do not know about them. John wants to interview them, they are very talented. The first album was released by ESP [Extreme Souls Production, Bandung], the second EP was spread through the internet with free download.

KJ18: Will the young bands keep the Ujung Berung DM culture strong and keep the values?

Rozi18: That’s one of the positive things in the UB scene, regeneration always happens so the community sustains itself by the appearance of the newcomers.

KJ19: What is your comment on BUSUK WEBZINE?

Rozi19: I think it’s good to enlighten people, for example, about what is happening in our scenes. During the old times we never received the information, it was only on paper. This webzine is more easily available for us to reach.

KJ20: Have you any suggestions’ to improve BUSUK WEBZINE?

Kancil20: Probably more information about local [metal] communities.

KJ: We now have a Soreang [South Bandung] and Cimahi [West Bandung] page on BUSUK WEBZINE.

Kancil: JIHAD is actually from Cimahi but our connection is with everyone.

KJ: People always think you are part of the Ujung Berung scene, right?

Rozi: Yes, when we started Cimahi was a part of Bandung but now it is separate as an independent city.

Popo21: People say you follow FORGOTTEN in lyrics and sound. Is it true? Why do people say this?

Kancil21: JIHAD is JIHAD, not following FORGOTTEN, we are different.

Roni: On the third album we make it very different from FORGOTTEN.

Popo22: So only the first and second albums were influenced by FORGOTTEN?

Rozi22: People think that way because on the second album we covered one song by FORGOTTEN. Also Addy [Gembel] of FORGOTTEN featured as guest vocalist on the second album so that is probably why people have this opinion. This opinion led to us wanting to be very different in the third album both to FORGOTTEN and to other death-metal bands.

Popo23: What is the reaction to your band outside of Bandung?

Rozi23: Fortunately we have received a positive response.

Roni: Mostly in Java.

Popo: Did you go abroad?

Rozi: To Medan [Sumatra] but not to another country. Like I said it’s difficult.

KJ24: What other city do you like outside of Bandung for metal?

Rozi24: I think Medan, they were very supportive and…

Roni: Welcoming.

Rozi: The enthusiasm of the metalheads is very high there.

KJ: Balikpapan?

Rozi: We never played in Balikpapan actually.

Roni: For the third album we want to introduce our band to another country so we wrote the lyrics in English.

KJ25: Any message for the fans?

Roni25: So much thank you!

Kancil: Stay JIHAD!

Roni: Stay support…

Kancil: Local bands!

Rozi: The main point is we like to thank those who keep supporting us. Wait for the third album soon.

KJ26: Have you got any favorite Indonesian bands from outside Java?

Veby26: BUSUK band from West Borneo. [KJ note: this is Veby’s old band and not to be confused with TOTAL BUSUK from Samarinda, East Borneo.]

Rozi: ENGORGING from Samarinda and BARSIMBAH-DARAH, grindcore, from Bali.

KJ27: What do you think of the relationship between death-metal and black-metal in Bandung?

Rozi27: I was in a black-metal band before [HAZE].

Popo28: Abah of IMPISH said black-metal bands are discriminated against by promoters in Bandung, what do you think?

Rozi28: No, it is not like that. As far as I know the BM scene is not open to other people, they make themselves exclusive. It is not about opportunities they are not given. They do not open themselves. Also I’m sorry to say my suggestion is that most BM bands are supposed to improve themselves in sound and equipment but this is not happening as it should be.

Popo: They are not sharing about how to make good songs, good promotions, and good management.

Popo29: Any other comments?

Kancil29: No.

Rozi: We want every [genre] community to keep connecting. In every city we visit there is a gap between metal, hardcore, and punk but not in Bandung. We have a good picture of the community overall because we keep connecting with the other communities. We don’t have any problems with other communities.

Popo: We don’t discriminate against the black-metal!

[By this time Deank of DESPAIR and Bobby Rock of BLEEDING CORPSE had arrived at the candle-lit outside bar and we finalized BUSUK WEBZINE’s sponsorship deal with DESPAIR. Then we took pictures and chatted before heading away into the dark Bandung night.]
JIHAD band, the legends of Cimahi. Left to Right: Roni (guitar), Veby (drums), Rozi (bass) and Kancil (vocals)@ TROTTOART CAFE, Jln cisitu, Bandung, 30 November 2012.
JIHAD band with Kieran James (Busuk Chronicles) TROTTOART CAFE, Jln cisitu, Bandung, 30 November 2012
Left to Right: Maximus (Vocalist Despair), Kieran James (Busuk Chronicles), and Deank (Bassist Despair) @ TROTTOART CAFE, Jln cisitu, Bandung.
Left to Right: Maximus (Vocalist Despair), Deank (Bassist Despair) & Kieran James @ TROTTOART CAFE, Jln cisitu, Bandung.
Left to Right: Deank (Bassist of Despair) and Popo (vocalist Demons Damn) @ TROTTOART CAFE, Jln cisitu, Bandung
Two legends of Bandung Death Metal - Kancil Jihad (left) and Bob Rockiller (ex-Bleeding Corpse / ex-Hydro)
Bandung Death Metal City from 17th floor of Ibis Hotel.

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