SID keeps to a steady core of punk rock activism
Bali-based punk rock band Superman Is Dead (SID) celebrated their 17th anniversary last Saturday at their headquarters, Twice Bar in Jl. Poppies 2, Kuta, and pledged to stay true to their activism roots fighting for a more humane island for all Balinese.
On Saturday, after a sunset ride with dozens of their fans from the Alcoholic Rider bicycle community and collecting some trash along Kuta Beach, the band’s three members, namely guitarist-vocalist Budi Sartika aka Bobby Kool, bassist Eka Arsana aka Eka Rock and drummer Ari Astina aka Jrx, briefly performed three new songs from their upcoming album.
The three songs were entitled “Bulan dan Kesatria” (The Moon and the Knight), “Kita Luka Hari Ini, Mereka Luka Selamanya” (We are Hurt Today, They are Hurt Forever), and “Menjadi Legenda” (Be a Legend).
Jrx, 34, who owns a bar and tattoo parlor, said that the latest album would include a lot of anger, fighting and resistance spirit, as well as softer themes of love and nature. “We have to have the freedom to love, while here we feel that we are faced with too many confinements. Through our songs, we hope that we can motivate others to become human to their fullest, despite any restrictions.”
“We want to encourage you to continue fighting and struggling to get what you want and to become whatever you want to be,” added Eka, 36, a motorbike fanatic and owner of a multimedia company and clothing shop.
The band was formed in 1995 and aims to help the Balinese liberate themselves through song. “This is a very small island that nowadays is being battered by so many vested interests. We want to influence public opinion, to raise awareness among the Balinese people and those sitting in the seats of power to save this island,” Jrx pointed out.
“We hope the government will pay better attention to preserving Bali the way it was, when it was comfortable to live in, without traffic jams and other problems,” said Bobby, who also has his own clothing line and recording studio.
The three acknowledged that each of them already had steady finances and were committed to their music’s vision, which included not seeing themselves as merely a band, but more of a rebellion machine.
They expressed their awareness of being strong role models for Indonesian youngsters, who nowadays look up more to their music idols than their own parents or teachers.
“We have been together for 17 years already. We want to get to the level where no other band has ever reached. Maybe it’s not by directly entering politics, but we surely hope to better influence politics,” said Jrx.
Earlier this year, SID released a limited edition vinyl record of their best tracks from 1997 to 2009 on an album called The Early Years, Blood and Sweat and Tears.
The group, who has previously toured the US, Asia, Australia and Timor Leste, intends to release their latest album this year, as well as performing more overseas tours next year.
After the release of their fourth major album Angels and the Outsiders, which voiced criticism of all forms of social suppression, the group was invited in 2009 by the Warped Tour Festival to stage performances in the US. At the time, SID was the first Indonesian band and the second Asian band to have been invited on the US tour.