Sunday, January 4, 2015

Interview with Willy Kizl of KERANGKENK by Dave Wolff

Interview with Willy Kizl of KERANGKENK

Describe in detail how Kerangkenk formed in 1994 and what the band intended to accomplish. Were the founding members of the band friends who hung out at shows together? Who started the band and recruited the others?
We started Kerangkenk in 1994 with Willy (lefty guitar), Ijal (lefty guitar, vocals), Firman (bass), Andy (drums). We were friends in college. In that time we created four songs in the Grindcore genre and started playing shows around Jakarta, Indonesia. All the shows we’ve performed were awesome. There were two members who played left-handed guitar in Kerangkenk. The crowd could look at us and headbang together with us. In March of 1995 Ijal retired from Kerangkenk and created a new band named Groax. We started looking for a vocalist to fill the empty slot; me and Firman moved on and searched for a vocalist. After two months we found Dudy ( Now his band is Effigy. Kerangkenk started performing a lot of shows starting in May 1995. In 1997 we created an EP with four songs. In February 1997 Kerangkenk became the best Metal performing band in Jakarta, Indonesia. In March 1997 Dudy retired from Kerangkenk because he used drugs, but he didn't want Kerangkenk to stop performing. Because of this we started looking for a new vocalist  and got Doni Iblis ( Now his band is Funeral Inception. With him we played a lot of shows around the Indonesia Metal scene. After six months Andy retired from Kerangkenk and we started looking for a new drummer and found Denny ( for sessions to help Kerangkenk. His band is Grausig. We covered Suffocation songs with Denny: Habitual Infamy, Infecting The Crypt, and Jesus Wept. Kerangkenk played shows again with this lineup for only three months: August to November 1997. After Denny retired, we found Pandi ( so in August 1997 we were Willy (guitar), Firman (bass) Doni Iblis (vocals) and Pandi (drums). With Pandi’s drum skills we covered the Suffocation songs Pierced From Within and Bleeding The Spawn. In 2001 Firman, Doni and Pandi retired. That was the worst moment for the band, and Kerangkenk slept for eight years. As a musician I kept my place in the metal scene, then me and Doni helped a band called Delerium Trement for shows. I created nine songs for an album in 2008. It was finished after a year. Here is one song I've created: After I created and tracked all the guitars, bass, vocals and drums for those nine songs alone in the studio I recorded and got the Wave master songs for Kerangkenk. I started moving on to find players for Kerangkenk. So I joined with the band Funeral Inception band with Doni. I found Apoy on drums and July on bass, so the Kerangkenk members in November 2012 were Willy (lead guitar and vocals) Apoy (drums) and July (bass). We refresh metalheads’ brains to remember this twenty year old band. We’ve played shows every week from January 2013 to July 2013. And the crowds did remember this band.

Where were you studying in college before you formed Kerangkenk?
I was at Universitas Borobudur in Jakarta from 1992 to 1994 before performing in Kerangkenk. I didn’t finish the graduation because of this band; it was my choice of life.
What was your local scene in Indonesia like, in terms of venues to perform at and fanzines to help support the bands?

There is unity in Indonesia and we still connect with people to inform them of our show schedule, and fanzines to review our material such as our EP from 1997, our single from October 2014 and our full length album to come out in November 2014. They ask us when it will be released so fanzines and distro event organizers help us promote our album in their way. We begin everything will have a good connection and relationship with each other.
How many fanzines are active in Indonesia at the present time? What Indonesian fanzines would you recommend?

Illuminatus Zine, Busuk Webzine, Indogrind Webzine, Pasukan Jihad Webzine, Lostinchaos Mediazine and Berontak Zine are the active fanzines connected with bands here in Indonesia.

