J-Rock’s (J-RockS, JRS, J-Rockstar, Jakarta-Rockstars)
My first post shall be dedicated to the band that started my j-rock obsession, and they are coincidentally known as ‘J-Rock’s’ (or the artists formerly known as J-Rockstar
Technically theyre not ‘j-rock’ coz theyre Indonesian, but that doesn’t mean they’re ‘i-rock’ *lol* either, the lyrics are (mostly) in Indonesian but with a refreshing j-rock flavour. There isnt a huge amount of info about them in english, but il try my best to translate the Indo info. Very sorry if I miss-read something! ^^ no pressure..
About the band -A brief history:
J-Rocks played infront of an audience for the first time on the 9th Nov 2003. Not long afterwards in the beginning of 2004, the Jakarta Rockstars entered the Nescafe Get Started indie band competition in Bandung. After successfully winning this competition, they were snagged by the Aquarius Musikindo label and released their first album ‘Topeng Sahabat’ [Topeng= Mask, Sahabat = Friend. Mask of friend? its a metaphor obviously ^_^] in July 2005. Although it wasn’t a big hit straight away, and it didnt win any awards, the album was decent and although not mainstream enough for the general Indonesian population, they quickly gained favour in the small [by indonesian standards] community of people interested in Japanese pop culture as they have a distinctive j-rock sound.
J-RockS consists of 4 members; Iman Taufiq Rahman (Vocalist & guitarist born in Jakarta, 19 July 1982) -ex guitarist of Funky Kopral, Sony Ismail Robbayani (guitarist, born in Jakarta, 24 September 1983), Swara Wima Yoga (bassist, born in Jakarta 29 November 1981) and Anton Rudi Kelces (drummer, born in Jakarta, 17 August 1982.) J-RockS are not only liked because they are great musicians, songwriters and compose unique arrangements at every live performance, but also because their appearance is not bad.
One of the unique qualities of this band that is perhaps less known to the general public, is that it not only has a loyal fan base, but also a group of slanderers aka Anti-JRS. Many of these Anti-JRSers have one main reason for hating JRS, that being that their music is very similar to L’arc~en~ciel or Laruku, a very popular band in japan thats been around for the last 13-odd years. Even worse than that, they paint JRS as plagiarizing Laruku by copying their style. Often the Anti-JRSer will identify members of JRS with the members of Laruku according to the instrument they play; like Sony with Ken (Laruku Guitarist) Wima with Tetsu (Laruku Bassist), Anton with Yuki (Laruku Drummer) and seemly most often attacked is Iman who is seen as a “Hyde wannabe” from his personal style to his music style, even Iman’s falsetto is also compared with the Laruku vocalist who, even though aging, is still considered very cute. With all of these accusations about the similarity between bands, Iman as the vocalist and frontman of JRS is very relaxed about them, like they are something common in the world of music, and JRS themselves (especially Iman) are also fans of Laruku. Fortunately the debate between fans and Anti-JRSers only happens in forums, Friendster and in the digital world.
In 2007, JRS released their second album “Spirit”. Why Spirit? According to Iman, “because those who hear our album can feel ‘semangat’[fervor, spirited] and inspired to do positive things..’ For this album they have a guest appearance for the song ‘Kau Curi Lagi’ (You Steal Again) a young and upcoming talented female guitarist [who can sing too. some people get all the talent ] Prisa Adinda. They also went to Japan to film 2 of the music videos for this album and ran a competition for a number of fans (3?)to join them and be in the videos (‘Spirit’, ‘Juwita Hati’). Lucky lucky.
Currently theyre touring Indo, with an event in Bandung tomorrow, then an event in Jogjakarta [yey, i like jogja] the day after.
So now for the Discography:
Topeng Sahabat (2005)
1.Lepaskan Diriku (Released From Me)
2. Kuingin Kau Untukku (I Want You For Me)
3. Entah Bagaimana (How come..)
4. Into the Silent
5. Topeng Sahabat (Mask of Friend)
6. Ceria (Cheerful/Carefree)
7. Cahaya-Mu (Your Light)
8. Berharap Kau Kembali (Hopeful you’ll Return)
9. Selamat Tinggal Kekasihku (Farewell my Beloved)
10. Mestinya Ku Akhiri Semua (I Should End It All)
11. Kono Mune Ni (Japanese version of Berharap Kau Kembali)
1. Cobalah Kau Mengerti ((You) Try To Understand)
3. Juwita Hati (Lover *term of endearment)
4. Tersesal (Regret)
5. Kau Curi Lagi (You Steal Again) Feat. Prisa Adinda
6. Saatnya Kau Bicara (The Time You Said..)
7. Mestinya Kau Tau (You Should Know)
8. PDKT (PenDeKaTan – approach)
9. Aku Harus Bisa (I Should Can -literally.)
10. Semakin Sendiri (More and More Alone)
Im very sorry If I’ve translated anything wrong, or got the wrong sense ^_^ just let me know (nicely) and il change it.
