Mungkin setelah melihat judul interview ini, kalian penasaran siapa itu iAN Ottaway? Apa hubungannya dia dengan Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC), sebuah band alternative rock asal San Fransisco yang akan bertandang di Dago Tea House, Bandung awal Desember 2013.
iAN memang bukan pelaku utama atau personil band yang digawangi oleh Peter Hayes, Robert Levon Been, dan Leah Shapiro. Namun dia adalah satu dalam keluarga besar BRMC dan peranannya sangat penting sebagai jembatan penghubung antara fans dan band ini lewat interaksinya di “ASK IAN.” Berikut interview kami untuk mengetahui lebih detil tentang siapa itu iAN Ottaway.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your relationship with BRMC? Since they’re making a special section for you on their official website
Um… My name is iAN and i am a shit kicker from Wichita, Kansas that was once the home of the American plains Indian but now is just an economic catastrophe full of Walmart mouthbreathers, Jesus freaks, candy asses, coffin dodgers, truck and lawnmower worshipers and general rag ass mental stereotypes and me. My section was Robert’s idea. I think he saw some asinine video I had sent to our mutual friend the beautiful Billy Nicgorski, while they were creating Beat The Devils Tattoo. Rob has the kind of mind that doesn’t really shut off, so he is pretty much fluctuating between full on creativity, generosity and the little pockets of spare time he gets to himself. I don’t think he is too comfortable with the line between the artist and the spectator.. I think he sees that we all have something to say and it gives him a kind of sweet inner joy to, sharpen your pencil, put a microphone in front of your face, put some oil on your brush and ask your creative opinion. Robert is a “we” person instead of a “me” person. I had been bumping into them on purpose for a decade so maybe they just wanted to give me something to do besides try to get them into trouble.
What are you trying to convey through each series from your short films before the debut release of Specter At The Feast?
That was an idea born between the creative Malia James and the band. I don’t know if they were trying to convey anything, if anything i think perhaps they were opening up a little on where they had been for roughly 2 years. Those films have a very natural tone to them for me. I think we all get so busy with plastics and metals, cell phones and laptops, coffee cups and steering wheels, and it’s deadly important to not forget where we came from and those before us….and how truly good it feels to be alive and thankful. Dirt on your hands, sand through your fingers, fresh water on your face, the sounds trees make in the wind, the warm sun on your back and a bug flying directly into your mouth at 70 miles an hour while riding a motorcycle. I think they all opened up their hearts and shared something deeply human. Honesty and tenderness speak volumes over flash, cash and sex appeal… at least for me.
Since you’re close enough to know their personality, can you kindly share the characteristic of each member?
Each of them have completely different backgrounds so perhaps fate brought them together.
I think Michael Been shared a lot of hard earned wisdom with them because their approach to life is something i haven’t fully commanded or disciplined myself yet enough to reach or even fully get my head around. I think it comes through in the music. I was drawn to them because they had something that reminded me of my small family back home in Wichita. They have a certain honesty and to me their souls are old fashioned. You don’t meet people like them every day, You just don’t. There is a ring of trust. I am still to this day getting to know them and i never want to truly figure them out either, we should all retain a bit of mystery shouldn’t we?
To answer your question finally…
Robert is the boy, the crusader, the shadow. He’s a fucking rubik’s cube in the dark. He is nitrous oxide on two black legs. His heart wants to make everything right all the time. He wants his way, he wants your opinion and he doesn’t change, but he grows. He is perpetually sleepy but gets more done in a week than most do in 6 months. He is often in 3 places at once. He has a dark sense of humor and a light sense of humor. He is the boy and the boy that You want to save all the time even though he isn’t in danger. He loves being in the forest and the desert, he loves places like Cambodia, he is a songwriter and a song in itself.
Leah is a flower. Leah is the voice of reason when bullshit clutters the air. Leah is a translator. Leah is an avid reader, very educated and at the same time cool as the California ocean. She is Zen and she is funny, she is a master in the weaving movement of music. She also drums like a motherfucker.
Peter. A very uncomplicated person who is constantly being complicated by other forces. Peter is the smell of gasoline.
Peter is nicotine swallowed. He is the blue flame lick color of a bunsen burner. He is Billy the kid unique, his soul is much like the soul of Abraham Lincoln or a grandfather clock, even his laugh is as old as the mountains. Like a soldier he very much keeps his priorities in order and needs very little to survive. He counts his blessings and is a sentimental creature which is rare these days. He too is a song.
His approach to life is very much along the lines of the American Indian which is take only what You need and give back at the same time. Like Leah and Robert, he is a rare gem… a very rare find.
A circle of trust.
You’re a great writer according to all of the members, what kind of content that you’re trying to share in order to gain attention from BRMC’s fans?
i don’t know about great writer, more like a madman who escaped from a mental hospital and got his hands on a pencil and a piece of paper. I think what is fun about writing is that sometimes You can help to remind people about the small things, You can remind them that it’s ok to feel that pain in your heart for no reason other than being alive and how sadly beautiful it all is. I also enjoy making people laugh and question their own perception of things. I like to use the site to listen to both the adults and the kids who listen to BRMC. We like to look into their lives like a two way mirror and see their joys and their sorrows and hear their voices. We like to see their art, hear their music, watch their videos. I like to use the site to give people a platform to share their music and songwriting talent. I like to do my best to keep people up to date on BRMC LIVE fan videos and news from around the world, with the help of the artist who did the drawings inside of the SPECTER album. Her name is Paula, Hi Paula!
I am lucky that i get to spend a lot of time exposing the beauty of other people. The world is a scary and ugly place sometimes and i like to show that too, but that by far is not all that there is here. There are other things in life besides, war, money, and texting and it’s called Rockand Roll.
BRMC is coming to Indonesia soon, can you share some tips for their fans here?
Maybe You should give us some tips?
Bring Your Heart and Soul and leave your worries at the door.
Unfold your arms, put them in the air like You were on a roller coaster ride.
Let the electricity permeate your body.
Scream during the loud songs and listen to the quiet ones.
Dance, jump, sing, reflect, just don’t throw shit or step on any pedals, hahahaha
I think i can speak for the band when i say we are very, very lucky to be welcomed to Indonesia and to be invited into such a rich culture of exotic and beautiful people and to share music on a few nights with You. You make our hearts shine.
Thank You, Thanks to Etam and Arsianty (BRMC Indonesia) and Everyone who helped make this happen.
Step into the circle of Trust and let’s fucking ROCK AND ROLL!