Ask @kekalofficial:

Hello ! I know Kekal about several months ago.. Since you put free downloable album on your website i try to listen to it. I got stuck with "1000 thoughts of violence". I heard Jeff kinda loves japanese metal music, so tell me, what is your best j-metal song and why ? :3

Bagus Santosa Noel
Jeff: Hi, I'm glad you found Kekal.. Hope you like the other albums too.. "1000 Thoughts of Violence" is a good starting point to get into the music of Kekal..
Well, I do like many Japanese artists' music, and not just limited to metal.. To me, because many of the bands or musicians in Japan do not limit themselves into writing & playing one specific genre of music, they can be all over the place in terms of crossing-over many genres, but yet still manage to keep the band's musical character.. I can't pick a favourite song or even album in that case, but I have my own favourite bands from Japan.. My favourite are Ruins, Coaltar of The Deepers, Merzbow, Babymetal, MuryokuP, and probably some others that I can't think about right now..

View more

Kekal is over?

Douglas Magno
In some way, yes, as the band has no official members anymore since 2009, meaning that it doesn't perform any live concert or other 'normal band activities'. But it keeps releasing new albums with former band members and anonymous guests joining as anonymous contributors. In fact, a new album "Multilateral" is coming in mid-2015. Check out http://www.kekal.org/multilateral for details.

View more

I'd love to have an interview with Jeff regarding the music of Kekal and specifically Multilateral.....

Feel free to ask all your questions to Jeff regarding the music of Kekal through this ask.fm platform & you can use all the answers for your media (radio, zine, etc.). Jeff no longer does any interviews for Kekal by phone ever since he officially left the band in 2009.

View more

A lot of independent bands and musicians tried to raise money for their recording by asking fans to donate on the internet. What's your opinion on this? Do you see Kekal doing this too in the future?

Levi: Maybe it's good to see some people are now open about their financial issue and others are responding positively. I personaly haven't thought this would be the way out though. If it were my band and I couldn't release a studio album then fine, I'd do live performances all the time. That eventually and hopefully would able the band to save something for recording. This is how I see it, if the painters could paint, they paint. If the bands could play their music, then play. Besides, if bands in the past could survive their early days by not doing this fund raising thing, I think we can do it better these days. Exhibition is not the only goal right?
Jeff: I personally don't mind with bands asking fans to donate in order for them to record new album, being independent means you can't get the recording money from record labels.. But that's not something that I believe.. I would prefer to record my music in the 'poverty-spec environment' rather than having to beg anyone for funds.. This is because I don't want anyone to tell me what kind of music I should do, and if they already put money in it, creatively-speaking, I'm bound to please the donors on the music I make with their money.. That's why I never want this situation to happen, because my music has to be artistically free.. The approach of Kekal has always like this: Do your own thing and do it yourself.. So rather than forcing ourselves to enter the professional studio and pay big amount of money every time we make an album, we always do everything by ourselves and cut the cost.. I had to learn how to produce music, bought modest digital audio workstation for that, and I even took a recording arts training in 2006.. By doing that, we can avoid having to go to the professional studio and pay the engineer to produce and record the music.. That's the most ideal thing we can do as an independent band or musicians.. Technologies have improved so much now that I don't think we ever need to hire an expensive studio and sound engineer in order to get a decent sound.. All you need to do is having a space to record your music, a computer with decent audio interface & DAW recording software + effect plugins, and some knowledge of recording and mixing.. These recording software and plugins can be obtained for less than $1000 now and you can keep those for up to 10 years, even more.. But, of course, if you're bound to record the whole band completely live in the studio, you would need like 16 individual tracks getting in at the same time, a 24-channel mixing board & big rooms to fit everything, there's no alternative to do that at home.. That's the case when you may need money for professional studio to record your music but even in that case, you should be able to take all the recording files with you & edit, mix and master them at home.. That would save you many studio hours and thus the studio costs..

View more

Just curious as to what your outlook on life is. You kinda think outside the box, and I really admire that.What are you trying to express in your heart when you create Kekal music? I feel so many of the musical questions have been answered just wanted to ask a more emotional question.

