Formed in 1996 by Mike & Bob, Marjinal, a punk band from Jakarta, has not only helped uncountable numbers of street kids earn cash by teaching them how to survive by busks playing ukulele; affordable, easy and small enough even for a child who “has small fingers” to play, anywhere, but they also sent out their message with the true spirit of punk that is “punk is for everybody.” Anybody can be punk and anybody can play punk.
TaringBabi (Pig Tusk), a community also built by Marjinal, is the home to many punks of all ages, and opens for “anybody from anywhere” for “sharing and learning together.” They give free music lessons, workshops including screen-printing and wood-curving, and those who reside at TaringBabi learn how to survive by sharing, caring and helping each other, the residents include the youngest of 12-year-old.
Their activities, and poignant & powerful messages in their songs, such as “Ibuku Ibumu Ibumi (My Mother, Your Mother, Mother Earth),” “Negeri Ngeri (Horrified Country)” about the suffering and struggles, the gaps between rich and poor, government corruption and injustices in Indonesia society, made them so charismatic that every gig they play it gets packed, all singing along, by those followers who have now become the messengers of the band, singing their songs on trains, buses, streets of Jakarta and throughout the country.
In December 2009, as co-producers, Bob and Mike opened a punk venue in the central Jakarta called “Masberto” which means “The Tattooed People” that is one of their song titles also. Masberto, which had a full of their artworks on the walls, was open for gigs for all ages and genres every single night. It not only became a hang-out giving equal opportunities for everyone who wants to play or come have fun, but also gave many people different kinds of job opportunities around it, inside and outside the venue. Becoming an icon for the underground music scenes, the place got everyone come together and demolished the borders in between. The venue was closed in 6 months due to the old building condition, too risky to have kids dance, pogo, and mosh-pit on the floor every night. But the place is tremendously missed by many, and the impact of it still remains.
In the whole month of August 2010, Marjinal toured, exhibited their paints, as well as gave workshops in Germany as the first Indonesian punk band to make it to Europe. Currently the band is working on their new album, which includes a song about Palestine. On the 22nd December, Marjinal celebrated their 14th anniversary. Mothers from the village have come together and spent hours to cook traditional dishes for them, over a hundred friends, including the village chief and dozens of children from the neighborhood, all came to TaringBabi for their celebration.
“It’s about how we take care of our friends,” said Mike. “We survived until now, it’s not because of the band, but because of the community. We have the mission. It’s about life. We have the reason for that and the band is a tool. This is about friends. We have our activity and never stayed until now without our friends,” he said.
“Everybody that lives here has open minds and open hearts. We can all work together, with mothers in neighborhood, too. It’s about how we can share together, not just about punk, but it’s about everybody,” said Bob on their birthday.
2007 – Present
Artworks contribued by Bob, Marjinal