From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Slank is the biggest Indonesian rock band. It was founded in 1983 by teenagers in an alley street in Jakarta called Gang Potlot.
Clockwise below left: Ridho, Bimbim, Kaka, Abdee, Ivanka
Bimo Setiawan Almachzumi (Bimbim) created Cikini Stone Complex in the early 1980s. The band only covered Rolling Stonessongs. In 1983 the band broke up.
Accompanied by his colleagues Denny and Erwan, Bimbim created the band Red Devil. For the guitarist Bimbim brought in Bongky. In December 1983 they changed their band name to Slank because they looked “selengean” (“rebellious” or “unruly”).
The group’s initial lineup consisted of Kaka (vocals), Pay (guitars), Bongky (bass), Indra Qadarsih (keyboards), and Bimbim (drums). Their first album, Suit suit…hehehe, was not released till 1990. From there, more albums, most of them commercially successful, followed, but Slank was plagued by a number of defections, some involving personal issues, others having to do with internal tensions based around creative decisions. The negativity was overcome, and over the next 20 years, Slank was able to increase their profile, tour the world and maintain commercial success. In 2007, Slank released their 20th album, Slow But Sure.
Suit suit…hehehe (1991) was an enormous hit. Their subsequent success inspired the formation of other bands, such as Dewa.
Their first three albums, awarded by BASF Indonesia for Best Selling Albums on BASF tapes and the fourth album Generasi Biru went multi-platinum, with several songs making in into Indonesia’s top charts.
Slank became the first MTV Indonesia icon in 2005.
Since its inception, Slank’s band members have changed frequently. Reasons have ranged from drug use and woman to money and differences in musical styles. The best line up of the band were Kaka (vocals), Bimbim (drums), Pay (guitar), Bongky (bass) and Indra (keyboards). In 2007, Slank released the new album, Slow But Sure; the album’s first single “Slalu Begitu” was played heavily on Indonesian radio stations.
In 2008 Slank toured the U.S. and Europe. They have also played in various Asian countries, such as Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, and South Korea.
Having more than fifteen albums sold and occasionally causing political controversy in Indonesia, Slank decided to travel to the USA to record their first English-language album, Anthem for the Broken-Hearted. Blues Saraceno was chosen to be the producer of the album. They recorded and mixed the album in only twenty-two days.
“If you want the world to see what you want to say, you better go to the highest mountain. And for music, the highest mountain now is in the U.S.A.”, says Abdee Negara.
Java Jazz Festival 2009
In 2009, surprisingly, Slank was invited to take part in the well known Java Jazz Festival.
Their invitation to a jazz festival by Peter F. Gontha was meant as a challenge to see if they had what it took to perform in a jazz music setting. Their show, attended by thousands, successfully transformed their songs into jazz. In the spirit of reaching a greater jazz audience by combining genres, this show featured Michael Paulo, Ron King and Tony Monaco. It later was described as a “once in a lifetime experience”.
For more than two decades, Slank has managed a healthy attitude towards their music career, which in turn has helped them throughout the years. Slank has also gained somewhat of a cult status in Indonesia, Slank fans are known as ‘Slankers’, and they have a reputation for devotion. They wave their Slank flags, which consist of the word ‘Slank’ shaped into a graffiti-style butterfly. They sing along with several punk rock songs and perform a stadium-worthy call-and-response routine. According to one of the guitarists Ridho, ‘Slankers’ span all ages from children to adults.
In 2009 Slank took part in a movie called Generasi Biru that depicts their life and journey. The movie was directed by Indonesian film director Garin Nugroho. For this film Slank made a single, “Slank Dance”, which contains a unique dance style created by their fans, the Slankers.
