Menaya’s new-found sound

0_30961The Worst News is definitely NOT the worst

By Angelique Manalad

(Unedited copy of article from FUDGE Magazine November 2008 issue)

The launch of their new album entitled The Worst News signaled Menaya’s resurrection back to the music scene after their three-year break, promising a new sound guarantee to astound with reverberating drumbeats, different guitar riffs and captivating vocals. Its first single Safer had occupied the no.1 spot at NU 107’s countdown, Stairway to Seven for a number of weeks.

A new line-up is introduced with Mike Bacalzo tasked to handle the guitars, Sherwyn Olivar being the bassist and Hepe Lavador striking the drums join vocalist Brian Sombero. Both Wena Velasco and Julius Masibay, their former drummer and bassist, have to go abroad for different reasons and leave the band.

The new sound

The band strongly affirms the big difference that their new album has from their first one released in 2004 which was entitled Run. “As the line-up changed, our sound was anticipated to be different. We have our individual influences and backgrounds that will result to a different music than how Menaya sounded before.” Mike explained.

“That was the first album and the time that we were just finding ourselves. I almost forgotten about it, this is how we sound now with my new bandmates. Change is inevitable in music, everyone matures.” Brian shares as the sole original member of Menaya.

The difference

We are all used to stories of bands forming out of college buddies and friends but with them it was different. “Sa’men kasi baligtad. Talagang nabuo kasi gusto tumugtog then saka lang nag-bonding at naging friends.” Hepe said. Brian met everyone from his other friends and connections and asked if they’d like to join him with be part of a band, coming from different other professions everyone agreed for the love of music.

“No one can really earn that much from music, at least here in our country, with different factors affecting the industry such as piracy and poverty… But we’re doing this because we love this. This is our passion and our hobby. This is what I advice to the youth today, kesa mag-drugs o kung ano pang bisyo, this is a better outlet for us.” Brian states.

When asked if they see their different way of becoming a band, a weak point for them, they all immediately shook their heads saying, “Hindi din naman sa tagal ng pagsasama yun, kahit yung iba naman na sobrang tagal na naghihiwalay din. It’s how you are as band and how committed you are to your music.”

The worst and the words

With the new sound comes the new criticism, as their sound evolved some as expectedly couldn’t help raising their brows even labeling them as posers at times. “Kasama na yun e. But we can really take it as a compliment, nakaka-flatter pa nga e. They are listening, they are noticing and so far we haven’t heard any negative feedbacks with the songs from the new album. As with the new sound they have to accept that this is how we are now.”

Songs from their sophomore release was written by Brian Sombero and Karen de la Cruz who admitted that it’s born out of spontaneity of different moments. “I always had the theme in mind already but couldn’t find the words right away. When I am singing on stage I sometimes became gibberish as I was still looking for the words that will fit the rhythm I was playing. Karen helped me as we recorded the performances and supplied the lyrics to fit each song.” Brian shared.

The future

The band is hoping not for the worst of course, and set their minds to continue what they’re doing which is juggling their passion for music and attending their own day-jobs as well. The music video of Safer already hit the music channels, which boasts of its impressive graphics and effects and of being shot entirely underwater.

This December, the band set their eyes on sharing the stage with Ogie Alcasid himself and Ramiel Malubay from American Idol in a show which TheUnderGround Studio aims to produce next after the band’s second album.

Menaya—though encountered a lot of changes as a band—promises to keep their supporters, old and new, a dose of the best news from now on.

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