Black/Death from Indonesia
Here's an excellent Christian band from Indonesia. They label themselves extreme metal. They've released 2 very good albums; one called "Contra Spiritualia Nequitiae" (1996) and one called "Beyond The Glimpse of Dreams" (1998). This band is one of our favourites. So, we absolutely wanted to interview them. Now, read and enjoy.
TBS- Tell us how Kekal got started. Jeff- We started out as a one-time project band in August 1995, then in 1996, we turned out to be a more serious band, not just a project.
What bands have influenced your sound ? We are influenced by mainly '80's metal, which we grew up in. Bands like Iron Maiden, Trouble and Bathory are the main influences I guess. Other bands include Helloween, Celtic Frost (Switzerland !), Sodom, early Death, early Stryper, early Metallica, etc... and some other newer ones like Paradise Lost, Paramaecium, Mortification... Most of them are our personal favourites. We are also listening to non-metal stuff like Enya, Maire Brennan (check out her new CD "Perfect Time", it's perfect and it's a christian album), some ambient darkwave, some progressive rock, some grindcore and classical music, which we think have some impact in our music style.
Were you all christians before you started the band ? When we started the band, all the members became christians, the latest was Harry, who came to Christ in '95.
Let's talk about your 2 albums. Have you got good answers for it ? The answers have been very good even from the local Black Metal scene. About 85% - 90% of the albums sales went out in the secular market. Most of them who bought the albums are Black metal fans around South-East Asia. Both 2 tapes have got very good reviews from zines around the world.
Do you project to release another album in the next future ? Maybe in the next couple of years. Our financial situation is a little bit low. Right now, we are looking for a label (secular one) to licence our lates album "Beyond The Glimpse of Dreams" on CD format. So, the messages can be spread more and reached by wider audiences. We need all your prayers on this.
What do you do when you don't play with the band ? Leo and Harry have day jobs (so why they have short hairs!). Azhar is still busy with his study and so am I, and I'm also working part-time in the recording studio as well as running a little underground label.
What are your favourite bands ? My personal favourite bands are very many. It would take a full page to list them out. Recently, I've listened to Helloween album "Better than Raw", Marillon "This Strange Engine", the new Maire Brennan album and some darkwave and ambient noise stuff.
What means Kekal ? Kekal means "Eternal" or "Immortal". It's an Indonesian language.
Why did you change from Black/Death to melodic Black/Death ? And why did you put female vocals ? I guess our line-up brought another progression in our style. For example, Leo is very much listening to '80's melodic power metal. What I'm trying to say is that we don't want to limit our music into some specific style, we just write new music naturally and see what will happen if our earlier styles were mixed with the new ones. If that works, so we stay with that style. If not, some changes might appear. On "Beyond..." album, we tried to add some new atmospheres by using more keyboards, clean guitars and female vocals. That worked out very well. We don't call our music as Black metal, just Extreme metal.
Any final comments ? Keep supporting the christian metal scene and pray for the bands, labels, distros, 'zines and the supporters who are involved in this scene. Pray for their boldness and guenuineness. We've to stay together and encourage each other to keep spreading th Word within the Metal realm. Thanks for the interview.