Now, roughly 15 bands tour South East Asia every year.
The Other Option: Australian punk and hardcore in South East Asia traces the history of Australian punk and hardcore bands touring Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. From the most unlikely of trailblazers within Australia’s DIY underground scene, through to some of the biggest alternative acts the country has ever produced, it shares the amazing stories that until now had only been part of underground folklore.
Previous film projects conducted in the South East Asia have only scratched the surface of documenting the experiences of playing in the area from a ‘tour diary’ perspective. But what lies beneath the exotic locations, bizarre shows, and crazy audiences?
Filmed across 4 countries including 5 of Australia’s 7 states, The Other Option speaks to the bands and other prominent figures that lead the way to make touring South East Asia a reality for artists from around the world. It explores underlying reasons for the explosion of punk and hardcore bands touring the region, beyond the low-cost airlines, cheap living and instant online booking.
Photo: Singapore crowd for one of the first ever tours by an Australian underground act 1998. Photo (c) Jali Demisor.
Some of the Australian bands featured in the film include:
Up and Atom
As well as South East Asian bands:
Plus many more bands and personalities from both the Australian and South East Asian punk and hardcore scenes.
The Other Option: Australian punk and hardcore in South East Asia is a completely DIY project – written, produced and directed by Rohan Thomas, producer of D.I.Wireless Podcast. Rohan has also produced successful documentary style web series for Australia’s Poison City Weekender and The Fest in Gainesville Florida. This is his first film.
When researching bands to interview for his podcast, Rohan came across Gold Coast band Not OK who he learnt had recently returned from a South East Asia tour. The fact there was scene in South East Asia sparked his interest – let alone the fact it was possible for a relatively unknown punk band to play there with emphatic responses from audiences.
For so long, the only option for an Australian punk or hardcore band to tour overseas lay in the promise lands of Europe and the United States.
But as it turned out just a few hundred naughtical miles off the northern Australian coastline, lay a group of three countries striving to develop their own passionate, underground scenes in diverse cultural environments and against the backdrop of some of the most exotic locations in the world.
After working on projects in Australia and North America, the time had come to explore exactly what was happening in South East Asia and how it all began.
For further information contact us.