Domestic Groove: CHOLIL MAHMUD

DOMESTIC GROOVE ~ Celeb’s Chosen Seven is my biweekly column in The Beat (Jakarta) mag. Basically it’s an interview via e-mail which focuses on small, intimate, domestic stuff; what Indonesia’s public figures are really into, musically speaking.

For the 14th edition I went upclose-and-personal with Cholil Mahmud.

Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist

What music are you into at the moment?
Recently I’ve been listening to folk songs/albums such as Panda Bear, Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, The Dirty Projectors, Fleet Foxes, Yeasayer, Swimming Elephants and Payung Teduh.

What was the first record you bought—any interesting story behind it?
Roxette Look Sharp! Because of my brother, I’ve listened to progressive rock since I was four, and one day I tried to listen to the rise of punk. I went to the record store and came back home with Roxette’s album: Look Sharp!. The cover design was so punk. Marie Frederikson’s hair style—some kind of mohawk. Band Name: Roxette, it’s like more rock than other rock bands. But, the songs on the album are creepy.

What are your all-time favorite albums? Why?
Jeff Buckley Grace. I think, before making this album, Jeff went to heaven and reproduced what he heard upstairs.

Also SORE’s Centralismo and Ports of Lima. Both albums give new meaning of Indonesian hybrid music. It influenced us, Efek Rumah Kaca.

What was the worst record you ever purchased?
The first record I bought was also the very worst one.

Who do you want to be, other than yourself, next time you reincarnate?
I want to be me with additional spirit of AGandhi.

What song do you choose to start your weekend?
Port O’Brien’s “I Woke Up Today”. Upbeat, sun shining, unison yelling.
“…I woke up today in a very simple way, in the morning all I could was sing…”

And song you choose to end your weekend?
Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros’ “Home”. Sunday afternoon, in the backyard with my family singing.
“…Home, let me go home, home is whenever I’m with you…”

After his 9 to 5 job, these days Cholil pretty much spends all his time in the studio trying to finish up the 3rd album of Efek Rumah Kaca with his band mates. Not long ago he was appointed to be the member of Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) board.

*This interview was originally published on The Beat (Jakarta) #37, April 2011
*Photo courtesy of Muhammad Asranur


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