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A view inside Yogyakarta hardcore scene with THROUGHOUT

10 mins read

THROUGHOUT is a melodic female-fronted hardcore band from Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Formed around 2004, after a few switches in line-up, they are coming strong in 2013, plotting more plans to conquer worldwide lands! They’ve recorded 2 demos (2010/2011), one EP called “Step Ahead Into The Real World” (2012, reissued in April on tape via Samstrong Records) and one split with Portuguese hardcore band CHALLENGE.

Read all about their stuff, collaborations with international punk bands, Indonesian punk scene and more in the interview below.

THROUGHOUT band promo pic

Hey, guys! I’m so stoked to have you here. More Indonesian hardcore, finally! Shoot me a quick introduction to the band and its members. Who are you, where do you come from and what’s your mission statement? ;)

Hi.. We are melodious hardcore band from Yogyakarta, Indonesia named THROUGHOUT. The line up for THROUGHOUT this day are Astrida Lastiya (Astrid) as vocal, Sidharta (Tata) as right guitar, Julianus Ferry (Ferry) as left guitar, and Johanes Adi (Adex) as low string dude. Formed around 2004, actually, we’ve been through a lot of changes in the line up. It’s now Tata only band founder left. Our early music was inspired by SHUTDOWN, ENSIGN, SICK OF IT ALL, etc. We changed our oldshool pattern into a more modern sound that required us to use two guitars. At this time we’ve got additional member Rio (Bogank) from Kudabesi in drum and Aswin as additional bass. The values from our band built on dedication, hard work, friendship, respect, trust and love for hardcore music. We are very pleased and proud to spread our music and messages throughout the world. It’s an honor for us to represent Asia and Indonesia especially.

Great! Once again, I’m very glad you’re here. Are you guys somehow involved in running and/or supporting Samstrong Records? Or you’re just a part of their roster?

We’re just a part of their roster, but we’ve totally supporting their movement, you know in Indonesia especially in Yogyakarta just a few people thinking about hardcore movement. We believe that Samstrong has it attitude, like a big family :)

How close are you with all the touring bands from Europe and the US? Paradoxically, there are quite a lot of them playing gigs and releasing their music in Indonesia, right?

Pretty close with some bands from Europe, we have an album split with CHALLENGE from Portugal, share the stage with CDC (US), THE RIVER CARD (UK) and featuring in one song with ALL FOR NOTHING when they played in our city :) We also came to their show if we could, and just have a little chit-chat and give our album or trade our merch to them. We love it when foreign bands play gigs in Jogja and feel statisfied with responses. Here in Jogja, Indonesia everybody is very open and friendly to foreign people and hardcore fans here are abundant.

THROUGHOUT spli cover

Any special shows featuring foreign hardcore bands you’d like to recall?

Ok thanks Karol, Umm.. the moment when we shared the stage with CDC (US) was the great moment. They brought many merchs, like heaps of them. They sold the merchs by themselves, and they’re very friendly. I asked Brendan CDC to trade our merch and he gave me their tee, and i gave him our tee and our album. I told him to play in our city, Jogja. The next day, ALL FOR NOTHING played in our city, we should perform together, but there was one member of our band that can’t be played. Nevertheless, we still came to their gig and talk to them. For me, I’m very pleased just because Cindy asked me to sing ‘Overhaul’ song. After the show, I gave Cindy our tee and our album. Thanks Cindy and ALL FOR NOTHING that was a loveable memory. They’re funny and friendly too. They should go back to Jogja and Indonesia! :D

Very nice :) And what shows with offshore bands do you have lined up for the coming months?

For the next month, there hasn’t. But we have some show at local gigs.

Alright, but let’s be fair and focus on your local punk scene, shall we? :) Indonesian hardcore recently caught some international attention with the Indonesian Hardcore Revival: Unity in Diversity video. Its description states that “a growing number of youth, disaffected by high rates of unemployment and conservative social mores, are returning to hardcore musical roots that first emerged in Java during the early nineties.” When did you first dive into hardcore and what can you say about its roots in Indonesia?

