Dreaming with fighters (an interview with Jasmine from Dreamer’N’Fighters)

Good old heavy metal. The riffs, the melodies, the energy flowing from the speakers… coming from Indonesia (well, that’s quite obvious on Indokult), and fronted by a beautiful and talented singer Jasmine, it was a real pleasure to discover this band. And, it goes without saying, that I couldn’t miss the opportunity to learn more about the band…so, here we go!

Hello to Cirebon, and thanks for your time! First of all, let me ask you, how’s the situation with the Covid-19 pandemics in your area? I hope the situation is getting stabilized…

Hello Brother, you are very welcome. Well, the pandemic situation here is getting better.

Since October, lockdown status has been removed in our city, but it’s still not normal yet, but okay.

By the way, we’re (D N F) from Kuningan West Java, but some of us are from Cirebon.

How’s there ? we hope the pandemic situation there is getting better too.

Now, let’s get straight to the important questions, what do you say? First of all, what’s the current line-up of DNF? From the information I have, you are currently a trio…is it so, or are there any changes?

Yes, you’re right.. Now, we have 3 active members. But we have some additional players for the live situations.

How have you started as a band? What was the initial spark that gave that impulse to form it? Have you always wanted to play the genre you’re playing, or have you experiment along the way?

Well, it’s started from our guitarist “Derijck” and our past member “Zae” (bass player) who has the same interest in music. Both of them often work together to make some music. But they don’t have a good vocalist at that time. And then they met “Jasmine” (me), because i’m also their college friend.

And after that, we started to record some demo musics. But the band needed more members for the live performance. So, we decide to recruit “Roby” for guitar and “Auguzt” for drums at that time.

Then, some changes are made in our positions, and finally we have this current line-up now, just the three of us (Derijck, Jasmine, Roby).

At first, our genre was Rock music, because at that time we still covering other people’s songs. We haven’t decide what genre is right to us.

But after we started to write our own songs, and started live performing in several gigs, we felt more welcome in the Metal scene. And honestly, we also had more passion in Heavy Metal and we love Heavy Metal in general.

Finally, we wrote the first song material with Heavy Metal music arrangement , then our debut album “The Fighters” was released as a Heavy Metal Album.

In “The Fighters” album, we also include elements from the subgenres of Thrash Metal, Power Metal, Gothic Metal, Hardrock, and even Ballad.

However, we try to stick to the path of Heavy Metal that we build from the start.

You’ve started as DNFriends…when has the change to Dreamer N Fighters occurred and what was the reason for the name change?

Yes, that’s right.. we started from DNFriends. But after some time, we felt that the name no longer matched with the band’s identity. Then “Jasmine” (me) had an idea to change the band’s name, but without changing the initials “D N F”. I gave the name “Dreamer” for “D”, because i loves Ozzy Osbourne’s song “Dreamer” and also Derijck (Founder, Guitarist) loves John Lennon’s song “Imagine”.

And for “F” refers to “Fighters” because Derijck really likes fighting arcade games.

And finally, all of us agreed with that name, because philosophically we are also Dreamer and Fighters.

One thing I’ve noticed with many Indonesian bands – for a lot of them it takes a lot of time from the start of the band to their first official release. The same could be said about DNF – you’ve started to play in 2014, but your first release, the full-length album “The Fighters” was released 5 years later. Was it intentional – to prepare the best material to date, or was it caused by some other factors?

Yep, actually it’s just flow naturally. As i said before, we’re just a cover band at first.

We wrote the first single “The Fighters” in 2016. After that, so many live performs offers come to D N F. Because of that, we didn’t have so much time to finish the album. And then we realized we had to finish what we’ve started. Finally, we have to take time between busyness of live perform and other activities to continue record album materials and make music videos.

And in 2019, we wrote 11 songs and created debut album “The Fighters”, which was named after the first single.

Interestingly, almost the whole album is sung in English, which – although it shouldn’t be surprising – for me it is. Many Indonesian bands sing in the bahasa Indonesia, aiming at their home base of listeners and fans, does it mean your aspirations are much higher, going global?

Well, we think music in universal language for mankind, and English is the main language of the world. Because we hope more people can understand.

But it’s comes naturally (again).. when we wrote some lyrics, it’s comes out with English in our head.

But in several songs, we also wrote in Bahasa.

Let’s talk about lyrics a bit – what does DNF sing about?

On “The Fighters” album, the lyrics we wrote carry the themes of Humanity, Social, Politics, Motivations, and Positive Values.

I’ve stay with the album a little more. Listening to it, I’m hearing also a bit of keyboards here and there, therefore I think it’s only logical (to quote Star Trek’s Mr. Spock) to ask about the line up responsible for this record…so, who was behind this record?

