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Interviews : “Metal is like an extreme f*cking sport!” – An interview with Oki and Man (Jasad)

By on August 7, 2018

Jasad – Mohamad “Man” Rohman

Jasad is a brutal death metal band from Bandung, Indonesia. Jasad means bodies in Indonesian, and after witnessing them absolutely annihilate Waken’s Wasteland stage on Friday evening, I couldn’t think of a more suitable name for the 5 piece from West Java.

The band (Ferly, Man, Yuli, Redu and Oki) were kind enough to sit down for a chat shortly after finishing their set. Jasad is one of the leaders of the Indonesian metal scene; they’ve played Bloodstock Open Air (UK) previously, and are no strangers to large open-air festivals in Indonesia. But after congratulating them on such a commanding performance I was keen to understand how Wacken rated amongst their extensive portfolio of shows. In response vocalist Man spoke of the exposure it provides them; ‘Playing Waken is a great opportunity for us. Wacken is the biggest metal festival in the world, Waken is Metal. Waken is the greatest metal festival on earth, maybe in heaven, maybe in hell!’ Man continued, clearly appreciative for the opportunity to showcase their skills and fly the flag for their Indonesian metal scene on a global scale. He spoke with clear passion in particular for the opportunity to represent the brutal death metal scene which is abundant in their native city of Bandung. ‘We are from Bandung, which we call the land of brutal music! In 2010 I did some of my own research – there were 150 brutal death metal bands in the city of Bandung alone! Other places have a lot of subgenres like dance metal, orgy metal [laughs] but we just play brutal death! We are happy to have the opportunity to showcase this brand of brutality at Wacken. We are so far away from Indonesia. We must prove to the global metal world that Indonesian metal deserves the same opportunities that other countries get to play the big festivals’.

A lot of heavy bands claim to be brutal, almost to the point that I’m jaded by the term,  but in the case of Jasad, it’s the first thing that comes to mind. ‘We’re influenced by lots of different bands; Dying Fetus, Old Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Kataklysm, but the biggest influence to Jasad is the f*cking lifestyle!’ says vocalist Man who is clearly enthusiastic about being a metal musician, albeit he is aware of the perceptions that can come from the outside when you play such extreme music. Indonesia can be a relatively conservative place, so they guys in Jasad are keen to demystify the stigma that is occasionally part and parcel come with playing such extreme music. ‘In this world people who don’t know metal think that all metalheads worship Satan, but we have more in common with athletes than Satanists!  Metal is like an extreme f*cking sport!’ says Man. Ferly is keen to weigh in on this topic too,  ‘We play with a lot of energy, it’s like a high-intensity exercise with a lot of sweat’.  Drummer Oki agrees ‘You don’t need to run 10km each day, just play drums in a death metal band! Just play blast beats! The crowd get good exercise too; Normal people shouldn’t go to the gym, they should go to metal shows and get a good body!’ It’s a novel idea for sure, and after seeing the band high energy crowd sweat it out in the evening sun at Wacken I can’t help but agree with the merits of their suggestion.

Watching Jasad play Wacken was captivating, both on and off the stage. The 5 piece absolutely destroyed the place and it was particularly revealing to look at the expressions on the faces of the people around me. Jaws were on the floor, clearly taken back by how good Jasad were. Despite there being a smattering of fans who clearly knew the material, I think a lot of people came to see their set without necessarily understanding what they were signing up for – it was almost like a gathering of people who didn’t feel like watching Doro on the main stage, preferring to see what a band from Indonesia could deliver.

I had no doubt that Jasad made a lot of new fans, so,  after making such a good impression what’s next for Jasad?  ‘We’re playing at Brutal Assault next week, and then when we get home we will prepare for our new album. We’ve been working on guitars and drums already, pre-production’. As a relatively new convert myself, the talk of a new album certainly whets my appetite ‘the new album will be mixed, maybe like Justin Bieber and Suffocation!’ Says vocalist Man, laughing ‘I say, Justin Bieber because we’re all so handsome! Haha, it will be nothing like f*cking Justin Beiber!’

Noting that the interview was intended for release via an Australian outlet the members of Jasad showed passion about the potential they saw for touring our country, and the wider opportunities that Australian and Indonesian bands could benefit from through considered collaboration.

‘We know some bands through playing alongside them at Hammersonic. Psycroptic has toured Indonesia. Actually many Australian bands have played in  Indonesia, but we could do more, we would love to tour Australia too. Maybe one day we’ll get an invite from a promoter to play some shows down there’ said Man. Drummer Oki weighs in on the matter too  ‘Meeting Australians who like our music is like a special gift for us, anything we can do to connect and create relationships between our countries is great. We would love to play in Australia one day’.

Man agrees, and again speaks on behalf of the band, and potentially the wider Indonesian metal scene ‘The Australian and Indonesian metal communities should unite and show the world what we can do. American and European bands get a lot of opportunities, but we can show that we are equals.  Norway, Sweeden, Germany, all of Europe is so close that the bands get exposure by being able to tour outside of their own countries. We (Australia and Indonesia) are so close (geographically) like them. Australian promoters could invite more Indonesian metal bands down under, and Indonesian promotors could invite more Australian bands to Indonesia too. It can only be a positive’

In Australia, we have a lot of small/midsized annual festivals which may be looking to step up into offering spots on their bills to international acts.  The promoters of the likes of Blacken (NT), The New Dead (SA) & Rust In Perth (WA) could do far worse than inviting Jasad to Australian shores. Jasad is a phenomenal live band, and given that their quality is arguably representative of the Indonesian scene in general, I think there is a lot to take from their point regarding the potential for stepping up the collaboration between the Indonesian and Australian scenes.

Do yourself a favour and check them out. For Fans of Dying Fetus, Suffocation, Disentomb Whoretopsy. Head to the official Jasad Facebook page for more!

About

Chris is a long time metal enthusiast and advocate for Australian heavy music scene. Chris grew up in Perth, Western Australia and is a past member of modern melodeath act Let's Kill Uncle. Currently residing in London, UK.