A gentle touch of music (an interview with Siberian Redsocks)

This scenario repeats itself over and over. And I am so glad it does. What am I talking about? Well, the process of discovering new artists and their music. The same thing has happened with Siberian Redsocks too. And after hearing their new single, “Human Skin”, I knew I’ve found a new favourite.

Well, you know it. I couldn’t resist to get in touch with guys and do a little introductory interview to know them better.

The first questions is somewhat traditionally dedicated to an introduction, but I’m gonna break this tradition now, because my first question is as expected – Why “Siberian Redsocks”?
Honestly there’s no specific meaning of why we choose Siberian Redsocks as our name. it just sounds nice when that 2 words collide become one as we usually call it ourselves as “Sibsocks”

By the way, congratulations to your new single, “Human Skin”! We’ll get back to it little later, for now, can you introduce yourselves to our readers? In other words, who are Siberian Redsocks and where are you from?
Siberian Redsocks is an alternative pop rock band from Indonesia, based in Jakarta

Before we’re getting to the songs and so forth, I need to ask. On some images the band consists of 4 members only, on other pictures you are a five-piece. Who has left, or who’s got on the board, and why?
We started the band with 4 (four) pieces formation back in 2008 with pop punk is our main genre. The Original Member is Abicitra Herdimas (guitar & vocal), Bayu Malindo (guitar & vocal), Muhammad Rizky (drums) and Rangga Bena (bass). Unfortunately in 2015 (before Newborn) Rangga Bena left the band due his educational endeavors while the other way Muhammad Fikri Joined the Band (not to Replace Rangga Bena, but adding new element with a keyboardist). In this stage, bass position filled by Bayu Malindo. Few months after Newborn was released (2016) Hanindito Rahmanda joined the band to fill bass position means that Bayu Malindo back to where he belong as guitarist.

I think it’s safe to say you’ve started as one of many pop punk bands and your songs “When The Sleep Calls” and “It’s Over, Girl” (both from 2010) prove that point. How did you meet and when/how/why the decision to form a band has been made?
We’re in the same high school actually 

With these first singles, what was the reaction from those first listeners of yours? I assume you’ve been playing to your friends, maybe families (which, let’s be honest, are usually not the most objective audience)…
Hahaha in that time we’re so very confident with our songs and of course we had good and positive reaction from our friends. In Indonesia especially 2008 – 2010 the pop punk’s scene is very big and that’s we choose pop punk is our main genre. That time we used to play gig to gig, playing our song and cover song from New Found Glory, Blink 182 and All Time Low.

With the single “Here’s Your Lesson” from 2011, you’ve been clearly experimenting with your sound (I like the label “space pop-punk”, by the way). Where have those ideas come from? As you clearly haven’t continued to explore this way of sound, was it just because you haven’t been happy with how did the song sound?
The Idea come from the likes of 30 Second to Mars and Angels and Airwaves, and yeah we think the sound doesn’t fit well for us.

I will admit, I like the evolution of your band, with every step there’s something new and likeable. That’s the case also with 2012 single “The Story of Broken Holiday”. Although the song itself is not my fave song, with it you’ve crossed into the more indie oriented waters. Still punkish of sorts…what bands/experiences (because that’s usually the cause) have influenced you at that stage of your band life?
This question relate with the question number 6. Basically “The Story of the Broken Holiday” is our very first song written in 2008, and we have the first version of it which we have taken down the song from internet. This time we try to explore “space pop punk” again in mature ways, in this periods to be honest we’re not making new music, maybe it because we’re too stuck in ONE GENRE that’s make our music feels monotone. So “The Story of the Broken Holiday” is the result of our fresh idea. We blend it with indie, brit-pop, modern rock and a bit taste of space rock

The defiant proclamation from 2015 says “The Next Best Thing”. Well, one thing is for certain, you are pretty sure of your ambitions! Which is only commendable, of course. Viewing the song from the distance of 6 years, how do you feel about the it being “prophetic”, so to speak? In other words, how much have you been able to fulfill this statement?
After “The Story of Broken Holidays” was release, the band was in hiatus from 2012 – 2015. Because Muhammad Rizky and Rangga Bena must continue their study out of town (Bandung) and abroad (Philipines). It’s not being prophetic, all lyrics in Newborn is written by our main songwriter, Abicitra Herdimas. In that phase all members in age around 21 or 22 where every member facing Mid-Life crisis as the problem.. All lyrics in Newborn written in emo-ways, a kind of doubtful, anger, anxiety, afraid of not living well in the future and note to self to become even better person which written in “Mind Intention” and “The Next Best Thing”

I’d argue your Newborn EP (2016) (reviewed here) has shown Siberian Redsocks as a grown up band, firmly set in its track. As I’ve reviewed it here, let’s talk about it a little. Where did you record it? Was it also released in a physical form?
Whole songs recorded at Alf Music Studio in Bekasi (the studio is currently no longer). We have released it in physical form in a limited quantity.

