INTERVIEW | Wulan
Vocalist of Ravage
Continuing in the tradition of using our platform to bring awareness to lesser-known bands in our amazing Asian hardcore community, we’re here today with a brand new interview with another inspiring individual. These people don’t ask for much. Even if their band is never heard beyond their little scene, they’re totally okay with it. These are the people who we want to reach and use our little platform to bring their band/project/company/label much-needed awareness. Wulan is the vocalist of a CRAZY GOOD powerviolence-inspired hardcore punk band out of Indonesia called Ravage and upon release of their latest 3 tracks, we had to dig into the woman behind the mic to find out how she got from point A to this explosive point B with a killer band like Ravage.
Go support her and the band at the link above.
Yo Wulan! Nice to meet you! Your band’s latest three songs are AMAZING! Congrats on such killer songs!
Thank you so much, Riz! It’s our latest release for the next full album.
Yeah after hearing these songs I’m crazy pumped to hear the rest! But let’s go back to the beginning. How did you get into hardcore?
I entered the hardcore scene somewhere between middle school and high school. But even as young as junior high school I’ve always liked underground music like hardcore.
16-year-old Wulan in her first band Six Sacrifices
So how old were you when you got into the hardcore scene and what year was it?
Maybe sixteen years old in 2013.
And what city are you from? Because it seems like your city already had a pretty popping hardcore scene before you got involved.
I currently live in BatuTown. Yes, that’s right, before I entered the Batu City Hardcore scene, it was already packed with Batu City’s own hardcore bands as well as fans and fans of hardcore music.
Sick! But take us back to exactly how you found your way to hardcore. Who showed you this music/culture and what was the first band you heard that you were like “this is sick”!
When I was in junior high school, there were many hardcore bands. Because of that I immediately started to explore what hardcore is and what hardcore is all about. So the first band I found that really spoke to me was Walls of Jericho. And because of Walls of Jericho I eventually got inspired to start my own band when I was in high school called Six Sacrifices. Eventually, that band died out though and then in 2015 I got into Ravage which is what I’m playing in now.
So when you started getting into hardcore was it the music that was exciting to you? The lyrics? The scene? What about hardcore was interesting to you?
There are so many things that led me down the path of hardcore. First of all, the experience of being immersed in a scene like hardcore is something that you won’t find anywhere else outside of hardcore. It’s not just the music or the songs, but it’s the entire spirit and mutual cooperation that exists in the community that I really love. That’s why from those early days people’s taste in the different types of hardcore may change but the spirit still exists. Like for now, I’m super interested in powerviolence, fastcore, and other types of hardcore.
And was the reason that Walls of Jericho caught your attention is because they have a female member? What was your first impression when you heard her vocals?
Yes!. My first impression was “WOW! This is so cool! How can a woman scream like this ??!!!” haha…Of course, Candace is one of my biggest inspirations. We all know that within the hardcore scene women are still in the minority. So I wanted to show that women are indeed part of the underground community and that there is nothing wrong with women being involved.
When you were getting into the local hardcore scene was there any women already involved? Maybe in bands or behind the scenes like booking shows, etc? I’m just wondering if you had any role models in your own community?
At the time that I was getting involved, there were only two active female vocalists (in our scene now – I’m the only one left). If there were any other women present, they were just there mainly to watch the shows with their friends. So I would say there weren’t any real role models for me.
What were those two bands that the women were in? Also…kinda sad that there were only two women involved 🙁
It was my friend’s band Tanda Seru, but she’s no longer in the band. She is focusing on her work. Then there were only 2 females left in bands for some time (one of them being myself), but now, as mentioned above, I’m the only one left. Yes, it’s very sad that no one is involved or active in bands anymore. But luckily, when there are larger events in the area such as Jatim Power (often held in Batu City), other bands from the surrounding cities that feature female members come and perform.
I used to worry a lot when I got into the hardcore scene because as we all know there’s a lot of negative stigmas attached to this underground community.
I just wish hardcore could be more progressive and therefore be more welcoming to people besides the typical dude. Hahahaha…when you first started playing in bands what was the reception like amongst your friends and family?
Yes, I want that too.
For my family and friends, I used to worry a lot when I got into the hardcore scene because as we all know there’s a lot of negative stigmas attached to this underground community. So when I first started singing in a band I actually keep the band a secret from my parents. My parents didn’t want me involved. But it’s been a NUMBER of years now and I’ve been featured in a lot of local media like newspapers etc and so my parents have eventually come around. Actually, I’ve always been involved in the arts because I was enrolled in traditional dancing when I was younger. My dad is also an artist – he is a puppeteer.
