"Feeding the stomachs of the poor is not difficult, but feeding the starving hearts of humanity with Prema Bhakti – that is the greatest challenge."~~ Hallo lagi! Saya sengaja menjadikan kutipan tersebut menjadi semacam headline. Ini adalah kutipan dari interview kami dengan N4S, band Noisecore punk asal Filipina. Mereka juga seorang bhakta Krishna, vegan/vegetarian, dan Straight Edge. Jujur wawancara ini banyak memberikan pelajaran khususnya bagi saya selaku yang ngedit materi ini. Kesederhanaan dalam berpikir justru membuat kekuatan yang mendalam untuk menjalani hidup ini. Sangat filosofis. Ada semacam sentuhan rohani namun universal. Selamat menikmati! I think this is real transcendental interview. Hehe.. You can download their album here. And this interview would be publish too on Betterday Zine (Printed version, only Indonesian language) and also here: http://betterdayzine.blogspot.com/. Check this one out! Hare Krishna!
1. Hi, guys! How are you? Can you introduce yourselves to our friends in Indonesia.
Namaste. Hello to everyone there, I'm Balarama Das, screaming for N4S, other members are:
Bhakta Joel Pabuna aka Manay Doggie - transcendental barks
Gaurasundara Das - mystical guitar
Bhakta Marco Polo - yogi bass
Bhakta Vic - goloka drums
2. Before I begin with questions about N4S, what do you know about Indonesia?
Hmmmm... As far as geographical location, I guess your the nearest neighboring country of Philippines. I heard about the beautiful Bali Island. And I heard about there's a healthy scene of positive hc punk there. Just very little information about your local scene, so we will greatly appreciate if you will update us about your D.I.Y scene. (Well, I think D.I.Y scene here almost same like in Philippines even not more “colorful” than yours“. But here (Bandung City, the place that i living), to make a gig is very hard. Police will be very stingy to give permission. Moreover if there are any chaotic situation on the gigs, the permission would be harder to get. And I think because the people is not “really” respect. Although a lot of people or bands scream for “respect” as a important thing for this scene. Haha.. It’s a contradiction. WTPz)
3. You just released your album "The City Of Nine Gates". Talk about what this album?
" The City Of Nine Gates" is a portrayal of our inner journey of awakenings from external to internal worlds... It's a commencement of (R)evolutionary progression in the
life of N4S....a total of 17 noises, 5 of them was from the demo album "The noise Of An Old Intelligence" released 2 years ago, then 5 tracks were just played 2 months ago and the rest was played for the first time and recorded on the spot 3 weeks ago somewhere here in Pasig City on the month of Damodara.... The summary of purports of this album were about the nature of this mundane world - How we embraced this material dross. Delusions and dust that slips our hold. Time and again as we try to catch it, the self cannot be cleansed of it's impurities and finds itself powerless to ascend to the inner worlds.... It's about how we run away from a ruby and run after an empty shell...We had forsaken truth and yearned falsehood. We had attained this human form and in carnal joys was wasted- the fool the nectar gained yet it was poison we tasted...we dwell in this temporary material body- the city of nine gates- in absorption and attachments....
4. N4S is a Hare Krishna band, what makes you (your band) form the band with Krishna as the ideology?
N4S was started way back 1994 as a noisecore punk, then after releasing our 10th year anniversary album in 2004, a dawn of fear arises, a thought of change.... I just left behind and leave everything - the rusted modern society, beset by their inner emptiness, a cosmic dislocation and existential uncertainty....disillusioned by the whole show of this world, nothing seemed attractive, robbing the dimensions of our lives, I am sick of this material rat race, riches and games...I want a higher life.... we disguise our struggle by piling up figures in a bankbook to reflect privately our sense of heroic worth or by having only a better home in the neighborhood, a bigger car, brighter children, beautiful wife or big family, gratifying our senses.... but underneath throbs the ache for cosmic specialness no matter how we mast it in concerns for smaller scope.....
