Melting the mind (an interview with The Melting Minds)

As it’s usually the case, I’ve been searching high and low for some interesting bands to cover when I’d found The Melting Minds, an unusual and very interesting esemble from Wonosari. That’s in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, for those not familiar with Indonesia (which is, basically, my case).

Their second single “Possessing the Witch” has instantly stopped me in my tracks, and there was no doubt I’d needed to get in touch with them to check what the heck they are about!

So, let’s have a look together at this young and promising band, what do you say?

Hello guys and thank you for your time doing this interview!!! As with the majority of Indonesian bands old and new, the Western audience usually have no knowledge about them, so would you introduce yourselves to the readers of Indokult? As I guess you’re all not newbie players, what other groups have you been part of before forming The Melting Minds?
Hello everyone! I am Slinky Bones, vocalist/founder/songwriter of The Melting Minds. Thank you for having me, I am representing all members of The Melting Minds. So here we go. Let me guide you back to the story of the origin of The Melting Minds.

Everythings started when life told me to do so… And when everythings happens, it happens.

Anxious, some people who were on the fringes of the crowd, an outcast …

They, You, and I maybe are human beings that belong in that place. Silence, trying to learn the circulation of life that is getting “stuffy” with all the rotten problems that exist. A world where humans lost their way, died, where identity no longer matters.

I started to worry about this world. On purpose, without any plans.”

The Melting Minds was previously my solo project, Slinky Bones. My alter ego that has been buried for a long time, where I used to change bands after bands since 2008 with genres for examples; punk, emo, post-core, metal, blues, rock, rock n roll, you name it. But in 2017, I want to make a musical work for my own alter ego. Start selectively selecting session players, researching what will be created, concocting concepts, and so on. I have lived in a city in Yogyakarta since 2012, but in late 2019 I had to return to my hometown in Wonosari, a small town in the sub region of Special Region of Yogyakarta to help my parents at home.

During my time at home, there was a lot of momentum for contemplation, a lot of moments to find what I really wanted, and I returned to connecting with my musician friends who were in Wonosari. Incidentally, in 2018 I had a fun-not-so serious musical project with my cousin, Ahmad Tubagus or called Bagus, then since then I contacted him again to help create songs I wanted to record. There Bagus invited Restu Prabawa who is also a band with him called “Ruam” to help the production process, he is also one of my old Wonosarian friends.

In less than two months, three of us have made prototype songs that are sufficient for the material of an album, I actually wonder, how can we make songs so quick that we have never synergized in a musical aspect before. Oh… one thing, we recorded the prototypes at my house, which we call Boneless Records HQ or Bonrecs now because I also want to try to set up an independent label. And also a trivia, we recorded the work without the proper audio engineering skills and sometimes still digging on YouTube for how to record songs technically. Also not enough equipment, even we used some really cheap replacement hardware for old broken instruments. But some of the recording tools are supported by my friends, one of which is Dhandy Satria, he is a lead vocalist/guitarist and mastermind of psychedelic/alternative/mood trio band called Summerchild (now on hiatus) and have his solo project called Aamaga and he is an professional audio engineer, has a studio too called Catpaws Lab. And yes, we’re all not newbies in this scene.

Before discussing the band and the music, can you explain for me the make-up of The Melting Minds? From the information available the members are from Jakarta and Yogyakarta. That’s quite a distance! How do you manage to work with this fact in mind?

Talking about distance, it’s because Dhandy Satria, the figure who triggers me to make all of this work, he is a very good and supportive friend for me while I was living in Yogyakarta but he has to go wander since around 2018 trying to challenge himself surviving in the most crowded capital city of the world, Jakarta. We often talk in the long distance Jakarta-Wonosari relationship. Because before we started all of this, One day I had time to come to Jakarta alone to watch my favorite band’s concert and stay at Dhandy’s apartment. That’s where the climax triggers to create my own works. And Dhandy offered to help in any way he could, we had never made a band as long as we were friends, so I changed my mind. I invited all those who helped produce this work to invite me to join a band that didn’t have a name at that time.

