Sliding back to normality and right through it

It feels like the tour has ended, even though we still have that one show in Bangkok. After we left Arjeou’s place, Janne went to stay with a friend he made on his previous visit here and the rest of us got to stay with Be and her family. So, what did we do when we didn’t have to change cities or countries everyday anymore? We kicked back. Slept late. Read comic books all night. Several nights. Be has a nice collection.

Our friday and saturday shows were with a great local noise-rock/grunge trio called Sink. (I told them about the other Sink from Finland.) We ended up hanging out with them after both gigs. Along with other people, like Zepol, Arjeou and John, who set up the shows and Kat, a friend of Don and Mckai from Sink. We’ll be moving in to Kat’s place later today.

Gratitude. Yeah. It’s just bubbling all over this body and mind. For all the people and other organisms (like the soy beans and other plants that grew up to end up as food for us) that have made it possible for us to go through five countries and twenty shows in one piece. It’s amazing what people can achieve when they do things themselves and in the process get connected with each other. By doing things seemingly impossible, like setting up an excessive tour for a practically unknown band from the other side of the world, we can convince ourselves and others that anything is possible if we do it together.

We have learned a lot on this trip. It will take a while before I’ll be able to specify what exactly, but at least some of it has something to do with community. Not leaving anyone alone, maybe.

Also it has been great to see how people set up shows and activity anywhere and with any equipment, in lack of specific punk venues. We have played on the street, in practice studios, a movie theater, a lecture hall, a museum, a strip club, a Japanese restaurant, a couple of garages and just a few shows in bars. Punk – you just can’t stop it!

I always liked to be in another country and do nothing special. Here I am, in the Philippines, sitting indoors with internet and comics (Nate Powell: Swallow Me Whole, check it out or die!) with a light breeze coming in from the open window, the other guys still asleep and I feel strange and familiar at the same time. I feel like it doesn’t matter who I am or who anyone is and that’s a good thing. For a moment, I’m not me and somehow that defines me.

Xenophobes – they don’t seem to know that people are the same everywhere in the world: unique.

It will be nice to get home, but untill that, it’s nice to be here.

One more show to go, see you in the pit!

xjussix

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Monkey temple, The Wall, Lion city, Batam & Metro Manila

After show in Medan in Sumatra, we flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We played together with Tools of the trade, a really good local grindcore band. If you’re into grindcore you should check them out. Next day Duan , our KL promoter, took us to Batu caves, an old Hindu temple inside of a huge cave inhabited by monkeys.

After saying goodbye to KL and Duan we hurried to catch a bus to Batu Pahat. Show was in venue called The Wall, really cool place for punk shows. In their library they had interesting books in English and we read Allen Ginsberg’s poems.

Next morning we took a bus to Singapore aka Lion city where we met Cher from 7x0x7 collective. She took us to our hostel where we left our backpacks. We ate in Indian part of the city nearby the venue where the show was. Venue was a nice small rehearsal room / music studio with an outdoor space where you could hang between bands. There also was interesting zine distro with lots of good stuff. One of the bands that played with us was amazing local band called Vaarallinen, d-beat hardcore strongly influenced by the Scandinavian 1980’s scene. Vaarallinen is a Finnish word meaning dangerous. I hope to release their cassette tape in Europe end of this year, probably it’s gonna be a split record with Veloitus. Have to mention that food in Singapore is really good and vegan treats are widely available. Day after the show Cher took us to ice cream bar, green tea flavor soya ice cream was especially delicous!

Raivoraittius with Cher and Hafiz

From Singapore we took a boat to play the final Indonesian show in Batam, Sumatra. It was an outdoor gig with a really big crowd. 20 bands playing. loads of good fastcore bands. Crowd was really wild when we started playing, insane moshpit! We still had three songs left when we heard that the fucking cops are gonna raid the place since it was a illegal show, last song we got to play was Police Bastard from Doom. Show was stopped. There was around ten more bands that couldn’t play. We heard that police was asking bribes from the show organizers. Pigs!