- Akhadi Wira Satriaji (Kaka) — vocals
- Bimo Setiawan Almachzumi (Bimbim) — drums
- Abdee Negara (Abdee) — guitar
- Mohammad Ridwan Hafiedz (Ridho) — guitar
- Ivan Kurniawan Arifin (Ivanka) — bass guitar
- Suit suit…hehehe (1990)
- Kampungan (1991)
- Piss (1993)
- Generasi Biru (1994)
- Minoritas (1996)
- Lagi Sedih (1997)
- Tujuh (1998)
- Mata Hati Reformasi (1998)
- 999 + 09, Vol. 1 (1999) (double album)
- 999 + 09, Vol. 2 (1999)
- Virus (2001)
- Satu Satu (2003)
- Road To Peace (2004)
- PLUR (2004)
- Slankissme (2005)
- Slow But Sure (2007)
- The Big Hip (2008)
- Anthem For The Broken Hearted (2009)
- Jurus Tandur No.18 (2010)
- I Slank U The Album (2012)
- Slank Nggak Ada Matinya (2013)
- Restart Hati (2015)
- Palalopeyank (2017)
- Konser Piss 30 Kota (1998)
- Virus Road Show (2002)
- Slank Bajakan (2003)
- Reborn Republic Slank (2005)
- O.S.T. “Get Married” (2007)
riginal Soundtrack “Generasi Biru” The Movie (2009)
.S.T. “Get Married 2” (2009)
- Since 1983 – Malaysian Edition (2006)
- Slank feat. Big Hip – Japan Edition (2008)
- Anthem For The Broken Hearted – USA Edition (2008)
Artist Biography by Chris True
Although constant roster changes and internal tensions pestered the band, Indonesia’s Slank was able to face the adversity head on, and record and release 20-plus albums in a career that was to last for more than 25 years. Formed in Jakarta in 1983, Slank — the group’s initial lineup was Kaka (vocals), Pay (guitars), Bongky Marcel (bass), Indra Qadarsih (keyboards), and Bimbim (drums) — would ply their trade for a number of years before finally landing a deal and releasing their first album, Suit Suit…Hehehe, in 1991. From there, more albums, most of them commercially successful, followed, but Slank was plagued by a number of defections, some involving personal issues, others having to do with internal tensions based around creative decisions. The negativity was overcome, and over the next 20 years, Slank was able to increase their profile, touring the world and maintaining a high commercial value. In 2007, Slank released album number 20, Slow But Sure.
Cikal bakal lahirnya Slank adalah sebuah grup bernama Cikini Stones Complex (CSC) bentukan Bimo Setiawan Sidharta (Bimbim) pada awal tahun 80an. Band ini hanya memainkan lagu-lagu Rolling Stones dan tak mau memainkan lagu dari band lain, alhasil mereka akhirnya jenuh dan menjelang akhir tahun 1983 grup ini dibubarkan.
Semangat bermusik Bimbim yang masih membara membawanya kembali membentuk band baru bernama Setan Merah bareng dua saudaranya, Denny dan Erwan. Untuk menambah amunisi, Bimbim lantas mengajak Bongky untuk mengisi posisi gitaris. Pada bulan Desember 1983 mereka ganti nama menjadi Slank, sebuah nama yang diambil begitu saja dari cemoohan orang yang sering menyebut mereka cowok selengean.
Formasi Slank ketika pertama kali didirikan adalah Erwan (Vokal), Bongky (Gitar), Denny (Bass), Kiki (Keyboard) dan Bimbim (Drum). Mereka sempat tampil di beberapa pentas dengan membawakan lagu-lagu sendiri sebelum Erwan memutuskan mundur karena merasa tidak punya harapan di Slank.
Tak lama kemudian Parlin Burman (Pay) dan Akhadi Wira Satriaji (Kaka) bergabung dengan Slank, disusul dengan masuknya Indra Chandra Setiadi (Indra) beberapa tahun kemudian. Dengan formasi Bimbim (Drum), Bongky (Bass), Pay (Gitar), Kaka (Vokal) dan Indra (Keyboard) mereka mulai membuat demo untuk ditawarkan ke perusahaan rekaman.