Back home in Wonosari, there is our friend named Yafet Yerubyan, he is the former vocalist of the band “Jackwaves” (previous band name of Ruam (Bagus & Restu’s band), now Yafet’s cousin replaced his position). He often stopped by just to have a look at our recording process or just to hang out or sometimes we hang out at Yafet’s little coffee shop located in old Wonosari’s bus station. I saw big potential in his vocal works through listening Jackwaves’ records, because the prototype songs we made have a lot of vocal layers and synthesizers, I invited Yafet to help telling stories with his vocal skills and then challenged him to become a synth player that he never played before, at all. Surprisingly, he agreed to my crazy invitation even though we didn’t have any synth instrument at all for him to practice playing along the songs because the recording process used sampling from the software. And the thing that made my heart even more sure to invite him was that he practiced synthesizer at his little not-so-fancy-yet-grassrot-indonesian coffee shop table with no synthesizer at all, he literally drew the synthesizer keys with his marker on his customer table and start to practice fingering without any sounds coming from it, how could I not be amazed? Seriously? But again Dhandy saved us, he made us take the synthesizers that he lent to his friend. Then he lent it to Yafet until he was able to buy his own instrument. Dhandy is a person who also has many strange and weird instruments. But finally Yafet was able to practice comfortably. Thanks Dhan!

The more fun it was with the process we forgot that we didn’t have a drummer. Bagus invited his friend Christian Gratia that lives in Yogyakarta because in these prototypes, the drum arrangement was quite tight, he was the strongest candidate to be able to play the drums. When Bagus met him and sounded the songs we had, he said yes without further ado. Then we also need a manager figure to help manage us in the future process, I invited my friend, Wawa Kzk to join, because he is also a drummer, I also invited him to join the band, because we wanted to have fun together, and he lives in Yogyakarta too. And a band unit was formed that did not have a name at all, consisting of;

Slinky Bones (guitar / vocal), hometown : Wonosari

Ahmad Tubagus (lead guitar), hometown : Wonosari

Restu Prabawa (bass), hometown : Wonosari

Yafet Yerubyan (synth / vocal), hometown : Wonosari

Dhandy Satria (guitar / vocal), hometown : Temanggung, Central Java, was in Jakarta around 3 years (2018-2021), now lives in Yogyakarta

Christian Gratia (drums/percussion), hometown: Karanganyar, East Java, lives in Yogyakarta

Wawa Kzk (drums), hometown : Jayapura, Papua, lives in Yogyakarta

We’re all in the synergy process within Wonosari, Yogyakarta, and Jakarta via Zoom Meeting (because indeed we often meet online via Zoom apps)”

Then because most of Dhandy’s studio equipment was brought to Jakarta for his works and he just left me not enough equipment to record some tracks on the records, we needed to overdub the guitar because the sound wasn’t proper enough and there was no vocal microphone at Bonrecs. Early 2020 I contacted my friend Momo (Ex. Voc Captain Jack, now ZIMA) to help with the overdub process at his studio in Sleman, another sub region of Yogyakarta. However, due to the March 2020 pandemic breakout we had to postpone it until July because Restu’s village was locked down at that time and there were very strict regulations from the government. I also took advantage of the moment to perfect the lyrics. I contacted my friend Bree Schulte to start artistic collaboration and translation who is a native speaker who lives and was born in the United States. We did the collaboration with a very fun synergy process via Whatsapp. A trivia again, one of our songs written in a nick of time before we start the recording the vocals, that one particular song is a climax on a story that I wrote (III/IX).

At the end of August 2020 we finished recording the overdub material, Dhandy also recorded his part in Jakarta. Then we forgot that we didn’t have a name, there were many prototypes of band names that we were confused about choosing, shortly we agreed with the name The Melting Minds, because we often had deep discussions about the synergy process of this work until our thoughts melted away. And one thing, Wawa Kzk helped in the process of making The Melting Minds visual design, he admitted that he needed a lot of adaptations in our music style because he wanted to try to blend his character design with the concept design of The Melting Minds to become an cover artwork for our single The Snake. Released last January 2, 2021.

