1 Hi, how are you, guys? We are very honoured to do this interview for our readers in Indonesia and around the world. Can you tell us first the band history and the past and present band members?
Yuri: Hi, we are excited to be doing this interview with your great webzine and for the metal fans in Indonesia! I know you guys have a very good scene there! Our band is currently a four piece Power/Thrash Metal band, we are called Arx. I am the vocalist and bassist. Joe and Chris are the guitarists and Louis is the drummer. Joe and I go way back to our previous band called Munk. When Munk split a few years back, we hooked up and decided to form a band that will play the type of metal that we really love. Joe has known Chris for a very long time as well and he was our natural next addition. After a few auditions, Louis joined as our drummer soon after. That was in 2011.
Louis: Hi, we are honoured that you are doing the interview with us. I joined as the Drummer after Yuri and Joe told me that they are looking to start a new project. I was really excited as they both like the same music styles as me.
Chris: The interview process went pretty well, Yuri and Joe came around to my place and fed me loads of beer, in between hinting that they were starting a band. I think by beer number 8, I was convinced this was going to be fun.
Joe: Chris and I have been playing in various bands off and on for years, since the late 80’s, some Metal, some rock bands. This is the first time we’ve gotten together as guitarists (he once played bass in one of our bands) after 20-something years of playing, so it’s about time.
2. Why do you choose to play a genre of metal that has had a lot of critics from the black-metal and death-metal elites as being cheesy, wimpy, out-of-date etc (not that I agree with such people of course)?
Yuri: Hahahaha, well, if they choose to call Thrash and Heavy/Power Metal wimpy, that’s their choice. The reality is, without old school Thrash and Heavy Metal, there wouldn’t be Death or Black Metal at all. Saying that, we are actually bordering on Melodic Death Metal in sound. We draw a lot of our influences from that genre. My vocals come dangerously close to being Death Metal anyway but for every person who doesn’t like our genre, there will be another fan somewhere else, who will.
Louis: I grew up with Thrash, then I moved to Melodic death metal. I think that you should just listen to what you feel like. I think it depends on the mood that you are in or what you want to hear. If there is a nice black metal track that comes on, on my play list I am not going to skip it.
Chris: It`s all about playing stuff that you like, and of course there are going to be people out there that don`t agree with what you`re doing, or don`t like your style, but that`s OK with us. We play music that comes naturally to us, music that we enjoy playing, and music that draws from our influences when we were growing up.
Joe: Wimpy?? Seriously?? Take another listen to Slayer.... Anyway, there are actually loads of Thrash bands coming out of the woodwork, some of them really good. Actually, part of the reason we started this band was to just do whatever we liked, so we didn’t specifically say “Let’s start a Thrash Metal Band”, it’s mostly how our songs turned out so far, based on our influences. The reason for labelling ourselves as such (reluctantly) is because every website / online radio station etc wants confirmation of some sort of category, which is bollocks! For all I know, the next song we write could be a fucking Country Square Dance type thing.....
3 You have around six songs up on Reverbnation. Have you got any official album plans?
Yuri: Well actually we have eleven songs on Reberbnation. We just released our debut album, Ordo Ab Pax, digitally on 20 April 2013 and it is available there for full streaming. Ten songs are from the album and the eleventh is a bonus track that we recently recorded in Russian (Russian version of The War is On). Our album can be purchased on Itunes, Amazon and CD Baby. Also, our second album is already being recorded and should be out beginning of next year.
Joe: What Yuri said...we’ve had some interesting feedback on the first one already, which we’ll be taking into account when recording / producing the next one.
Chris: Since the release of Ordo Ab Pax we have been contacted by a few marketing agencies wanting to promote our next release. Drawing from the criticisms made about our debut release, I do believe we will go into the 2nd recording armed with a more mature outlook on the entire process and produce/release something that will be better.
4 Tell us the bands and individual performers who were most influential for the band and for you personally?
Yuri: The list is endless really, for me personally it goes unsaid that Iron Maiden, Megadeth and old school Metallica are the obvious influences. But I am a huge Melodic Death Metal fan, especially the Scandinavian flavour. Therefore, I really love In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Scar Symmetry and Insomnium. The vocalist that I look up to the most is Bruce Dickinson but I don’t aim to sound like him.
Louis: I also prefer the Scandinavian bands. I personally think the new Soilwork Album is some of the best metal I have heard. I also can’t wait for the new Amon Amarth to come out.
Chris: SLAYER are a heavy influence for me rhythm wise, I could chug on E triplets all day with various drum beats thrown over it.
Joe: There are the obvious ones, as Yuri pointed out, but also a few lesser known bands – Xentrix, Acid Reign. Lately I’ve picked up on some of the more modern stuff that Yuri’s introduced me to and that will probably show itself in future songs. I’ve also learned a lot from other musicians and bands I’ve worked with, so a shout out to Julian Fairall, Miguel Capelo, Darren Drawbridge, all of whom have influenced my playing in different ways.
5 Please tell us more about the metal scene in South Africa. Which cities and which genres are strongest? I love it how each metal scene in the world has its own special flavour and interesting features...
Yuri: The scene is quite small. The four major cities with a metal scene in South Africa are Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town. Unfortunately in Johannesburg where are we are from, the scene has died down and there is maybe one or two venues where we can play. That’s why we have really started to focus more on recording our music and promoting it overseas. But don’t get me wrong, there are some really great South African heavy metal bands. The genres are varied in the scene.
