Exclusive Interview: Go With The Flow with This Fourpiece Act, Fernie Sue
Fernie Sue emerged in the year of 2014, when Altama Sidarta (vocal, guitar), Rama Florenza Manafe (bass), Bima Abdi Wibawa (guitar) and Radityan Akbar (drum) decided to be in a band. Previously, Altama, Rama and Bima were together in a post-hardcore band called Arcks. Technically, Fernie Sue is the incarnation of the old band but with completely different set of music and influence. Fernie Sue are chosen as one of the local act to perform prior to Turnover’s show Live in Jakarta besides Indigo Moiré. We chit chatted a little bit with Altama last month to talk about what is the purpose of Fernie Sue, their influence, their love of physical records and the secret behind their laid back attitude as a band. Are you ready to go with the flow with Fernie Sue?
- Hello Altama! How are you and how’s Fernie Sue?
Altama : Alhamdulillah I’m well and all is well…
- What are you guys up to during this month (red: the interview was done during Ramadhan) or the members activity in the meantime?
Altama : Our activity with Fernie Sue is not that much during this month. Our bassist, Rama is in the midst of preparing his wedding and other members are also busy doing their own business. Basically, Fernie Sue is like a side job, we do not focus much here, it’s like an extracurricular but we still give the best we could. Overall, this project does not take much of our time and energy.
Basically, Fernie Sue is like a side job, we do not focus much here, it’s like an extracurricular but we still give the best we could.
- So while being in a band, is there any difficulties you find in Fernie Sue and what was the last activity you guys did?
Altama : There is no difficulty, because we do not want Fernie Sue to be a burden. As long as we could still do it and adjust the schedule around our own time, we will keep doing it. Our latest performance took place in Bandung where we were in one stage with Collapse, Much, Beeswax, Eleventwelft and Aillis. Since then we have nothing scheduled until now.
- If we talk about Fernie Sue’s music, what is your musical influence and do you play certain music?
Altama : Actually influence is a little bit hard to explain, because we listened to many things. Our motivation at that time was listening to the likes of Title Fight and Basement, and then we covered their tracks. From there, we could make our own songs. It can be said that those two aforementioned bands who prompted us to make a band. Coincidentally, I, Rama and Bima were in a previous band called Arcks from 2005 until now. So, we also got a lot of influence from that project. We take a little from here and there and mix it up to create Fernie Sue’s music. We play what we like, if we think it’s good then we go with that. Until now we’re happy, in the future if Fernie Sue require more attention, then we’ll adjust with it again. As flexible and as our capability would allow. ‘
We play what we like, if we think it’s good then we go with that. Until now we’re happy, in the future if Fernie Sue require more attention, then we’ll adjust with it again. As flexible and as our capability would allow.
- Without limiting yourself in certain music influence, do you agree that music is universal?
Altama: Yes, we totally agree. If the listeners appreciate our work, it is very rewarding. It’s like on the personal level when we meet the listeners, we’re like speaking with the same language which is music. It is the same case with our favorite music which makes us feel related to the musicians.
- So what do you think about the independent or underground scene in Indonesia especially in your own city?
Altama: It is far more developed now, the current is flowing high, and the communities between cities are alive. Both the musicians and the appreciators are open to various options which make the scene has its own market in Indonesia. The help of the media makes the environment better and it keeps growing. So let’s keep it like this.
- Is there any setback you find as an independent musician yourself?
Altama: The setback might be on the financial side. Most bands do not stay long because they lack the money. The financial rottion is not alive yet. We also do not know the solution and we often find this recurring problems in many cities.
- You have released an EP called “Detached” in 2016 via Winona Tapes. Was there any reason that you only distributed 200 copies and what was the concept behind it?
Altama: There is no specific concept or purpose. We want to collect enough profit to produce our next release with this EP. The ultimate goal is sharing our music. We hope to release another physical records, but we also want digital release since it is more simple. However, with physical release there is a form that we can hold so our work is visible.
- It is good to hear that you guys still want to put out physical records in the middle of this digital age and why did you choose cassette tapes?
Altama: Our label, Winona Tapes convinced us to release “Detached” EP in the cassette tapes format. We trusted them so we gave it a go!
- How was your reaction when you were offered to play at Turnover’s show?
Altama : We were very excited because we also listen to Turnover. Knowing other acts in the line up, we get more pumped because it’s gonna be a lot of fun. Hopefully. As the show is organized by 630 Recordings, which was filled with our old friends, we instantly agreed, haha…
- Is there any particular wish about your performance there?
Altama : Hmm unfortunately, by performing there we can not attend our friend’s wedding which is Ditto from Barefood. His reception will be held on the same time as the gig, and Ditto has helped us in the beginning of Fernie Sue. So, Ditto, if you read this please accept our sincere apology.
- What is your future plan after this show?
Altama: Hopefully we will release another record after Turnover’s show.
Do not miss Fernie Sue’s performance at Turnover Live in Jakarta on 15 July 2017. Grab the ticket while it’s available and see you at Rossi Musik Fatmawati!
Interviewer: Zakaria Arya/Editor: Novita Widia