Anyways, we had really nice in Batam, we hanged out with collectively run coffee shop and talked about politics and stayed overnight there before getting back to Singapore next day. In Singapore Tuukka and Timo wanted to get tattoos from an artist called Taco Joe. We met Taco Joes sisters in KL and heard that their brother is Singapore based tattoo artist. We went to meet Taco Joe in the studio where he works. Also Hafiz from Vaarallinen and his friend Azura came to see us at the studio. Rest of us who weren’t taking tattoos went to hangout outside and enjoy the last night in Singapore. We also met drummer from Vaarallinen and his friend later on. We had a nice little party in a park by the sea. Azura said that we could stay at her house since we didn’t have any place for the night. Tuukka, Timo and Cher came a bit later to the house. We slept only couple of hours because we had early flight to Manila, Philippines.

Yesterday was our first Philippines show in Quezon city. Good audience, they were still asking us to play more after we played all our songs. We heard that we could play show also tonight, so we’ll have three shows in Philippines and then it’s time to rest almost two weeks before the final show of the tour in Bangkok on the 25th of June. Our host Arjeou is taking good care of us, I love his cooking.

 

xjannex

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Kids, remember to keep your track bike’s lock ring tight enough!

After our show in Surabaya we were going to go roam around the city with motorcycles and bicycles. Me and Jussi got fixed gear bikes and others rode with motorcycles. With the first breaking attempt the lock ring of the fixed cog opened, but I managed to pull of by the side of the road. Wiku and Donatello went to get some tools and tried to tighten the lock ring. I made few test skids and the bike seemed to work fine.  So off we rode to explore the Surabaya! Me and Jussi were riding quite fast to keep up with the motorcycles. When the motorcycle in front of me turned left, I tried to to slow down but nothing happened. I couldn’t break and immediately realized that the lock ring had opened again. There was nothing I could do. I screamed: “Watch out, no breaks!” and at the same moment hit the motorcycle that Wiku and Timo were riding.  It was a  real good crash, I fell down on the road and so did the motorcycle. I landed knee first on the asphalt and took a hit on my elbow too. Motorcycle’s gear shifter got ripped off and the bicycle’s front wheel was severely damaged. I got bruises on my knee and elbow. There was a fair amount of blood dripping from my wounded knee. Timo and Wiku didn’t got even scratches. And I’m okay too, so no worries, just cleaned the wounds and patched myself.

Today is our last day in Jawa. Goodbye and matur nuwun to all the great people we met here. Tomorrow we fly to Medan in Sumatra. Take care!

xjannex

Special thanks to Dodon from all of us!

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Suspicious venues, nervous breakdowns and a lot of fun

What’s wrong with you?

Oh, just another breakdown.

On the night before last I didn’t get any sleep and that took a surprisingly high toll on my mood. We took a train from Kediri to Malang early in the morning. So no sleep, no breakfast, four and half hours on a completely full train with no hope of getting a seat and a constant flow of vendors trying to sell anything and using the wonderful marketing strategy known as loud yelling. Well, it was bearable and as soon as we arrived in Malang we ate some tahu (tofu) and tempeh with rice, like we do three times a day.

Our Kediri show was in no less than a strip club, complete with dancing poles and boxes of tissues on each table. We played on the bar desk. The show went well and the sound was better than average. The other bands were good, especially a band called Hantamrata. The people who organized the show had rented the place, so we didn’t really have anything to do with the evil people behind it. They invited us to go there for free after the show ended and the place was opened for business. We didn’t.

Malang. A bus trip to the out door venue. On the way we saw an example of privilege and injustice: a high end neighborhood. The campus where the show was was also pretty chic and shiny, with marble and glass everywhere, surrounded by a fence with guards on the gate. I don’t know if the show was open for students only or for everyone. I’ll find out soon.

Things looked good at first. The first band we saw was Xenobiotic, grindcore with female vocals. Excellent stuff. There were some good distros and we did a little shopping and trading, which was fun. There was also a Food Not Bombs stall and an anarchist zine library. I read a little about the mudslides in East Jawa, some kind of corporate caused eco catastrophe that’s ruined the lives of lots and lots of people, I don’t remember how many.

At some point I was really tired and annoyed and angry and pissed off and murderous and destructive and crying for no real reason, like sometimes may happen. It seemed to be the perfect mood to play a show in. The show was for my part the most energetic so far and the audience seemed to like it too. Someone even seemed to know the finnish lyrics for the refrain of one of our songs. I got a little too wild though, and at the beginning of our first song I fell down, breaking the skin on my knee and twisting my wrist, which luckily didn’t disrupt the rest of the gig. So, another photo for the upcoming injury gallery. Tuukka is the only one still intact, though he got some blisters on his toes from playing basketball in bare feet. He emptied them with a safety pin in candle light during a black out.