This is not an ideology...It's a destruction of poisonous pride....restriction of false ego...a sweet nectar, an inundation of various bliss...She's within our hearts... an unquenchable thirst to serve...at the core of our being is a focus of consciousness that is itself evidence of higher reality.....
Some individuals were categorizing as an "Hare Krishna Band", maybe because of our active involvement in the movement of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the initiator of the Hare Krishna Movement. But this movement is not a religious sectarian group or dogmatic bullshits, it's a transcendental revolutionary cultural movement to develop the potent metaphysical instincts of human beings and giving them a chance to expand and express themselves to it's fullest potential.... This is not a religious formula or some spiritual recreation, but is the most important factor of my life....Our lives....The aim.... The ultimate purpose....The higher taste.
5. And you're a Vegan/Vegetarian band too, is there any relation between Hare Krishna and veganism/vegetarianism? If there, what's the part of that?
Mutual respect for the sacred status of all life forms and all living beings based on their common quality of being emanations from the Absolute Truth....This is the basic principles of life.......as a young practitioner of yoga of bhakti, you will develop a character of compassion and realizations on the interconnection of lives in this cosmic universe, and you will cultivate the mood of humility and by the virtue of true knowledge, you will see in equal vision the man-woman-cow-pig-birds-fishes-dogs...... In the lives of vaisnavas, it's a common practice to be a vegetarian, it's just a natural transformation to avoid the consumption and eating of animals.... (Yes, Ahimsa –non violence. Because the God just receive our present from leaves, flowers, fruits, and water that presented by our prema bhakti. And we’re only get from the rest of the present as prasadam. I’ve red that from the local ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) flyer. WTPz)
6. What does Straight Edge mean to you? And what do you think about people sellout from Straight Edge?
Again the sincere and serious practitioner of bhakti yoga do not take any form of intoxicants like alcohol,wine, beer, cigarettes, drugs and all this unnecessary destructive and nonsense substances....
Those who are serious practitioner of the path of bhakti will develop a taste for higher activities and engagements that satisfies the real self...Through practice of discipline and controlling the senses, one no longer indulge or participate on thighs that will just waste your time and energy...again it's a common practice for the vaisnavas to avoid taking any kind of intoxicants....So there's no separate endeavor to be a "straight edge" once you are sincere and determined to pure bhakti process.....
As far as I know, straight edge is a way of living a clean and pure life..... We are all a bunch of drunkards and drug users before, but because of the teachings of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and our aspirations to live the way of the vaisnavas, the basic practice of the "straight edge" were naturally become common to our daily lives....
I had stopped taking or using any intoxicants or substances almost 7 years ago and I'm a vegetarian for more then 13 years and smashed a television set 15 years ago and I'm not interested reading news papers or listening to radio news....What I read in a "straight edge" zine 20 years ago, some edgers were also avoiding televisions or anything that contaminates our minds.... I don't know if this figures were enough to consider me as a "straight edge" too...I'm not an authority or the proper source to talk about this things, coz as I had said I'm not old school enough to be "in"....Anyway, I don't think it's enough just to be categorized in this another bodily designations, because no matter you called yourself "straight edge" yet you still don't know who you really are, it makes no sense at all...and sometimes, some people who called themselves "straight edge" were heavily intoxicated by PRIDE and ARROGANCE....so there's no difference on a wasted drunkard junkie life.... nothing but a proudfool.
Sell-outs? I guess most of us were sold out souls to the materialistic industrial commercial megamachine.....How essential it is to live what we believe... How vital it is to practice what we shout....better to live in poverty that to sell one's soul for an empty palace of gold...everything the world craves-- wealth, fame, amazing talent, worthless as the dung of a boar...Better to exist unknown than to sell one's soul for an empty fame..........