Setelah berulang kali ditolak, akhirnya tahun 1990 demonya diterima dan mulai rekaman debut album Suit-Suit… He He He (Gadis Sexy). Album yang menampilkan hit Memang dan Maafkan itu meledak dipasaran sehingga mereka pun diganjar BASF Award untuk kategori pendatang baru terbaik. Album kedua mereka, Kampungan pun meraih sukses yang sama.
Keterlibatan para personelnya dengan narkoba sempat melahirkan keretakan di tubuh band yang bermarkas di jalan Potlot ini. Pada saat menggarap album keenam (Lagi Sedih), Bimbim selaku leader akhirnya memutuskan untuk memecat Bongky, Pay dan Indra.
Sebagai gantinya mereka merekrut Ivanka (Bass), Mohamad Ridho Hafiedz (Ridho) dan Abdee Negara (Abdee). Formasi ini bertahan hingga saat ini dan mereka terus melahirkan karya-karya yang menegaskan eksistensi mereka di dunia musik Indonesia.
The Future of Music
Indonesia’s most popular band shows how American musicians can support themselves.
By Ray Huling, January 25, 2009
Indonesia’s biggest rock band, Slank, revealed the future of music a couple months ago at a small, dark bar in Boston, where their long-haired front man, Kaka, kicked off the gig. Grinning broadly, his body chiseled and bare-chested, he addressed the audience in Bahasa, the dominant language in Indonesia, and the kids went crazy. Slank fans are known as ‘Slankers’, and they have a reputation for devotion. They waved their Slank flags, which consist of the word ‘Slank’ shaped into a graffiti-style butterfly. They sang along with several punk-rock songs and performed a stadium-worthy call-and-response routine. One fan even held up a New Hampshire license plate with SLANK imprinted right below “Live Free or Die”.
“Welcome, college boys!” cried Kaka in English. “Boston University!” he said, to wild cheers. “Stanford!” he said, to confused looks and laughter. “Where are we?” he asked.
He was kidding, of course. Sitting on their tour bus before the show, knocking back Heinekens, you’d find Slank to consist entirely of thoughtful, well-spoken, good-humored guys, all of whom have paid very close attention to the U.S. for a long time. After selling millions of records and causing the occasional political controversy in Indonesia, they’re now touring the States to promote their first English-language album, Anthem for the Broken-Hearted. “If you want the world to see what you want to say,” says Abdee, one of the guitarists, “you better go to the highest mountain. And for music, the highest mountain now is in the U.S.A.”
It’s true. The United States remains today’s music capital. But tomorrow? Anyone curious about where the music business is headed should look to Slank and their compatriots. The music industry in their native Indonesia suffers from piracy rates somewhere above ninety percent. Major record labels there, even more than here, have lost millions in record sales over the past ten years, and continue taking a huge cut of performers’ revenues from song sales. Indonesian musicians have to diversify their means of income in order to make a living—and that includes doing wide-ranging tours in small venues, like Bill’s Bar in Boston.
Slank is a curious blend of old and new. To listen to Slank is to hear the rock of yore, but to watch them live is to see where Western stars may eventually end up. Imagine Lil’Wayne playing Charmaine’s Bar in Jakarta—not for the kicks, but for the money. Economic and technological trends seem to be taking us in this direction. So let’s investigate a little further into how music works in Indonesia, and what it portends for American recording artists.
Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country, one whose inhabitants sometimes riot over perceived affronts to Islam, but that discrete fact paints an incomplete portrait. The country, which divides along ethnic, linguistic, religious, and geographic lines, is quite unlike certain other Islamic nations. Indonesian kids, especially middle-class ones, smoke and drink. They take pictures of themselves smoking and drinking and post them on the Internet. Sure, people still get married at twenty, but husbands and wives can now enjoy matching tattoos—and post pictures of them on-line. These are not possibilities in Saudi Arabia.
