Interview: J-Rocks (Indonesia) on their 12 year anniversary and recording at Abbey Road Studios

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Indonesian rock band J-Rocks speaks to Hello Asia during their Skechers Sundown Festival appearance in Singapore. J-Rocks is a Japanese rock influenced band from Indonesia that formed in 2003. in their 12 years together J-Rocks have produced two full length studio albums plus they have recorded at the prestigious Abbey Road studios in England. J-Rocks is also one of the few Indonesian rock acts to release music in the Japanese market (with music videos that was shot specifically in Tokyo). We speak to the members of J-Rocks about their 12 year anniversary, the rock scene in Indonesia and how their music have been received in Japan.

J-Rocks welcome to Singapore! I believe you just had your 12 year anniversary. Congratulations. What are your thoughts on being in a band for all those years?  

Thank you. We’re really grateful. Even though its our 12th year anniversary we are still young. Its still the same lineup of members. Its been a dream come true. The band members are more than family. Besides my wife! (laughs)

Do you get sick of seeing each other so often?

Sometimes! (laughs)

For my Australian audience who may not have heard of J-Rocks before can you tell me about your music? 

Rock. Our music is full of spirit and confidence and rock, you name it.

The beginning of J-Rocks is an interesting story. Talk to me about the Nescafe Get Started competition? 

In 2003, we started J-Rocks and we were a cover band, then we saw in the newspaper a competition called Nescafe National so we decided to get in there. Approximately 4000 bands entered, after we won that competition we played on a TV station. It’s been twelve years, it’s old, but we are still young don’t worry.

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You are very heavily influenced by Japanese rock style and scene. What appeals to you about the Japanese rock genre? And what Japanese artists have influenced your style of music? 

Because Japanese music is like freedom, you can put what you like in music. There’s a lot of different genres in one song, it goes from Jazz to Industrial to Rock and then back again and that is what we love about Japanese music, the freedom.

How is your music received in Japan since you are so heavily influenced by the style? I assume you have been to Japan and performed there? 

This May we had a concert in Osaka, they are more open for every kind of music.

I believe you recorded an EP at the famous Abbey Road studios. Tell me about the experience of playing at Abbey Road?

It’s like a dream come true for every musician to record in Abbey Road studios because it has a very famous history. We had only five days to record the album, so two days tracking, three days mixing- that’s a very short time. We decided to have a live recording, that’s the first time we did that but it’s awesome. It really is a dream come true, we really love The Beatles, everyone loves The Beatles.

Since the Abbey Road recordings have you recorded any new material? When can we look forward to a new J-Rocks album? 

This year maybe… We just finished our fourth album so the single may be released in December and then we will release the album later.

Talk to me about the rock scene in Indonesia since we don’t get to hear a lot about it in Australia? 

Indonesia rock scene is really good. Every rock band in Australia should have to come to Indonesia, have to! It’s very big. Excuse our English okay.

What has been your most memorable concert or festival that you have played in? 

2008 – the competition that sent us to Abbey Road. We played in front of 1000 people. We compete with all bands from Indonesia and the prize was to record in Abbey Road Studios and we won that.

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What been your favourite song or album that you heard this year? Can be any language. Why do you like this album/song? 

Justin Bieber isvery groovy. Love Muse’s new album. Also love Skrillex and we love the Timberlake remix.

When will we see J-Rocks perform in Australia?  

As soon as possible, we hope someone will bring us there, please God.

What are J-Rocks’s plans for the rest of 2015 and next year? 

We are preparing our new album, the single will be released in December, the album hopefully in 2016. We’ll finish the album and then tour. Hopefully we can come to Australia.

Transcribe by Brooke Tunbridge