Yes. As i explained above about THROUGHOUT, I just entered at THROUGHOUT in the middle of 2008, replace previous vocalist, but I’ve got another alternatif punk band since 2007. If your question based upon that video, it can’t represent the whole hardcore in Indonesia, it just happens in Java especially. Hardcore in Indonesia emerged in 1996, blew up by media include zines, internet, world of mouth, and etc.

So it’s not a revival, but rather a continuing birth, isn’t it?

I want to correct my answer Karol, hardcore in Indonesia emerged in 1996, with first wave of hardcore, reappear again in roughly at 2003 and 2008 until now. I can’t say it revival or continuing birth, but both of them. I could give you some examples, yes it revival, some band from the beginning until now is still exist but sometimes only left one or two from old member in it (from first line up band). I think it could called continuing birth too, some band break up, or some member left the band, but they make other band. So, many new bands with same old face but yes it still . You know what I mean Karol? That’s what happened in Indonesia, Java especially.

Yeah, sure thing. So what fuels the Indonesian punk movement? 

Umm.. I think the love for this music and include of it also the urge to create something for the band and the scene made this fuels.

Social media, phones, written media, etc. – there are lots of channels we can communicate through these days. I believe that social media is particularly something it’s very hard to stop, isn’t it? How do you communicate within punk crews that you are immersed in? How important is the Internet in modern Indonesian society?

Yes it does, well technology such as social media, phones, etc make this happen, we can communicate through the boundaries of space and time, but still direct conversation is the strongest point, cause get a lot of gesture which can’t be obtained simply by the text. Indonesia is an archipelagic country. You know, it’s very different with Europe, so internet is very important for us. Distance can be minimized by it. Besides minimizing the distance, internet, especially at social media has it power. You know help propagandize people to perform a movement, such as charity event, disaster, etc.

THROUGHOUT live promo

I’ve read some stories about Indonesian hardcore kids organizing shows in abandoned houses, art centers and empty storefronts across the country. Is that right? Tell me more about venues in Yogya. Which ones are your favourite sites to make punk shows happen?

Yes it’s true, I think Yogyakarta needs more venue, I mean compared with other city like Jakarta or Bandung. We’re living in a small city (geographic contour) but huge at business development and youth culture. Some venues support the event but some of them not. I think Jogja National Museum is the perfect one, in the middle of city, support by local government also support for the others event like art, or DIY clothing expo. Beside venue, another problem is permission for organize event in Yogyakarta. You can ask ALL FOR NOTHING when they played at our city in Jogja National Museum :)

What happened? :)

Whah happened? yeah you know about permit police. Police here are also a bit annoying about their bureaucratic.

What about the Islamic authorities forcing to have young people’s heads shaved, forcing to pray and sending people to some fucked up  “re-education” camps? “Punk is a new social disease” and “Punk is against Shariah” were one of the harshest quotes I remembered from the media buzz some time ago. Have you encountered any problems with it? Is the problem really noticeable where you live?

I refused that statement, for me and i think it just because the assumption of some people or Aceh goverment, just to make Aceh free of interference. It may of the political interest too, in Aceh I mean.

Indonesia, especially in Aceh is very strong with their Islamic Culture. I denied that statement and also very sad about the people (Punk people) in Aceh, but you can feels more freedom in Yogyakarta or Bali. You know about Bali island Karol? It is Indonesia too. Indonesia is archipelagic country that has more and more culture in it. So, please don’t generalize about the news that blew up by the media in Indonesia or foreign media, especially for the underground areas, just because we have a lot of different culture in our place :)

Wow, looks like the news was completely out of the blue. Why do you think punk is being so brutally persecuted over there?

I think it violates the human rights in Aceh. I don’t know why but I think it just because they look like immoral bums. His/ her appearance not like the usual people in Aceh.

I agreed with Ferry, and I told you before, because of the culture in Aceh say it so.

Ok, I really like the idea of redefining the role of women in the largest Muslim nation on the planet, as the Indonesian Hardcore Revival promo named it. Are there a lot of female-fronted punk bands in your area?

Yeah, there are a few bands with female fronted in my area, I mean, not just in Yogyakarta, but Indonesia. Some hardcore bands that are still active and productive until now are FINAL STEP (Salatiga), DISOBEY (Medan), LOSE IT ALL (Bandung), FAT IN DIET (Semarang), DELTA FORCE (Sidoarjo), B.A.C (Yogyakarta), ROTTEN COLONY (Yogyakarta), etc.


