DATE: June 22, 2017
VENUE: Pretty Poison, Bali, Indonesia
BANDS: Veinn, Woundeath and Mort
REVIEW: Riz of UniteAsia.org
BLACK and WHITE PHOTOS: Dennis Arthur https://www.instagram.com/dennisvrthur/
I’ve been chillin’ here in Bali with my family for the past couple of days. Enjoying the slow pace of Balinese life compared to the fucking insane “GO-GO-GO-GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY WAY” world of my sweet home – Hong motherfuckin’ Kong.
Being the workaholic that I am, while in Bali I thought I’d take the opportunity to meet the organizers of the Indonesian leg of the upcoming Sick of it All tour that we’re putting on. I met both Yopy and Denny (guitarist of INSANE Indonesian hardcore band Strikes) at Yopy’s beautiful coffee shop called Rou that his lovely wife Yoshimi runs. After meeting both these guys I have an insane amount of faith that not only is this going to be a great show for Sick of it All, but more importantly – I know the band will be well taken care of. A band that has been active for over 30 years and has traveled the world countless times and CONTINUES to do that…deserves the best in hospitality. Just my humble opinion…
From left to right: Yopy, Denny, Riz
While hanging out suddenly a facebook friend named Yudi also sends me a message that he wants to meet up while I’m here. Nothing better then traveling the world and meeting online friends face to face finally! But as we’re trying to figure out a date that would work…he nonchalantly drops this piece of news like I wouldn’t at all be interested: “Oh – I probably can’t meet on Thursday cause my band is playing”. WHAT!? Yudi moonlights as bassist in an incredible band called Veinn that I’ve put up on UniteAsia! I’m like “YO! Where are you playing!? I’m coming!”
And just like that…the date was set for me to head out to my first hardcore show in Bali! The last time I saw a show here was when my old band King Ly Chee opened for NOFX here in Bali back in 2007. That was also the last time I was here…very different vibe being here with family instead with NONE of the pressures of touring. Hahahahaha…
So I get the info that the band is playing in a really cool venue here called Pretty Poison. Pretty Poison is an arts bar in Bali that has a backyard cement bowl and often hosts arts and music events. Just look at the photos from the mayhem in the pool from the very night that I was there:
First thing’s first – how the fuck do I get to this venue? I’m assuming cab drivers know what’s up so I hail a cab and get in. I show him the address of the venue and off we go to Canggu – according to Denny, this is like one of the most up and coming parts of Bali. 15 minutes into the ride I sense that my driver has no clue where he’s going…25 minutes into what should’ve been a 10 minute ride I’m assuming the dude is completely lost. So I bust out my Google Maps on my phone and we go hunting for this venue. Yo – talk about off the beaten path! Driving through dirt gravel roads away from all the tourist hotspots…we finally arrive at the one story venue. I’m thinking – if my driver has no idea where this is, how does anyone else know? Clearly I was wrong as the place was PACKED with hundreds of locals and toursts alike streaming in and out of the venue all night. Granted that most people were clearly not there to watch the show – they were there to party in the back around the bowl and bar. But it was still an insane sight to absorb…
As soon as I get to the venue I make my way to where the bands are playing. Since I was so late I pretty much assumed that I probably missed Veinn…I was pissed. Luckily, right when I got there a band called Woundeath were setting up. A couple blast beat soundchecks later the band was ready to rip through a very humble stage set up that included two tiny combo guitar amps. YO…FUCK…the band literally exploded through whatever means to grab the attention of the onlookers. My mouth dropped watching this beast of a band rip through like a 20 minute set of material that was over way too quick. I tried to harass the singer of the band after the show for more info but all he could tell me was that A) they were a new band and B) they have a facebook page. Cool. Can’t WAIT to hear recorded material and throw those jams up here on UniteAsia.
While watching Woundeath a kind gentle soul walks over and introduces himself – it’s my buddy Yudi! It was cool to finally meet someone that I had been talking to online for months! He brings over the vocalist of Veinn, Stephie, also and we say our hellos. Literally seconds later, Woundeath were done and Veinn was ready to set up. While the band was setting up I noticed that the venue had a tattoo station set up while the show was going on. Crazy!
Tattoo flash up on the wall…
Finally – the 4 piece hardcore band Veinn that I came out here to see got on stage. Vocalist Stephie is this tiny framed shy little woman but as soon as she picked up that mic, goddamn – she transformed into a beast ready to fucking annihilate any fool that stepped her way. Veinn plays short bursts of chaotic hardcore full of emotional angst…the band incorporates blast beats, fast punk beats that drop into two step bridges all within split seconds of each other. Keeping up with their pace sets your heart racing! Hahahaha…The band destroyed the place…watching the insane level of emotion that the band was giving off and obviously the deeply personal lyrical content that Stephie was screaming into the mic (amongst many issues the band tackles, they also have a track about rape), it was really cool to see the band able to keep shit light in between songs. There was a lot of friendly banter between them and the audience.
Hanging with Veinn
I thought the night was done for me but then there was one more insane southern rock/metal band left called Mort! Sooooooooo sick! The band ripped through a set of dirty southern rock metal that yours truly can groove to for fucking sure! They remind me of Medan hardcore band Raung. The band has released an EP entitled Berontak which has been playing in the hotel room all morning, much to the chagrin of my 5 year old.
And just like that my night ended…I was completely blown away by the quality of these three local Bali bands each playing very different styles of heavy music. All three bands later told me that this was just the tip of the iceberg of heavy music found here in Bali…
Later on after a few more minutes of hanging out with other people whose music has made it up onto Unite Asia, namely youthcrew hardcore band band No Wasted whose guitarist, Agix, I met last night as well (center in the photo below), it was time for me to figure out a way to get home. Right before I left though, Yudi gave me the cool news that because of the post we put up on UniteAsia.org about Veinn from a few months ago, they were approached by Malaysian record label Glord Records https://www.facebook.com/glordrecords to release their cassette! Oh man…like my night couldn’t have gotten any better!
Me with No Wasted guitarist Agix and Yudi
Wasn’t able to get a taxi nor Uber driver because none of them wanted to come this far out to pick up a passenger. Finally Yudi and Stephie were able to get me a motorcycle ride back home. So that’s what I did…unlike the 30 minutes that it took me to get here, it took less then 10 minutes to get back. What’s weird about (more like a pet peeve) is when you’ve agreed to a price with a driver, when they bring you to your destination they ask you for tip. I’m like what?!? Didn’t we already agree on a price BEFORE I got in? Annoying.
Anyway…what an incredible night! Huge thanks to Yudi, Stephie, Denny, Agix, and everyone else I met there tonight for showing me such a dope time…thanks to all the photos above by INCREDIBLE photographer Dennis Arthur (go check his work!) allowing me to make this review a lot nicer to look at!
Bali hardcore lives!
Off to Upside Down World!