Interview with Adrian Adioetomo
What is “Delta Blues” according to Adrian Adioetomo? Can you tell us a bit more about it, how do you interpretate it in your way?
Essentially, to me it’s like a pure expression. Totally deep and cathartic; resonates to some of the deepest feeling of just being alive. Otherwise, the original versions of the early exponents’ sounds like a weirdly-funky avant-garde recording.
Why did you eventually choose Blues as your platform in music? What message do you want to put out to the listeners here?
It’s just something that not a lot of people would want to embrace, for some unknown reason. There’s no “educational purpose” message-wise, but I do want to tease the cliché on how people perceive the blues. Being it’s a powerful and intense music for me, I find it somewhat superficial when people consider it as macho music for jeans TV-commercials or something. Blues matters when you’re in a feeling that not even you could escape.
Whoa.. it’s a tough one.. Each new record that changed my life made the previous one seemingly unimportant. I’ve had “The Best Of Kiss” change my life, so did Slayer’s “Reign in Blood”, Chris Whitley’s “Living With The Law” obviously did, Muddy Waters’ “Library of Congress Early Plantation Recording”, & John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” made me change my perception on Jazz. There are lots of other records. I suppose my life change as much as I pay attention to certain music…
Music records that you listen recently?
“Motorcycle Diary” soundtrack by Gustavo Santaolalla, Seringai’s “Serigala Militia”, Keziah Jones’ “Black Orpheus”, Chris Whitley’s “War Crime Blues”.
What song would you like to be in your funeral?
“Rayuan Pulau Kelapa”, I don’t know who wrote it, but I have a feeling that I won’t be dead in my homeland.
Seeing the way that you play live, did the devil had any part in it as in Robert Johnson’s story?
No. God, no. I just like to play around with the intensity between the extreme polarity of Good and Evil; God and the devil. You know, the thing that almost always affects our decisions in life. Not that I’m a wise decision-maker, that is..
Not at all… I got two pickups on my Chinese-made resonator guitar, and both have individual outputs which go to different channels in a Marshall acoustic-amp that I borrow from a friend. My right foot stomps on a piece of board that I’ve equipped with a piezo pickup so it connects either to a DI box or the bass-amp before it goes to the mixing board.
Did you ever get leg cramps stomping on the stomp box all the time while playing?
Initially yes, but I sorta got used to it when I had to play two nights a week in cafés.
Whose picture is it on your guitar neck?
That’s my beloved wife. It’s her idea, but somehow it’s like soul-food for me to always have it on there.
I’ve once bought a previous version of “Delta Indonesia” but lost it somewhere in my room, could you tell me what are the difference between that and the latest version?
Some songs have been reworked, and there are a few songs added while some other songs were taken out. Glad you bought it, though.. It’s like a demo version and you can listen to the way my music develops, if that’s of any importance to you.
Other local blues artist that you’d recommend?
I got one name that I wish people would hear more about: Alfa deFretes. Sometimes he plays the most annoyingly unimportant music you’d want to listen to, but when he plays a blues lick, especially electric slide, you can forget about committing to anything else.
Any last words?
Thank you. And excuse my absent-mindedness.