Putting out music for free is one of the things that the Indonesian duo are quite famous for. Their story from early beginnings to now is marked by rejection of their unique sound and especially features the internet as a major helping hand in getting their sounds recognised internationally, rather than in their then-cold-shouldering home country.
But that unique sound got them noticed and now they're as busy as any other artist-in-demand, travelling around the world and sharing their music with everybody - on and offline. I was interested in finding out more about their thoughts, so I sent them my lazy interview to fill in. Here's what they said...
Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do?
We’re just two home-people, who always like playing computers and watching movies. We live in a cold climate town, in the western highland of Java, called Bandung. We love to play music and record it, expressing every single matter in our heads.
Why did you decide to start creating music?
It began from our college days in broadcasting department, we were introduced to music software and some study material to make jingles, for scoring, even mixing and arranging songs for radio airing. From that time, we were getting used to writing songs and found pleasure in making them, since through music we can express our feeling.
How would you describe your sound? What makes you and your style stand out?
Witty sound, sounds that represent the frankness of a child. It might be that we prefer to play toy musical instruments and sometimes make our own instruments, even some of our instruments we’ve made through circuit bending. All of those were done as our effort to make our own signature sounds; we want to make sound like nobody else would. It’s pleasing and we love to play in those 3 exploring sound methods, it’s somehow fun, and we can sometimes find surprising sounds.
Is there a perfect time and place for listening to your music?
What inspires you most when writing a song?
When we were in college, we were taught to have theatre of mind, from that time we always imagine a scene in a movie; every song that we wrote started as an attempt to make a movie score, a crying scene, a dating scene, an angry scene, and so on.
What is your most memorable musical experience?
In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, we played in a quite well-known bar, everyone smoking weed - it’s pretty easy to get it. It’s so fuckin great to play music in front of hundreds of high-people. Every second of every minute, we sensed a journey in an illogical dimension.
What are your favourite three songs at the moment?
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Who do you most admire in the music world?
Shawn James Seymour [of Lullatone]
In your opinion, what is the future of music?
Music is like air; it can be enjoyed freely without any urge to pay for it.
What's the future of your music - what do you hope to do next?
We always think that our music becoming more and more minimalist hahaha. We hope that we could bring our music straight to Europe and America. We want to do some tours around the world and play in the world's historical sites.
What, aside from music, is most important to you?
Simplicity and moods, those are two essential factors that has to be put in the music, as well as enjoying it.
The freedom that Bottlesmoker seem to give themselves is really quite contagious. I feel free and hopeful just reading about them; to approach the future of music with optimism for an entirely uncommercial music scene, to explore different ways in which they can create unique sounds, to express "every single matter" that they think about through music - it's a very free approach to music. One that I can totally get on board with. Freedom! Freedom for everyone! Make whatever music you want!
Terima kasih to Angkuy and Nobie from Bottlesmoker for taking the time to answer the questions!
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