7. Can you describe your music. And what is the biggest influences for your music other than Krishna?
It's not music at all, it's NOISE, NOISE, NOISE and nothing but NOISE.... Hehe... We had a diverse and vague influences aside from the solemn and meditational vrindavan songs...... Bhakta Joel Pabuna likes UK Punk, Oi! , Grindcore and 70's stuffs Punk Rock...Gaurasundara is more on New York HC type Staright Edge Youth Crew, and Krishnacore bands... Marco Polo is into Heavy HC and Metalcore. Bhakta Vic likes Trashcore, Youth Crew and Grind and Crust Punk... My influences varies from CRASS - RESIST- D.R.I- SEVEN MINUTES OF NAUSEA- 108.. From Anarchopunk to Noisecore to Scandinavian HC and Trashpunk . Krishnacore bands affected our present day moods….
8. Few want to know you individually. Beside the band, what's your daily activities?
When we recorded this “The City Of Nine Gates” album for 7 hours, Bhakta Joel Pabuna missed out 2 working days, so when He showed up for work He was fired! Hahahaha. Now he’s jobless with a wife and 2 growing kids….Gaurasundara no job. Bhakta Marco still studying in College. Bhakta Vic just passed the board exam and will have a job soon…Me I had never experience or tried a waged job…. But We are very much happy with our daily lives. Everyday we maintain our daily personal practice of Bhakti Yoga, Mantra Meditation and we love to cook vegan/vegetarian meals and turned it into amazing Prasadam (Holy food, that present to Sri Krishna, WTPz)….We love to read and study and distribute the books of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. We have our weekly free vegan/vegetarian feast here in our ashram or Yoga Centers. We love to travel and share what we had learned from our teachers the Bhakti Yoga process to different people in all walks of life here in Philippines….
9. Do you participate or join a particular organization (such as the FNB for example)? If so, why do you follow it?
Long time ago we were involved in different struggles and autonomous resistance groups.. Now we are still very much active in collectives….. We just want to utilize our free time in a more progressive and sensible way…Most of us are volunteers of Food For Life, this is a non- profit non-government based on spirit of volunteerism and pure devotion to help alleviate the lives and consciousness of the conditioned living entities…Feeding the stomachs of the poor is not difficult, but feeding the starving hearts of humanity with Prema Bhakti – that is the greatest challenge. (Wow, awesome. What a great quotation. Absolutely much to get from this interview guys. we learn a lot. WTPz)
10. I had talked with your guitarist, Glenn Jason (Gaurasundara Das) about hc/punk scene in there. You have more "colorful" hc/punk scene than in Indonesia. (Negative, positive, religion, atheist, etc). As a Krishnacore-Vegan/Vegetarian-Straight Edge band, how do you put yourself in the middle of this "colorful" scene?
As long as there are kids in the scene who shows interests and enquires about life beyond the cubicle of punk/hc ghettos, N4S will strive for more active participation in the local D.I.Y scene….No matter how they tried to put us down or undermined us and other individuals or bands in the scene who are living a life of transcendence, the struggle and determination will not budge an inch. We will keep screaming for complete freedom, mosh around to bring joyous serenity from the inner depths of our consciousness and deliver the bliss in the midst of overwhelming sorrows, there’s no stopping us! Rediscover beyond deprivation. Sadness- monotony of modernity. Alive in the soul- at the hearts and tongues of those who celebrate it…We will rise above.
11. What is your plan in the near future?
Our plan is to continue what we are doing and maybe a tour outside Philippines…let us see…
12. There's last words to convey to our friends in Indonesia? Previously, thank you very much for your time guys.
Thank you very much again for this effort and for giving some interests on us, We really appreciate it… If anyone would like to learn further about what I had said, please feel free to write or communicate with us and we will surely write back.. You can contact us on this email add: firstname.lastname@example.org …. And about our new album you are free to dowload it on: http://sonidosdeliberacion.blogspot.com... And if you like to have a cd copy you can trade with us just let me know….. Thanks again to all of you. Peace. Hare Krishna!