Napalm Death thrilled to learn fan is new President of Indonesia

Napalm Death frontman Barney Greenway is thrilled by the election of Joko Widodo as Indonesia’s new leader after learning he’s a huge fan of his band. Unlike many global presidents, who enjoy more mainstream music, Widodo has been open about his love for thrash metal acts like Napalm Death, Lamb of God and Slayer.
And Greenway admits he’s thrilled to learn that such a powerful force is a fan.
He tells Billboard.com, “I heard about it (election) a few months ago and kind of laughed it off. If you know anything about Napalm Death, you know we are very critical about the mechanisms (of politics)… It was really a long shot that he was going to get anywhere near (the election), so I don’t think anybody really took it too seriously. He was very much an outsider and then, all of a sudden, he was getting close and they were saying he was going to win. It’s quite curious.”
Greenway is hoping Indonesia’s new President becomes a man of his promises, and cleans up corruption and human rights issues in his country.
The rocker adds, “It seems as if, with all due respect, there’s a lot to deal with in Indonesia. The human rights issues are quite a big one there… Also, of course, (there are) big ecological issues with the deforestation… You do not have to scratch the surface to see that there was some fairly sort of sinister things going on. One thing he’s got to tackle, in my personal opinion, is striking the death penalty. I would direct that at any country aspiring to make a more humane place for everybody.
“If he can really get to grips with that, and push aside some of the more dictatorial elements of politics over there, I think he’ll be one of the first politicians that I’ve really felt quite warm to, so we’ll see.”
The Napalm Death frontman is looking forward to returning to Indonesia after discovering his band is one of the most popular acts there: “Napalm Death has been to Indonesia a few times. We were actually the first of this kind of genre of music (to go there), and the people were fantastic, they were brilliant.
“It was really strange because, at the time, there were people like Avril Lavigne and Simple Plan who played right before us, and we actually drew twice as many people as them, which goes to show people’s music agendas (there) are a little bit different. It was fantastic, the people who were there went out on a limb to make us feel welcome. We don’t ask for much, but they really tried their best and it was a really good gig. It was the first time I left a gig in a speedboat.”

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