Published on April 5th, 2015 | by The Beige Baron0
Interview: Aan and Agha from Rollfast
— Story by Graylien
Psychedelic rock is an international phenomenon that transcends all cultural and linguistic boundaries. It’s face-melting guitar riffs, rumbling basslines, and relentless drums hammering out powerful rhythms are cosmic ambassadors urging listeners to free their minds.
From its humble beginnings in the 1960s, it has spread to all corners of the globe and evolved into a massive underground scene championing walls of feedback and altered states of consciousness.
We recently caught up with Balinese psych-rockers Rollfast to get the latest vibes from the scene in Bali. Bassist Aan Triandan and vocalist Agha Praditya were kind enough to give us a look into the underground world of Rollfast and the general state of music in Bali.
BNU: So I’m curious, how did Rollfast begin?
It’s alway exciting to see the crowd’s reaction
Aan: Me, Agha (vocals), and Bayu (guitar) were in a high school death metal band, while the rest, Gungwah (guitar), and Ayrton(drums) were playing rock music in high school talent festivals and such. We all ended up having the same interest in classic/hard/psych rock music which brought Rollfast together. After covering music by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and so on, we decided to just jam and write our own stuff.
Oh, nice! Yeah, The killer guitar work on Baby 69 reminds me a lot of Black Sabbath…
Aan: Yeah definitely! Black Sabbath has been one of our biggest influences, not to mention bands like Pink Floyd, Graveyard, Swans, and many other 70s Indonesian psych rock bands. We also listen to a lot of world music, jazz, and just rock in general.
Very cool, so how do you guys write your music?
Aan: We started composing beats and riffs from just random jam sessions and then we discuss the overall character of how we want the music to sound like. Finally Agha will fill in the vocals with lyrics he think suits the song best.
Where do you guys practice? Do most musicians in Bali practice at home or in a studio?
Agha: We practice at home. But most of our friends practice at a rental studio. We’re really lucky that Gungwah (guitar) has a studio.
Judging by your Facebook and Instagram, you guys seem to play live often, is there a big psych rock scene in Bali?
Aan: I think Bali has a massive underground scene for death metal and punk music. It’s kind of unfortunate, but I think the market is slowly expanding for us as our crowd at shows keeps getting larger. We’re definitely not the first band to play this kind of music here, but it’s alway exciting to see the crowd’s reaction listening to our music… it’s like they’re discovered something new to listen to and try to blend into it.
Do the punk and death metal crowds seem to enjoy your music or are the scenes very separate?
Agha: Yeah, everyone seems to enjoy everyone else’s music. At first, people didn’t seem to understand what we were doing, but after some time people are starting to enjoy our music.
Agha: My favorite would be Twice Bar, mainly for the ambience there… So much energy. A lot of legendary Balinese bands were born there. It’s like Bali’s CBGBs.
I also saw you guys were featured on the WANITA mixtape in Australia, how did that come about?
Aan: We actually opened for Empat Lima (organiser of the mixtape) during their tour in Indonesia, and got an email the next few days or something like that about being featured in the WANITA mixtape, which we are excited about. Honestly, we thought our music didn’t make the cut because we never heard back after the conversation via email.
Do you guys plan to do any international touring anytime soon?
Aan: We really hope to visit Australia sometime next year. The psych scene out there is getting massive and we can’t wait to play our music to a different market. Get out music out there so we can get our Australian tour planned out!
Aan: The album was recorded last year in Jakarta. We chose to do a live recording just to get that intimate feeling with our music. All the songs are in the mixing and mastering phase so hopefully it’ll be done sometime this year.
Are there any other Indonesian bands you guys like?
Aan: YES! Navicula, The Hydrant, White Shoes and the Couples Company, Seringai, Deep Sea Explorers, Komunal, and heaps more! Its such a pity that music from our side of the world is kinda left out, but hopefully someday in the future!