SUAKA song premiere: I Am The Way

NYC-based Indonesian thrash band SUAKA have a new record out July 28, with a US tour kicking off the same day. Listeners can preview album tracks “Destroyer” and “Polisi Tidur” via Bandcamp, and today Hellbound presents the latest single from TIGA: “I Am the Way.”

SUAKA’s heavy metal home base may now be New  York City, but the band has deep roots in Indonesian music and culture. It wasn’t easy to be a metalhead in Indonesia when SUAKA began taking shape. During the repressive regime of president/dictator Soeharto, and following massive riots at a Metallica show in the 1990s*, metal music was all but officially banned in Indonesia. It was during this time that the founding members of SUAKA began to learn and create music in the underground, counterculture scene. By the early 2000s these heavy metal refugees found themselves in NYC and formed the core of what would become SUAKA.

TIGA, SUAKA’s third record, features classic thrash mixed with rock, hardcore and melodic references to traditional Indonesian music, with lyrics in English, Bahasa Indonesia, and Sundanese. “I Am the Way” is the third preview single from the upcoming release.

Here are some words about the song from lead singer and guitar player Rully Rochmat:

“I Am The Way” is a song about the frustration that I felt at the time, letting out all that fear inside. The gap between albums. The anticipation. What is the lyric all about? John and I sat down before I did my vocal take and wrote some lyrics, and added mine and magically it all worked out. Musically, this song blends hard rock riffs along with steamy thrash metal and some 90s hooks.”

TIGA will be released July 28 in CD, LP, and digital formats through Money Fire Records. After promoting the new album in North America, SUAKA are planning their second Indonesian tour for next year.

Preorder TIGA at:

SUAKA tour dates:

*For more background on Indonesia’s Metallica riot and the political climate of the time:

Reflections on a Metal Riot
METALLICA’s 1993 Riot Unlikely To Be Repeated At Tomorrow’s Jakarta Concert
“Messy Decay” in Making Scenes by Emma Baulch

Laura is associate editor of and co-host of weekly metal show Kill Eat Exploit the Weak on CFMU 93.3 FM. She loves doom, prog, cats and basketball, believes in equity and social justice and is not cool with any form of discrimination, marginalization, harassment or oppression.