When the Indonesian rock band Reality Club came to the Philippines, their fans echoed it was “a dream come true.” Faiz Novascotia Saripudin, the band’s vocalist and guitarist, replied to them, “It’s a dream come true for me that I’m here!”
The band—formed in 2016 in Jakarta consisting of Fathia Izzati on vocals and keys, Era Patigo on drums, Nugi Wicaksono on bass, and Faiz—just wrapped up the “Reality Club Presents… the Asia Tour,” which included Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, and in the Philippines as the last stop on December 2, 2023.
“It’s very amazing. We didn’t really think that we have Filipino fans,” said Nugi, together with the whole band, in an online interview with SoundStrip.
Fathia agreed, adding neither of them had been to the Philippines before, not even for a vacation. “Knowing that we have a Filipino fanbase here, it’s something that we can’t comprehend until we actually came here and see them face to face,” she said.
The band was overwhelmed with their Filipino fans’ energy during their recent show at 123 Block in Mandaluyong noting how they sang along and chanted “Oy! Oy! Oy!” to their songs.
Reflecting on their Asian tour, where visiting every country is a surprise all the time, the band said it’s “so surreal.” Fathia added, “We’re just very happy to know that there are actual fans out there in Southeast Asian countries that are really crazy about us. It’s an amazing feeling that they can connect to our music.”
New album, new sound
In the band’s third and latest album Reality Club Presents…, they veered away from all the labels given to them such as being an indie rock or pop rock band.
“We really tried to play around with different genres in the album,” Fathia said.
Going beyond their usual and exploring through their curiosity, the band even have cowboy music, “Desire” and “Dancing in the Breeze Alone,” which Nugi noted, “something so far from what they’ve done so far.”
Although all the songs in their full-length album are about romance, they paint a picture through music of the different shades of romance. There are songs about falling in and out of love, being betrayed by someone you love, and other stories in romance.
When asked what drives them to write songs about romance, main songwriter Faiz elaborated, “We feel that romance is the one thing that no matter what you do or who you are, it’s always going to be around you.”
“It can ruin your day or make your day better. There’s so much complexity, beauty, and also, there are so much different forms of love and what it can do to somebody. That’s why we’re so inspired to make an album about all the different stories of love because everyone has their own story.”
Their song “Love Epiphany” was meant to be the last song in the album to leave a message to their listeners to not be afraid of love, Fathia added.
“Even though people might be pessimistic about love because they’re so used to heartbreak or failure, there is still a chance of them finding love. The main message of this whole album is ‘Hey, don’t be so afraid of love,'” she said.
In creating music videos to construct their “cinematic universe,” the band said it came very naturally because they’re inspired by movies in general. “We want all our songs to have a music video because we want to create this club cinema or cinematic universe for our listeners.”
“Sometimes, when we write a song, we already have a visual idea of how we want the music video to be,” Fathia noted.
‘True authentic selves’
Reality Club grew up listening to The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and other rock bands. As Nugi pointed out, it is “inevitable” that the sound and style of their musical influences be emulated through their own music for it comes up naturally when they’re making music because their lives are “kind of intertwined with their music.”
Now, all grown up, the band paves their way by creating their “own type of music” that “feels honest and right for them,” added Fathia.
“I think it comes down to being true to ourselves when we’re making music so we can be our true authentic selves,” Nugi quipped.
Fathia added: “We can never really force a hidden agenda. We’re just trying to be as honest as possible with our music.”
As a band from Jakarta, Indonesia, Faiz said many Indonesians think they’re not an Indonesian band because their songs are in English language.
“It’s kind of a compliment because some people say there’s an international quality in our music but there’s no hidden agenda, it just came naturally with our sound being that way,” he noted.
Fathia cleared that they are not hiding the fact that they are Indonesian, adding that they reference Indonesia through their songs.
The “international quality” of Reality Club’s music made their music be heard on a global scale and opened more opportunities to share their music.
After their successes in winning the Best Alternative Album and Best Alternative Group at the Anugerah Musik Indonesia in 2023 and their recent Asian tour, the band will tour around the United States of America for “Reality Club Presents…North American Tour.”
Reality Club will play shows in Seattle, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Austin, Chicago, Toronto, and Brooklyn in March, 2024.