Jumping to January 2021, we managed to release this single with our own label, with enough effort to make our minds melt because we tried promotional methods that were said to be sometimes unthinkable by others and proved successful and even made a rival and parody band called The Melting Memes (it’s on Insta too, and released songs, seriously), The Snake got 10,000 streams and 2,000 listeners within 1 month after release. We are also quite amazed by the caliber of the band which we admit comes from a small district in Yogyakarta, who the hell are we? Absolute unknown. And to welcome that energy, we released Possessing The Witch, which was being improved at the Catpaws Lab in Yogyakarta because Dhandy was back home. The refinement process occurs due to overflowing energy because finally we can meet physically and generate creative ideas directly. Possessing The Witch released on March 21, 2021.

The band started in the middle of 2020 – and people complain it was not a good year! OK, kidding aside, you’re really a young band, although it’s evident you’ve got your direction pretty set up! Have you always gravitated towards 60s-70s psychedelic rock or what is something slowly emerged along the way? And while we’re on the subject, what fascinates you on this genre?

Yes, people said 2020 was not a good year, really. In Javanese beliefs, a year that has twin numbers is a chaotic year, glad we’re a chaotic band too! Just kidding :p. But indeed 2020 was a pretty tough year for us, when everything was ready, the world was hit by a pandemic, even Restu couldn’t leave the house to help our process. At that time also Dhandy’s father passed away in Temanggung (God bless his soul) which forced him to return from Jakarta, then Wawakzk’s house in Jayapura was burnt by fire due to gas leaking, Even I almost lost my only father because he almost had a stroke, what a difficult year. But we still believe music can make us recover, we’re sure the universe has better plans for us in the future.

Yes, I’m sure we’re pretty set up. We have been preparing for all of this since the end of 2019, because we realize we are nothing but want to convey a message to all lines of the market, because we believe that the message in the songs we create has very deep value. So we think more deeply about how to independently create marketing tricks so that people can at least glance at our work. Literally everything is independent, the songs we recorded were mixed and mastered in our own studio (Catpaws Lab) by Dhandy; Cover artwork was done by Wawa Kzk as well as the manager; Video and photo work is done by me and my girlfriend, Emma; Bagus, Restu, Christian and Yafet take care of marketing, merchandise, and all technical needs; releases are also taken care of by our own label.

Talking about the musical genre, I took references from modern psychedelic rock bands from Australia, the biggest influences is King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at first, but I also took references from 70s psychedelic rock waves like Pink Floyd, a little bit of the essence of Jimi Hendrix, there are also The Mothers of Invention (Frank Zappa) and King Crimson in their early years. Yes, if it’s a cliché, we took a lot of energy from the psychedelic wave of the 1970s.

In my opinion, psychedelic rock is a tool of contemplation and shocktheraphy for the listeners and will bring them in the nest of the imagination that all those who listen are free to interpret what is in that music and become self reminder to handle life in the future. I also chose this genre because the lyrics I wrote fit in a psychedelic vibe although we made the music first before the lyrics were made because I already know what kind of music design suits the sediments of my thoughts.

However, in the end what makes us different is that the seven of us come from very different music circles, I have more psychedelic music references; Bagus and Yafet have 90s grunge and rock references like Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, or L’Arc-en-Ciel, even they also listens to Kpop like Blackpink, blows my mind; Restu is basically a metalhead who listens Lamb of God, Trivium, or Killswitch Engage; Wawakzk was grow in the punk scene who loves Misfits, Rancid, and Bad Religion; Christian is an orchestra kid, a gospel music and fusion music listener who likes Calvin Rodgers and Devon Taylor drumming;. Dhandy is an all around music listener, he literally listens to almost every music. Because of that I think we complement each other. In the final execution, the arrangement was made based on a synergy of influences from the seven of us, because we also wanted to find our own musical character. What if in the future we no longer take influences from western music? Yes, who knows, but it’s also one of our dreams.