Jeff: Your question is quite difficult for me to answer, because it really depends on the environment and also timing, those 2 factors have basically influenced me.. As you know, the music of Kekal is very diverse and multi-layered, it is not only limited to the style alone, but also mood, temperament and sometimes even depth as well.. It is the result of what I call it "limitless expression".. We express pretty much everything: our thoughts, feelings, sometimes opinions to our own life experiences, but not limited to that.. and these are definitely varied from song to song, album to album.. There's no specific formula or a certain way of doing it.. We always treat music as art, and for me personally, music composing is pretty much art by itself.. I enjoy the process of it as much as I enjoy the results.. I never see my music as a business or career, so there's nothing that holds me back from expressing myself fully.. No second thoughts at all, and I believe it's the same thing with Levi and Leo too.. Levi does the artwork for Kekal and has been for almost 10 years now, and drawing is his personal expression.. Right now it becomes an integral part of Kekal's output alongside the music..

View more

Hi guys. I have two questions. First, are modulated vocals on ''Default'' from 1000 Thoughts Of Violence female? Second, can we expect some harsh/shrieks/growls back in the future in your releases? Third, can I use some of your tracks in my artistic portfolio presenatation as a background music?

1st - Yes.
2nd - Can't really tell you right now what kind of elements needed for any future music that hasn't been written yet. The answer is that you can always expect anything and everything to come out from Kekal, and yet you'll be surprised.
3rd - Yes for sure, feel free to use any Kekal music that you think might fit.

View more

Hello Kekal, I am making a video compiling 38 styles of heavy music and I would like to ask your permission to use 20 second audio piece of: Kekal - Isolation I [The Habit of Fire] Or I can just do it right away? Thank you.

Sure. Feel free to use that. If possible, you could either put Kekal name on the credits or on the video description (example: 4:33 - 4:53 Kekal - Isolated I).

View more

I noticed that on the intro to Subsession/Once Again It Failed from 100 Thoughts of Violence, It is a sample of the end credit music from the video game POSTAL. Is this correct? and if so, have any members of the group played the game? do you, or have you once played video games? if so, which ones?

Jeff: Oh really? I didn't know until you told me! Actually the sound was taken from the mid or late 90's royalty-free sample CD, and later on we noticed that some other parties (producers, musicians, game developers) also used samples from that CD, although they altered the sound and we did alter many of the sounds too, except for that one.. So, most likely they've used the same sample from the same CD.. But no, none of us play video games.. We don't have time.. But I did, sometimes, play computer games like Sim City, Civilization, & similar stuff once in a while in the past, but not video games..

View more

so, i was heard Kekal will using Megurine Luka.. i'm a fans of Vocaloid Metal too.. but i need to know what's the reasons for using Luka-chan as a vocal rather than other famous vocaloid like Hatsune Miku or Gumi Megoid which is usually popular in the metal vocaloid scene? thx before :D

Fahrur Ade
Jeff: Well, as your question may have already answered in earlier questions here about Vocaloid, so far I only found Megurine Luka's tone as the most suitable for the music Kekal.. The music of Kekal doesn't get shaped based on the character or tone of instruments (I always consider singing vocals as instruments too), but the other way around: the instruments have to fit the scope of music.. Same thing with guitars, I've never used down-tuned guitars or 7-strings because the music of Kekal only needs chords and riffs played mostly in higher notes for the guitar.. Doesn't really matter if lots of other metal bands use down-tuned guitars & play chugga chugga jugojugo djent djent, I don't really care.. Kekal is Kekal, and the band has its own sound & style.. So in the case of choosing the vocaloid character that fits with the music of Kekal, I only found Megurine Luka to be the most suitable.. Kekal isn't really a vocaloid-based band per se, we only use vocaloid because we wanted to have feminine vocal tones for some of the new songs, but because of the current situation and also the way the songs were written/produced - it was harder to get someone to sing, so vocaloid turned out to be the best solution in this case.. but of course, vocal character is important..

