By Angelique Manalad
(unedited copy of the article from FUDGE Magazines Dec-Jan ’09 issue)
Four childhood friends, Jim Pangan (vocals), Cheiy Alanes (guitars), Roy Ordonio (guitars) and Ode Tolato (bass) decided to experiment on music on 2003, as one member left, they found their buddy Jarwin Javier (drums) to complete the missing piece and finally, they are ready, all set and ready to conquer the music scene.
They first decided to call themselves as Check Experiment as the name itself describes what the five friends were doing, mainly checking and experimenting their musical prowess. But they settled to drop the experiment and went for the more catchy and easy to remember Check.
Admittedly the band was used to playing pure funk music, but as they wanted to expand their musical horizon and cater to a larger audience, they decided to infuse alternative pop rock to their music. Like most of the bands today, they are heavily influenced by Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Incubus, The Script, Dashboard Confessional and other artists both local and foreign who sing right from their heart.
In a country where talented bands are born almost everyday, Check struggled like the rest who started in the underground arena, where unsigned bands are huddled together in their quest to be heard. They’ve experienced those grueling hours of waiting to perform but it will be just them and the other last bands as the crowd themselves, the unpaid gigs that they attend to just because they love doing it and those hours of contemplating if they will ever be able to make it big.
Lucky for Check, they scored Angee Rozul to produce their album, have Joel Ellorin as manager; same guy behind Kjwan, and have a record deal with Sony BMG. What more can a band ask for right? But it’s not all pure luck, the band worked hard to showcase and prove their worth to get all these big names and people to listen and give them a chance.
This year, Check came out with their debut and self-titled album containing 10 tracks mostly penned by Jim who said, “Gusto naming iparating sa kanila (listeners) na yung music namin hindi rin kaiba dun sa mga mahal nilang banda ngayon sa industriya. Gusto lang naming sabihin sa kanila na marami pang bagong bandang sisikat na magugustuhan nyo din tulad namin. Yun yung message nung album namin.”
As their manager puts it, a band should possess three qualities for them to survive in the industry: discipline, compromise and hard work. And so far, the group didn’t fail to check each of these traits. They see their ability to adapt to their listeners’ wants is an asset for the band, as music is a communication other than expression. Their strong friendship also makes them unbreakable when problems arise for the band and facing it like a normal barkada will do, laugh at it and then think of a way to solve it.
Right now, Check is busy with pushing their album through radio tours and performing in events like the 2008 MTV Music Summit but never fails to still have a good time and even squeeze in between that DOTA addiction and basketball games. As children they dreamed, and now they’ve made it real.