I met Jack Frost, that later I knew his real name is Kieran James, at Daniel’s house almost 2 years ago. I heard about him from Dimas and Daniel from Valerian. He manages Busuk Webzine, a webzine that mostly writes about Indonesian bands, and that surprised me. As Indonesian, I’m amazed… again I found non-Indonesian who gives more attention to promote Indonesian’s side that maybe for other Indonesians is not so important, wasted time and money. With Kieran’s efforts, more people will hear about bands and metal scenes in Indonesia.
Last year, I assisted Kieran to have interview with some bands in Madura. And I found it really interesting how he pays attention to this small metal scene in this small island and dig the treasure of it… then found out there are great bands here, such as : Rajam, Sickles etc. And noted that the 2nd day he had to deal with bad weather.
No wonder that Indonesia Metal Scene give big respect to this “Mister” and I witnessed his support and effort for us. Therefore, I decided to make interview with him and this is the first interview I had and put in my blogs…. He wrote a lot about Indonesian bands, now it’s time to know more about Kieran James a.k.a Jack Frost. Enjoy it 🙂
Dhinie (DH) : What was the first thing that makes you decided to have research write about Indonesian Underground band?
(please write also the 1st time you’re visit Indonesia for this matter and in which cities)
Kieran James (KJ) : Long ago, around 2010, I saw JASAD CD advertised in Terrorizer magazine so then I searched about them. In September 2010 Death Vomit toured Australia and I met Jason Xenophobic in Brisbane (the tour organiser). I thought Death Vomit was really a great band. Then I got to know Ferly of Jasad and went to Bandung February 2011 to interview Jasad. That was the beginning. Then I went to Jogja in October 2011 and East Java from 2012 onwards. Also I used to visit Balikpapan when John Yoedi was still alive. At first I thought it is interesting that Indonesian people play and support metal with such passion and big numbers and knowledge of the history. Now I know it much more and it is still very interesting to me.
DH : What was the interesting object for doing this thing and what’s the main purpose?
KJ : Like all sociology research I like to study about identity, meaning, power, values, and resistance in Indonesian Underground. So I am studying how the scenes work more than the actual music. Also I want to look at relationship between religion and heavy-metal fandom and the role of gender and ethnicity and social class. I still have in mind the plan to write history of Indonesian Death Metal. I wrote 50 pages so far but it is such a big topic as there are so many bands.
DH : What do you think about Indonesian Metal Scene? Did you find any different in each city that you’ve visited?
KJ : Yes, it is different. In Bandung they have the biggest and most financial scene and the most distros, record labels, etc. They have the most passionate crowds too. That is the only place I have been to where metal crowds are as vocal and crazy as football crowds. Of course I love East Java because Power Metal is strong there and the relationships among people and genres are very cordial whereas in Bandung there is a competitive edge and who-you-know is so important. It is also true that in Bandung 90% of bands play Brutal Death Metal and to me this gets boring. One band from Bandung which has more interesting DM music is Auticed.
DH : What’s your favorite genre? Is it different genre from what you reviewed in Busukwebzine.net? If it’s different, how did you cope with those?
KJ : Yes, in a way. I love 1970s hard-rock and 1980s metal of every genre. Of modern metal I prefer Power Metal genre. I also love street-punk and I believe in the politics and ideology of punk such as anti-capitalism. In BUSUK it began as only Death Metal because that was John Yoedi’s passion. Now slowly I add in various other genres. I promote Valerian a lot partly because they have great music but also because I like the guys in the band. If the people are assholes I don’t think I will promote that band. Also we did a Black Metal Special Issue recently. I respect BM scene as it is truly Underground. East Java has some bands that are not just in it for the fashion. So slowly I change Busuk to make it more consistent with my tastes. However, it is still over 50% Bandung DM because that gets the readers and I have the contacts there. I try to promote Bandung bands that are not trendy such as Jihad, Undergod, Saffar, etc. I don’t promote Burgerkill because they are rock stars and they don’t need people such as me anymore. Also I’m Christian so I’m sympathetic to Christian Metal and bands like Tengkorak whom I support fully.
DH : What’s your favorite Indonesian Band?
KJ : For Power Metal: Valerian and Umbra Mortis. For Death Metal: Death Vomit, Sickles, Jagal, Overflow Revenge (Jombang), Tengkorak, Auticed, Dismemberment Torture, Jihad, the old Bleeding Corpse with Bobby, Turbidity with Dada, Depravity Savage, and Saffar. For Black Metal Warkvlt, Diabolical, Sereignos, and Blasphemer (Sby.)
DH : How did you get the fund to travel around Indonesia (as well some countries in Asia)… it’s not such small amount of money…
KJ : One or twice I got funding from my university but mostly I paid for my own trips. It was easier when I worked in Australia because the Australian dollar was strong. I used to go twice a year. Now I go once a year if possible. And I don’t stay in Jakarta much because that costs more. I thank those people in East Java who buy me beers or dinner or help with transport because that really helps me financially.
DH : What’s the mission of Busuk Webzine and yours personally? and what’s the goal that you want to achieve in the future?
KJ : I want it to always be supporting Underground Music and Underground Values and with a respect to history. Also bands using satanism as a marketing tool to get famous I kind of leave to one side because they will get their promotion from other places. Black-metal which is non-satanic (such as Warkvlt) I don’t have any problem with. I would like to support One God Movement further but not sure how to do that yet. Sometimes Samier and I have talked about this. Also I want to keep true to the vision of John, Popo, and Bobby Rock – Indonesian bands will always be over 50% of the content and now Indonesian bands are over 70% of content. We don’t want to sell out and forget Indonesia. Also we try to translate good interviews into other language (using a good translator and not google translate). There is a lot of English interviews and many Bahasa Indonesian interviews on the site.
Thanks a lot, Kieran… for all your efforts and supports! YOU’RE ROCK!!!!!