Dried Cassava: Shifting to the Digital Age

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Dried Cassava has been in the industry for over a decade. With over 10 years of experience, it’s safe to say that they know a thing or two about the music industry and market. Now this four piece band from Jakarta are currently in the middle of making their new album. We got the chance to catch up with the band about music, the industry and career, after they took the stage at the 6th Music Gallery on March 12th 2016.

Can you name 5 overrated and underrated musician?

Baskoro: There was a band called Swimming Elephants. This is a trick question! It’s so hard!

Nandie: I once listened to a song from a band called Strawberry Wine but they have not been heard for a while. Then I think Silverchair needs to be bigger, but they broke up so *sad face*

Bana: I think us (Dried Cassava). Well, I think us.

Kago: I think Jojo Mayer, well he’s a drummer.

Kago: I think Dadali band.

Nandie: What is that? Maybe only Tangerang folks know them (laugh)

Kago: They got 20 million view on youtube.

Nandie: Justin Bieber for me. He’s good, but I’m getting sick of him, it’s been years.

Bana: I’ll just say One Direction.

Baskoro: Silento. The one with “Now watch me whip..” It’s a good song, but when I went to his youtube channel and there’s only that one song. So yeah, overrated. Also, because Barasuara are all my friends, so Barasuara is overrated.

Baskoro: This is nuts! The bands are our friends, I don’t feel right about this

Bana: Yes, Barasuara only plays at Java Jazz Festival.

Kago: What do you guys think? Are we (Dried Cassava) underrated or overrated?

Us: Well… underrated, cause you guys are good but lack of hype.

 

Dried Cassava in 2005 and 2016, what’s been different?

Nandie: The difference lays in time. It’s hard when it comes to time. It was easy to find time back in high school. But now everyone has their own thing. But it’s incredible how we still find time to practice, to prepare songs, for brainstorming. I think those differences will create something different in the end. We hope it’s different but still good.

 

So when you guys rehearse or practice, do you like to play your own songs or cover someone else’s?

Baskoro: Yesterday, three of us practiced. We used to play RATM or Incubus songs. We practice for about 2 hours and the rest are just for jamming. But we mostly play our own songs.

 

What song do you cover the most?

Baskoro: All the Small Things by Blink 182

 

Do you have any embarrassing stories that happened on stage?

Baskoro: There was that time we played intro. After the intro was over I thought we were going to play our new song. So I screamed. That was supposed to be for that new song. After I scream, Kago that was supposed to come in asked “What now?”, but I screamed already. I was so embarrassed, it’s like I was just screaming for no reason.

 

You guys said everyone has their own thing going on. Have you ever thought about being a band as your full time job?

Nandie: We see ourself as a full time musician, but we’re not dedicated in only this. What concerns me is that if we forced ourself in to only doing music, we’re afraid that we’re forcing something that we should not be doing anymore. So I’m happier this way. When I want to play, I play, when I want to write songs, I write songs. There’s no pressure of having deadline for a new album.

Baskoro: And it’s fun for me to have a career.

 

Please describe yourself in one word. Not as a band, but as an individual.

Nandie: I am “Alim” (typical good boy). I’m not high maintenance. Straight edge.

Kago: I am dedicated. Maybe because I have a lot of things to do that pushed me to be a dedicated employee.

Bana: Sleep. I can sleep anytime, anywhere.

Baskoro: Mediocre. I always thought I got a lot of chance. But there’s nothing special about me, but I’m happy with it.

 

Have you heard Kanye’s statement that he’s planning on not releasing any physical album anymore, so he’ll release everything digitally through Tidal, Spotify and such. What do you think about that?

Baskoro: I think that’s fine.

Nandie: I’m an analog guy. If there’s no physical album, it’s just not right. Kanye in terms of business, has some major company behind him. I’m guessing in 20 years, there will be no more physical album. But I’m sure the value of cassettes, CDs, and vinyls will be 200 times higher in 20 years.

When we’re about to release Sensitive Explosive (Dried Cassava’s second album), there was an internal discussion whether we will only release only as digital copy or not. Our label suggest that we only release digital copy on iTunes. But for me personally, there’s something missing if there’s no physical copy, even tough in terms of selling, we don’t really get any profit because a lot of music store are closing.

Baskoro: If market says A, everyone will follow. We make music for people to listen.

Kago: Digital copy makes it easier for people to listen through gadget and stuff not like physical copy that you need to find at a music store. Kanye’s intention is just to make it easier for people.

 

On your youtube channel, there’s someone asking for your album for free. How do you feel about that?

Baskoro: We’re okay with that. I found someone shared our one album on Rapidshare and Fourshare. As band we just want our music to reach people. We want to get something from this, but we can’t get a lot then it’s fine. Because our goal is to have people listen to our songs and we want to keep playing music. But, if it’s possible, don’t copy it illegally.

 

You guys are musicians, have you ever illegally download music out of the internet?

Baskoro: I used to download free songs all the time. But since there’s iTunes and youtube, I buy songs from iTunes. But I buy less now.

Kago: I have and still do it.

 

We are excited about the new album! From their previous albums, we know it’s going to be a great one. Dried Cassava will be playing at this year’s We The Fest. Make sure you check them out!

P.S: The interview was conducted in Indonesian and translated to English by Svana Paper’s team.