Efek Rumah Kaca on their 3rd album progress “Sinestesia”

It’s been three years after their last album, now we heard Efek Rumah Kaca is going to launch their third album. Excited? You must! Don’t know Efek Rumah Kaca? Bow down in shame since they’re one of the greatest name in Indonesian indie scene. Cholil, Akbar, and Adrian are three musicians behind the genius lyric of “Jatuh Cinta Itu Biasa Saja”, the provocative upbeat of “Mosi Tidak Percaya”, and thedazzling melancholy of “Desember”. Now questions start popping up in your head; new album? what? when? how? where? which? why? Read up, have some answers.Rumor has it you guys are going to launch your third album at the end of this year? How was the progress so far?
Cholil and Akbar : (share a meaningful glance at each other then burst out laughing)
Cholil : We’ve finished most of the parts, except mine. So we recorded this album per instruments; first was drum for the whole tracks, then bass, piano, guitar, and vocal at last. We are halfway on the guitar part, while on vocal.. none. Haha. We don’t have the lyrics yet.So it’s music before lyrics, has it always been that way?
Cholil : Yeah, that’s pretty much how we usually do itHow many songs were planned to be in this album?
Cholil : Six
Akbar : But the duration of each songs is kind of lengthy, around 6-8 minutes. It’s because we’re merging the songsBy merging, you mean like recycling your old songs, or combining the new ones?
Akbar : Combining new songs
Cholil : Making music is like plotting mysteries. Sometimes we don’t like a music because it is too predictable, like, we know where the notes are gonna go even when we haven’t heard it before, just the same old boring chords. We want to make something new, something unpredictable. When you see someone’s taking a picture on an upholstered couch located on a beach; it doesn’t seem to be in place, right? But what’s fit and what’s not, isn’t that all just from our state of mind? Why can’t we blend two things which are completely out of place, totally unrelated? That’s what we’re trying to make, to break boundaries in our constructed state of mind. We want you to let yourself be surprised by where the song will take you to.

Does it mean this third album will be like, more complicated?
Cholil : No, no. It might be complicated for us to play, but it shouldn’t be complicated for you to enjoy. Office matters are complicated, finance is complicated. Music must be enjoyable.

You said you’ve finished six songs, only minus the vocal part. Do you think you’ve succeed in making your music unpredictable?
Cholil : Vocal has a significant role in bringing the change of ambiance in a song, so before we fill in the vocal part, we don’t know yet

Seems like there are still plenty of completion to be done here and there, so, no exact date of launching yet?
Cholil and Akbar : (laughing)
Cholil : I want to have this finished by the end of this year, but we are having interference like domestic problems, office, stuffs like that.

How about packaging? Your first and second album came in similar package, any plans on making a difference for the third album?
Cholil : Well, focusing on the music material itself already requires a lot of energy, and we’re not sure we are able to spend some more on packaging, so I think most likely it will be just like the former.
Akbar : But the cover will –definitely- still be different

Have you settled a title for this album?
Cholil : I had this thought I haven’t even told them (Akbar and the manager-red) yet. It’ll probably be “Sinestesia”. Synesthesia is a condition where a person who has it able to perceive music as color.

Then what will this album be? Light, dark, pastel, or…?
Cholil : It will be colorful. So, we’re going to title the songs with colors, and there will be chapters. For example, “Black”. What brings you the sense of black; pocong? Current political situation?

Since you haven’t finished the lyrics, what topics would you like to highlight this time?
Cholil : I don’t know, life, maybe? Hahaha. Well, it will still be about life but in color metaphors.

All of your lyrics are in Indonesian, while nowadays many indie bands mostly use English. Principle reason?
Cholil : Well, language is not a barrier to enjoy music. Say, you’re using English to achieve this goal: going international. You can use any language to go international, because it’s your music that matters. Like Sigur Rós, he’s known worldwide even though he’s using his mother tongue, Icelandic. Or like Dengue Fever.

Any indicative change in genre?
Cholil : I think it’s going to be more folk, but that’s from me. It’s not really objective for us to define because we’ve been here, with our music, for years. You may need some second opinion from complete stranger-listeners. Before the album launch, yeah we said this is folk. After that, it’s up to you listener how you define it, what genre, doesn’t really matter.

Anything you would like to say to your avid listener who’s been eagerly waiting for this third album?
Cholil : Just don’t wait up :D

Remember an old saying: Patience is a virtue? In the mean time, let’s hold on to that while wishing them a trouble-free life, just so they could wrap the album, sometime soon. Fingers crossed!

Interview on September 23rd 2011