In My Humble Opinion:
After hearing Laruku and various other japanese bands, I dont think JRS sound alot like Laruku at all. There is however a fine line between influence and plagiarism. I can understand that they would be influenced by them, there are many Japanese bands that have Laruku moments, and I dont think its a bad thing. Laruku almost embody the spirit of Japanese pop-rock and it would be virtually impossible to do a j-rock style band without being influenced by such a great talented band. I hope JRS feel flattered by such a comparison. If someone told me I sounded like Tetsu I would be beyond happy (its my goal in life to be like him, but I dont want to look like him. Rather look like Toshiya in his blue kimono thing ^^). I will admit however, the guitar intro in Laruku’s Ce’st la vie, does sound similar to Ceria, but seeing as Ceria is now 3 years old, wouldn’t you think the producers and record company’s representing the mega band Laruku would’ve sued J-Rocks by now if they thought they were plagiarizing them? As far as Im aware they havent, so I think some people need to let go of that and get on with life. Cest’ la vie everyone. Anyhoo,
I saw J-Rock’s in Jogja in 2005 at Liquid (I think). They were really good & seemed like a happy bunch. If anyone was there, I was the crazy bule girl jumping about while everyone else was just standing. *^^* One thing I didnt like much was that the event was sponsored by a cigarette company that gave everyone a free pack of cigarettes as they came in! OMG!… The smoke was thick as they started playing. Poor Iman, I’d hate to sing through that. (Im a non-smoker. In NZ, something like that happening would cause a major outcry and the sacking of some politician! lol) Couldnt get the smell of smoke out of my room/clothes/hair for days.
Ive listened alot to both albums, and think at a pinch I like the 1st album better. I think because the first album had a couple of dark, lil bit heavy stuff on it, whereas the 2nd album is quite light the whole way through. Theyre both good albums tho, they all play their part really well, and Prisa does an excellent job on Kau Curi Lagi.
So, if youre still interested after this massive rant, heres a few songs I like and recommend (I like most but il try be extra picky). From Topeng Sahabat: Lepaskan Diriku -fun, rocky, good all-round song. Kuingin Kau Untukku – pretty lyrics, nice soft ballad. Ceria – was on MTVIndo alot at the time, happy and catchy. Cahaya-Mu -Kinda dark sounding, but I really like the driving guitar and bass sound. Selamat tinggal Kekasihku – very sad but optimistic lyrics, lovely melody with bass. Berharap Kau Kembali/Kono Mune Ni -worth a look, unique sound.
From Spirit: Cobalah Kau Mengerti, I really like the chorus and its fun to sing to. Spirit, nice lyrics if you ignore the little bit weird english ^^, great melody. Juwita Hati – cute lyrics, nice jazzy feel. Kau Curi Lagi, also a great one to sing to, especially if you can find someone to duet with you ^^ best song on the album methinks.
What else can I say.. oh, the j-rock look is awesome – stick with it please! Men in make-up are very hot. *LOL* & selalu semangat ^^
Special Credit Goes To….
This is where I got the majority of material that I did a kind of indirect translation of. Thanks for the good info guys & keep up the good work!
Official website of J-Rocks where you can find all the latest news tidbits, lyrics, join the club, and you can book them for your next event. (Wonder how much they cost… great if they can play my wedding next year! <3)
J-rocks on Last.Fm, find vids, music, statistics etc
Looking for the guitar tab? Try here.
Lets see a vid or two:
Kau Curi Lagi feat. Prisa.
Lepaskan Diriku (hehe their style back then was cool ^^) Also check out more from jrocksfever, s/he has some other interesting stuff.
Great clip of J-rocks vs. Funky Kopral (FunKop)
Filed under: About!Music:~ | 36 Comments
Tags: Indonesian, J-RockS, J-Rockstar, JRS, music