An interesting fact to mention is – you have two drummers. What, one is not enough? 🙂 Just kidding, of course, but I find this fact interesting, so – why the need for two drummers? Is this an attempt to create some of the tribal drum-patterns in songs?

Yes, a lot of our friends are asking this question. Why? As I said above, Christian is already in the drum position, but at that time I invited Wawakzk to help manage us, but he is also a drummer. I think it would be boring when he only manages us, if we perform he just keeps standing quiet, managing boring stuffs. The answer is why not? We want to have fun together. And the most important thing is, it was LOUD. But yeah, we’ll be developing and experimenting with two drums arrangements that might later lead us to something new.

Your very first single was “The Snake”. What can you tell us about it? There’s a story with it, as I’m aware, can you give us a hint or two about it? As for the songwriting, how this process works in the group? Who’s the main contributor in music? How much liberty members have in contributing their own ideas to the final output?

Imagination keeps people alive and thinking sharply. The idea of having a better life on earth was born from an imagination. No wonder that imagination is an essential substance for life. Can you wonder if we live without imagination? Maybe at that time, we might be dead right away…”

The Snake is an imaginary experiment from Pandora’s box: any source of great and unexpected troubles; a present which seems valuable but which in reality is a curse. The Snake is pretty special to me because it’s the first song we ever created. This song tells the story of a human being seduced by a creature, namely The Snake, sent down by the dark side of the universe. The Snake that was mentioned before is a metaphor of a false promise for humans, especially those who fail to think. Those who fail to think will be possessed by this creature and then tempt him to enter the darkest abyss of the mind. It’s slowly getting darker, breaking down all existent doctrine in thought patterns; seeing everything from the deeper side, the dark side that is never illuminated; fall into it until the unconscious is a consciousness itself. At the end when they reached the abyss of endless darkness, there was nothing they could do but enjoy the ride.

All I have to do is ride the snake, expose yourself into your deepest fears and the darkness of life.”

The main contributor to this song is me, again. One day in 2018 I got the guidance of the theme riff from the universe as you have heard on the song. I got that when I came home from jamming with Bagus somewhere. I got it when I passed an old bridge to my rented house in the suburb of Yogya which according to the local people, that area was haunted. I immediately recorded it on my smartphone on the street when I was on my scooter because I was afraid of forgetting it, and I always record everything that comes to my mind. When I got home I immediately recorded a very simple demo on the computer with Bagus even though after that he fell asleep leaving me. But at that time there were no lyrics, the song really annoyed my housemates because of its annoying riff I guess, because I perfected it almost every day. At that time I was very happy because basically I was just a casual guitarist for punk, rock, grunge, blues, you name it like I mentioned before. Before that happened, Bagus and I deconstructed our music playing skills and built them again because we wanted something new until finally the prototype The Snake was created.

At the end of 2019 I re-recorded the demo with Bagus and Restu at Bonrecs. It was in 2020 that the seven of us rearranged the arrangement through the Zoom meeting because we were still separated. Each member was free to pour their ideas into the song as long as it still fit the storytelling concept and the nuances of the song because the producer was me, the one who poured the most additional ideas is Dhandy because he really understands sound design technically and concepts, he is the man.

The musical concept of The Snake uses a repetitive method a la psychedelic music with synthesizer sound depicting a snake that keeps slithering without stopping. The mystical and quirky atmosphere built into this song is also created to strengthen the semiotics of The Snake as a cult creature.

The Snakeis the song of the second sequel of three sequels divided into an album which will be released someday in 2021.”

The second single released, “Possessing the Witch”, is even better! It was actually this one which has brought me to your band! Now, going with the information available, you’ve based those songs on, I quote, “Javanese Mythology mixed with Ancient-Greek Mythology”. Now that’s an interesting concept – what exactly do you have in mind with this?

Thank you! We are very grateful that many have appreciated our work until now, including you, thank you very much. It’s true, we combine these mythologies, but all of them are tied together in one complete story that we will release later and will be told in the next question. The Snake is more representative of ancient Greek mythology, namely Pandora’s box and Possessing The Witch itself uses a story approach from our culture, Kejawen which may have started to become extinct.

