Sub-Cult got an exclusive story from Sammy Bramantyo, co-founder Lawless Jakarta about Mike Muir’s visit to Lawless, the vocalist to Suicidal Tendencies. Here is the story.
As we all know that Venice, California based hardcore punk/trash band, Suicidal Tendencies (SxTx) will be kicking Jakarta’s ass on June 22, 2013 in one of Indonesia’s biggest music festival the Java Rocking Land (JRL). Me personally am a big fan of SxTx, I own some of their releases that I hear religiously and repeatedly and collected their merchandise that I wear when I’m on stage with Seringai.
You could imagine my excitement when I hear that they have confirmed coming to Jakarta. I am glad that I don’t need to spend extra money chasing after their concerts abroad since they’re one of the must-watch bands before I (or they) die. Suicidal Tendencies were formed in 1981 even before I was born. For a band that made it for more than three decades, you could imagine how much their Indonesian fans have waited for this moment – at least for the last 10 to 20 years.
Around a week ago, we got the news that Mike Muir, vocalist of SxTx and the only remaining original member is planning to come to Jakarta early. He will be arriving on June 19, while the rest of the band members will be coming on Friday the 21st, one day before they’ll be performing on stage.
It’s been informed by a JRL representative that Mike will be bringing a friend who is also a videographer for SxTx, and will be recording Mike’s activity here in Jakarta. Mike is planning to meet his fans in Jakarta, maybe even a few local music scenesters that he can talk to, even do short interview for shooting purposes, or just for the sake of hanging out with.
To fulfill this wish, JRL representative picks Lawless Jakarta for the duty. Did we say yes? Of course we did, straight away! WTF!? Mike Muir is coming to Lawless?! I would let him spend the night here, let alone for visit.
After a very short discussion we finally decided to make a small gathering, Barbecue with friends who are also fans of SxTx.
We didn’t publish this event on purpose to avoid Lawless being flooded with hundreds of fans who obviously wants to meet Mike in person. Mike also wanted an event that isn’t too big and crowded, so we kept it small. After our last encounter with our JRL friends it’s still unclear whether or not Mike will stand to his end of the bargain. Will Mike come or not, we’ll be informed on the day of his arrival, which is one day before the small gathering is supposed to be held.
Because of the artist stereotype that if a big star is coming all the way from their country, they’ll be tired, sleepy, jet lag, has to perform in a few days, maybe a little bit nauseous cause they feel the need to eat ‘nasi goreng cabe rawit’, so that they suddenly feel lazy and canceled the meeting. Especially when this event is a non-contract based event. Nothing is saying that they’re obligated to be here other than the fact that they’ll be making their fans a bit disappointed. We know Mike is angry, but moody Mike? Who knows?
“Hey, Mike is willing to come to Lawless tomorrow afternoon!” It’s so good to hear this news on a Wednesday afternoon from Mike’s LO in JRL, Data who called us as soon as Mike landed in Jakarta. But why in the afternoon? No one is out of the office and they surely can’t be here. Data said that he’d try to persuade him to come at night. Seems that Mike is going to go through series of event while he’s in Jakarta.
Thursday morning we’ve been informed that Mike will be interviewed by a Magazine, and proceeded to an interview at a radio station then straight to Lawless in Kemang. Since Mike is at a radio station next to my office, I thought I will go and try to talk directly to him about his ideal meeting time, while at Lawless, the crew are preparing the barbecue, with or without him.
As soon as Mike arrived at the radio station, I went over and introduce myself to him. From our brief conversation turns out that Mike is a very kind person, down to earth, and likes to joke around. I told him that later tonight Suicidal fans are throwing him a small barbecue party at Lawless Jakarta if he wants to come. He replied, “Sure, I’ll come by tonight!” Right on!
Mike was feeling a bit sleepy so he’s going back to the hotel for a nap then head to Kemang, but not before I took a photo with him of course.
