(Indonesian Extreme Metal/Iron Sandwich Winner/Awesome)
With a band name best suited to a fast food chain, why did the band opt for the name Burgerkill? Are there any specific reasons for having chosen that name?
Hahahaa! this question has been asked a thousand times. When we started as a hardcore band we really want to find a strange name so it’s easy to remember. At that time, almost all hardcore bands in Indonesia use similar names like American or European bands. But we prefer something unique. And it was my silly idea to change the Burgerking restaurant into Burgerkill because it sounds cool for our band’s name… Burger Fuckin’ Kill hahahahaa, wicked!
Dom Lawson (from Metal Hammer) reviewed Burgerkill’s album, Venomous for his podcast Iron Sandwich. Lawson called the album “furious and exhilarating metal savagery”. That is quite a compliment! Has Burgerkill reached their initial goal for the album?
Yeah. Dom is awesome dude! We didn’t expect that he will review our album exclusively on his #IronSandwich Metal Hammer Podcast, and give us a great review on Metal Hammer magazine. An honour for us and a huge pride for Indonesian extreme music community to get that chance. This is something that we waiting for a long time, of course we were glad we could be well received. Finally Indonesian metal band can be enjoyed by those who live in Europe. It will be fantastic if we can do a tour there as well!
Burgerkill have been around for roughly 16 years on the Indonesian metal scene though Venomous has been the most stand-out album in terms of technique, production and promotion. Could you fill our readers in on the process of creating the album Venomous?
A lot has been going on in this band within the last 16 years. Not long after our third album ‘Beyond Coma and Despair’ released, our singer Ivan Scumbag died by a brain cancer and I think that’s the worst moment of our career. He’s like the ‘soul’ of our band. His lyrics and his performance on-stage put a nail our fans’ heart. So it’s just logical if a lot of people doubted Burgerkill to survive. But we never give up. After we found Vicky as a new vocalist, we continue to concentrate on working on new songs and touring as much as possible in Indonesia, Australia and Southeast Asia. So when we agreed to work on ‘Venomous’, we felt it’s time to give the real answer to those who doubt us. And in any creative process we don’t even think to give something that people expect from us. We just do what we want to do. We realize some people will love it and some people will not, but that’s ok… Cause we don’t care. We really work hard for this album and we believe ‘Venomous’ is a very powerful album to prove that we are still armed and dangerous.
As mentioned prior, the band has been together for 16 years and counting. How has each musician progressed since the beginning?
Members come and go in 16 years. And I am the only remaining original founding member. As a songwriter in the band, I feel fortunate to work with many great musicians who have been involved in Burgerkill. Each of them taught me many things and it allowed me to reach this point. In Burgerkill, we always try to create a family. Everyone is brothers. For me it’s one of the essential elements that keep the band exist to this day. And I think, we have found the best formation for Burgerkill to continue making great music in the future.
In the past few years Burgerkill has been fortunate to play alongside Lamb of God, Devildriver and All That Remains as well as tour to South East Asia and Australia! What have been the band’s highlights so far?
Yeah it was an unforgettable experience. We are proud to be able to do it. Touring in Australia and play at major festivals such as Soundwave and Big Day Out is one of our greatest achievements. But there’s one the proudest moments for us is when Burgerkill had opportunity to do a solo concert in a Football Stadium in our hometown Bandung in September 2011. In this concert we are free to design the stage, sound and lighting concept as we want. And the best thing is the concert was attended by more than 11,000 our loyal fans. It’s like dream come true!
On that note, what have been Burgerkill’s lowlights so far?
I think the death of ‘Ivan Scumbag’ is the most painful moments for us and it really breaks our heart. We were in the middle of doing promo for the new album. At that moment, I was thinking Burgerkill career was over, because I feel this band might not be able to continue without him. But thanks to the continuous support from our family, friends and fans, Burgerkill is able to stay strong and survive. Although we know is not easy, but we believe his spirit will remain alive forever in our hearts. He was a good friend and a very talented musician. That’s why we’re dedicated ‘Venomous’ as a form of our love and appreciation to him.
Not much is known about the Indonesian metal scene. What is Burgerkill’s outlook on Indonesian metal? Are there any restrictions or limitations for heavy metal in Indonesia? If so, what are they and how has Burgerkill overcome this?
Good question! Indonesia is a country with the largest Muslim population in the world and we have a great respect for Islamic culture. As you know Heavy Metal wasn’t born here, and we are far behind from those who live in America or Europe, especially in cultural and commercial terms. The music that Burgerkill play is difficult to be accepted here. Our governments consider this music is as too risky and could lead to riots. So metal bands in Indonesia – are not easy to get concerts. The governments don’t understand and assume this music may cause bad influences for young generation. But now the situation is getting better, they’re slowly aware Heavy Metal community is getting bigger in this country. May this long continue.
Judging from Burgerkill’s social media sites such as facebook and twitter; the band has garnered a lot of fans far and wide. This is a positive assessment though what has the reception of the general audience/public been like for the band? Are the main supporters of the band from Indonesia or other countries?
It’s nice to know that many people liked what we do, this is a great tribute to this band. When we formed the band, we never thought will go this far. Everything just flows. For us, fans are the important element of this band. We always try to communicate with them via social networks and give them the best information they need in many ways. We also have a fans club and often do many activities with them when we were off tours. It’s fun to share a lot of information with them and listen to their stories. When we touring in Australia, we were surprised to see a lot of metalheads who has Burgerkill tattoos on their body. Totally unbelievable!
Seeing as Venomous has been successful in Indonesia as well as world wide – what are Burgerkill’s future plans? Can we expect a new release or tour plans?
We are preparing for Burgerkill DVD documentary film which scheduled to be released around April in Indonesia and June in Australia. There are a lot of things going with the band we want to capture; it took 4 years to make this film. We feel it’s important to share our stories to our friends about what we’ve done. Hopefully this movie could inspire bands in Indonesia to do the same thing, or maybe can accomplish more than we’ve had. We believe Heavy Metal will grow into a major force in Indonesia music industry and their quality will be recognized internationally.
And lastly, would Burgerkill like to add anything?
Thank you for this interview, please visit our official website at www.burgerkillofficial.com and follow our twitter at @burgerkill666. Hopefully one day we could do a tour and catch up with new friends in South Africa. Stay true and stay fuckin’ loud! Cheers… \m/
A monster thank you to Ebenz for taking time out to do this interview! Catch all the news on Burgerkill Official or YouTube or Myspace or Facebook!