And how’s the straight edge scene?

For this question I don’t have any clue to answer just because our band not declare ourself as straightedge, but in Indonesia a few band declare themself as straightedge or vegan-straightegde. Jogja has it band named REASON TO DIE, XLIFETIMEX, etc.

Ok, but what the meaning of straight edge or veganism for you? 

For me Straightedge is a lifestyle that doesn’t directly motivated to abstain from drugs, alcohol, free sex, and things that are negative i mean in hardcore and punk rules. Veganism is a ideal way of living individuals who do not consume or eat meat and animal products, for example milk, honey, eggs, etc. Well, our band members just an ordinary people who loves music, hardcore especially, and create something for this scene. I’m not a straightedge or vegan :)

I’m not a straightedge or vegan but for me straightedge have some sides, you know about political side, they refuse consuming alcohol or tobacco just because they think the industries doesn’t care about all the suffering that their products lead to, you know what i mean Karol? But  in Indonesia this thing has become a culture, culture to smoke, and livelihoods of some people here depend on it. The second side is about healthy lifestyle, yeah you know about this, Ferry said it too. About vegan, well same as Ferry :p. THROUGHOUT are not straightedge or vegan band. Include the people in it.
We are just usual people who loves dancing. Kidding :p

Are you involved in some non-musical organizations?

I once participated Animal Friends Jogja, volunteered to animals rescue affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi in Jogja (2010). But now i’m off.

Alright, before we say goodbye, it would be wise to discuss throughout THROUGHOUT, huh? ;) You’ve released a couple of records including  Today is the day Compilation Vol. 2 (2008), 2010 demo, Step Ahead Into The Real World EP (2012), and Overseas Connection: a Split with CHALLENGE (2013). Can we get some of it for free?

Yes, you can download for free, 2 tracks from Step Ahead Into The Real World album through Reverbnation.

The Step Ahead Into The Real World re-issue is the newest joint from THROUGHOUT, right? Tell me more about this UK-special and why you decided to use tapes for this outing.

Yes, oh it’s from Samstrong Records deal with UK records named Slow It Down. He (Slow It Down) offers in tapes, we think that it good for spreading our music in UK. So, we finally agreed. But, we don’t get the latest news from it.


By the way, how popular is this format in your area?

In here, Indonesia, cassette tape format isn’t popular than CD’s, but you know, there are some people who really loves this format. For us, our Step Ahead Into The Real World album in cassette tape is a valuable collection.

Sure thing. What’s the story behind that cover and the brass knuckles?! ;)

Oh, I’ve issued a press release for Step Ahead Into The Real World album, but in Indonesian. Here is the point, that no one has the right to direct our principle of life. We’re talking about the struggle to live, how we’re against the harshness of life and the people who are patronizing us. The woman carrying the knuckle, is a symbol of resistance against those who always judge the others way of life before acknowledging their background. The woman was feminine, but at one point they could be more cruel than the men when it reaches a certain point chart emotions.

What does punk mean for you guys? What are some of the reasons to keep doing what you’re doing with this project?

Sidharta (Tata):

Outside the music, for us is a life principle. This is how we are striving to combat the rigors of the world with which we are not young anymore, not just being nagged our parents ask for some money. This is how we defend our lives and principles, how do we keep our brotherhood with all people, how do we establish our friendly relations between the city, other cities, and other country. Not just music and fashion, but more than that.

You said about the reasons? one of my reason is, this is my encouragement of life.

The boys already answered the questions, Karol, but for me one of my reason is  because I love doing this, having fun, build the friendship and family, as simple as that.


Alright, thank you so much for your time! Any last words for the world? :)

I hope that Indonesia can be seen in the eyes of foreign country that we have a lot of potential for the development and deployment of hardcore punk, because actually in South East Asia for the big view beside Indonesia, hardcore punk lovers in here were very large. I said, South East Asia is one of the most hardcore punk destination.

Thank you for interviewing us, it’s a pleasure, again, we are from little city in Indonesia, Yogyakarta, you can called it Jogja. Our country is safe for you. Please come and look inside. Regards.

I will! Thanks so much for the chat :)

THROUGHOUT Reverbnation
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