Having existed for twenty years, Kerangkenk must have seen many things come and go in extreme metal. How do you account for the band’s longevity and for fans remembering you after all this time?
It’s my personal commitment. I will do what I'm thinking of, rise and fight for it. A lot of things have happened during Kerangkenk’s journey. Some bad things is people who created metal events cancelled our show without telling us, when we promoted that event and the date scheduled, so we do not accepted other events on that date. From 1994 to 2014 that has happened three times. The good news is from 1994 to 2014 metal heads liked Kerangkenk’s music; when our four song EP was out a lot of letters came to Kerangkenk’s management to buy it and the band’s merchandise. The metal scene in 1994 was really old school. Everything we did really needed time to progress. Letters were the connection used to contact other metal heads around the country. That was enough for us until we met them at our shows, so they knew more about us. Sometimes we shook their hands as thanks for their support. In 2014 everything is so simple to connect with other metal heads and event organizers. It really takes less time because of social media: Facebook, Myspace, Reverbnation and Twitter.

How many metal heads attended your shows around 1994? Since social media helped metal heads connect on the internet are there more fans coming to your shows now?
A lot of metal bands have come to join on our show from 1994 to 2014. Each event is filed with twenty to thirty bands. We have had less than 500 to 3000 metal heads come to see our shows. We are grateful as musicians that metal heads support all the bands at the shows including Kerangkenk by buying tickets. Since social media connected bands on the internet there are more fans that join in on the brutality. Musicians should never disappoint metal heads. We always give our best show to make metal heads remember how badass this band is. Metal heads deserve the best shows and merchandise from bands. That’s the reason metalheads will buy band merchandise and CDs. It’s a good connection with respect and honor.

Do you remember the most successful metal fests where Kerangkenk has appeared up until now?
The most successful show was in 1997 at the Poster Cafe with almost 2000 metalheads who came come to see us. We had the best performance there. That show was the first time we covered Suffocation songs. Other fests are the Wonosobo Metalfest (link on Facebook), Cikarang Deathfest (video on Facebook), Tangerang Metalfest (photo on Facebook). The audience gives us more spirit when they know Kerangkenk is at the event.

Besides the bands formed by your former members, what other bands in Indonesia are well known at present?
Grausig in Jakarta, Jasad in Bandung West Java, Sekarat in east Java, Mati Suri in Aceh North Sumatera, Slowdeath in Bali island, Carnivored in Tangerang, West Java, Siksa Kubur in Jakarta, Beside in Bandung, West Java and Death Vomit in Jojakarta, West Java.

How many social media sites does the band use, and how much have they gotten your name around?
The social media we use to promote stuff to metal heads really helps bands’ careers. No doubt. We promote our stuff too. Every time we made new merchandise it was sold out in two months, Metal heads here support bands as long as the bands respect them.

Have you remained in touch with the former members of Kerangkenk since they left the band? Are you often in touch with the bands they are currently involved with?
We still keep connections with them. Everywhere we go, we always meet them at metal events. We talk about what will happen for this scene in next five to seven years, we teach and inform newcomers about this scene just to make sure there is no anarchy and the scene remains peaceful no matter how many metal heads go and stay. This is our home, this is our house. So keep it the way it is.

What Grindcore bands were you and Kerangkenk listening to when the band formed in 1994? Would you consider any of these bands to be influences on Kerangkenk’s early material?
In 1994 we listened to Obituary and Napalm Death. But we didn’t cover them; we created songs following Obituary and Napalm Death’s material with different tones, instruments, lyrics and chords of course.

What about Obituary and Napalm Death appealed to Kerangkenk when the band started out?
In 1994 Obituary and Napalm Death were the most covered bands in Indonesia, especially their albums Slowly We Rot and Scum. We started Kerangkenk to try to create harmonic tones like theirs but Kerangkenk never covered their songs. Obituary is Obituary, Napalm Death is Napalm Death and Kerangkenk is Kerangkenk.

What made the band want to cover songs by Suffocation in the late 90s? What were the reasons you chose to cover those songs of theirs that you mentioned earlier?
In the 90s Suffocation were the godfathers of death metal and still are now. I do like their music and songs. Pure death metal. The best albums that I do really like and respect are Effigy Of The Forgotten, Pierce From Within and Breeding The Spawn. The reason we cover Suffocation is because metal heads know how bad ass their songs are. When we covered their songs in 1997 what we got at every event was an amazing brutal crowd. In venue we have played they all screamed that we are a brutal band and that still happens now. Kerangkenk gives the best show to satisfy the crowd. That's what we do of course, without metal heads’ support we could never do that. We are grateful for being part of this scene.

