Exploring the richness of talent in “unorthodox” genres in the South East Asian region is something ATMOS tries very hard to advocate. In this SURFACE piece, we reach out to Heals, a Bandung-based shoegaze group consisting of Alyuadi Febryansyah (guitar, vocal), Reza Arinal (guitar, vocal), Muhammad Ramdhan (guitar), Octavia Variana (bass, vocal), and Adi Reza (drum). They are performing in Singapore for the very first time under the brilliant Esplanade programme “Rocking The Region” championing the otherwise understated independent acts regionally and locally.
Formed in 2013, they have a knack for distorted guitar riffs and streams of soft and melodious vocals in the alternative scene in Bandung and Indonesia. The five of them have been close friends long before they joined forces as Heals. Prior to the formation of Heals, none of the members have been involved in a shoegaze/alternative band as they were active members of the grindcore, metal, and punk rock communities back then.
On March 9th this year, Heals finally released their debut full album, entitled ‘Spectrum‘. The album will feature 10 tracks, of which three of them have been released, which describe their perspective and imagination towards human lives on daily basis.
We reached out to them with a few questions before their maiden gig in Singapore!
Could you describe how the Bandung music scene led Heals to start off as a shoegaze band?
When we started Heals, Bandung music scene was quite warm, some new bands started to come up, lot of gigs happened. But that didn’t lead us to start off a band. We were just bored to always be together everyday and didn’t do anything, so the scene isn’t the sole reason we started a band. But in general, We think Bandung music scene somehow plays its part in supporting our creative process.
Could you share with us the bands that Heals are influenced by?
My Vitriol, My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, and a lot of Japanese bands influence.
The members of the band were active members of the grindcore, metal and punk rock community back in Bandung. How important do you think these differences in genres contribute to the style of music Heals is producing?
It really affects our creative process in producing music, we learned a lot from the music we play back then, because that was the first time for us to jump into music. So we kinda combine extreme music influences with shoegaze sound, thus making it a bit heavy and melodious at the same time.
You have just released your debut album titled “Spectrum”. Could you share with us the inspiration behind the tracks in the album?
Mostly our musical inspiration of spectrum’s tracks come from daily routine, and things that happened everyday. So the songs and lyrics inspiration mostly came naturally flowing through our heads from our personal encounters in daily lives.
If you could perform live with two other regional bands, who would they be and why?
Amusement Park on Fire and Tokyo Shoegaze, because we really like their music and would be cool if we can fuse our moelodies with theirs.
Lastly, how excited are you to head to Singapore for Rocking The Region?!
Never been happier! First time is always way too exciting!
Heals have performed their first night last night alongside We Are Imaginary from the Phillipines and Nothing To Declare from Japan. They will be having their second performance tonight together with Singaporean duo .gif at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre from 7.30pm onwards.
Heals is an outfit definitely worth your time and with the increase in recognition for talents like them in the music scene these days, we foresee a considerable amount of genuine success for these guys in Bandung and the region.
Surface pieces are interviews with individuals or collectives that makes up the local or regional creative scene.