Eventually, they played their first gig – a farewell concert at school that some elements of the conservative Islamic community didn’t exactly approve of. “At first they were shocked, of course,” Marsya says. “Especially our parents, our families. They forbade us from playing music for a time. We had a hard time at first to make our parents believe in us to play music, but now they are wholly supportive.”
“Yes, because we were able to make money playing this kind of music,” adds Sitti and the trio dissolve into laughter. They laugh a lot, both throughout the interview and, you suspect, as they go through life. This still young band have talked previously about receiving abuse and even death threats for the temerity of wanting to start a band and play shows. They’ve encountered a range of negative reactions but prefer to focus on the far more common waves of positivity and generosity that have helped them along the way.
“At first we were treated differently [for being a female band] because it’s maybe not a common thing, especially where we live,” shrugs Marsya. “But when we got to big cities like Jakarta, people are kind and we got a lot of support from local musicians. We met a lot of metalheads and learned a lot more about metal and had a great experience.” She’s also proud of the fact that people are now starting to reach out to the band, often saying that they’ve found them to be an inspiration. “We get a lot of messages like that, especially from the girls. They say before they knew us, they were afraid to play music, but when VOB got a little bit popular, they had the courage to start a band themselves,” she beams.