Human nature, social norms, and culture are generally formed from a virtue that is agreed upon as a culture. However, like the bias regarding the meaning of good itself, all goodness needs to be interpreted with wise behavior. Life experiences a dynamic cycle, the meaning of goodness is slowly being regenerated. Each individual is required to adapt and understand every vein of life. The limitlessness of human potential opens up opportunities for re-analysis and change that can even shape new virtues and policies.”

Possessing The Witch is a result of our creative process in assimilating the roots of rock music with the quintessence of Javanese culture. It is also an experimentation to render an experience from Javanese belief (also known as kejawen) which has been told among generations about lust and intention (Java: Hawa Nepsu lan Pamrih, Bahasa: Hawa Nafsu dan Pamrih) – two tremendous threats which can destroy the principle of humanity itself.

These threatening characteristics are represented by The Witch. The Witch has great power to possess the human mind and destroy the principles of humanity and poison it with lust and intention. At first the human was possessed by the figure of The Witch. However, with an alert and vigilant attitude (Java: sikap eling lan waspada) deeply ingrained in him, he managed to get out of The Witch’s entanglement and turned to possess the figure with pure principles of humanity and the virtue of a human being, so that The Witch was the possessed one or conquered. In general terms, Possessing The Witch is a human journey in finding the virtues of humanity in the process of life.

With upbeat rock music combined with raw power, dirty guitar sound and exploding energy, it describes the war between a human being and The Witch. Overall, the arrangement gives away a heroic nuance, escalating according to the storytelling lyrics.

Possessing The Witch is the song of the first sequel of three sequels divided into an album which will be released someday in 2021.”

Let’s stay here for a moment. Indonesia, as it’s known, is mostly an Islamic country. But I can see a strong under-current of old religion being hailed, mostly in black metal, with subgenres as Javanese traditional black metal and stuff like that, there’s Devoured and their conceptual album about Sabda Palon…and now The Melting Minds bringing Javanese mythology to the mix too. From your point of view, how strong is this religious element in Java (as I am aware of the fact there are many different tribes/ethnicities in Indonesia with their own traditions)? Is there something like an “old religion revival” or just people being curious about their past?

Many black metal / death metal bands here raise the ancient traditions of their respective regions, my honorable mention is the death metal band “Jasad” from Bandung which has a song titled Siliwangi which tells the story of Siliwangi and its characters as in the lyrics, “Siliwangi speak goodness, inherited to me, from my ancestors”. But maybe only a handful of psychedelic rock bands tell cultural stories, one of which is The Melting Minds itself, as I researched.

My personal opinion when talking about how strong the religious element is in Java, I think it is very strong, we are talking about the majority religion here, Islam. I believe that all religions may be created for good things, but many people here are “religious drunk”, too fanatical about what they believe, and I’m sick of it (but of course there are many kind religious people here). Because before Islam spreaded in Indonesia, we already had our own beliefs that had existed since a long time ago. Talking about Indonesia itself is very broad, there are many ethnic groups with all their beliefs, but who knows if we are not the ones who told it? Digging its pure essences? Hello? Have people here forgotten their roots? Of course I really love where I was born, but I really don’t like it when people are too busy getting drunk on religion. Seriously, even if I told a story about Kejawen, maybe a lot of people who are “drunk” here consider it “mushrik” and not in accordance with their religion, they are too busy taking care of other people’s business and forget where they come from. But I always respect every belief of each human being, because they have the right to stand on their own choice, as long as they don’t hurt and disturb others.

Talking about “old religion revival” is as I talked about above, we have our own culture, our own beliefs, that the good values ​​from our roots can be taken and learned. Therefore, I brought up the Kejawen story, which I probably don’t know about all of its essence, but at least it can be a trigger for people who “forget” to remember who we are and learn from it and for people outside Indonesia so that they also know that we have a very strong and various culture. As simple as that.

With “The Snake” we’ve mentioned a story, and I am probably not wrong to guess there’s also a story going on with “Possessing the Witch”. Are these part of the one big story to be told, or are these two different stories?

