Indonesian Grindcore Band AK//47 have released a new record entitled Loncati Pagar Berduri / Jump the Barbed Wire.
Read through this background of how hard this band goes with touring and making something of their band and lives:
“On December 6, 2018, Indonesian grindcore band, Ak//47, releases their third full-length album, Loncati Pagar Berduri / Jump the Barbed Wire. The 13 song album recorded at Girez Studio in Semarang is a joint release by Lawless Jakarta (CD) and Disaster Records (cassette) in Indonesia, and available to international audiences on most digital platforms. “The new album is a response to situations in Indonesia and throughout the world; LGBTQ communities arrested, places of worship attacked, political hoaxes used as commodities on social media, and issues of racism rampant in everyday life and politics. It’s an adaptation and outlet of expressing frustration and total anger within our grindcore music,” says Garna Raditya, vocalist and guitarist of AK//47. Alongside Novelino Adam (bass, vocal) and Yogi Ario (drum), the album explores subjects of dystopia and decadence in modern society by pulling listeners into a political blast-beat of punk and progressive underground sounds.
In facing the rising fears and intimidation of minority communities across the globe, the album addresses a range of topics as immigration, chauvinism, fascism, and homophobia. Songs like “Bebas Berkelamin” (“Free to Choose Gender”), “Menggugat Manusia!” (“Suing Humans!”), “Lempar Petasan ke Podium” (“Throw Firecrackers at the Podium”), “Ayat Untuk Menyayat” (“Cutthroat Verses”), “Kepada Bunga Yang Masih Tumbuh di Beton” (“To Flowers That Still Grow in Concrete”), and “Botol, Bensin, dan Mawar Untukmu” (“Bottles, Gasoline and Roses For You”). The album is a cathartic escape from today’s geopolitical turmoil.
Rolling Stone Magazine Indonesia selected their second album, “Verba Volant, Scripta Manent”, as one of the top 20 albums of 2016, after which Garna immigrated to the United States to continue his music career in Oakland, CA. The idea to reconstitute AK//47 in the US began in September 2017 when Garna started playing with Damian Talmadge on bass (VIOLENT OPPOSITION, formerly of LACK OF INTEREST) and Mark Miller on drum (formerly of ANISOPTERA). For practical reasons with additional personnel they could continue touring in the United States without being restricted by immigration under the current administration and expensive flight costs.
AK//47 completed their first DIY tour in the US from April 20 to June 1, 2018, alongside grind / powerviolence band, VIOLENT OPPOSITION (Oakland, CA). They played 23 shows on the West Coast, covering California, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho and Montana. They recently finished their second tour from October 16 – November 17, 2018, this time traveling cross country to the East Coast, playing a total of 21 shows throughout Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Washington, and finishing in San Francisco, California. The first eight cities of this second tour took place with the legendary Polish grindcore group ANTIGAMA, and ROTTENNESS (Mexico), as well as several shows with COGNIZANT (Dallas, Texas). Playing 45 shows in 41 cities in one year, makes AK//47 now the longest touring Indonesian grindcore band in the US.
After releasing a music video for the single, entitled “Throwing Firecrackers at the Podium” in September, AK//47 is now working on a documentary video of their US tour and, as Garna explains, “a celebration of AK//47s 20th anniversary as of 2019. The documentary is an effort to archive our journey to date.” The documentary is scheduled for release in December 2019 by AmongOthers Production.”