Thursday, July 29, 2010


Oddie Octaviadi: throat and general sense of order

Marcel Marcive: bass molester and principal design phenomena

Peter St. John: guitars, synthesizer and time bender extraordinaire

Richard Mutter: drums, percussion and virtual doom jockey

Alfa Putra: guitars, stylish scarf and the new ghost in town

A brief story of GETAH:

GETAH was formed in 1996, in Jakarta, Indonesia, over the ashes of Commotion Resources and Java Burn. Getah is one of the pioneers in the Indonesian crossover metal/goth/alternative rock scene. The early incarnation of Getah was heavily influenced by the likes of Jane's Addiction, Testament, Jimi Hendrix, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Motley Crue.

After several line-up changes and few demos, the band managed to score a major label records deal with Warner Music Indonesia. The self-titled debut album was recorded in Jakarta and mixed + mastered in San Francisco, USA. It was released in 1997 with lack of proper promotional efforts from the label. Simply put, GETAH at the time was an underground band on a major label with underground/indie treatment.

The band, with Jodie Gondokusumo on vocals, Marcel Marcive on bass and backing vocals, Beoy Feisal on guitars and Tyo Nugros (replacing Reeve who left for USA right before the album was released) did several shows and had their first music video aired for the song "Api".

As the first Indonesian band who supported the Goth-Industrial look, Getah became famous in the underground circuit thanks to its on stage antics and fashion statement. The band's wild life style also became increasingly notorious among fellow musicians and fans. Alcohol and drugs abuse that spiraled out of control halted the band's progression and left the fans guessing on the band's ability to survive without killing each other. While still managed to write more materials and did some gigs here there, Getah was slowly entering the limbo.

Then came their first tragedy, Beoy Feisal, their eccentric and brilliant guitarist passed away in late 1998 while visiting a Halloween party in the city of Jogjakarta by himself. His death shocked the band and their friends. The band's additional keyboards player, Peter St. John, was bestowed the honor to fill in as Getah's lead guitarist. Shortly thereafter, Tyo Nugros, the drummer, left to join a famous pop-rock outfit Dewa 19.

With several additional drummers taking turns in handling the duty, Getah managed to record and release a 2-song EP "Green Wine" & "Missing" on cassette in 2001. Limitedly printed and circulated, the EP became a must-have for music collectors in Indonesia. Also in the same year, the song "Closing Chapter" was chosen as a soundtrack for the movie "Gerbang 13". During this period, Adra Karim, a dedicated jazz keyboardist, was recruited and forced to swear allegiance to Getah.

As if serving as a premonition, the song "Closing Chapter" became the last song Jodie Gondokusumo, ever released with Getah. He passed away in 2002 after a long drawn-out battle with his health problems. The band was never more devastated. All friends and many fans attended Jodie's funeral to pay a tribute to him. The rest of the band took a break to mourn and reflect.

With nobody to front the band, Marcel Marcive played double duty as the bassist and the new singer. A new permanent drummer, Agung Cakra Menggala, joined Getah and brought his own unique blues-influenced style to the band. Getah did several shows in Jogja, Bogor and Jakarta. The boys cleaned up their act. Sobriety is the new way of life for good.

In late 2005, a long time friend of the band, Oddie Octaviadi (frontman and singer of an Industrial metal band, Sic Mynded), went home to Indonesia after spending half of his life in the US. When a local promoter proposed Oddie to do a show in Indonesia with Sic Mynded, he instead offered the gig to Getah.

After a laughters-filled drinking session one night, it was decided mutually that Oddie will front Getah for that one show. The gig fell through but, the bond between Getah and their new singer was created strongly. It was the beginning of Getah's resurrection. The rebirth. The eventual enlightenment through tragedies.

After doing several warm-up shows, the buzz started. Getah reborn. The Indonesian version of the Rolling Stone magazine was first to bring up the story. A three quarter-page length article tells a story of Getah to the old and new generations of Indonesian music lovers.

The band scrambled to restructure their management and musicianship as a gig after another came to their laps. Oddie, Marcel, Peter, & Agung started to write new materials, re-write old materials, record them and rehearse regularly at Peter's SoundX studio in Pondok Indah, Jakarta.

The new album is entitled "Release is Peace" was released in June 2008 through a local indie label, OFF THE RECORDS / BRAVO MUSIC. A small label that is dedicated to releasing materials deemed "unpopular or non-Top-40". With a new home and a full support from the label's owner, GETAH decided (against the trend of giving away songs for free or Internet download-only) to release the album in an old-school box set version cd with a bunch of extras thrown in to please the fans. It was 10 years in the making and it contains 11 songs that chronicle Getah's movement. "Release is Peace" pays tribute to Getah's friends/fans old and new. It is both an obituary of those who have passed away as well as a joyous celebration of those who are still living. Shortly after the release, Richard Mutter (ex-PAS band and a legendary drummer) joined GETAH, replacing Agung, bringing years of his drumming experiences.

The album received raving reviews from many print and electronic media. Indonesian Rolling Stone magazine voted "Release is Peace" to be one of the 10 most important albums of 2008. This award compliments Rolling Stone's decision earlier that year to name GETAH's debut album from 1997 to be one of the "150 Best Indonesian Albums of All Time". The first single "Release is Peace" received a lot of airplays on local radios. The song stayed from more than 5 weeks at the top chart on Volare FM radio. Three music videos have been produced. Merchandises are currently sold out due to demands from all over Indonesia. "Release is Peace" album has also been made available for purchase through Apple iTunes and it is currently available in 22 countries. The first 1,000 copies of the box set edition of the album sold out within 2 months of its release. For a band who has survived the change of seasons and managed to maintain its non-mainstream attitude, GETAH is excitedly marching forward toward an even bigger success, recognition and many years of writing more music.

Getah revolution starts now.

twit more at: @GETAH_Army

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