Yes, you nailed it. Soon, when all the songs in the album are complete, we divided it into three sequels. The singles we released are pieces of the puzzle of one big story. All the songs will be connected in the storyline along with the musical arrangements. Speaking of the big story, I took an alternative from the story of my ancestors.

In 2020, the prototypes were finished, but the lyrics were not. But I found a story concept when we took a recording break at Bonrecs or we often called it Boni. The lyrical concept is that our family (Bagus and I) has a history that is quite unique. Our family came from a small village in the area of Branjang, Ngawis, Karangmojo, Gunungkidul, Special Region of Yogyakarta. It was our ancestors who built the village from scratch. Even if I think about it again, it turns out from a geographic perspective that our ancestor’s house is indeed true because if we go there from the main highway, the village can be reached by passing small country roads, and the end of that road is our ancestral home. And I started research from my grandma, my uncle, and my family that the story is legit and has been told from generation to generation. In the past the village was a dense forest, which was believed to have a very strong guard, or we can say the devil. Our ancestor then asked the devil who guard the place that he would build a village for the marginalized people. However, the devil did not agree with his request, so a war broke out between our ancestor and the devil. Our ancestor’s background is a wise man who has very strong Javanese belief yet also a devout Muslim.

Long story short, our ancestors won against the devil. And built a village called Branjang. He gave land near his house to those who were marginalized for free. And built a mosque near his house, legends said that the devil who was defeated by him is now assigned by our ancestor to guard that mosque. And our ancestors began to teach Javanese beliefs and religion in the village, with a sacred book containing lessons of life and good and bad mantras where the book was a gift from his Guru. But there was a tragedy where the students he taught fell into the dark side, learning bad mantras to hurt humans. Our ancestors punished the student, then sewed a page containing the bad mantras / cruelest incantations at that time, equipped with a strong mantra to further lock the page.

This is where I get more interested and research deeper into this story, the more info I get, the more relevant it is to what is inside of me. After I researched my grandma and other family members, it was a book given by one of the saints from “Walisongo”. Has the universe led me to this far? Or maybe this is a journey to a new life assignment and responsibility? When the world is deteriorating? The essence of the energy of our ancestor’s history and Javanese culture mixed with some other mythology are the main concept of The Melting Minds’ which will be altered into a fiction based on nowadays situations in this world, especially in Indonesia. Oh yes, we’re gonna make an independent short movie about this album too. There’s a lot going on here.

This current pandemic situation is negatively impacting playing live, and as band has been born during the pandemic, I guess there were not many possibilities of playing live. What about the plans for when this situation is over? Any plans for gigs? And out of the curiosity, are there any festivals worth of mentioning for psychedelic genre and the like in Indonesia?

True, we were hit hard by pandemic. However, several offers to perform live both online or conventionally already there, but we hold it. We keep our rehearsals a secret on social media well, because we hope that our first live performance is a surprise, not just performing then getting drunk then going home with groupies, so many are curious about our live performance but we also think about our health safety because the pandemic is not over yet and of course we are bringing something that has deep value, so we can’t just do it carelessly. From a musical perspective and a band format itself, The Melting Minds is a new product which in my opinion is very different from other bands in Yogyakarta. Who wants to bother setting up two drums, three guitars, and four-vocals on a little-CBGB’s-stage except us? Sometimes we’re bothering ourselves but because it’s so much fun we don’t mind about it.

Psychedelic festivals? If a techno psytrance festival there’s a lot, especially in Bali or Jakarta. But for specific genres such as psychedelic, I don’t think so. There are but very rare for example there is an Ornaments Festival in 2019 which I don’t know will be held again or not. But there are many festivals if we talk about indie bands in general like We The Fest, Synchronize Fest, or Soundrenaline, and etc.

Again, from information available you have your debut album almost ready. When can we expect it’s release? Oh, and not to forget – you’ve created your own label, Boneless Records. Aren’t there labels in Indonesia for this type of music, or do you want to keep an eye on every part of the process? Is Boneless Records dedicated to TMM’s releases exclusively, or do you plan to release also other bands?

