In our bid to bring you the best music from the four corners of the globe we’ve just recruited some international contributors to tell us about the best bands on their local scenes. Today Ditha Thakis, Jakarta’s local scenester, introduces us to Indonesia’s The Experience Brothers.
“They said it takes two to tango, I said two is enough to burn the stage down. Introducing the eclecticism of psychedelic, blues and rock from the East” – The Experience Brothers.
In 2010 I saw this dynamic duo at Java Rocking Land festival in Jakarta, they played at the same time Dashboard Confessional were on the other stage. I made a right choice by catching them played their own stuff as well as covering The Who’s My Generation and Led Zeppelin’s Moby Dick, on which the drummer threw away his drumsticks and played barehand, perfectly like John Bonham did.
Such a powerful performance they made you fall in love from the first tune. Obviously The Who and Led Zeppelin are their roots, along with The Beatles, Dan Auerbach, Jack White and for sure the one they took the band name from, Jimi Hendrix.
Meet The Experience Brothers, Bram (guitar & vocals) and his older brother Daud (drums & vocals), a duo from Jakarta’s suburb. They’ve been classified into the modern-psychedelic-blues-rock genre, but whatever it is, they describe their music as ‘a little comet that hit the earth with impact as big as collision with Mars’.
“It is funny that in 2009 we were often associated with The White Stripes and now The Black Keys, while our music is clearly different. We only think that when we were started to be compared means we’re getting heard and recognized, we got no problem with that” said Bram.
They released their first album, Summer of Love, in 2008. A typical “youth” album; loud, fast, a skilled show-off with raw finishing-touch. Mostly talking about snobbish stone-headed young attitude. A tribute song for John Bonham called Bonzo is included, showing how Daud really looks-up on the late Zepp’s drummer.
Second album Eye Contact in 2010, turned angry youth into young man that stayed angry, but getting neater in composition, more bold in guitar riffs with more variety in drums and percussions.
Maybe also Daud’s day-job as a drum instructor that helped him explore his sounds while teaching. Bram once said when he was on-stage that being a two-men band means extra effort to produce different sounds, he thanked his pedals a lot and put it in a song called Stompbox.
“What triggered us to stick with duo-idea was because we’ve never fitted with any bass player, vice versa. Due to gears limitation, the sounds we’ve imagined were difficult to be formulated in reality”. But in 2009 when their bass player decided to leave, they started to get used playing as duo.
“We feel there’s something missing. So in third album we brought in a female backing-vocal to help us doing part that we couldn’t work before, it looks merrier on stage anyway”
Now their third album From The Deepest Growl is fresh out on October 30. Its first single Young, Wild and Free still provides the rolling guitar riffs with now more catchy picks on melody and the mixture of speed in drum tempo.
A more laid-back performance than the dark-ambience of Eye Contact, but still has the power of The Experience Brothers.
“For sure the sound now gets better along the way of our career. The creative processes of first and second album were purely spontaneous, and we can’t keep doing it that way, thus our third album was seriously made with concept and influenced mostly by current rock bands.”
With the magic of Bram’s riffs coming out from both Gibson SG and red Fender Strato, yet Daud’s “clinically approved” drumming energy (so energetic I saw cymbals knocked-off the stage for few times in some of their gigs), The Experience Brothers are speeding-up again at the end of this year.