After two years in prison, former lead vocalist of Peterpan band Nazril Irham, known as Ariel, is free to reunite with his family, friends and soon, fans. A recent announcement revealed that Ariel and the band did not let the past two years pass in vain, as they are now ready to make a big comeback. The band will launch a new album on Sunday, followed by a tour to Melbourne, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta.
The band didn’t wait long to get back into the music business. About a week after Ariel finished his jail sentence, following his 2010 sex tape scandal with actress Luna Maya, the band announced its new name, Noah, and released a single, “Separuh Aku” (“Half of Me”). The band posted the music video on YouTube.
“Separuh Aku” is written by keyboardist David Albert.
“The lyrics tell a story about seeing how a friend of mine went through a hard time, and I couldn’t really do anything about it,” David said.
Ariel usually sang his own songs, but after two years, he put his ego aside and his only focus was to sing it well, he said.
“We picked this song as our first new single because we felt that it has the most different arrangement compared to the other new songs,” Ariel said. “I wouldn’t say it represents the whole album.”
Noah hosted a press conference on Tuesday, inviting print, online and TV journalists, as well as a small group of fans called Sahabat Noah (Friends of Noah). The event was to announce the band’s upcoming album-launch concert at Gandaria City, South Jakarta, on Sunday.
To throw a concert on the same day as the album launch is a new strategy, as bands usually wait for fans to buy the record and learn the songs. But Noah says they are excited to do it, since they will be starting their multi-city tour on the same day. The countries were chosen because of their strong fan bases, said guitarist Mohammad Kautsar Hikmat, or Uki.
“The important thing is we did not do was schedule the concert for the launch of the new single,” Ariel said. “We hope fans would memorize it first.
“We heard that [our fans] want us to sing old songs, so [the concert] will mostly include [Peterpan] songs but in new arrangements.”
Chief executive of Berlian Entertainment Dino Hamid said that the upcoming concert is the first of a two-session treatment, a concept that Berlian came up with. On Nov. 2, Noah will play another concert to close out the album’s promotion.
For Sunday’s concert, ticket prices are Rp 350,000 ($36.56) for the festival and Rp 550,000 for seats. Only 2,500 seats are available for the venue at Gandaria City, but the show will be broadcast live on SCTV.
Even though the announcements are coming less than a week before the concert, the band said that it is not too sudden.
“September is the best time to do it because we launched the single last month and it can’t be too far away from that,” Ariel said.
From a fairy-tale character to a prophet’s name, Ariel would not disclose the reason the band adopted the new name, but it was part of an original list that contained 100 names.
“We narrowed it down to 20 names, and finally three names,” Ariel said. “We picked the name ‘Noah’ the night before we announced it [in August].”
The band has undergone many changes since Peterpan was established in 1997 by keyboardist Andika Naliputra Wirahardja, Ukie, Ariel, guitarist Loekman Hakim, bassist Hendra Suhendra (Indra) and drummer Ilsyah Ryan Reza. It won several awards and is known for some very popular hits, such as “Bintang Di Surga,” “Kupu-kupu Malam” and “Semua Tentang Kita.”
In 2008, the band broke up as Andika and Indra quit to join The Titans.
David joined Peterpan to fill in as keyboardist and now the band is five members strong.
The band’s fan club is pleased to see the band is back. Ricky Martiansyah said he felt a great loss when Ariel was sentenced to jail. The fan club routinely sent a few members to the prison every Saturday to try and visit him.
“Even though we did not get to meet Ariel, we wanted to let him know that we were there to support him,” Ricky said. “Sometimes we screamed out his name. We hope he heard it,”
Ironically, some of Noah’s most loyal fans are still in school. Therefore, they don’t generate their own income and may not be able to purchase the ticket for their comeback concert.
“Anything that is above Rp 50,000 is too expensive for some of Sahabat Noah members,” Ricky said.
Juwita Adinisyah has been a fan of Peterpan since 2003, but only joined the fan club in 2008. She said Sahabat Noah held a meet-up every month to share news and thoughts about the band.
“Of course I was sad when Ariel was sentenced, and now I’m glad to see him back,” Juwita said.
Fans are feeling optimistic about the new band. Ariel has called his fans his “strength” while he went through his difficult time.