Introducing Bedchamber: your new favourite surf rock band

Photos by Karen dela Fuente

We have to thank local prod Almost Crimes for bringing independent label Kolibri Rekords to Manila — it’s not very often that we get to see fellow Southeast Asian bands play a show here. But they did, last June 29, bringing with them Indonesia-based Bedchamber.

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It might be the first time you’ve heard their name but we’re willing to bet it won’t be your last. The surf rock/post-punk four-piece (Ratta Bill on guitars and vocals, Abi Chalabi on guitars, Smita Kirana on bass, and Ariel Kaspar on drums) has been making small but sure waves in Indonesia, what with the release of their EP “Perennial” in 2014, and their full-length “Geography” in 2018. Their impact was also felt here, when they played an energetic, lively set at Mow’s.

We sat down with Bedchamber to talk about the past, the future, and the art that comes out of all of that.

YOUNG STAR: Let’s start with how Bedchamber began. From what I understand, when you guys first came together, you rented out a studio and had jams every week, until the “Perennial” EP was put together? What was that creative process like, just jamming until the EP came to be?

Ratta: Actually, how we first met, it’s not from playing music. We were first participants in the same [art] exhibition, called “Lunch Time.” Along the process, we got to know each other, and finding that we had the same interests, [we began] making a band. So then after the exhibition ended, we started jamming almost every week, until the “Perennial” EP was recorded. And also we met Ariel, he was my classmate. And about the creative process, it’s usually just jamming. We tried several times, bringing each one’s materials, but it doesn’t work out really well. So basically we just rented the studio for three or even four hours, so we could all jam and jam until we find something good that we can compose into a song.


You guys have an EP and a full-length album under your belt. What was Bedchamber like before when y’all made “Perennial”, and what is Bedchamber now, now that you have “Geography”? Like, is there a difference between who you were before and who you are now?

Smita: I think “Perennial” was about finding out…

Ratta: Style?

Smita: No, adulthood. Like, the transition from being a teenager, into adulthood? And I think we have matured a little bit in “Geography”. Musically and also in life?

Ratta: Yeah, in terms of making the music on Perennial, we don’t really think about anything, we just play. But when it came to making Geography, we started to consider the instrumentals, and how we would write lyrics and the sound and everything.

“So basically we just rented the studio for three or even four hours, so we could all jam and jam until we find something good that we can compose into a song.”

What are your plans for the future?

Ratta: Getting married. [laughs]

Smita: Maybe we can play more shows in…

Abi: Outside Indonesia.

Smita: New places. Or maybe like, bigger events. Because we just play at like, small gigs in our hometown. Maybe we can play at a festival, or maybe we can play abroad more.

Ratta: Playing abroad is really interesting to us because it feels really different, and we really like it. We could use the band to travel.

You can find Bedchamber’s music on Spotify. Special thanks to Caferista and Almost Crimes.


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