7 pm at Lawless, Kemang, our friends started to pour in. Data said that they were planning to leave the hotel at 7.30 pm but reality was when we called Mike at that hour he had just woken up and was going to get ready. It’s okay, that means we have more time to try and get the grills going. We got a tip that Mike doesn’t drink beer, doesn’t use any kinds of drugs, but not a vegetarian, so we bought all the things he might’ve consumed.
Around 9.15 pm Mike Muir finally arrived in Lawless Jakarta! He suddenly popped out of the bushes and yelled out “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON AROUND HERE?!” Well. . that didn’t really happen *chuckle*, but it would be a lot funnier if he did it like the beginning of the song “You Can’t Bring Me Down”. He arrived with Data and Pep Williams the videographer who is also his long time best friend since 1984. They greeted everyone before finally entering the shop to cool off. On the second floor to be exact, is Lawless’ office that is also a drawing studio of Arian13, we chat up with him a bit where Arian gave Mike a drawing that he made the day before. In the same place, our friends took turn taking pictures and asks for autographs from Mike. He even had time to doodle on the office white board.
After the friendly chitchat in the studio, Mike asks to see Lawless store which happens to be next door. We took him to see and gave him a little tour of the shop. He was pretty impressed with the collection of stuff Lawless was selling, where almost everything is locally made and most of it is band merchandise. We took a quick photograph together in the shop then proceeded to go to Lawless Tattoo upstairs.
Now, this was the place where Mike spent most of his time. He took his time looking at all the stickers on the door, asks about a few artworks hung on the wall, even tried out a Balinese mask that we had up on our wall. We talked about everything starting from music, culture, Venice Boardwalk, Jim Muir the brother who is a Dogtown pro skater, his history of friendship with Pep the videographer, shitty tattoos, export import, even religion to family. He really does sound like one of the guys you’d hang out with, and as it turns out Mike Muir also like ‘lidi pedes’ that are usually sold in local Elementary Schools!
I don’t have the heart to “ruin” his chill out moment by doing a proper interview, so all we just did was have conversations with him. I hope I’ll remember all the things we talked about so that I didn’t miss out anything in my writing. We talked a bit about how much he loves the number 13 that was finally done as a configuration for their latest album. Year 2013, after being absent for 13 years, SxTx finally released a new album titled 13 with 13 songs in it. Interesting.
Here’s a fun fact, other than the fact that Mike doesn’t drink alcohol, doesn’t use drugs, doesn’t have a tattoo, turns out that he’s never been to and never want to go to a strip club! Especially after the birth of his daughter, he thinks that if he goes to one strip club that is the equal to allowing his kids to one day go to a strip club or even be one. He also explained how he and his father were very close and his father always gives him advices that few of them became his words of wisdom/life’s motto.
There is one funny fact. The ex-drummer of SxTx, Jimmy Degrasso was once the drummer for White Lion whose vocalist, Mike Tramp is now staying in Indonesia and married to Ayu Azhari and is planning to release a solo album with Javanese lyrics. When I ask if Mike Muir knows Mike Tramp, he replied that he doesn’t even know White Lion! *laughs*
We all tried explaining who White Lion is while some tried singing some of their songs to jog his memory, but when we start to sing he said, “what the fuck is that? You guys are hurting my ear!” Seems that White Lion is only popular in Asia.
It’s starting to get late and Data, Mike’s LO, is starting to look sleepy so they excused themselves.
Once back into the first floor I put on White Lion’s “You’re All I Need” from YouTube and Mike bolted outside “Oh my God, this is the kind of song that you play at the end of a party to get people to go home.” He’s one hilarious guy.
Before Mike finally got into the car he finishes off a bottle of mineral water while talking to the others outside. He seems like he enjoys it here and isn’t ready to go yet, but since the JRL production team is very tired and they still have to work tomorrow in the morning to pick up a lot of the artists that are playing in JRL, Mike says his goodbye.
Thank you so much for coming, Cyco Miko. Hope you had an awesome time like we did. I’m a fan, always has been, always will be. Suicidal for life!
Words by Sammy Bramantyo