Woah! That’s so cool that your dad was already involved in the arts! Was he more open to you being involved in bands? Or were both your parents not supportive in the beginning?
At first, he wasn’t very supportive because I was already actively involved in traditional dance from when I was younger all the way up to college. They had been supporting me in dance for so many years. Soon they accepted that I was an adult and thus free to choose my own path. The funny thing is that when my father’s friends come to my house now he always introduces me to his friends screaming proudly “My daughter is a rocker now!”. hahahaha…my dad’s own friends have also known me since I was a kid so they only remember me as a dancer.
Hahahaha that’s kind of cool that eventually your parents came around. Do you think this could be a reason why other women/females aren’t involved in the scene? Or do you think there are other reasons?
In my opinion, this is probably just the first reason – that their parents aren’t supportive. But another reason is just generally speaking many women just like underground music – hahahahaha, they’re not comfortable with these songs. Women are also often afraid to go into shows because they feel they may be judged. That’s just what I think.
In the Batu scene, what are some of the negative stereotypes of the hardcore scene?
Most people think that the underground scene is not the right place for young people, because many people are on drugs, drink alcohol, drink carelessly, and have free sex. In fact, currently, in our scene, it’s actually really hard to find venues for hardcore. It’s because the general public doesn’t want people to gather in case there are fights or other sorts of trouble taking place.
However, our scene is somewhere that a lot of bands who come to visit always want to return to. So a lot of bands do come through here. It’s just that right now it’s hard to get permission for any sort of shows to take place.
Totally understandable. So with your first band, how did you find the members? How did that band start?
My first band Six Sacrifices were all friends from the same high school. Eventually, when we changed members those members were attending other high schools. That band was hugely influenced by Wolf Down, Stick to Your Guns, Terror, etc., all of them came from the same high school. For the other members are from different high schools.
So this band was your first experience being in a band and playing music, right? What was that experience like being female etc?
Yes, that’s right, my experience of being involved in the scene was that I was very shy and afraid. I questioned myself often wondering why I was getting involved in this environment. But after some time I got accustomed to it and through it all I’ve gained invaluable experiences both joyful and sorrowful.
So after how many shows did you start to be more comfortable on stage?
After 5 shows outside and inside the city.
And then why did that band stop?
My first band stopped because a number of members didn’t want to keep playing because of a variety of reasons. We were already working on a debut album and had recorded half the songs already. But we just couldn’t keep the band going anymore so we just called it quits.
I see – so now let’s finally get into Ravage 🙂 Ravage fucking rules!!!! How did this band form?
Hehe thanks a lot. So Ravage was formed in late 2015 and it started as a trio. The band was actually started by a guitarist of a band called Lemah Syahwat which was a pretty popular band at the time. He invited me to join. We stayed a 3 piece until about mid-2016 when we finally added a bassist and then a year later we added another guitarist. Ravage was formed because at that time a genre like powerviolence was pretty much non-existent, so we wanted to introduce this style of hardcore to be people in our scene.
Ahhhhhh – that makes sense and I fully support the inspiration for the band! I love it when bands are trying to do something different. So you all looking around and being like “What’s missing here?” Is such a clever way to make sure that whatever you write stands out from the pack. Generally speaking, what is the most popular form of hardcore in your scene?
Nowadays the most popular form of hardcore is youth crew and hardcore punk.
I see. So when you started off playing power violence what was the reception like in your community?
Most people didn’t seem to know what we were doing when we started. I also had to learn a lot when we started and so I needed more time to explore. But it’s been a while now and from what I can see, people are into it!
That makes sense for when you first started but right now your sound is like the “hot” sound hahaha…people are super into bands like Gulch, Regional Justice Center, Zulu…so your timing is perfect now! 🙂 Lyrically, what are some things you’re trying to address?
Hehe…thank you. As for the lyrics, it might be more about the personal experiences of the members of the band. Life problems, Underestimation, that’s off our first EP, Falling Apart. Now for the second single, Wicked Smoke, the song’s about the environment. Then for our upcoming debut album which we’ve already premiered some songs off, the songs tackle work, the government and the general sense of confusion. That’s what our lyrics have always been about – pretty simple, all inspired by what’s going on in our lives.
Sick! When do you think the debut album will be released?
Possibly early 2022. We were initially hoping to get it out this year but because of the pandemic, it’s stopped us from making much progress. I’d say about 65% of the record is done. Hopefully, the pandemic will end soon and then we can continue.
Any last words?
Yes, hopefully in the future more women will dare to enter the underground scene so that it is not lost and we can pass this on to the next generation. Keep it up, my friends! Cheers to everyone involved in the underground scene especially the hardcore scene. Stay healthy!