All hints about our upcoming album will be given on our Instagram account @themeltingminds, because we are still preparing all the stuff and finding the right moment to release it, but we will make sure it will be out there everywhere in 2021. Oh one thing, maybe we seem a bit cocky on our instagram because we don’t provide following back, it because we want to filter out the people who really listen to us, because we’re still very new, so we need to research on who really likes our musical works.

There are several labels that also have psychedelic bands, for example; Bhang Records which are quite big in Indonesia owned by Rekti Yoewono, the vocalist of the top psychedelic rock band The S.I.G.I.T. Their artists are Devil Electric from Australia, Mooner, Sigmun, etc. There is also a label from our friend in Yogya called Otakotor records but it is more of a sludge/stoner/doom music but there is a psychedelic band too, some of their artists are Temaram, The Ring, Marsmolys, and etc which are packed with raw energy.

Boneless Records is a label that has plans to release other bands, especially our close friends who have the same energy, and will later be curated by me and Dhandy because I consider him a partner and Bonrecs is also collaborating with his Catpaws Lab. Dhandy was a very good audio engineer and I am a long time indie filmmaker, and we’re both musicians too. I think we would be a perfect match to develop this label but still need other crew to manage other stuff. But before that happens, we will still focus on The Melting Minds because it still needs special attention, which is quite crucial for the first release. Like I said earlier, the rest? let the universe respond.

I am aware of the size of Indonesian music scene (it’s simply HUUUUGE!) and it’s hard to mention all the bands…but for readers who want to explore more of the psychedelic/alternative/independent music from your country, which artists and bands would you recommend? What about other genres, any local favourites?

Thank you for appreciating Indonesian music scene. Yeah I would suggest some bands that I like in my country and make a list about them. Here’s the list (spotify links attached):

Less known bands (Mostly Yogya):

Aamaga, Yogyakarta – Solo/Songwriter/Psychedelic

BUKTU, Yogyakarta – Experimental/Post-Rock/Ambience

Milestone, Yogyakarta – Alternative Rock

Temaram, Yogyakarta – Doom/Sludge/Stoner

Bias, Yogyakarta – Grunge

KAZZMIR, Yogyakarta – Alternative Rock

Niskala, Yogyakarta – Instrumental

Soloensis, Solo – Hard Rock

Wasis Tanata, Wonosari – Instrumental (Javanese concept)

Roket – Ramones-ish Punk Rock

Berkah Liar, Wonosari – Disco

Circle Fox, Yogyakarta – Alternative Rock

Deathgang, Yogyakarta – Stoner

KLIF, Yogyakarta – Rock

Marsmolys, Yogyakarta – Psychedelic Rock

Sludge Factory, Yogyakarta – Grunge

Jono Terbakar, Yogyakarta – Soloist and this year he will release his 25th album, sick.

Lamebrain, Bandung – Rock

Syarif Hidayatullah, Yogyakarta – Sumbawa Folk/Delta Blues

JB Blues, Yogyakarta – Blues

Summerchild, Yogyakarta – Alternative/Mood/Psychedelic

Well known bands:

The S.I.G.I.T, Bandung – Psychedelic Rock

Seringai, Jakarta – High Octane Rock

Death Vomit, Yogyakarta – Death Metal

Senyawa, Yogyakarta – Experimental

D.P.M.B, Yogyakarta – Hip Hop

Jangar, Bali – Hard Rock

The Panturas, Jatinangor – Surf Rock

Rebellion Rose, Yogyakarta – Punk Rock

Coming to the end of this nice interview, any final message for the readers from the band?

Okay, I told you a lot of things above so I will make this as simple as possible. I just want to say to the people out there, listen to lots of music from all over the world because maybe you will expect what you will get, because everyone is a book. And listening is healing. To all of you who have supported The Melting Minds in any way, I represent all the members to say thank you very much. You guys are awesome! XOXO – SB

I thank you very much for your time and answers!!!

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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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