Burgerkill is an Indonesian metal band, originally from Bandung, capital city of West Java. The band is named after the American fast food restaurant, Burger King, as a prank. The band was founded in May 1995 by Aris Tanto a.k.a. Eben, sometimes called 'Ebenz', a young man from Jakarta, who came to Bandung to continue his study. In Bandung, Ebenz met Ivan Scumbag, Kimung, and Dadan. This four personnel became the first line-up of Burgerkill.
1995-2000 : Early years and debut album:
Burgerkill was formed in a region called "Ujungberung", located in the east side of Bandung city. Ujungberung is not only known as Metal Village, but also known as center of Sundanese traditional art and culture, such as bela diri benjang, angklung, and kecapi suling.
In early 1997, Burgerkill released their first single, "Revolt!", which became the opening track of Masaindahbangetsekalipisan various artist compilation album. In late 1997, single "Offered Sucks" and "My Self" were included in Breathless various artist compilation album. Then in 1998, the single "Blank Proudness" was included in the Independent Rebel various artist compilation album. Since then, Burgerkill has been involved in many underground scenes in Indonesia and Malaysia. In the year of 2000, Burgerkill finally released their first album Dua Sisi under local indie label, Riotic Record. The first 5000 copies of cassette and CD's release were sold out. In the same year, Burgerkill released single "Everlasting Hope Never Ending Pain" for Ticket To Ride various artist compilation album. This single could be something like a bridge for a new Burgerkill era. Old Hardcore bands, such as Youth of Today, Minor Threat, Gorilla Biscuits, and 7 Seconds, etc., are so dominant in Burgerkill early works. In the changing process, Burgerkill transformed into modern metal influences. The sounds was more aggressive, faster beat, and energetic power chord riff with more attractive and interesting guitar fill-in. Burgerkill's new sounds style revealed in their second album.
2001-2004 : Berkarat:
Burgerkill became the first Indonesian metal band to sign a six album contract for Sony Music Entertainment. At the end of 2003, they released their 2nd album, Berkarat. It was chosen as "Best Metal Production" at the 2004 Indonesian Music Awards. With their new label, Burgerkill had some negative response from Indonesia metal scene, but they noticed the reason behind joining major label because of the label gave them the freedom to choose any kind of music they want to play. Not only free to choose the style of music but also the concept, lyrics, and also music video style. To "Tembang", they stressed that the important thing was the freedom of music expression itself, no matter if a band in indie-line or in a major label line.
Technically the second album is more progressive than the first one. There is almost none of the straight forward nuance of their first album. In the vocals, they remain settled with depressive dark nuance. Ivan Scumbag, the vocalist, being more expressive to articulate the song, which, all tracks of the album are written in Bahasa Indonesia, Burgerkill's native language. In this second album, Burgerkill collaborated with Fadly of Padi in Tiga Titik Hitam song.
In 2004, Burgerkil released Dua Sisi repacked. Sony BMG
2005-2010 : Beyond Coma and Despair:
Burgerkill began to work their third album material in early year of 2005, at the same time, Toto, who have been with Burgerkill as drummer for nine years long decided to depart from the band. This situation was not a big deal to other members. They reformed the line-up in process. Andris, who at the time played bass was replaced to drums, while the bass line was filled by additional session player.
November 2005, Burgerkill finished their work, but the deal with label was breakdown. Both side couldn't reach the agreement about album material. In this kind of unfortunate situation for both side, Burgerkill decided to leave the label to release their third album under their own label, Revolt! Record, in August 2006. There's no such a thing fully perfect and always running smoothly. In a counting days waiting to release their third album, Ivan Scumbag the vocalist, died because of inflamed brain disease. Beyond Coma and Despair, their third album title, has became some kind like Scumbag's personal reflection. To honor their past vocalist and friend, Kimung who was a member of Burgerkill and Ivan Scumbag childhood friend, released a biographical novel based on Ivan Scumbag life on late 2007. The book which titled My Self : Scumbag, Beyond Life and Death was officially released and supported by Minor Book as publisher and "Common Room" as venue holder. About 300 people, consist of Ivan Scumbag friend, family, fans, and journalist, attended the memorial agenda. Not only talking about the book, the agenda also held a short acoustic showcase after the audiences gave their commentary and impression to the deceased.
