lightcraft on their gig at Indie Week Canada 2016, their new EP and the future
The four guys exchanged jokes and conversed as if they were old friends. The truth is, however, they are indeed old friends. These four guys – Imam (vocals/guitar), Enrico (keyboard/piano/backing vocals) Fari (lead guitar/backing vocals), and Yopi (drums/percussions) – are members of lightcraft, and indie-rock/dream-pop based in Jakarta. Formed in 2006 in Malaysia, they have released two mini albums (EP), two full-length albums, a mini-compilation cassette, and a split mini CD with an indie-rock band from the US called Wyland. They warmly greeted us as we got talking about their current gig in Malang. lightcraft is a participant in Nanaba Records’ “The Landscape Park Life” that covers four cities, including Malang and Surabaya. The band will miss the second leg of the tour the following week due to their participation in Indie Week Canada 2016.
“Yes, it’s true that we often get invited to play at festivals and gigs overseas, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to play in Indonesia. It’s just that we haven’t received that many offers locally!” laughs Fari. lightcraft already has an extensive gig history abroad, including festivals such as Baybeats Music Festival 2014 in Singapore; Saarang 2015 in Chennai, India; Zandari Festa 2015 in South Korea; Music Matters 2015 in Singapore; Rocking The Region 2016 in Singapore; Liverpool Sound City 2016 in England, Taichung International Cuisines Festival 2016 in Taichung, Taiwan, and their previous two visits to Canada for Canadian Music Week in 2015 and 2016. As for their upcoming appearance at Indie Week Canada 2016 from November 15-20 this year, they do not have any special preparations up their sleeves – although they will get help from their Canadian musician friends to play for them as drummer Yopi will not be able to make the trip.
It is understandable how they have charmed the foreign market due to their gig history, English-written songs, and appealing indie-rock sound. When asked which country they found most exciting or memorable for them, they were unable to choose one. “Each country has its own charm and the crowds are different as well,” says Fari. “But we felt most pampered whenever we played Esplanade in Singapore. Each of us were provided a monitor, there was a liaison officer to help us around, and we even got our own dressing room!” adds Enrico. They also shared the process of making their new EP “Another Life”, which took seven months to produce. Imam, who is the songwriter for lightcraft, said that writing “Another Life” was a new experience for him. “This time I wrote the songs from the perspective of others instead of ourselves, so this was quite refreshing for me,” he says. Fari explained that the lead single “Another Life” represents the plight of the many refugees and immigrants around the world who have had to leave their home countries to find a better life. lightcraft has also shot a music video for the song, which was done overseas, although they did not reveal further details about it.
Oddly, their new EP has yet to go on sale at digital or streaming outlets such as iTunes and Spotify. Instead, they have launched EP informally in its physical format first as they have brought a few copies of the CD for the tour in Malang and Surabaya as they only have limited supply available. They plan to release it digitally once they have finalized their promotional plans. It seemed like they are overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done, so they have taken each step very carefully in marketing and managing the band. Both Enrico and Yopi have nine-to-five jobs beside their roles in the band – Imam and Fari are freelancers – thus they have to try and balance their passion in music with their day jobs. They then shared stories about the hardships of being in a band coming from Malaysia and how they had to move back to Indonesia without knowing anything or anyone from the local indie music scene.
“It got to a point where we didn’t have to look for gigs back in Malaysia and offers would still come. In Indonesia, we had to start from zero as we were clueless,” utters Fari. They were also faced with a difficult situation recently after their bassist Kiki left the band to pursue his studies in audio engineering. “It’s been tough to find a replacement for him as we’ve been together in this band for so long. We’re more like a family actually. We’ve had help from friends for our live gigs, but to get someone to come in on a permanent basis requires more than just skill – there has to be a certain level of chemistry between us” says Enrico. Yopi, who counts as the latest recruit to the band having joined in 2012, has been appointed by his bandmates to look for a new bassist. “The other said that a drummer should always have perfect chemistry with the bassist of the band, which is true, so now I have to look for one,” he says in a witty manner. For the time being, lightcraft plan to go on as a foursome, and for their worst case scenario, they’ve got their holy sequencer on their laptop to back them up in the bass department. With the remaining members still going strong and a new EP coming soon, their future does not look bleak at all. We believe that they would only get stronger and better. Good luck for the new EP and have fun at Indie Week Canada! Peek their schedule below, including an additional gig in Hamilton, Canada.
November 16th – The Drake, Toronto (Indie Week Canada 2016)
November 17th – The Painted Lady, Toronto (Indie Week Canada 2016)
November 18th – The Casbah, Hamilton
November 19th – The Paddock, Toronto (Indie Week Canada 2016)