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Teenage Indonesian Girls Shred Muslim Stereotypes With Heavy Metal Band

Not necessarily your typical thrash metal band, and not necessarily your typical teenage girls, this trio expresses their ideas and love of metal from beneath traditional hijabs.

Voice of Baceprot (VoB) is a heavy metal band comprised of three teenage girls hailing from the moderately conservative province of West Java, Indonesia.

In an interview with the Guardian, sixteen-year-old guitarist and vocalist Fridda Kurnia confessed that she fell in love with heavy metal from the first time she heard it, and that for her it conjured feelings of independence and even rebellion.

VoB, which is also a word that means “noisy” in the girls’ native Sundanese language, was formed in 2014 with Kurnia and her two classmates: drummer Eusi Siti Aisyah and bassist Widi Rahmawati.

The trio told the news source they are inspired by foreign 90s metal bands like Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Slipknot and Lamb of God. While the group covers a number of their idols’ classics, they also write a variety of original pieces. Their own songs discuss education, cultural critiques and the environment.

Erza Satia, the group's music teacher and current manager, told the newspaper, “Many people think metal music is satanic but we are showing that there is a different shade, a different side to the music.”

When asked to comment on whether her music conflicted with her Muslim faith, Kurnia said, “Wearing a hijab should not be a barrier to the group's pursuit of its dream of being heavy metal stars.” The group feels as though VoB is their way of combating stereotypes within certain Islam communities wherein women are portrayed as voiceless or submissive, according to the news source.

A fan and classmate added, “This also relates to human rights. If a Muslim girl has a talent to play the drums or a guitar, should she not be allowed?"

Unfortunately, Reuters reports, not all of the opinions towards the band have been positive. Another local teacher said, “It is unusual to see a group of hijab-wearing girls playing metal music or even women shouting.” In more extreme instances, the girls have had shows cancelled, and they have even received death threats.

Indonesia, a secular state, has the largest Muslim population in the world, and the majority of the population practices a moderate form of Islam. Despite the few negative instances mentioned above, the response to Voice of Baceprot has been largely enthusiastic.

Beyond gender and faith, they are, above all, musicians looking to add their unique voices to the metal scene. And whether or not it’s to your taste, it’s pretty hard not to enjoy watching them play:

Video via YouTube user Musick id.

[Top photo via Guardian]

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