The Indonesian affection for rock music is also something of an anomaly. In most of the world, hip-hop gives voice to youthful rebellion. Indeed, the Mediterranean triangle of France, Morocco, and Algeria now produces the world’s best rap. Indonesian rebels remain apart, firmly in the camp of guitars, harmonies, and sung lyrics. Thus Slank has an archaic sound to American ears—classically pure rock’n’roll. This purity is significant.
Slank explains this predilection by suggesting that Indonesians identify with the U.S. of the sixties, rather than the nineties. The country experienced a long period of economic growth under Suharto’s dictatorship, along with intense oppression. Since the Indonesian Revolution ousted Suharto a decade ago, a fairly well-educated populace has endured economic stagnation, religious conflict, and massive governmental corruption. “It’s like everybody wanted to scream for freedom since 1998,” says Abdee.
This scream carries the timbre of political rock. As did the Anglo-American music of the sixties, Indonesia’s rock contributes to social movements. Slank uses its cultural and economic capital to criticize and sway politicians. “Before we came,” says Abdee, who’s wearing a Who t-shirt and has a hairstyle reminiscent of Ronnie Wood’s, “we had a song that made the Indonesian Parliament…what do you call it?…freak out!”
In April of last year, the band performed “Gossip Jalanan” (Street Gossip) at an anti-corruption rally. The song—first released in 2004, but amplified by the occasion of the rally—refers to a slew of Indonesia’s problems: corruption, prostitutes, gangsters, drug dealers, gamblers. The lyrics even include a common acronymic pun. In Bahasa, the Indonesian Constitution is “Undang-Undang Dasar” or ‘UUD’. Indonesians joke that ‘UUD’ really stands for “Ujung-Ujungnya Duit” or “All about the money.” Despite a popular fondness for such jokes, Indonesian legislators looked unkindly on Slank. The Parliament’s House Disciplinary Council threatened to sue the group.
“They want to put us in jail,” says BimBim, Slank’s drummer and founder, a browner and handsomer version of Joey Ramone. “Then the TV news had a vote: who do you believe? The legislature or Slank? 99% believed Slank.”
Calls for prosecuting Slank faded when, a couple of days after the scandal broke, Al Amin Nur Nasution, a member of the Parliament’s lower House and husband of a famous traditional singer, found himself arrested for corruption. In the presence of an alleged prostitute.
Scandal is not Slank’s preferred method, however. They are primarily a Message Band—again, with all of the sincerity and straightforwardness of a sixties icon. They’ve articulated a creed for themselves: Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect, which, in Indonesian fashion, they compress into an acronym, PLUR. Consider it a modern, Indonesian brand of ‘bagism’, only without any irony. Slank instantiates their world-view in their music by addressing certain themes in every record. “We always have four elements,” explains Kaka. “We talk about youth; we talk about love, romance; we talk about social politics; we talk about nature. Always these four things.”
“Sometimes…five,” interjects Abdee.
BimBim nods vigorously: “Party!”
As viewed from the audience, Slank is fun. They deliver that good ol’ rock’n’roll experience. At one point in their performance at Bill’s Bar, Kaka offered a copy of their new record to any girl who would come onstage and give Ridho, the band’s second lead guitarist, a kiss, which a young, Indonesian girl proceeded to do, shyly, on Ridho’s cheek. (The band has also suffered numerous break-ups and personnel changes because of drug problems—it balances social responsibility with traditional rocker indulgence.)
Slank Performance at Java Jazz Festival 2009
By Riandy Kurniawan – Mar 8, 2009
This is one of the big headlines. For the first time, the Indonesian phenomenon with millions of fans, Slank, rocked this year’s Java Jazz Festival 2009! Who could predicted that Slankwould have their moment at the biggest jazz event in the world. But yes, it happened tonight. Just like Kaka the vocalist, told us that their performance was meant to be a task from Peter F.Gontha to see how they deserved being in a jazz festival, the whole show that attends by thousands succesfully transformed their songs into jazz. In the spirit of reaching greater jazz audience by combining genres, this show which featured Michael Paulo,Ron King and Tony Monaco was really a feels like a lifetime experience.