Mixed Feelings with Pee Wee Gaskins

Starting back in 2007 where MySpace was the hypest social media to have between teens back in the days, these five guys rocked their account with their music. They name their band taking after the notorious South Carolina-based serial killer, Pee Wee Gaskins. Early 2000 was all about school events, or better known as pensi or pentas seni, and these guys paved their consistency of being the leading go-to band to be invited as the main acts in every pensi. 13 years later and they’re still going strong.

Alditsa ‘Dochi’ Sadega, Fauzan ‘Sansan’ Santoso, Reza ‘Omo’ Satiri, Renaldy Prasetya, and Harry ‘Ayi’ Mahardika released their first mini album in 2008, called Stories from Our High School Years. The album was sold for 2000 copies and basically launched them to stardom. Pee Wee Gaskins is known for the synthesizers touch in their music.

Post the mini album debut, the band had a tour around major cities in Java, putting themselves on the music map. Not long after, they were indie no more, signing with major label Universal Music Indonesia. The band has also performed in one of the biggest festivals in Asia, Summer Sonic 2012, featuring other known lineups such as Green Day, Franz Ferdinand, Jamiroquai, and even Rihanna.

You guys released a brand-new album called Mixed Feelings where you decided to do the recording in different places. Could you tell us more and what to expect on this album?
Dochi: “We got an input from a producer as well song maker, Erix Soekamti. The whole process was different, like for vocals, we did it in Pramuka island, while for the drums we recorded in Mega Mendung area, the bass was at Motoloco garage—a tattoo studio, and for the keyboard and guitar were done at Kozi Coffee. The last is another guitar sound at SJM Studio.”
Sansan:

“Many new things we discovered and learned as we recorded this album. Erix Soekamti is a musician that we look up to, and he is known for his strong musical character, which of course, can be seen in this album. So, in a way, there’s a new color in the songs, which made us has ‘mixed feelings’.”

Dochi:

“We’d like to say that eventhough our band has been around for more than 13 years, Pee Wee Gaskins’ musicality continue to evolve and develop, just like a kid who won’t stop learning new things.”

It took you guys three years to have this album and it’s finally out. Why is that so?
Sansan: “I mean, doing performances here and there really caught our schedule. Honestly, we enjoyed performing a little bit too much.”
Omo: “We’ve also been releasing various EPs and singles prior to the new album.”
Dochi: “Seconded Sansan, we got spoiled with doing gigs here and there so the process to finish the album got prolonged. But to give back to our fans’ patience, we released an EP called Salute to 90s and two singles, Fluktuasi Glukosa and Lonely Boys, Lonely Girls.”
So which track is your favorite in Mixed Feelings? Do you have personal reason behind it?
Omo: “To be very honest, I listen to every single one of them every day, so it’s hard for me to pick one. But Lonely Boys hits different for me.”
Dochi: “It would be Be Brave and Carry On. The lyrics are so sentimental and there was this time where we teared up while singing it. It’s about a relationship between father and son.”
Sansan: “I think after 13 years of performing, I feel like singing Be Brave and Carry On has left the biggest mark on me, I always got emotional.”
Ayi: “For me, it’s Common Indifference. From what I see throughout all the songs that we’ve created, this one has the most unique guitar chords.”
Aldy: “Ditto with Ayi, it’s also the most alternative song Pee Wee Gaskins has ever sung.”
13 years and counting from indie to major label—what is the most significant difference you guys feel so far?
Dochi: “Honestly, at first, we were afraid that our genre or our kind of music would alter after joining the major label, we thought our creativity would be limited. But in fact, we didn’t face such circumstances at all. We had to fund ourselves when we were still being an indie band.”
Sansan: “True, our genre just got wider and our reach has become bigger as well.”
Omo:

“In our case, being with a major label gives us many opportunities to promote the songs better. Like we don’t have to think hard and put loads of efforts to promote our songs.”

Within 13 years of performing, which stage has left the biggest impression on you guys and why?
Omo: “The last event we had, the one where we launched our new album in MBloc space. It was pretty cool with all the orchestra and stuff.”
Dochi: “Agreed, also because it’s the latest one we had. But to add to my list, the time where we performed in Summer Sonic Tokyo back in 2012, it was nerve wracking because we had to sing our songs to a vast audience who have never heard of us before, let alone being aware of our songs.”
Sansan:

“Also the one where we had our anniversary event at Rossi Musik, the venue was for 250 people but we had, like, 600 or more fans coming to the venue. It was way full house to say the least, we even had to divide the fans to three different sessions. It was crazy but I had so much fun that day.”

Ayi: “I’d like to give more thumbs up for the Mbloc one, because all of our wives came up to the stage.”
Aldy: “For me, it’s the same as others. MBloc and Rossi—we got to play 22 songs.”
Back in the days, you’ve performed in Japan quite a few times, and it was at one of the biggest festivals in Japan, too. How was the Japanese scene?
Dochi: “It’s insane. They put music as their primary needs, they put budget for their entertainment needs and it’s cool how much they respect their time in listening to music and attending music gigs. They like the best live houses and to top it off, the classics CDs are still something that they actually appreciate and enjoy, which is very rare.”
Ayi: “Art workers are highly valued there.”
What’s next for Pee Wee Gaskins?
Ayi:

“We hope the band will last a long time despite our busy schedule and personal lives. I still hope that the band can still going strong throughout the time.”

Aldy:

“I hope PeeWee will still be busy with a lot of schedules, and that we can still produce more music and stay relevant.”

Dochi: “I hope Pee Wee to stay relevant to every age.”
Omo: “To still be consistent being the top player in the music industry.”
Sansan: “And to release more songs in the future.”

Editor: Galuh Tathya
Writer: Windyannisa Cindrati
Photographer: Vicky Melly
Digital Imaging: Ari Angga
Stylist: Sasqia Ayuningtyas
Wardrobe: Vercline, Working Age, MoodSociety, Autiv.Fixin, LEGITEAMATE, available at TheFThing.com

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