This week marks the beginning of every indie artist’s dream festival, South By Southwest (SXSW), where up and coming performers will cater to industry professionals and die-hard music fans in an effort to gain some grassroots recognition. It’s an exciting five days filled to the brim with sounds from across the globe.
One band that hopes to cut through some of that noise is Jakarta’s Lightcraft. We interviewed the band ahead of their SXSW showcase about what the music scene is like in Indonesia, the band’s influences, and their expectations of performing at SXSW this year.
Asian Junkie: Hello, Lightcraft! For readers that might be unfamiliar with your work, could you give us a brief introduction to the band?
Lightcraft: Hi, we’re an indie rock/dream pop quartet from Jakarta, Indonesia. We first formed the band back in 2004 when we were all studying at university in Malaysia. Who would have expected that we’d still be going strong 13 years later! We love touring and have been lucky to share our music with audiences in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, the US, and England. We’re actually back in the US this week for an appearance at South By Southwest (SXSW). This is a festival we’ve wanted to be a part of for a really, really long time, so we’re very excited about our SXSW showcase on March 17.
Along with lots of touring, over the past 13 years we’ve released a few EPs and two full-length albums as well. We put out our first full-length, ‘Losing Northern Lights,’ in 2008, and our sophomore album, ‘Colours of Joy,’ in 2014. Our most recent offering is an EP called ‘Another Life‘ that we issued back in November. I know we’re biased, but we think it’s a great listen. Please check it out and let us know what you think.
AJ: Congratulations by the way, on being selected to play SXSW 2017! It’s a pretty big deal. How does it feel to be a showcasing band this year?
LC: There’s no better feeling, really — it’s amazing! We’re very excited about this opportunity, especially since we’re a band all the way from Jakarta. SXSW is one of the biggest music-related events in the world, and we’re very honoured to be able to represent our home country there.
AJ: There’s a huge opportunity for a wider audience to get to know Lightcraft for the first time at SXSW. If there is anything you would like new listeners to take away from your music, what would that be?
LC: That every single note that we write, play, and sing comes from the heart, and that our music could just be the new soundtrack to your life! The best way to find out is to check us out at SXSW or listen to our music online if you can’t make it to Austin.
AJ: Can you give a little insight to what the music scene is like in Indonesia?
LC: It’s a very dynamic scene and is currently moving in the right direction. There are lots of bands playing different styles of music — and many of them are really good. One of the challenges that we face is the lack of proper venues and live houses. If we can fix that and the disparity between mainstream music and indie music, then I believe Indonesia could be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
AJ: Your music is incredibly visceral and melancholic. Where do you draw inspiration for the music you perform?
LC: Basically, by everything we see, encounter, and hear about. We take bits and pieces from life in general, and from what goes on around us and across the globe. We like to think that each human being’s life is a film waiting to be made, and there are countless stories that we can be inspired by and take to heart from the people that we meet in life. This must be why we love meeting new people so much!
AJ: I hear that a third full-length album is in the works. What can listeners look forward to on the new album?
LC: Yes, that’s true — you’ve got some good sources! We are in the midst of preparing all the new songs that we have and also writing some more new ones. We have about 15 brand new songs in our arsenal at the moment. We plan to have about 25-30 in total, and then we can whittle it down to 10 or 11 that will make the album. We have been road-testing a few of them and we’ll play a couple of very new ones at SXSW too. The reception to our new material has been great so far, so we can’t wait to get into the studio and start laying down the tracks. The new album will be bolder, more mature, and sound a bit different compared to our previous releases.
AJ: For readers looking to learn more about Lightcraft, where can they find you?
If you wanna just say hello, then by all means send us an e-mail!
Thank you very much for interviewing us. And thank you to everyone for reading about us too!