View more

what do you think of Megurine Luka?

Jeff: Well I must admit that I just knew Megurine Luka character quite recently, by accident.. In the past, I thought all Vocaloid characters sound quite in the vein of Hatsune Miku, you know, like a kind of cute anime-centric feminine tone.. But Megurine Luka has a darker, deeper timbre and a bit of raspy, throaty tone, almost sounds like a cross between Vera (one of the singers on "My Eternal Lover" song) and Elizabeth Fraser's falsetto.. To me Luka is the most 'gothic' character in Vocaloid library, so far.. It's been a blessing to actually find it.. But I'm still learning how to produce songs with Vocaloid.. To start with, I always want it to sound natural.. That's my first rule.. In Vocaloid you can set your own range, it's a machine so to speak, I mean you can have a 6-octave range for one singer.. In that case sometimes it feels that your choice of notes could be outside the 'range' than what the character can naturally deliver.. So one of the ways to find out is to listen to the voice provider, her name is Yuu Asakawa, the actual singer who provided vocal tone for Megurine Luka.. I just listened to her songs on Youtube, and from there you could find her comfort range.. Even though Megurine Luka doesn't really sound like its voice provider, but at least you can have a bigger picture in getting the correct range for the vocals..

View more

What music or albums do you listen during recording of "Multilateral"? And in what degree they have influenced your music and sound on the album? I've heard dub, dubstep, triphop, glitch, and other styles.

Jeff: Interesting question, I've never been asked like this before.. Well, the album has been in production for more than 2 years now, so I've listened to a lot of music since then.. I'm not sure whether all of these music have somewhat influenced the songs I wrote for Multilateral or not, but there are interesting music and albums I've listened repeatedly during the past 6 months or so.. Here I put some: Napalm Death "Utilitarian" & "Utopia Banished", Coaltar of the Deepers "Yukari Telepath" & "Bear EP", Killing Joke "Absolute Dissent" & "Night Time", Babymetal's debut album, Bark Psychosis "Codename Dustsucker", Tanya Tagaq "Animism", also as I'm learning to produce songs with Vocaloid, I also listen to some artists that use Vocaloid.. My current favourites are MuryokuP, Kikuo, Machigerita & Babuchan.. I encourage you all to check out the album "Eschatology" from MuryokuP and also "The Epilogue of World" from Babuchan.. As for dub/reggae, I just love to incorporate more of that groove into the music of Kekal.. I found out that groove would make the whole music to breathe a lot more than just a plain, normal rock, and it moves you better..

View more

Additional note to question below:

Kekal
Jeff: Harry did vocals on the 1995-1996 demos as well as the debut album "Beyond The Glimpse of Dreams", Newbabe did bass on the demo, and Yeris did guitar on the demo.. And yes I was involved in Kekal since the beginning and all the demo sessions were recorded in my bedroom..

View more

Wikipedia lists Yeris, Harry and Newbabe as founding Kekal members (even before Jeff joined the band) but little is known from them. Could you please talk about their involvement with Kekal and what are they currently up to, or if they participate in any other band or project?

They're not in the bands and they did not authorize Kekal to disclose what they're doing right now. Jeff joined Kekal since the formation, but because he played in another band at that time he could not put his name as official member (he was trying to secure recording deal with his other band). But the whole idea of 'Kekal' in 1995 was not meant to be a normal band in the first place. It was intended as an institution, just like Kekal post 2009.

View more

From what I hear so far in 5 songs, Multilateral is an excellent album and a sincere return to form. What's your expectation to this album?

Jeff: Thank you.. I don't expect too much, but a least I hope the album will get the attention it deserves from the potential listeners.. That means I hope I can find a decent record label that is willing to put the album out on limited-edition CD.. By the time the album is released, Kekal will turn 20 years!! Having your album out on CD means that some important publications can do the review of it.. Most of these publications don't accept digital download albums for review.. I don't really mind not getting money from the sales of the CD, as long as the album can have a decent promotion and be known out there.. Many people still haven't discovered Kekal yet.. I've put so much time and energy into this album, more than other albums I've worked for Kekal.. It has been over 2 years already since the recording started and it hasn't even reached 90% now, but it's getting there.. My target wasn't that simple, it has to be one of the 3 best albums of Kekal.. So far, my personal favourite Kekal albums (that I call them "the best ones") are "1000 Thoughts of Violence", "The Habit of Fire" and "Acidity".. None of the other albums came close to the level set up by those 3 albums.. But "Multilateral" has some of the best material ever written under the name Kekal, and production-wise, it's the best I've ever achieved without having to spend time doing mixing in the professional studio.. Levi does outstanding pieces of drawing for this album, so artistically, we have already done the best we can.. I have high hopes for "Multilateral"..

View more

If I remember well Kekal went on tour many years ago...there was a dvd, too. Do you plan to release this and other live material, sooner or later?

Jeff: There's no plan to re-release that European tour video physically.. The video was released on disc originally because back in the day, in 2004, there was no Youtube yet.. Right now I think Youtube is the best platform to watch those kinds of video.. Unless, the video was done professionally and it had some surround sound option - something like that.. But the live videos we shot just by personal camcorder, nowhere near professional.. I have posted some of the scenes from the tour video on Youtube, check it out https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLP6z5qEXQPO2d6QuiR2RZgSia9YlrgY47

View more

What made you to add so much electronic into the metal sound of Kekal?

Jeff: Well, I've been a fan of electronic music since 1986 or so.. Even though I was really into metal back in those days, I also 'secretly' listened to stuff like Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys or A-ha.. Of course I didn't know about the underground electronic music back then, all I listened to was more mainstream stuff that I could get the cassette albums in normal record stores.. But even then, I enjoyed Depeche Mode much more than those commercial hair/glam rock bands in the 80s.. That's why when bands like Ministry or Nine Inch Nails came up with heavier sounds back in the late 80s, I could get into them quicker than most of my metalhead friends, because I already dig electronic stuff.. Actually, before I joined Kekal, I was in another band called Inner Warfare, and the music already had some electronic elements to it.. We used Roland TR drum machine, MIDI sequencer and some samples too.. So when Kekal started to incorporate electronic elements in 2001, it was quite an easy feat, and from there it only got bigger..! For me, personally, there is more joy playing around and experimenting with electronic music instruments than with organic ones.. And with this current digital technology, with all the advancements of digital modeling of analog electronic instruments, that makes electronic music to be more accessible for your budget.. For example, you don't really need to spend thousands of dollars in order to get Moog modular synthesizers physically right now, as you can get the software version of that for your computer.. Like right now, I even use some of free Android apps to record some cool 'analog' synthesizers for Kekal..

View more

The lyrics on your first few albums and statements you've given in interviews from around that period give the impression that as individuals, you believe in a sort of Christian worldview. your music has changed a lot over the years, but is still familiar - has your spirituality changed, and how?

Jeff: I don't think my spirituality has changed.. But my attitude towards religion may have changed, that includes the so-called "religious Christianity".. If anyone ever tried to connect Kekal's spirituality only with religion alone, then they would see the changes as I don't believe in that kind of connection.. But most people see spirituality only through religion, because of self-insecurity.. Religion can give you a good false sense of security, the same way any sub-culture does.. You belong to a community that shares the similar way of doing things, you would then feel accepted and feel 'at-home'.. But spirituality is a whole different thing: the more struggle you had to deal with in life, the more you would test your true spirituality - either it grows or vice versa.. Sadly, most people tend to hide behind religion as some sort of shield, that could damage true spirituality for the sake of social conformity..

View more

Is there any possibility to use a real drummer in any future recordings?

Jeff: I can only say that for right now it is almost impossible, because I write music as I produce & record it (I have used this approach since "The Habit of Fire" album) - and one song can normally take up to 2 years in the recording process.. That means I have to put drum parts even during the very beginning of recording, only to be dissected in the middle of the process, because the arrangement got changed or there are additional sections needed to be put in.. In some of the songs since "The Habit of Fire", you would notice the different drum sounds used even within one song (like the types of snare and the bass drum sounds).. It is very different when we wrote material for "Beyond The Glimpse of Dreams" or "Embrace The Dead" because we wrote most of the songs through jamming, and we would record them almost "at once" or within a short time period, meaning that all the songwriting have been done by the time we entered to studio.. In fact I had been contacted by probably 5 drummers, that they really wanted to be part of Kekal.. They're really good drummers, some can even do blastbeats properly and can play polyrhytmic.. I'm flattered, really, I'd thank them very much for being interested in the music of Kekal.. but then again, if I ever thought of using a drummer, it would be better for the drummer to contribute in the writing process, which in turn, could make it impossible unless he/she lives in the same town with me and write and record the songs together, on the spot right from the very beginning.. Sending recording tracks back and forth isn't a good option.. I've tried this approach with Leo (the other guitarist).. During the songwriting of "Autonomy" we tried to swap recording tracks with him, and it turned out to be quite a pain in the ass (mostly because we use different main DAW programs).. and that's just guitar parts!! So in most of the songs I ended up just gave Leo to roam free on certain sections with me taking care of the other sections.. With guitar tracks it's still possible technically, because we both play guitars and both can fill in the blanks as needed, and I would just re-amp them later to make the sounds blended.. But for drums, the drummer should take care of the whole song and record properly, and when the song is not even finished or still in the early development, what would the drummer do? You know what I mean.. What I normally do in situation like this, is having a hybrid drumming method.. Like I would use just samples or loops for early development of production - just for the sake of creating a groove base that makes it easier to put a 'feel' while recording guitar tracks (I hate recording to a metronome), and then I would record just the snare drum, live, this way I'm still able to dissect the track and move parts here and there, and would add the rest of the drums later when the song's arrangement is fixed.. Hybrid drumming has been a staple of Kekal's music since we changed the songwriting approach..

View more

Thanks for your answer. I just checked Neutrality and beginning drum session reminds me stuff on 1000 Thoughts Of Violence as you said. I like modulated vocals part, they have a kind of industrial feel, atleast to me. I think that is the best song so far from this release.

Jeff: Thank you.. I appreciate that.. The album will be very diverse in style, in the sense that someone may have his/her own favourite songs that are different than the others..

View more

Can we expect some vibes of extreme metal in the future releases? I love your music but I prefer your previous works, expecially 1000 Thoughts Of Violence.

Jeff: I don't listen to extreme metal music nowadays, so I don't have any close reference on how the music is produced nowadays.. "1000 Thoughts of Violence" was recorded 12 years ago, and it was pretty good when it was first released 11 years ago, but I just can't make the same kind of sound that has already been made long time ago.. the same way Kekal didn't do 1998's "Beyond The Glimpse of Dreams" sound in 2003 and made "1000 Thoughts of Violence" instead.. Kekal can't be vintage or nostalgic.. The new stuff for next album "Multilateral" is supposed to extract interesting musical elements from the whole journey of Kekal, of course with the current way of doing and producing it.. For example, the most recent track posted for free download, "Neutrality", is pretty much 'extreme metal' to me, musically that track has blast-beat section that's not slower than stuff you would find on "1000 Thoughts of Violence".. But it is also Kekal in 2014 instead of in 2003.. The way I record and produce the music is completely different now.. I mean, you can't just simply rehash the stuff you've already done in the past, otherwise I'd become the most bored person in the world..

View more

What's your view of the current metal scene? and the acceptance towards unconventional bands like Kekal?

Jeff: I have no idea! I'm literally out of touch with the metal scene for about 8 years now, so I have completely no idea of what's going on.. I have very little interest in that too.. I do still have a kind of respect to the music, of course, because I grew up listening to metal music.. But you have to move on and continue to explore.. Kekal will continue to be like right now.. The position is clear - the band isn't part of any subculture or whatever, and will refuse to get pulled into.. Kekal will keep moving forward as it is.. The focus is always on putting out the most of our own expressions, whether it's the music or artwork.. and you don't really need to look for acceptance from one scene or the other.. People are free to like or dislike any music without some kind of peer pressure.. Kekal never got widely accepted within one specific sub-genre community ever since the beginning..

