World’s first headbanger in chief elected in Indonesia

by Cory Van der Pol
July 10, 2014 –

jokowi-headbanger-in-chief

Indonesia has elected the first presidential candidate to openly endorse heavy metal music in a heavily contested election. The candidate, Joko Widodo or “Jokowi” to his fans, lists Napalm Death, Lamb of God and Megadeth among his favorite metal acts. Widodo, who grew up poor and ended up in politics after starting his own furniture factory and having to work with regulators, represents a more moderate choice than Prabowo Subianto, a former general and son-in-law of former strongman Suharto.

At this juncture, it makes sense to ask whether metal really has underground status anymore. You can find it in record stores; it shows up in mainstream media; and now, a sitting head of state endorses it as his favorite form of music, having been photographed at numerous metal events and frequently wearing his Napalm Death and other metal-related tshirts. If there was a last barrier for humanity to face in regards to metal, it was the election of our first metal president.

No rumors have yet reached us as to whether American politicians will also adopt this outlook. Surely in the desperate rush for votes, Hilary Clinton or Mitt Romney can admit to at least owning one AC/DC album. Now that metal is no longer perceived as music of total outsiders, the social acceptance may spread and include it among normal social activities.

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12 comments

  • 604753

    It’s pretty nice that we’re all happy about a metalhead being president without the whole “durr, baby boomers, social acceptance is gay as long as only other people get it” shtick.
    It always bugs me how this site seems to have some sort of a split personality. Mainstream metalheads such as Medvedev and Widodo (I’d bet he’s one of the guys who could enjoy *gasp* Pantera) who don’t seem to be too committed to any “hessian” identity get coverage and kudos, while the guys who don’t play it “safe” (and produce either crap or something actually interesting) get disgraced for not being “metal in spirit”.
    Then you get a bunch of reviews, usually fawning over some “oldschool metal, sure, not up to par and boring, but upholding the spirit” crap, and degrading anything of worth for being “hipster sanitized music for the regular people”.
    How the fuck does that work and how can you actually continue to perpetuate this sort of incongruity without feeling like a pissmop?
    Thanks, xoxo

    1. Iceman

      While I can somewhat agree on their being inconsistencies, you have to keep in mind that not all hessians are created equal, and that Cory, Jon, Brett and the other writers may have slightly different viewpoints.

  • Lord Mosher of the Solitary Pit

    Off topic. Recently there was an article on how to listen to black metal. Here’s an interview from band ABIGOR that would agree with the writer. Pretty cool interview I must add.
    quote:
    “Why should we listen to “Fractal Possession” in headphones?
    “Because you will discover things that would be hidden to you otherwise. When I listen to Black Metal, I take the cover, insertsheet, whatever, and even if the lyrics aren’t printed I look at the artwork right through the last note of the album. This is a mostly forgotten way of listening to music, but it is a highly rewarding one. Great art deserves our full attention, the experience is a really different one if you focus all your senses on it.”
    .
    source:
    http://www.voicesfromthedarkside.de/Interviews/ABIGOR–6816.html

    1. trystero

      Dude you didnt quote the best part of that interview!

      Concerning our “thoughtfullness”: the riffs alone determine the drumming (and it’s the drum rhythm that makes something fast or slow, even if it’s the same beats per minute). We write guitar only demos first, and the drums are added later. And while we do work on the arrangement, the editing and minor effects, treat it in every possible way you could think of, still it’s the riff that determines everything. This is the way we do our albums, step by step, and the first step is the riff, the riffs one after another. It’s the basic cell that determines everything that comes in later, every reverse effect, every drum beat, everything is actually in the riff as I see it. In example PK gives me a riff, and I add 5 guitars and effects and a lightningfast beat and edits to it, and still, the order of how the single notes are put together and how they are played, read: the (his) riff, is the DNA of the most advanced symphony I could construct. So, you could spin this thought and say no matter how many layers of sound, how many tracks of additional guitars and drums and whatnot is added, it’s all in the few notes that form the basic riff.

      Too bad that 1) That album sucked 2) Abigor mostly does too 3) T.T couldnt have been in a better band.

      Thanks for the link.

      1. trystero

        Why oh why is there not a preview/edit function :(
        Its like it WANTS you to make mistakes

  • trystero

    So many people around the world listen to metal now that I am not even sure this is that out of the ordinary. I mean Prince William seems to be heavily into thrash (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, dunno about Slayer). Its nice to see but it may be a symptom of 70s-80s metal becoming what `classic` rock is.

    In fact I wouldnt be surprised if we started to get dedicated throwback metal band radio stations or programs. Once again, not a bad thing. I got my absolute first start in metal from hearing Cradle of Filth on the radio.

    1. Lord Mosher of the Solitary Pit

      Yeah I agree.
      This site endorses band BLASPHERIAN, here’s an interesting quote on whether metalheads should limit their interest into only a few metal bands:
      .
      quote:
      “Yes, but I meant the tendency that people have to think that if you only listen to say, three or four huge bands, then you have a perfect understanding of Metal… Where’s the inquisitiveness? I know you prize a thirst for knowledge as a positive thing. How did it disappear?
      “Ah ok… yes I agree totally. We as Metal fans are hunters, so to speak… we are never satisfied with the same old shit everyday… I love the search for new killer music… it brings to mind how much the internet sucks, and how it sucks that mom and pop music stores may be a thing of the past… As for the loss of inquisitiveness, I think you either have it or you don’t. Real Metalheads are a rare breed, never satisfied… most sheep in this world are happy with their mainstream ‘Metal’ force feeding of MACHINE HEAD, GAYSWITCH ENGAGED, etc… never searching for heavier and better… that to me is the epitome of stagnation, and for sure those weaklings are indeed posers. So my overall answer is you either are a hunter always searching for that next true Metal high, like a fuckin’ Metal junkie… or you’re a fucking poser lost in your world of stagnant weakness.”
      .
      source:
      http://www.voicesfromthedarkside.de/Interviews/BLASPHERIAN–6845.html

      1. Gothicdarkness

        I agree with the last quote, in my case Im always searching for new and old bands. I think this in some ways are a very important part for metal to continue alive. For what reason you want to be in stagnation with the same bands, when are some many goods bands outside than have something good to offer?

        1. voices in the blood

          The only things that got me excited recently were those unreleased Demilich tracks on the Adversary… compilation and getting into some early Mutiilation. If you don’t believe the hype about the LLN bands (and it’s justified), at least check out Mutiilation’s first couple albums.