What do you most like about Suffocation’s albums Effigy Of The Forgotten, Pierced From Within and Breeding The Spawn?
Their technical chords, harmonic tones, drums and great songs influenced us to create. We like “Habitual Infamy,” “Jesus Wept” and “Infecting The Crypt” on Effigy Of The Forgotten and “Pierced From Within” and “Breeding The Spawn” on Pierced From Within. We feel there is a moment in each of those songs that metal heads connected and head banged to in their performances. They are a great band within the death metal genre, to all metalheads around the world. If we could perform with Suffocation that would be awesome. We can’t wait for that moment and hope Kerangkenk will get the chance.
What bands were you listening to before you discovered grindcore and death metal?

I listened to Metallica, Sepultura, Death and Megadeth before I discovered Grindcore and death metal. In 1992 and 1993 I played some of their songs with my friends in college.
What guitar and amplifier equipment do you most often use to record and perform with?

Marshall amplifiers are what we use at shows. Those have all I need; sometimes I try Orange, Peavey, and Samick amplifiers, but Marshall is mostly used by event organizers to support their death metal shows. Marshall is the best choice.
Are there still copies of your debut EP available to the public? Explain what some of your song lyrics are about?

Truly we don’t have any more since we created it in 1997. The EP is sold out because we can’t disappoint the fans so we gave them our EP to make metal heads loyal. On the EP the four songs, instruments and lyrics, were created by me and Firman. Carcass, created in January 2001 is about one empire in which the king really likes to fight, always win and feel the glory. All enemies will be terminated by the king's sword; the king tastes the enemy blood for his passion. It’s the Art of War. The King fights until all his troops die and he enjoys the loneliness of his glory. Onslaught Of Psychopath, created in March 2001 is about a person with a scary character. He loves to kill, enjoys the moment and is unstoppable. He loves to sin, lives to see people scared, he is smart. Nobody wants to meet him. He is a monster!

How often has the band gotten favorable reviews on the internet?
I have connected with zines around the world since I started using social media in 2008 to promote my songs, done a lot of interviews on blogs and zines here and in other countries. I created a link on Reverbnation and in two years I got more than 21,000 listeners. On Myspace I got 11,000 listeners from around the world. I know I can create songs to make metal heads satisfied with Kerangkenk.

At what recording studio did yiu record their upcoming full length?
We recorded our full length at a new recording studio. The engineers are not metal heads; they only record mainstream music. They learned fast about metal because i give them some CDs. After that I started to record.

Is the band searching for any independent labels to help distribute your full length when it is released? How aggressively do you plan to promote it when it’s out?
Our album will coming up and while it’s on my hands I will connect with my friends to inform them our album's ready. We do need support a lot, not just here in Indonesia. Other countries are important too. We want metal heads to know our history. I'm militant for Kerangkenk and won't stop. I will make sure metal heads out there get the best sounds from this band.
In what countries would you want Kerangkenk to appear once more fans worldwide discover you?

We would like to promote Kerangkenk in all countries and connect with people directly to support our band. As we know music is a global connection everywhere; we all talk with the language of music. All bands want to give the best stuff to get more fans worldwide. I have a lot of friends on Myspace, Twitter, Reverbnation and Soundcloud; we all support each other. That has meant a lot for the band’s career.

KERANGKENK - "Onslaught Of Psychopath" (Full Lenght)
KERANGKENK have spent the last twenty years converting fans to their cause with an EP albums on 1997 and joining in hundred Compilations since 1994-2014 around the world. This Jakarta-based band also features the staggeringly talented lineup of: Willy on guitar and growl vocal, and Apoy on drums. Their first album, "Onslaught Of Psychopath," is a fitting debut for the label, and a definitive statement of intent from the band. The artwork for “Onslaught Of Psychopath” was hand painted by nationally recognized artist Gustav Insuffer.
“Onslaught Of Psychopath” is set for an November release, today the artwork, track listing and first single which is the title track, have been unveiled. The album will be available in CD formats. Be sure to pre-order the album.
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-Dave Wolff