What music are you into at the moment?
Lately I’ve been struck-dumb whenever I’m asked this question but then I realise that it’s because I don’t actually listen to music anymore. It’s partially because I don’t have time to sit down and listen but I’m also finding that listening to music has become confusing. Do we listen for entertainment? Or do we measure ourselves against certain qualities in it? Try to draw inspiration from it? Or is it just background music while we wash the dishes or something? Most times I end up studying any music I listen to, and that’s usually on YouTube and, whilst listening, I try to learn how other musicians do their job. Having said that, there are a rare few that directly resonate with me, get right to the core. Late as it may be, I’ve just gotten into Social Distortion again and through almost every album, I find myself realising that Mike Ness is soul-deep.
The last album I actually purchased was Burgerkill’s Venomous, cos’ once in a while, you get a metal album that has it all—brains, guts, and difference. Lana Del Rey is alright, she’s fake soul, but well-thought. Kinda reminds me of Marilyn Manson, drawing Americana references in a made-up personality. Not too crazy about her cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel” though.
What was the first record you bought—any interesting story behind it?
This would have to be a pirate-version of The Best of KISS, way back in the eighties. I must’ve been in the third grade or something and had just gotten into western music after having graduated from the pre-requisite Beatles school education that your parents feed you. I got curious about KISS when my mum told me they were just like the Beatles only crazier! That got me searching. Then I came across “I Was Made For Loving You” in some bootleg Top of the Pops video compilation. Wowed by their appearance, I bought the aforementioned album, and discovered their music to actually be smoother than The Beatles’ mono recordings. From then on, it was KISS all the way! …until I discovered Queen.
What are your all-time favourite albums? Why?
Oh, dude, this kills me. A lot of records have been a favourite of mine, and I really can’t pick only a few. I can find the qualities in most music I listen to, then change my mind as soon as I’m turned on to something else. So I really don’t know about all time. You gotta be bored with it once in a while, right? Besides, there is a lot more music out there that I haven’t discovered yet, and any of that may be another hit with me. I really don’t know.
What was the worst record you ever purchased?
Well, there have been a few. There have been some from musician’s I already knew, and some from unknown artists cos’ I’d just go ahead and buy thinking it’d be good. I bought Bjork’s Gling-Gló, a recording of her in a swing-band format doing, if I’m not mistaken, some Jazz standards or Latin stuff. I don’t know—it just didn’t do it for me. I love her other albums, though. And of course, there were a whole bunch of others, those albums you buy because they are on sale. I couldn’t ever resist buying those and most have turned out as dust collectors, even though I occasionally found a gem.
Who do you want to be, other than yourself, next time you reincarnate?
I don’t think I wanna think that far, I don’t know how life’s going to be after I die. Besides, I like my life now, good or bad. We need the bad times to know the good, right? If I could choose, maybe I’d like to be someone with more patience and less fear. Maybe I could go farther that way, but then again, I could end up in a cubical workspace sharpening pencils, who knows?
What book are you reading now and what’s the score (1-10)?
Jughead’s Double Digest from Archie Comics. Pure easy-reading brain-breeze. I kinda need it right now. It’s just a light-weight comic with a lot of 50’s leftover setting and fashion. It’s a 5, but who cares?
What new movie should people see? Why?
I haven’t seen a new movie in a long while. Maybe Lawless, but I don’t know if I’d recommend it to anyone. To me, a movie don’t have to be good, as long as it’s got some sort of offbeat sense to it there’s a chance that I’ll like it. Appaloosa is one of them, I guess. And I usually like what the Coen Brothers do. Their remake of True Grit is pretty cool.
What music do you choose to start your weekend?
Anything my wife puts on! Weekend is family time for me and I can’t make them listen to Son House, or Marduk, or The Clash. If my son gets cranky, Mozart for babies it is.
And music you choose to end your weekend?
Maybe some classical, or Ryuichi Sakamoto. The end of a weekend is actually a start for me. Then I’ll browse YouTube for some gear knowledge or uploaded concerts.
This very minute Adrian’s juggling promo for his latest album Karat & Arang as well as performing, writing new songs, rehearsing and planning gigs with a punk rock band he joined a few months ago called Citizen Useless. He’s still working out plans with Raksasa, a hard rock band that he’s also involved in. Other than that he’s cruising with his wife and their baby boy.
• This interview was firstly published on The Beat (Jakarta) #89, September 2013
• Co-editor: Lauren Shipman
• All photos of Adrian by Rusli Effendi aka Fendee Pendol, Palembang
• Watch the video of “Lidah Api Menari”, the first single of his latest album, Karat & Arang: