(unedited version: Fudge magazine, June-July 2009 Issue)
After winning the 2006 Nescafe Soundskool, Hilera take a crack at creating their own sound. Hilera comes out with their new album entitled Nuthouse which they are proud of as it literally spells blood, sweat and tears for the band.
Being an indie band from 2007 to 2008 due to some corporate matters, they decided to build their own recording studio in their house named Raw Chord as music remains to be their top passion and hunger for that certain high that only delivering music can give. Even though they didn’t have a single idea of what to do, and sometime result to consult with videos over Youtube or ask for some instructions with professionals they worked with they successfully recorded every tracks in the album (except one which is Ded, ded, ded).
“Nagsimula kasi kami like from scratch…inano namin kung ano bang mga praktikal na dapat gawin so naisip namin ‘mag-start kaya tayo ng recording studio?’ talagang wala kaming idea like kung pano simulan yung studio. So, talagang nung nagsimula kami ng album, talagang nagsimula muna kami ng studio, habang sinusulat naming yung mga kanta pinagaaralan naming yung recording process na sobrang frustrating…Super D-I-Y to the max!” Ivan Garcia, the band’s bassist, disclosed. Though they encountered some difficulties such as having to come up with all the right equipments little by little, trying not to disturb the neighbors too much and lacking sleep, the group is happy to announce that they can now serve their end product.
Nuthouse may be an offensive term pertained to our country by John Lennon after their 1966 visit in Manila (blame it to you-know-who), but taking it as an inspiration Hilera named their second album Nuthouse to attest that this so-called nuthouse can produce music at its best.
Hilera came to the music scene after winning the Nescafe Soundskool representing Kalayaan College three years ago; where the band emerged as the champion even though they weren’t selected during the first eliminations, but as a chosen wildcard among the other participants they were able to compete again and overcome the battle, talk about sheer luck. But it was not all luck; they won and conquered the music scene even after the interschool competition after releasing their self-titled debut album which includes the hits “Define” and “Rhyme without reason” proving that the trio has the musical talents worthy for all to hear.
With their latest offer, Chris Padilla (vocals), Ivan and Bobby Padilla (drums) experimented with new instruments giving new flavors to their music that we’re used to. “May mga dinagdag kaming mga instrumento; brass section, trumpet, saxophone, baritone tractor, may keyboard…tapos halos kalahati ng mga kanta ginamitan ng upright bass.” Chris shares. Exploration of growth in their musicality was a great journey and challenge for the group, even their song writing changed, as they need to conform to the new instruments they wanted to use. “Ang hirap tugtugin, ang hirap dalhin, ang hirap patunugin,” they said with a laugh but are happy with the final sound.
As for the song writing, Ivan being the chief lyricist is used to short poetry like haikus even back in highschool. Adapting the style, their compositions are short and are left for the listeners to interpret at times. The melody comes first for the band. Almost each song in the album is written in English but this isn’t to say that they don’t like to use their native tongues but just to be able to be understood by a wider audience.
Nuthouse is composed of 16 songs where Radical being the carrier single being played over the airwaves as of press time. “Gusto kasi namin na yung first naming na ilabas na single medyo mabigat e, yung radical tungkol yun sa dinedeny mo yung sarili mo pero hindi ka makatanggi sa sarili mong will.” Chris explained. “Expression din ng banda pagdating sa struggle sa sarili.” Ivan added. They hope to inspire anyone who will lend their ears and inspire other aspiring bands to take that leap as they did. Hilera may be one of the young bands in the country but they clearly showed that when it comes to making music, nothing is too hard to do if you would just put your mind and heart to it.