Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Remedy Waloni. I play in a band called The Trees and the Wild.  We’re from Bekasi, Indonesia, a city on the outskirts of Jakarta. We just played in Hamburg, Germany at the Reeperbahn Festival and now we’re heading to Estonia and Finland with  Club Niubi and the Love & Anarchy Film Festival. I’m really looking forward to it.

This is your first time in Europe, what kind of expectations do you have for the tour?

We haven’t toured in Europe before so we don’t know really what to expect. The experience with the weather and managing the logistics from one place to another is new for us. We hope to learn a lot.

Before coming to Finland you were in Hamburg, what kind of experience was that?

Hamburg was our first show in Europe. Helsinki will be the second. We usually tour with our roadies and sound engineers, but we didn’t manage to secure a visa for our sound engineer. We’re touring with a Malaysian band called Tenderfist and their sound engineer has been glad to help. Setting up without our own crew, with just the five of us, has been nerve-wracking.

The weather was really cold, and coming from the tropics that’s challenging for us. We were prepared, though. The nightlife in the area Reeperbahn Festival is quite interesting, but our schedule was really tight so we didn’t see that much. We just hung out in the local bar, saw drunken people in the street, which was quite amusing.

What can you tell us about your band, what kind of music do you play?

I guess we play indie rock, but we also use melodies from traditional Indonesian music. We sing in the Indonesian language Bahasa. That’s basically it.

How did you start the band?

I started the band with my friend Andra Kurniawan, who plays guitar and bass. We’ve been friends and played music together since high school. First we were in a jazz band together and around 2006, in college, we started writing music together. Then we just played more and more shows and finally released a record in 2009. And now here we are, in Finland.

How is it going for your band at the moment?

It’s going really well. We’re in Europe right now and we are writing for a new album which hopefully we can release it next year. So we’re really excited to play the new songs here and maybe we’ll get to record them after this tour.

There’s a big indie music scene in Indonesia, why do you think that is?

Maybe it started out in the early nineties when the scene in Bandung.. it’s a city two hours from Jakarta. There was a band called Pure Saturday that started with a do it yourself attitude and then it just took off from there.

Then the next wave of indie music started in 2006 when in Jakarta we have Aksara Records, they decided to release the music and they really took it to another lever so now we have a lot of new labels that release music from new bands. Not just Bandung and Jakarta but also Yogyakarta there’s also amazing bands and in Bali and Surabaya as well. So it’s pretty good, it’s a good feeling to release music right now in Indonesia.

There’s a lot of amazing bands now in Indonesia, Jakarta, Bandung, Bali, Surabaya & Yogyakarta.

Indonesia is a big country, is there a difference with the music scenes in different parts of the country?

Yeah in Jakarta there’s more eclectic music but in Bandung the music is maybe more shoegaze and post rock where in Surabaya it’s more metal and aggressive music and in Yogjakarta there’s really amazing abstract artsy music. You have to check out this band Zoo, it’s really interesting. Each city has their own unique music happening.

Each city in Indonesia has their own unique music scene.

Indonesia is also a mixture of different languages and religions. How’s that for the music scene?

Yeah language is not really a problem as we all speak the national language Bahasa, so a lot of bands sing in Bahasa and also in English as well. Maybe in daily life language can be a small challenge sometimes. For religion, our band has different religions as well,  Indonesia is a diverse country so it’s normal.

I also heard that Indonesia is one of the leading Twitter and Facebook nations in the world. Do you think that somehow supports the music scene?

Yeah I think that internet base in Indonesia is really healthy. Obviously we have a lot of people in the country and internet’s a good way to promote the music and reach people. Word spreads around quickly and we get a lot of support through the internet.

How does your band use the internet or social media?

Yeah actually it was one of the the thing that made a difference for our band because we were signed through myspace where our label Lil’ Fish Records found us. Because we’re from a small town in the suburbs of Jakarta and we don’t know any one in the scene so we just use the internet to promote the music and luckily Agus Sasomgko, he’s an electronic musician who runs Lil’ Fish he found us through Myspace and then he asked us to release our music and then it just started from there. We were really lucky.

Our band was signed through myspace.

I understand you used crowd sourcing for this tour, is there any other ways of funding?

For this tour we use a crowd funding through ToGather.Asia which was quite a good experience. Even if the campaign didn’t reach the goal we set for it,  it was still far beyond our expectations. It was really good support for the tour. So we’re really thankful for all the fans who supported us, it’s really nice for them. Also for those fans I hope this tour works out really well.

Besides crowd sourcing we also designed some merchandise by our selves, stamped all the letters to our CD covers by our selves and there’s bags and shirts designed by our drummers girlfriend.

Is there a lot of sponsorship for music in Indonesia?

Yeah in Indonesia it’s the tobacco company really sponsors the events, like not only music but sports events as well.  That’s still legal in Indonesia and it’s a good way they can put the word around so yeah it’s really  big. They give a lot of money for events. I think it’s in some way good for the music but some people don’t really like it as it promotes unhealthy living.. but I smoke so it’s no problem for me.

What are the cool clubs or venues in Jakarta?

There’s this really unique old bar in downtown Jakarta called Jaya Pub where every month they do a club called Superbad. it’s organized by The Secret Agents – Indra Ameng & Keke Tumbuan. It’s really the place to go and see the scene and see new great bands and great music, it’s really good. The sound system is really rusty, but you  don’t really care as the atmosphere there is really amazing. It’s a really good place.

What’s the most popular music in Indonesia at the moment?

I guess Malay pop music and maybe also dangdut a type of folk music, traditional music from Indonesia. Metal is quite big as well there’s a big scene for example in Surabaya, but malay pop is what’s playing in the radio and TV. I guess indie music is very small part of the whole music scene in Indonesia.

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