Oh, in Pati I did the basketball throw of the century. A one handed cartwheel with the ball in my other hand, and straight from the landing I tossed the ball in the general direction of the basket and whoop!!!!! It didn’t even touch the rim! It was a stroke of pure luck or otherwise I’m capable of anything!But we all are, so that’s nothing special.

In Kudus me and Janne got to ride bikes, which was great.

Half way through the tour. The others went out for a little partying last night while I stayed in and read some zines.

Gotta go!

xjussix

(ps. We’ve heard about four live covers of that Agnostic Front song Gotta gotta gotta go! or what ever it may be called.)

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Punk and political activism in Pati, Indonesia

Raivoraittius played a show yesterday in outdoor stage as a part of protest against greedy corporations who are exploiting mountain area here in Pati, Indonesia. Great to see that hc kids are politically active. They fight together with the farmers and common people. It’s really inspiring to see how strong their resistance is. There definitely is something that we can learn from them.

TOLAK PABRIK SEMEN SEDULUR SEDULUR!

xjannex

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Touring touring

The others made me to update the blog in the middle of the night so I hope someone’s reading this! The touring has reached a kind of routine of travelling to a new city, meeting a lot of local kids, eating, seeing bands, playing shows, sleeping, travelling to the next city. It’s great to meet lots of new people but it’s also hard to have to say goodbye so soon, especially to people who you really got along with.

Right now we are in Kudus, we play a show here tomorrow night. We are planning on going cycling around the city tomorrow morning at 6am. That’ll be interesting in the left sided traffic after 4 hours of sleep. And I think the bikes are fixed gear without foot straps. Wish us luck.

In Ungaran the last city we played in, we stayed at a really nice old couple’s house, and mr. B (who’s name I forgot already) tried to encourage us to sing some Beegees songs, but unfortunately we couldn’t sing any.

Since our show in Yogyakarta a few days ago, a nice guy called Dodon has been travelling with us. It’s nice to have a local guide with us. Now I’m so sleepy I must go, but if you have facebook go check some pictures there until we get some uploaded on the blog!

This is Dodon.

xtuukkax

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Leaches!

10 hours and one broken bus later we were in Purwokerto! A moped ride through the sunrise took us up the mountainside to our home for the next 24 hours.

Purwokerto show was in a lecture hall at the local campus. The place had horrible acoustics and it was blue with cigarette smoke, but still, it was cool. Kill Kill Kill was the best band we saw there. They had a female guest vocalist with one of the most brutal voices I’ve heard. They tols us she has her own band as well, the Fixx, which had played earlier when we were having a rest after the nightmarish bus ride. Can some one please explain me why is there a traffic jam in the middle of the jungle in the middle of the night?

Our show was ok, though we had some thecnical problems. I hope we’ll be able to upload some photos somewhere. Right now our typical internet stop lasts for twenty minutes and contains intense facebooking and checking bad bank balances.

We had a swim under a waterfall in Purwokerto yesterday. It was amazing. The animals here are really tame, a leach even ate out of Timo’s hand! And my ancle and Janne’s back. A lot of bleeding they make! Nice. Timo burned his leg on the exhaust pipe of a moped which is the main form of transportation here. We ride them to shows and sleeping places all the time. The locals ride and we sit in the back, that is. And today when we arrived to Jogjakarta, Janne got a horrible rash, apparently from a plant. I’m collecting pictures from all our bodily tour damage. If it’s ok with the others, I’d like to publish it here eventually.

Some Purwokerto HC kids accompanied us to Jogjakarta for the 4 hour train ride full of hustlers trying to sell anything. Huge thanks to Rio and the others! Apparently you shoudn’t buy anything from them, though I don’t see the harm of buying a bottle of water from someone who’s desperate to sell it and you’re thirsty.

To night’s show is supposed to be quite big. Up to 200 people. We’re planning on playing a great show this time, but who knows what will happen. We didn’t get any sleep last night either, so things are starting to feel a bit XfunnyX. I’m so glad the people here are so kind and take such good of us! We really don’t need to worry about a thing. In Bekasi, when I got my shoes wet, two people were instantly taking off their own to offer for me to wear. Is this even real? Still, as our friend said, the governement here is the most fucked up one in the world. “You can buy anything here. You can buy law like you can buy cigarettes.”

xjussix

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