Among the critics, Beyond Coma And Despair was utterly different from their past albums with heavier sounds and more explicit lyrics. The album was included in The 150 Greatest Indonesian Albums of All Time, listed at number 113 by Rolling Stone Indonesia magazine. In the Aftermath of Ivan Scumbag, Vicky joined the band after chosen in audition. In 2009, the band toured in Australia under title "The Invasion of Noise Western Australia" tour. Following the 'Invasion of Noise' tour, Burgerkill performed alongside such bands as Devil Driver, In Flames, Lamb of God, and All That Remains as part of Soundwave, Perth 2009. In 2010 They appeared in Big Day Out.
2011-Present : Venomous:
Venomous musical material album revealed around late 2009, to Samack of Jakartabeat Eben told that their new album not too far different from their past one, Beyond Coma and Despair. Eben and his fellow band member felt that the new material album has a new progress in each musical line. European-based band such as Gojira, Hacride, Meshuggah, and Lyzanxia are main influence to them to create a heavier middle beat style. And the old North America-based band such as Megadeth, Slayer, Monstrosity, Cannibal Corpse, Pantera, and Anthrax are still become main inspiration in working on song emotion and the structure. In the vocals session, the band mostly refer to Devin Townsend, Mark Hunter, Björn Speed, etc. The band new vocalist, Vicky, according to Eben has a strong vocals distortion. So why Eben revealed his optimism to Samack in working on their new album material.
Just few weeks after "Allegiance 2 Metal" tour across Java Island alongside with technical death metal band, Psycroptic, Burgerkill released Venomous in Indonesia around June 2011, Malaysia around July 2011 and Australia around August 2011. Venomous is their first album under Xenophobic Record label and Firestarter Music as distributor. Venomous according to Eben has significantly differences from their past album, not only music but also lyrics. Burgerkill's music style always changes from one album to the next one, but the lyrics in past album remained segmented in a certain theme or topic. That's why Eben said the albums before Venomous are just alike Ivan Scumbag legacy. In the past albums, Ivan had dominant writing to the lyrics, then in the postdecease of Ivan, all Burgerkill man agreed to discuss about the lyrics material to their next albums. In this case Eben little disagreed to people who compared Vicky to Ivan Scumbag. Eben said those two man have different background. "If Ivan said his life was miserable, yeah, he was right, he was miserable man..", said Eben. "We don't want to write the lyrics about the thing that we never feel, see, or experience", Eben stressed his words to explain their new lyrics theme, and let the fans have opinion about Beyond Coma and Despair and two album before as Ivan Scumbag's legacy, especially the mostly dark and distrust lyrics.
The Venomous launching concert which titled "Venomous Alive" was held in Jakarta at Bulungan Outdoor with opening act band from the capital city such as Nemesis, Paper Gangster, and Dead Vertical. For the bigger one concert, "Venomous Alive" took place in Siliwangi Stadium, Bandung and attended more than 10.000 of their die-hard fans, alongside with Man Jasad, and Arian of Seringai as opening act and guest performer. Beside these two Indonesia major cities, "Venomous Alive" also rock on other major and minor city across Java Island and other city outside the island, such as Makassar, South Sulawesi.
Venomous regionally was well received. Metal Hammer Magazine UK and also Heavy Magazine described Venomous as slightly technical death metal with lots of riffs play. The magazine also wrote if someone took equal parts from Morbid Angel, Obituary, Sepultura, and Killswitch Engage, and he or she should have Burgerkill. In the magazine opinion many other bands like that, but the magazine also praised Burgerkill's unique in the face military style has them attacking each song with such ferocity and intensity that he or she will take notice. And June 2013 Burgerkill won the Golden Gods Awards from Metal Hammer Magazine UK for "Metal As F*ck" category.
Ebenz - Lead guitars, Rhythm guitars (1995-present),
Ramdan - Bass (2007-present),
Vicky - Vocals (2007-present),
Andris - Bass (2000-2005), Drums (2005-present),
Agung - Lead guitars, Rhythm guitars (2003-present),
Ivan Scumbag - vocals (1995-2006),
Kimung - bass guitars (1995-2000),
Dadan - drums (1995-1996),
Toto - drums (1996-2005),
Ugum - rhythm guitars (1998-2002),
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license