Sunday, December 27, 2020

Interview with Guns Sastrowardoyo of Diabolical by Dave Wolff

Interview with Guns Sastrowardoyo of Diabolical by Dave Wolff

Thanks for doing this interview, and do you want to start with some information on the extreme metal scenes in Indonesia?
The Indonesia scenes are extremely big. Besides black metal there is a death metal scene and a thrash metal scene in much demand in Indonesia. Almost every week we have big or small gigs in every city.

Do the shows held in Indonesia include metal fests? If so how many festivals are held there each year?
Before the pandemic various cities in Indonesia had big and small festivals; if counted there are thousands of gigs every year. We can choose to attend one of the events we are most interested in.

When was the band founded, and what is your lineup at present?
Diabolical was founded in 2005, and so many members have walked in and out since it was founded. I’m the only original member of the band now. Currently Diabolical’s members are: Weaponized - oration, Warplaque – guitar, Son of Anarchy – bass.

Besides Diabolical, who are some of the most active bands in the Indonesian death, black and thrash metal scenes?
There are many active bands in Indonesia that I would recommend. I would like to give you a few bands who have released new albums lately such as: Immortal Rites (Bhatara Api), Warkult (Deathhymne), Exhumation (Eleventh Formulae), Headkrusher (Opprobrium) and Northorn (The Art of Destruction). Of course there are many more bands who will release new albums and EPs in 2021.

Has Diabolical played any shows with Immortal Rites, Warkult, Exhumation, Headkrusher or Northorn? How well do the bands get along with one another?
Until now, Diabolical has done several shows with those bands except Exhumation and Headkrusher whom we haven't had the opportunity to share the stage with. The relationships with the bands went well. They are all good people. We always keep in touch to share information and contacts, and support each other.

How dedicated are the fans who come to these shows each week? Has the Covid pandemic had an impact on live performances as it has in other countries?
During a single show fans come in hundreds or even thousands in big events. Even in a small event a lot of people come and support. Of course the pandemic is influential as in most other countries. A lot of shows are postponed but in different cities you can still have small gigs in a studio or on caffe. We try to survive in the midst of this pandemic… fuck off!!!

How much advertising exists for local shows? Is it mostly done through flier trading and ads in print zines, or does social media play as much a part?
Until now, bands and event organizers use social media for agendas, propaganda, massive event promotions besides fliers and printed media.

The band has released three demos in full since you started in 2007. Were they released independently or through any labels?
We released our first demos by ourselves. At this moment we haven't thought of releasing them officially yet. For now we're focusing on preparing new ammunition and it will take a lot of time. We guess our demos will not be distributed for now.

Diabolical has five split releases with other bands. Discuss each of them and the bands and labels involved.
We have released: “Unholy Bestial Congregation” with Blasphmachine, black death metal from Malaysia, from Sadismetal Prod in cassette format; “Unholy Abomination” with Deathroned, death metal from Indonesia on CD format (Subnoise Prods) and cassette format (Hell In Others Records); “Southasia Battlefront!” with Brazilian terrorists Ravendark's Monarchal Canticle on cassette format, from Kult Of Belial Records; “Four-Beast Resistant” with Bloodbrother Militant Sereignos, Blastodest and Triumphator, on CD and cassette format. CD release by Dagger Klan and cassette release by Throne Musickness; “DCLXVI” with Wargoarcult Warbrother from Spain on CD format from Warmachine Prods (Belgium).

Diabolical has a new full length demo out on Total Death Records. Present a few things about this album, the formats it’s available in and the distribution through the label?
For now, the distribution of our album “Hooligans Regiment of Terror” is handled by Total Death. They trade to various labels and have a digital release on Bandcamp. We’re only distributing in the Indonesia territory. Besides CD format, “Hooligans Regiment of Terror” is out on cassette format from Deadly Throat Productions.

Who designs the cover artwork for your demos and EP, and the split releases you appear on? Do you hire the same artist or different artists each time?
Diabolical always works with different artists since the first demo and EP because there are a lot of good artists in Indonesia. The artwork for the EP is a masterpiece from Dechristianize Art. Most of Diabolical’s artwork, such as logo or album art, is done by Jenglot Hitam.

Where is Dechristianize Art based and what interested you in their work?
Dechristianize art is from Yogyakarta Indonesia, the same homebase as Jenglot Hitam. I have known Dechristianize for a long time, and he knows what I want for Diabolical’s artwork. In my opinion he has a devil-hand when he makes artwork.

Who else in Indonesia has Dechristianize Art done commissions for? Can we go somewhere online to view some of their work?
Rajam was one and lately a lot of death metal bands are using Dechristianize's artwork. You can see it at their fan page on Facebook.

How long has Jenglot Hitam been an artist for underground metal bands and who else has he designed album cover and/or logos for?
I don't know for sure when Jenglot Hitam started to create artwork. Maybe it was about eight to ten years ago. There are many bands from other countries beside Indonesia who used Jenglot Hitam’s artwork such as Warkult, Sereignos and Blastodest.

Where online can Jenglot Hitam’s work be viewed by bands seeking cover artists? Do you plan to hire him for future releases?
On Facebook: "Jenglot Hitam Artwork." On Instagram: "jh_blackk." Diabolical will be using Jenglot Hitam’s artwork for next release.

With all the contacts you’ve made, has Diabolical had the opportunity to play outside Indonesia yet? If not, what countries do you have in mind?
As I recall, on several occasions there were opportunities to play outside Indonesia, but for several reasons they could not be realized. All countries would be very interesting for Diabolical to visit.

Can you remember some of the opportunities you had to perform in other countries that you had to pass on for one reason or another?
There were about two to three chances to play in other countries that we passed on about a few years ago.

Which countries in particular would you like to travel to and perform in first?
Maybe Germany, because our label Total Death Records is located there. Other reasons are that Germany has many good bands and one of the biggest metal scenes in Europe, or we could say in the world.

Is there anything else you want to say about any new full length you’re planning to release? When would you want to travel to the US to perform?
There are no plans for a full-length in the near future, but our next release “BASTARD KOMMAND” is a cassette split with Rajam released by Aggrezzor Production in 2021. Limited edition of only 66 hand numbered copies.
We’d like to come to the US as soon as possible. If there is an organizer or anyone else who wants to work together with us and take us on a tour there, of course we will go.

-Dave Wolff

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