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Slank was formed in 1983 through a school band at a local high school in Slank Jakarta, Indonesia, which named CSC (Cikini Stone Complex). Their main founder, Bimo Setiawan (Bim - Bim) and their fellow bandmates often played a number of Rolling Stones songs at school. The band later changed its name and personnel to SLANK, with Bim - Bim on drums, Erwan on vocals, Bongky on guitars, Denny on bass and Kiki on guitars. The name SLANK itself was taken from their musical attitude, which was, and is still reckless, ignorant and play with undetailed groove (Slengean in Indonesian).
In the following years, numbers of personnel changes were made, with Pay on guitars, Kaka on vocals and Indra on keyboard, replacing the previous bandmates.
Although they started their journey in the music industry quite roughly, with numerous of rejected demos, SLANK emerged in 1991 with their "The Best Newcomer" award in BASF event. Successes did not always come for SLANK, when three of their personnel, Bongky, Indra and Pay chose to quit the band, and formed their own band (BIP). Following the resignation, Abdee, Ivan and Ridho joined the band, and since then, SLANK has never changed its personnel again.
Today, for more than 20 years of ups and downs, SLANK has released 14 successful albums, with their loyal fans, SLANKERS behind them.
In 2008, Slank released the new album, "Anthem for the Broken Hearted", and are currently on U.S. tour promoting the new album.
For more than two decades, Slank has managed a healthy attitude towards their music career, which in turn has helped them throughout the years. Slank has also gained somewhat of a cult status in Indonesia, and according to guitarist Ridho, "Slankers" span all ages.
“Slank’s uses its music to promote P.L.U.R. (peace, love, unity and respect) between the world’s diverse religious, ethnic and economic communities.” — Bimbim
Despite Slank’s immense popularity throughout much of the world, the band’s members are looking forward to their biggest challenge yet: breaking through in the United States. As Bimbim admits, Slank welcomes its return to the musical underground and is willing to do whatever it takes to be established in America, even if it means building its following one “Slanker” at a time. (If you have not already figured it out, a “Slanker” is a loyal Slank fan, the equivalent of a Grateful Dead “Deadhead.”)
The first step in meeting this challenge: Anthem For The Broken Hearted. The band’s first English-language record, it is 10 tracks of catchy hard pop that blends Slank’s appreciation for artists as varied as The Rolling Stones and Bob Marley. Featuring the inevitable hits “I Miss You But I Hate U”, “Drug Me Up”, and “Too Sweet To Forget”, this disc is certain to attract fans of bands like Sublime, Jet, and Buck Cherry.
While some vocalists will attempt to overcome language barriers by spending endless hours painstakingly recording lyrics syllable by syllable (in hopes that a producer equipped with Pro-Tools can turn it into a coherent song), Kaka had little trouble singing lyrics that had been translated into English by a band friend. “English is the second language of Indonesia,” he explains, “and I speak it fluently. I have to credit Blues, however, for preparing us for when we entered the studio.” Unlike some veteran American and European artists who have been branded “sell outs” by their fans for altering their creative approach, Slank’s legion of adoring fans has stood firmly by its decision to record in English. “They fully support our desire to become more popular internationally,” says Bimbim. “They realize that more successful we become around the world, the more attention we will focus on Indonesia.”
Despite the positive vibe and uplifting lyrics of Slank’s previous albums, Anthem For The Broken Hearted indicates an abrupt change in mood. “Not so,” counters Bimbim. “We come from a third-world country and we’re just starting to learn about democracy,” he says. “The things we have witnessed in our country lately have left us broken hearted. But we hold on to hope.”
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