No band is an island
Come together over the sound of Archipelago
By Angelique P. Manalad, Contributor
Archipelago, true to their name, brings together as one diverse genre. As with nations, so with music, there is strength and beauty in diversity. It all comes together with this band.
In 2004, Pat Tirano, a sound engineer, guitarist of TOI and producer, with Yan Yuzon, guitarist of the band Pupil, thought of forming a band but couldn’t seem to find the right time. Finally proclaiming it a project way overdue, Yuzon asked Wendel Garcia, his bandmate from Pupil, to become their drummer. Completing their line-up is bassist Chad Rialp, vocalist/lyricist of Lady Jane and Yuzon’s buddy from college.
What’s peculiar about them is that they first recorded before they were even complete as a band. Rialp joined the group when they already recorded some songs, when their former bassist decided to pursue another career. “He [Rialp] already recorded four songs before we were even introduced and met as bandmates,” Garcia recalls.
Yuzon was very much happy to say that, “What’s good with this group is that there are no hassles. There are many bands who have a lot of hassles. Nagsimula lahat ‘to sa maayos na usapan. Whenever there’s a problem we try to address it right away. And we take friendship very seriously. That’s far more important than anything else. In fact our own manager Raymond Fabul is our good friend.”
And true to their name, the band came together from different genres of music, mixing it all together. Yuzon is heavily influenced by American 1990s post-grunge rock and Britpop. Garcia mostly listens to jazz. Rialp is into Radiohead, Foo Fighters and mostly from the post-modern era of music. Tirano usually listens to local bands who are still struggling to get into the scene.
They are proud to say that their music is not a product intended to please any specific market. They are simply doing what they love, but will be very thankful if people will appreciate it as much as they do. They’d rather have people appreciate their music the way it is, not just because of the demand of a certain sound. “It’s kind of a conscious effort [for us] not to sound like anybody else. Among the four of us, we are all pretty experienced so we’re gonna do what we want to do.
“There are some comments and comparisons which are so different from each other. And we are proud of that. Our music sounds familiar. But still it’s unique and fresh,” Rialph says. “I believe that whenever you have quality, there will always be a market for you,” Yuzon points out. Spontaneity characterizes both their musical performances as well as their friendship.
They note that the Filipino music scene is very much alive and are amazed to observe that international artist can only penetrate only during the local music scenes brief lulls. “That is something that all of us should be proud of, and not just be proud but support every sort of music that is out there, any kind of music can offer you something different. In the end we should just keep on supporting our own. Other countries our so envious of what we have because they weren’t able to nourish their talents as much us most of us here were able to do,” Yuzon cited. “And most foreigners are not as versatile as artists like Filipinos are. They are threatened by that,” Garcia adds.
They write songs that are about their experiences as active members of the society. They are somewhere in the middle of their lives who would like to perceive life before it happens and be able to write and sing about it.
Archipelago’s first album is in the works, as they are still meticulously finishing it up. “Our name is at stake so we have to be sure it’s 100 percent ready when we release it. But it’ll be soon, that we assure everyone.”