For me, I think you’ve been in the “Ready” stage to get some contract. Have you been contacting labels with the EP? What reaction did the material get?
Hmmm we think, being independent band is so much fun and better than working with labels 🙂

Then, in 2017 (correct me if I am wrong, please), you’ve dropped your single “Saturday”. I can’t believe what a great track it is! The video accompanying the single is also nice, who’s the author of the video’s story? It’s clearly professional, can we give a shout to the master behind the camera lens?
The videographer and the author is our fella named Muhammad Naufal Muflih.

Judging from the lyrics, are you Saturdays usually like you’ve depicted it in the video? Hanging out with friends, driving around, having good time?
Hahaha honestly the lyrics and the video doesn’t match at all. It should be hanging out with girlfriend not friends. The project video itself work in a rush because Abicitra Herdimas must leave Jakarta to work in Bali. In that short time we have we decide to not collaborate with female talent and change the concept from hanging out with girlfriend become hanging out with friends.

And now we’re coming to your latest single, “Human Skin”. It definitely presents the band with the mature sound and what’s the most important, you have a new main vocalist! Well, sort of new, as Muhammad did some vocals in the past too…but the question is, why such a change? And maybe that’s a question directly to Abicitra – how do you feel about abandoning the singer’s post?
It’s not change the formation, it’s kind of being creative. Actually we do like the band likes Blink 182, Oasis and Blur which have 2 (two) co – vocalist. Abicitra once state “Fikri is better singer than me, but I got the voice that fits well wih Siberian Redsocks”. Basically Abicitra and Muhammad Fikri grew up with very different Music. Abi grew up with American rock, British Pop and Emo/Screamo while Muhammad Fikri grew up with the likes of British Pop Rock, Pop, Jazz and a bit blues.. So “Human Skin” is written by Abicitra Herdimas but the vocal belongs to Fikri, it is because Fikri has better voice to fill “Pop-ish” music.. For your information, we’re working our next EP album which will contain 5 songs, Abi will take 3 songs in vocal and Fikri will take 2 songs in vocal.

Punk and alternative scene is also about playing live. Although the current situation with Covid pandemics is not really good for any gigs, how about playing live in general? Do you have enough opportunities for gigs in Jakarta and around? What concert (if any) do you consider your best one to date?
We don’t know but I think the gigs in Jakarta is slowly recover in several places with Covid Protocols of course, hopefully after Lebaran (Eid Fitr) we could have chance to hit the stage again. Since Abicitra left Jakarta we haven’t play any gig, it’s been long time ago so we forget which one the best. FYI Abicitra left Jakarta in 2016 and back in January 2021, that’s why we’re making music again.

This question is obvious – what about the future of Siberian Redsocks? Any plans for new EP or full-length album?
We’ve been doing Human Skin’s lyric video and we plan to release it in the next few weeks. In June, we plan to create music video for Human Skin. And for the new EP itself hopefully to be done within this year.

And I won’t forget to ask my favourite questions too. As there is so much to discover about the music scene in Indonesia, how about your local scene? What bands and artists would you recommend to our readers (and me, of course) to check?
You probably will love to listen Pamungkas, The SIGIT, Barasuara, White Shoes and the couple Companies, Mocca and Hndia / Feast / Lomba Sihir

Coming to the end of this nice interview – any final message to our readers?
Hahaha we suppose to take some words of our song “Mind Intention”:

“Change the way you live, change the way you think”

You can check band’s Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/sibsocksofficial

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I am the founder/owner and editor-in-chief of the Rubber Axe webzine, the underground/overground cultural publication, publishing also this website dedicated to all things Indonesian. I'm a happily married guy with 2 kids and a fantastic wife, and I'm a relentless discoverer of all things cultural and culinary. An everlasting dreamer and idealist.

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