A Rebellious Entrepreneur
Music, social activities and tourism in Bali. Jerink share this ideas with us all...
Ary Astina, who is more popularly known as Jerinx or JRX (J) from the Indonesian punk rock trio Superman Is Dead, is a man who has his fingers in a lot of pies: retail business, social activities and music. Bali & Beyond (BB) sits and talks with him about running a business, the law of attraction, the importance of giving back to the community, and the tourism sector in Bali.
BB: Your bands – Superman Is Dead (SID) and Devil Dice – both are famous for their rebellious attitude. Can you tell us more about them?
J: First of all, it’s not a marketing gimmick. If being “rebellious” is merely a marketing gimmick for the sake of gaining popularity, I think there are plenty of other strategies that are easier to apply. You just need to find out what’s new and what the crowd digs at the moment, put it into your music and you’ll be in line with today’s trend.
But that’s not what makes us, us. We play music for our self-satisfaction. Once we set our sound, we give it to the public to enjoy and see what they think about it – whether they like it or not, it all goes back to their taste and appreciation level. This is what we have been doing since day one. SID always roots back to Punk Rock with a slight Rockabilly fashion, while my own band, Devil Dice, practically has the same mindset but with a touch of Latino. But both are shouting the reality, the against-establishment mindset, and never following the current trend.
BB: Talking about entrepreneurship, you have a clothing brand named RUMBLE (RMBL) and a barbershop. What are your values in running your businesses?
J: At RMBL we set a different approach, from the design aspect and the style. We simply roll in the same counter-culture style cycles – whether it’s Cholo (Mexican-American style that is usually associated with street gang members), Greasers (working class people with deep interest in classic motorcycles or cars) or Punk. All of them share a similar value – against the current trend. That’s our sole identity.
As for the barbershop, it’s simply to complete our need to look neat and slick. Just because you are a rebel, it doesn’t mean you can’t look clean and well-cut, right? For my barbershop I tend to pick people with no barbershop background as the staff, and send them to a barber course before they work as an apprentice in my barbershop. I would rather help someone grow from the ground up instead of hiring the already skilled one. I would love to invest in knowledge.
BB: You are quite active in social activities and giving back to the community. What is your motivation?
J: I believe in the law of attractions; if you want something, it will attract people with the same objectives and suddenly you find yourself working together with them to make things happen. In this case, I’m often asked to do some social responsibility things that are notoriously out of the box, such as a music jam session at a psychiatric hospital back in 2010, or at a local detention center, or a community gig to raise funds and awareness for disabled children. This is the way I leverage music and art as more than just entertainment. Art can cure and touch someone’s heart, I believe. Art can be turned into the start of a movement.
BB: Now, let’s talk about Bali. Do you think Bali, at the moment, is at a rising point and will go up and up or already at the tipping point, waiting to go down the hill? And do you have any personal insights for this island?
J: First, let’s make one thing clear; did you mean Bali as a whole or the overpopulated South Bali? Because what really happens at the moment is the uncontrollable growth in South Bali, while ironically some other parts of Bali are barely being looked after. I think we are at the stage where we need a moratorium, where all the important elements of tourism and local communities need to stop for a while, sit down and talk about where this island is heading.
I’m not saying that I’m against development, because no one can stop development. But we need an equal development. We might have realized that plenty of locations in Bali remain untouched and unmanaged. The government needs to see and make a plan for these locations that also involve the local people in these areas. I heard an idea about having another airport in other part of Bali. I personally fully agree on that but of course the plan surpasses all the ecological impact surveys and requirements. This new airport should bring the area more to life and at the same time reduce the crowding in South Bali.
For South Bali, I think the development needs to stop, because it’s not just clogged but it is already overpopulated with accommodations although ironically, based on the latest statistical results, the room occupancies are below 70 percent. We have more rooms than the demand. So that’s my insight for this island.
Contributor : Gino Andrias
Magazine issue > Profile&Potrait