Metal-Roos: Tell me a little about Se Bon Ki Ra's sound.
Chad: It's heavy, like a Lamb of God feel with overtones of Megadeth, I don't know.... vocal wise I guess it's a little from Machine Head and Pantera - they're my main influences anyway. Mike: There are a lot of old school influences in there because a lot of us are old school, but we have listened to music as it has changed over the years as well. We love our groove and we try to write a groove you can catch onto, it's not straight out thrash. We do love thrash though and we have those sections, but also sections where you can groove out. I'm not sure what you would call it as far as a genre label goes. Chad: I think labels are overrated any way.
Metal-Roos: Where did the name Se Bon Ki Ra originate from?
Mike: It's actually a Haitian proverb, which in total stereotypical fashion started out being about voodoo and black magic and all that kind of stuff. We thought looking at all that shit we'd find something cool, so through that we got into a bit of Haitian culture and that kind of stuff and found this phrase 'Se Bon Ki Ra' which means 'Good is Rare'. We have taken it has a two-sided kind of thing, kinda like 'good is rare, evil is prominent', but it's also a reminder of how precious thing are. If you read some of our lyrics it has a 'try to love each other and the world' tone to it but also has 'fuck things up and break things and be a normal human'
Chad: But don't be an asshole..
Metal-Roos: Who is in Se Bon Ki Ra and what are their roles?
Mike: Well, Chad here is the vocalist.
Chad: Yeah that's me, I'm the vocalist. Sven's our drummer, Mike and Shane are our guitarists and Benny's the bass player. We all bring something different to the table, I tend to yell at everyone and tell them that's shit and they were shit haha.
Metal-Roos: That's the front man's role, isn't it?
Chad: Nah, it's good because we are all different ages so we bring in different elements. Mike and Shane are a lot more thrash. Sven has a lot more groove, Benny just does as he is told... got to have at least one of those... but Benny brings the groove as well.
Metal-Roos: As you already mentioned Lamb of God are a huge influence, any one else?
Mike: Pantera, definitely. That's where a lot of the groove comes from. And like Chad said before, Megadeth is pretty big for me.
Chad: Machine Head, Sepultura is a big one, especially as far as Sven goes - he is big on Sepultura and Tool with his drum fills. A lot of drummers do one thing but he works the whole kit, ya know.
Metal-Roos: You recently did a bush fire appeal for another Adelaide band Octanic. How did that go, was it received well?
Mike: Yeah, it was. We put up one of our t-shirt designs for a 'pay what you like' type of thing where all the funds we took in went straight to the dudes in Octanic, well, the drummer who unfortunately lost his house in the fires. The support and response has been pretty amazing. We have raised about $800 for them. It was really nice to see people come together and the local metal scene here in Adelaide show their support. We had people pay up to $100 for a shirt, so people really dug into their pockets and they did so happily because they knew it was going to a good cause. That's what I love about the metal community, when something happens we all rally together.
Metal-Roos: Is anything big going happen for the band in 2015?
Mike: Having released the album late 2013, we spent all of last year playing stuff from that - a few shows interstate and only a handful of shows here in Adelaide. Now we are finally getting a bit of time to spend in the rehearsal room and jam again and think of what our next material will be like, go back to the way we were making music and have fun with it. The album took us on a massive trip into songwriting and crafting with this product. Now we can look back and say that was amazing and we are really proud of it, but now let's bring back the raw energy. We're in it for the music, for the fun of it, so let's get the passion into it. So that's pretty exciting, having the chance of doing some thing new. We will still play stuff off the EP and the album, but doing something new, you know, recapturing the vibe.
Metal-Roos: How do you see the metal scene in Adelaide?
Mike: I think it is pretty good. Last night I was walking around town and there's something happening here, something over there, some people talk about bands clashing but that's choice. I saw people moving between shows, getting to two or three venues, so I think the scene is doing very well. "Higgo" Dave Higgins who was until recently doing the distortion show on Triple M was commenting on the Australian scene and said the Adelaide scene seems like a really tight knit group of people, with some really good quality music going on with a great vibe. They talk about Sydney, less so Melbourne but definitely Sydney having a competitive vibe going on with bands. There is a bit of a resurgence here in Adelaide going on, quite a lot of the old bands are reforming, but it's an interesting time with a lot of the venues changing over to pokies between 5 and 10 years ago, the scene's had to reinvent itself to stay new, stay current, convince publicans that putting on bands is the right thing to do.
Metal-Roos: I saw on Facebook Andy from Lord was getting opinions on playing mid week shows and cross-genre shows. Do you think it could work here in Adelaide?
Mike: Funny you say that, we are doing one on Sat May 16th at Enigma with the guys from Ice on Mercury. They are putting on a rock/metal crossover show. It will be interesting to see how that goes. I think it's good when things are mixed up a bit rather than everyone sticking to their boxes. Chad: Scumfest was like that, a lot of different bands played, when was that... last year sometime I think. You need to have a larger venue to hold a few stages to keep it all moving - I liked it.
Metal-Roos: Why not have band practice during the week, like you would normally have, but instead have it at a venue, get people through the door and have a fun relaxed evening
Mike: Well, Andy's other point was why not have band practice on stage on a Thursday night, bring people out to somewhere,where they wouldn't normally be. I think his point was keep it fresh for us, playing more regularly that kind of thing.
Metal-Roos: What are your thought on downloading music?
Mike: I have made a personal decision not to do that... I was doing it for quite a while and then I had a bit of a think on what that means to the musician's viability. I did have a bit of an ethic of only downloading music from bands who I thought were financially viable, who could afford to have their music taken from them, but as a band who spends a lot of money on what we do and I decided to stay true to that. It's funny, we live in a day and age where we expect music to be a free commodity. It's an electronic file, it's digital information, it's something that should be commonly available, but it's actually art. You wouldn't expect to walk into an art gallery and walk away with a painting. Because music is electronic it seems totally different, but it is someone's creation. Don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing heavy metal to a fine art painting haha but you know what I mean. I don't go hard on anyone who has downloaded material, but people need to make their own choices where they stand with that.
Metal-Roos: Finishing off with a bit of fun: Who would win in a drinking contest between Alkira and yourselves?
Mike: Well... Se Bon Ki Ra... Alkira...alcohol... Kira
Chad: You'd have to wait until the end of the night and see who is still standing. I reckon we'd still be standing, we'd be a dribbling mess, but still standing haha.
Metal-Roos: Would there be a throw up rule, maybe one spew is allowed per participant or throw up and you're out?
Chad: Nope if you spew you're done - out you go!
Mike: Personally I'm happy to handover that crown.
Chad: Nah, I'll take it on.
Mike: Ok, I'll watch and throw stuff.
A big thanks to Mike and Chad from Se Bon Ki Ra for taking the time to speak to me. I wish them all the best for 2015. Check them out when they're playing in a venue around the place and if you haven't already got it grab a copy of their album 'In The Wake of Change'... cheers... \m/