Well, all others instruments and arrangements on the “The Fighters” album are played and composed by Derijck.

What about the reviews and reactions of the public to your debut album? Any particularly special review you might remember?

We think the the public’s reactions to “The Fighters” album is quite good, because in a short time, the physycal release that we released in 2019 was sold out in Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan. And we only produced limited stock (500pcs).

There are some reviews in our local media, and some radio.

Following year, 2020, you’ve put out a single “Darkforce Awakens”. One would be tempted to say the title was a little wordplay on the Star Wars’ movie “The Force Awakens”…anyway, what is the song about and what is the meaning of the cover artwork? Is there any connection between these two?

Yep, in 2020 we released the first single of the upcoming 2nd album “Darkforce Awakens”. This song was written Derijck.

This song has a very different character from the songs of our previous album.

It’s has devilish theme, multiple meaning lyrics (that can interpreted differently by each listeners), different sound, and banshee scream (in the outro).

And yes maybe there are some connections with Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens”, because the writer is a Star Wars nerd.. (lol)

For the Artwork and the song has a similar meanings. Because in our case, woman are the main victims of that evil force.

And this year you’ve released “Zombie Attack 2021”, the new version of the song from your debut album, this time with the co-operation by Amy. Now I will appear stupid (haha), but for the sake of our readers, who’s she and why have you decided to re-make this particular song?

Haha that’s okay..

Well, on August Friday the 13th, we released “Zombie Attack 2021” feat Amy. He is one of Metal Vocalist from Malaysia, and he also our friend. So we loved to work together in this song.

Actually this song is the last song that we wrote in “The Fighters” album, but it doesn’t have music video like others songs before.

So we decide to re-make and release this song with some changes in arrangement, because we’re not satisfied with the first mix and arrangement.

Then we called with “Zombie Attack 2021”.

Your material is released by Sirkus Records from Jakarta. As this is the first time I’m encountering the name of this label, what can you tell us about them, why have you chosen to work with this label?

Yeah, Sirkus Records is an independent record label owned by Mr. Tori Sudarsono.

We met him at the “Sound of Indienesia” event that organized by Sirkus Records.

At that time, Mr. Tori very interested with our music. After we discussed together, we agreed that Sirkus Records is our publisher of digital releases.

Although lately playing live was quite restricted – what can you tell us about DNF playing live? What would you say was your best live gig to date? Any planned performances in the near future?

Due to the pandemic situation, D N F has not performed live since March 2020. Because at that time, many events has been canceled.

So we use this time to write some new materials for the next album, and we are also working on several collaborations projects with one of the national musician “Pupun Kapten”, which is will be release in the near future.

What is the scene in Cirebon these days? For me, I only know Corvus Java coming from the same place – any other interesting bands our readers might want to check?

Well, by the way D N F base is in Kuningan, West Java, not in Cirebon.

Metal scene in here not quite normal, there are no Metal event has been run here yet. Maybe in 2022 next year. But ni som places outside Kuningan already started some gigs.

But for now D N F focused on working on new materials while waiting for the Metal scene to be completely normal and stable again.

Yeahh, you have to check “Pupun Kapten”, he is one of the best guitarist in Indonesia, he is a member of the “Kapten Band”. Currently he is also working on a solo project and a collaborations project with us. He has amazing skills, you’ll definitely like him.

(Please Check “ARDH GRUMMA” by Pupun Kapten, and “Lagu Sexy” by Kapten Band on youtube)

Coming slowly to the end of this nice interview – for those interested in your CD or other merchandise, what’s the best way to obtain it? Where to look for it?

For more info about merchandise and CD album, please check on the Official Facebook Fanpage & Instagram of D N F.

We also sell in several online stores. But for now, the Merch and CD’s are not available, because of out of stock. But we’ll update about that on our social media very soon.

Before we finish – what can you tell us about your plans for DNF for 2022 and beyond?

In 2022, we will release a lot of new materials, besides the D N F projects, we will also release several collaboration projects. And we are also making a new band image for the next album.

Just stay tune on our social media for more updates.

And we’ve arrived to the last question…any final words or message to our readers?

We would love to say “Terimakasih” (thank you so much) for the opportunity in this interviews, we are very honored.

And thanks also for the readers, we hope our world will getting better and peace always be with us.

Keep support the underground music and don’t forget to visit on our social media.

Youtube Channel : https://www.youtube.com/DreamerNFightersTV

Facebook Fanpage : https://www.facebook.com/DreamerNFighters

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/dreamernfighters

Email : dreamernfighters@gmail.com

Thank you..!! Cheers from Indonesia 😉

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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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