In the Meet The Band spotlight this week is the Indonesian group Voice Of Baceprot. Their latest single is “God, Allow Me (Please) To Play Music.” Firdda Marsya Kurnia (vocals and guitar), Widi Rahmawati (bass) and Euis Siti Aisyah (drums) introduce us to their band.
Chad Bowar: How did Voice Of Baceprot first form, and what inspired the band name?
We were initially in the same theatre community at school, a bunch of troubled kids who always criticized the education system. And then we met a teacher with his own ideals: Abah Erza. Because our acting skills weren’t that good, we chose to play music instead by continuing the roles that we played during the theatre production as band members. Abah was the one who came up with the name Voice Of Baceprot, whereby the Sundanese word “baceprot” means “noisy” in English. He said it suited our character as we always speak up about whatever is happening around us. And our music is rather noisy, too.
What led you to transition from doing cover songs to writing original material?
We actually wrote our own songs at the beginning of our journey. The song that caught the attention of many on the Internet was actually an original song that we have yet to officially release. They found out about our cover versions after they discovered us through that particular song. For us, the greatest achievement that a musician could achieve is to write their own song. That’s why we always try our best to write as many songs as possible.
How would you characterize the band’s style/sound?
Musically, in terms of sound and style, we feel that our music has a progressive character that doesn’t stick to just the one pattern. This is because we tend to let our souls roam freely and not adhering to one rigid rule.
Your single “School Revolution” attracted a lot of media attention. How did you deal with the spotlight?
We believe that attention is just a door that leads to appreciation, and appreciation leads to opportunities for our songs to be taken into consideration.
As an all-female band in Indonesia, what challenges have you had to overcome?
The most difficult challenge has been fighting against the stigma that women like us – especially with our hijabs – shouldn’t be playing music. Not to mention the fact that we play metal. They think that we’re just kids who should be focused on studying at school to get high marks. However, apart from all the bullying and insults, there are many people who have supported us in every step of the way.
What is your strongest memory of the recording of the song “God, Allow Me (Please) To Play Music”? What has the response to the song been like?
We had the idea for “God, Allow Me (Please) to Play Music” since around 2016. Abah began to write it in 2017, which we then put together with its music in early 2020. It took us a month to turn into a proper song. The process was emotionally draining because it was written during a time when we were full of anger and despair. Thankfully, people are enjoying it and agreeing with what we are singing about so far.
Do you have a timetable for recording and releasing a full album?
Not yet. At the moment, we have only got singles in mind. With that being said, nothing has yet to be set in stone due to the current condition of the world as it is.
What has been your most memorable VOB live show?
The most memorable show was our first gig abroad. It was in Bangkok, Thailand. There was an incident whereby the organizers had to relocated the stage because of problems with the local police. Even though we don’t the details, we still laugh about it now and again whenever we remember that time. It’s possibly our most “metal” experience ever.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We have several shows for the rest of the year that we will reveal on our social media. And next year, we will be performing at Wacken Open Air. We will always update about our shows on social media.
How did you get started in music?
We learned how to play music with Abah Erza, our teacher and mentor. As we have previously mentioned, we started together at our school’s theatre community and learned music for one of the musical drama productions that we had. In the end, we chose to play music because we feel that it suits us more.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
They would be System Of A Down and Linkin Park. When we listened to their songs for the first time, we felt a connection between their music and lyrics, which is what we wanted to convey.
What was the first rock/metal concert you attended?
The only concert that we ever attended was when Guns N’ Roses came down and performed in Jakarta. Previously, we had never gone to watch a gig apart from checking out local bands that happened to be on the same bill as us. We always find it fun to watch concerts, though. We could learn a lot from their live sound and onstage performance. Sometimes we could even have a chat with them about everything involving music after the gig.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
We’ve been listening to a lot of Audioslave, Gojira, and Jinjer lately. We love their heavy sound and the meticulous details in their music. It feels so fresh.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Don’t forget to listen to our new single “God, Allow Me (Please) to Play Music” and our first single “School Revolution”! You can check them out on your favorite digital streaming platforms.
(interview published October 2, 2021)
Listen To Baceprot – “God, Allow Me (Please) to Play Music”