Grrrl Gang makes the type of music you want to hear in the morning, the kind of tunes that will wash you over with gratitude for waking up on the right side of the bed. It’s their kinetic live energy mixed with the relaxed, Caifornia-esque sound that put them on the Indonesian music map, and that brought them to Philippine shores.
Gig production group Almost Crimes brought Grrrl Gang, along with other Indonesian bands Gizpel, and Bedchamber to play for their growing number of Filipino fans at a one-night only engagement at Mow’s last June 29.
We had a quick chat with Angeeta Sentana (vocals and guitar), Edo Alventa (guitar), Akbar Rumandung (bass), and Fakhriyan Ardyanto (drums) about their songwriting process, their favorite Beatles, and that one time they proved that you can’t mess with a band called Grrrl Gang.
We have to address the elephant in the room. the band is called Grrrl Gang but there’s only one girl. How did that happen?
Angeeta: I kinda forgot man. It started out as a joke.
Edo: Angee wears this jacket with girl gang on it. We thought it would be cool [to have a] band called Grrrl Gang. It’s kinda funny too, to have a band called Grrrl Gang with only one girl.
What has been your most memorable gig so far? Describe it using five words or five phrases.
Angeeta: For Jakarta, crowded, fun, emotional, bruises, fun, have I said fun yet?
Akbar: It was in Malang. So much crowd surfing, it was really fun.
Edo: Malang. There was a lot of crowd surfing and mosh pit everywhere.
Fakhriyan: Malang because it was the first time I was with Grrrl Gang as a drummer.
You guys have only been playing for two years but you already have your own following. Do you have any interesting stories with your fans?
Angeeta: Do you want the disturbing stuff or the fun stuff?
The fun stuff.
Angeeta: Well the fun stuff are usually compliments like “you’re so cool,” “great songs” and what not. But the disturbing stuff, I got sexually harassed twice in different cities. There was one time when I came on stage in a city in Java. The moment I got onstage, I heard someone saying, “I’m gonna dance on you and your guitar.” I kicked him.
You can’t mess with the vocalist of a band called Grrrl Gang.
Tell me about your songwriting process. Your songs give off that LA feeling.
Angeeta: I’m flattered, thank you. Our sound just happened naturally because we’re born and raised in the tropics and it’s a usual thing for us. It depends on my mood. When I’m sad, I write sad songs. But for Thrills, Akbar came up to me and said “Angee, let’s make a daddy song.” So I did. [Laughs]
Who are your inspirations?
Angeeta: The Beatles. I’ve always wanted to be a musician because of them.
Edo: The Beatles, of course. I’m really interested in the UK indie pop scene.
And who’s your favorite Beatle?
Angeeta: It changes over time. [But right now], it’s George.
Edo: George, of course. He’s the real Beatle.