View more

I found it interesting that you will incorporate vocaloid on the new album. How did you come with the idea of using vocaloid for Kekal? Do you have any favorite vocaloid producers/musicians?

Jeff: To be honest with you, I did not consider using Vocaloid for Kekal until earlier this year.. In the past, all I "knew" about Vocaloid was Hatsune Miku, backed with happy dance music or anime-themed music (admittedly, I didn't actually know enough of the Vocaloid development as much as I didn't really explore the voice characters).. Hatsune Miku is the most popular female character within Vocaloid scene, but her tone isn't quite fit with the music of Kekal, so I kind of ignored it.. During the songwriting of "Multilateral" I found out that there is a need in having a female vocalist (or to be more politically correct: a feminine vocal tone), because I wanted "Multilateral" to cover all the musical journey of kekal, even as far back as "Beyond The Glimpse of Dreams" and "Embrace The Dead", both albums had female vocals.. Then only this year that I accidentally found out that the use of Vocaloid in music was already being explored much deeper than I thought before.. It was all accidental, connected from something else.. You know, I dig BABYMETAL, they're great, OK? From their album I tried look into the songwriters behind their tunes.. I stumbled upon the music of Yuyoyuppe, as he wrote & performed "Rondo of Nightmare" track for BABYMETAL.. So I searched his own songs on Youtube, and found that he blends Vocaloid and electronic production with some kind of modern screamo-type 'metallic' music.. I didn't quite enjoy his own songs - that emo-screamo-style, but from the related videos on Youtube, you can hear amazing other Vocaloid producers that blend with even heavier, darker and more progressive metal music, particularly MuryokuP really stands out in the songwriting department.. From these music, I also found one character that fits well with the music of Kekal, that's Megurine Luka.. I didn't really expect to find a kind of deeper tone like Megurine Luka available in Vocaloid library.. Problem with the Vocaloid scene is that it's such a very segmented music that mostly cater to only anime fans and the whole otaku culture more than any other music scene in general, so if you're not trying to intentionally dig into the scene, you wouldn't really find great music in there.. You really need to explore deeper..
My current favourite vocaloid artists/producers are Machigerita, MuryokuP, and Kikuo.. They are amazing artists..

View more

Wat is the meanin of "kekal"+ y was it chosen as the band name? Also, y was "Source of Existence"+ "Given Words" left off the 2010 remasterd version of "embrace the ded"?

Kekal means "Eternal" or "Immortal" in Indonesian language. It was chosen because the band wanted an Indonesian name over English name, to make sure there were no other band(s) bearing the same name exist in other parts of the world. Remember, it was in 1995, before the internet boom and before Google.
"Source of Existence" & "Given Words" were originally bonus tracks of the THT Productions version. So the songs were exclusively licensed by Kekal to the label. The 2010 re-issue was released digitally solely by Kekal, not through record labels. Only 8 tracks from "Embrace The Dead" that are official album tracks. The "Given Words" song found on "Embrace The Dead" is actually the demo version of the same song from "The Painful Experience" album.

View more

Well, there's the possibility of Beyond The Glimpse of Dreams being released in Bandcamp as well?

Yes there is a possibility, but not this year. Jeff just re-mastered the album for a special limited-edition CD that is being released in Indonesia at this moment (mainly for Indonesian market). So until that CD is sold out there won't be any digital version.

View more

What's your purpose of making music?

Jeff: To ease the pain.. It's as simple as that..

View more

Next
  • 91
    Posts
  • 33
    Likes

About Kekal:

Kekal is a musical entity, formed in 1995. Former members Jeff and/or Levi will answer all your questions about Kekal here. Visit www.facebook.com/kekalofficial for more information about Kekal.

Jakarta, Indonesia