REOG on The Rock Will Never Die Tour in Indonesia
REOG on The Rock Will Never Die Tour in Indonesia
Los Angeles, California Indonesian-American melodic heavy metal band REOG are currently on their Indonesia “Rock Will Never Die” 2023 tour dates. Two countries, two cultures, one tour that will prove that rock, as it always has been though contrary to what some may have told you, is far from dead. It lives strong in the hearts and souls of countless citizens of all nations around the world.
REOG, an American band who proudly take their name to honor all the majesty and mysticism from the Indonesian tradition with that name, are now on their long-awaited Indonesian tour with a special Indonesia only pre-release of their new album. Along the way, the band will play 7 shows in 19 days to include live dates in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and the island of Bali while filming their experience for fans everywhere. In addition to touring and performing, REOG will also shoot two music videos that feature the beautiful landscape and rich culture of Indonesia working with veteran music video director Novi Hartoyo.
Highwire Daze caught up with Sammy T of REOG just before their Metal Knight Tour with Jessikill to discuss the activities of this amazing local band on the rise – ready to bring the metal to an entire world in a vast and epic way! Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in REOG, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Sammy Tampubolon, or Sammy T if it’s easier. I am the lead singer in the band and also play rhythm guitar. The band has been around since 2005, starting from the demo songs I did while I was in some funk band. I was only singing in that band and I was so itching to play metal again. That was what started it all.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local metal/music scene like there?
We are from Los Angeles, but we do play everywhere. As you know, there are a lot of bands in LA, we are just trying to do our thing and be ourselves. Hopefully it’ll translate to people.
Where did the name REOG come from?
“REOG” came from this Indonesian, where I originally came from, more specifically a Javanese traditional dance that has this creature as the main character. This creature is an amalgamation of a human with a tiger head and a peacock. We love that contrast, just like we love the heavier aspects of music (read: loud, heavy gain guitars), but also love catchy and melodic songs. That’s why we picked that name, plus it is unique enough that people would ask this very question. It creates that dialog.
Another reason we picked a “foreign” name is because we were inspired by Sepultura. Foreign sounding name that paints a picture in your head of what it means, even without you knowing what it means and somehow it works together with their aggressive music. We liked that!
What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming Metal Knight West Coast Tour?
Definitely getting together and hanging out with our friends from San Antonio, Jessikill!! They rule!! We got to know them from playing here locally, down in Orange County. Everytime they come down they will ask if we would like to open for them, they even specifically ask the promoter to reach out to them. If you haven’t heard of Jessikill, you should! Neoclassical metal with a badass front woman. Another band in the tour is also from San Antonio, Langton Drive. We are looking forward to getting to know them.
One of your tour dates will be at The Whisky opening for Bulletboys again. What was it like opening for Bulletboys previously and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
Because of one thing or another, we will not be playing that show on June 23rd unfortunately, but our Tour headliner Jessikill will. So you all should check them out opening for Bulletboys. We love those guys in Bulletboys. We probably have opened for them 2 or 3 times throughout our career. Marc probably won’t remember us, but always cool with us on and off the stage. Ira Black, their current guitarist, is always supportive of us too, along with his fiance Jessica Chase. Although we won’t be playing with Bulletboys, I will be participating at Ira and Jessica’s event at The Whisky on Tuesday, June 20th, Ultimate Jam Night: A Night of Metallica.
Select two songs you’ll be playing on the Metal Knight Tour and what inspired the lyrics.
We will include these two songs in the set list “iBrainless” and my personal favorite, “New Light”.
“iBrainless” is a song about how much we rely so much, actually TOO MUCH, on technology. It seems like we can’t think by ourselves anymore. iBrainless. We have to use our smartphones to do anything, to do small tasks or even to form our ideas. We are so dependent on Social Media and so on. The smarter our phones, the dumber we are. iBrainless…It’s just our tongue in cheek commentary on that whole phenomenon.
“New Light” is from our first album in 2008, that song is an encouragement to anyone who is having a rough time, in the middle of their trial and tribulation just to keep on fighting, fight another day, and even if things don’t seem to get better, keep going or change your mindset and see things in a new light. Hopefully you’ll get through that black cloud soon.
What could one expect from a live REOG show?
You should expect to have a good time! That’s the ultimate goal that we want to give to our audience. We have a very high energy show with upbeat and catchy songs. It’s heavy and melodic. High gain guitars and sing along songs.
If REOG could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I always dream of opening for the old school Queen. I am talking about the 75-77 Queen. They were so high energy and heavy back then, but yet super catchy at the same time. Very dramatic with their stage show. Also, they looked like they were from another planet with their stage clothing. We love all of those aspects of the band.
And of course, we would absolutely say YES if Metallica asked us to open. Who wouldn’t:-)
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of REOG?
Not really. REOG requires my full attention. From writing songs, booking shows, promoting and planning our next move, it’s almost impossible to do other projects.
Any new music for REOG on the horizon?
We are finishing up with this new album. It’s a collection of songs from the old catalog, the crowd favorite. We’ll have a bunch of guest musicians on it doing lead guitars. Our goal is to wrap it up before our Asia tour in August.
What’s up next for REOG?
After this Metal Knight tour with Jessikill we will embark on a tour in Indonesia in August this year. We will formally announce that tour very soon. They love metal out there.
Any final words of wisdom?
What else can I say? If you love music, just do it. Do your own thing, forget about any trends really. Get together with other musicians, form a band, play out, keep working on your songs.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
REOG on Instagram