An underground metal movement is slowly growing in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and as the genre slowly starts gaining momentum, local talent emerges as well and young Ryan Hakalitz is a prime example of this positive growth and is evident in his skill as a drummer.
Ryan, who hails from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and New Ireland is an emerging Metal/Rock drummer for the band Red is The New Black, and he is hoping that he can perfect his craft as a drummer.
“A lot of people would call it evil and all that but it’s none of that, it’s just raw emotion and passion for playing live music.”
Apart from taking part in the recent Metal United Worldwide concert held at the Cosmopolitan last month, he is hoping to reach new heights in his career.
Currently working as a freelance graphic designer and doing the odd job here and there, he believes in working hard to achieve his goal. Growing up, one of Ryan’s aspirations was to become a musician, picking up the guitar at first and but then finding solace in the drums.
“Drums were a lot easier compared to the guitar for me. I had very stiff fingers and drums were easier, and I really picked up.”
Ryan’s first hit out was in 2017 when he was recruited by the Tatai Force to become their 1st choice drummer. This was when he got his first taste of working together in a band. According to him, being a metal drummer can sometimes be challenging, but it takes a lot of grit to perfect, and this experience has taught him a lot over the years.
“Being a metal drummer is sometimes difficult. It takes a lot of complex drumming patterns and fills and grooves to learn. I’m still trying to figure out myself as a drummer.”
Apart from this, he also would like to provide awareness on the genre. At the moment, Metal in many parts of the country is sometimes regarded with animosity due to its dark themes and with roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock and acid rock.
Heavy metal bands developed a thick, monumental sound characterized by distorted guitars, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats and loudness.
“Metal is listened to by a minority here in PNG and there are still people that hold on certain beliefs regarding the genre and calling it a lot of stuff and giving negative comments, but it’s good to respect a certain style of music and preference in music.”