Joe: Yuri’s and my timing sucks!!! When there was a bit of a metal scene in Johannesburg (meaning that there were a few choices of venues to play and you could actually get the places halfway full), we were playing in a hard rock band. Now that it’s died down, we decide to go back to metal....go figure....
Chris: Having grown up in Durban and having been involved in a couple of bands down there, let it be known that Durban metal fans can mosh like no other. We`ve played gigs where people have ended up falling out of the 2nd story window while moshing. One guy took down an overhead projector that was mounted on the ceiling, after he launched himself off the stage and connected his skull against it. It really is a crazy thing to see people literally going out of their minds when listening to your music, and having fun at the same time.
6 Have you heard any Indonesian power-metal bands? I recommend you check out Umbra Mortis from Jakarta and Valerian from Surabaya. They are good mates of this website.
Yuri: To be honest, I have heard of Valerian through you guys but the Indonesian scene is pretty much unknown to us. I will make sure I check out and listen to both Umbra Mortis and Valerian as soon as I get a chance. As you said earlier, every country has its own flavour of metal but the international brotherhood of metal is stronger than ever and we must all support each other.
Louis: Ha ha I think I listened to Valerian at Yuri’s house. I think the song was on a Metal Hammer CD. I think we should get some beer and listen to the other bands.
Chris: I took a listen to some of the videos uploaded by Umbra Mortis, and I`m quite digging the sound, it’s definitely my kind of music. The guitars are quite freaking awesome, very Halloween type vibe. And watching “Guillotine of Enthralling” live I see there is a guy wearing a motor bike helmet in the pit...hahahaha..I must admit I never saw that once in a Durban moshpit :)
Joe: Not yet, but I’m always keen to hear new stuff. I’m going to have a listen to these two as soon as I can. If there are any others that you can recommend, tell us. I’m tired of Metal being dominated by Europe and the USA... there must be shitloads of bands out there who are really good and talented who don’t get a chance because they’re far away from the mainstream areas.
7 Any plan or dream to play in Indonesia? If you can pay your own way they would love to have you!
Yuri: We would love to play Indonesia given the chance, we just need to save up for travel and if you guys will have us on some festivals, we would love to come over. Obviously cash flow is always a problem as we have to sustain our dreams by working day jobs at this stage. But who knows, it would be absolutely awesome!
Louis: Yes that sounds really nice. I think we should save up and come do a tour there.
Chris: Playing anywhere right now would make me happy. If it’s overseas...even better!!
Joe: That’s sounds like a killer idea! It’s all well and good to go play the usual places, but how many small, independent bands would be able to say they rocked Indonesia!! However, the finance issue is the biggest factor at this point.
8 OK, now some fun: choose your favourite: Iron Maiden or Judas Priest?
Yuri: Iron Maiden for sure!
Louis: Maiden \m/
Chris: Iron Maiden without a doubt.
Joe: It has to be Maiden. However, in terms of sheer technical ability, KK Downing and Glen Tipton kick Adrian Smith and Dave Murray’s asses (not including Jannick Gers as I’m old enough to still consider him the new kid in the band...).
9 Number of the Beast or Powerslave?
Yuri: Powerslave, I love that album, it was my first Iron Maiden album that I ever owned.
Louis: Number of the Beast
Chris: Powerslave. The artwork on that album was brilliant, the music even better!!
Joe: Powerslave – it had just come out when I got into metal, so was one of the biggest musical influences for me.
10 Bon Scott (RIP) or Brian Johnson?
Yuri: Bon Scott, his voice was the original and more raw.
Louis: Bon Scott.
Chris: Bon Scott.
Joe: Brian Johnston. Bon Scott may have been there first, but Brian Johnston has proved himself by not suddenly dying of an overdose and is still kicking ass today.
11 Wallabies or Springboks hahahaha?
Yuri: Springboks of course, hahahaha!
Joe: Not sure that I can even dignify that with an answer.....
12 Now please give us your favourite hair-metal ballad from the 1980s?
Yuri: Does Slayer – Reign in Blood qualify as hair-metal?! Hahahaha, I don’t really listen to hair-metal.
Louis: Bonnie Tyler - Turn Around…. Wait what?
Chris: I really liked the Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford song “Close My Eyes Forever”...it’s still one of my favourites.
Joe: You guys just aren’t taking this seriously... Ok, I always avoided the ballads if I did listen to any hair metal bands, but if I have to give an answer, it would probably be Twisted Sister – The Price.
14 Lastly, have you got any special message for Arx fans and metalheads?
Yuri: Yeah! I just wanted to say a huge thank you for supporting Arx! We create this music for our fans and people who love metal and that’s the only reason we do it. So please keep on supporting our music. For those of you who are reading this and don’t know who we are, please like our Facebook page and listen to some of our tracks at www.facebook.com/arxband Also, thank you to you guys for the interview on your great webzine!
Louis: Thanks for the support guys. I really hope that we can one day come and play to all our fans all across the world. And I wanted to say thanks to this Webzine for the Support. You guys rock!!!
Chris: Thanks for all the support you have shown us, it means a lot to us that our music is being played all over the world and that is in part due to your sharing of our album. A big thank you for taking the time to interview, I`ll definitely keep my eye on Indonesian metal in the future \m/(^_^)\m/
Joe: Don’t just listen to the most popular bands, people! There are thousands of really good bands floating around out there if you take the time to look around (I’m not just saying that because we fall into that category...). And a huge amount of gratitude for supporting us!
Jack Frost note: The band has said anyone posting a comment to this interview will get a free electronic copy of their new full-length CD!