Warning: Monster album sighted



Archipelago’s Travel Advisory

By Angelique P. Manalad, Contributor

After 72 gigs, two number one singles and two music videos later, super band Archipelago finally launches its debut long-playing album Travel Advisory.

Composed of 14 songs, the CD talks about different kind of weather-the kind of musical storm dauntless music lovers welcome as a fresh breeze.

An amalgam of several highly acclaimed bands-Yan Yuzon and Wendell Garcia from Pupil; Chad Rialp from Liquid Jane and Tempestuous Jone and Pat Tirano from TOI and Monkeyspank-Archipelago fuses grunge, trip-hop, alternative and blues rock genres. Between them, the band members possess enough musical virtuosity and song writing creativity to launch more than a dozen chart toppers and rock classics. That’s exactly what they are poised to do with Travel Advisory.

Archipelago has been thrice nominated in the 2009 Asia Voice Independent Music Awards based in Malaysia. Their first single ÒMRIÓ is nominated for Best Rock Song and Best Moody-Melancholic Masterpiece, while its video became nominated for Most Mind-Blowing Music Video.

Most of the tracks in the album are positively infectious and guarantee a case of LSS (last song syndrome). The opening track and current single “Black Box” premiered not only in Manila but also on Hot 100.7 FM in Athens, Georgia and United States on September 1. It features an intricate musical arrangement that compliments Yuzon’s throaty vocals.

ÒMay1,” the second single of the album, has already reached the top place in local charts. The song talks about different scenarios that unfold in life. “Sa bawat oras mo’y may himala [With one’s every hour, a miracle],” it proclaims. And that’s not they have to preach. The track “Lumapit,” which sounds like the Creator talking one-on-one with listeners, is what Yuzon calls a “gospel song.”

The title track “Travel Advisory,” a song which most of the band members co-written, delivers a message to the rest of the world. “it’s a political message to the governments of the first world countries that issue travel warnings to their citizens against traveling to the Philippines whereas they base such warnings on stuff that goes in a small part of our country and shouldn’t be taken as the overall state of how the country is as a whole,”  Yuzon shared.

Songs written by Rialp-“Engine Breaker” and “One of Three” scream testosterone overload as the former takes you for a ride in the fast lane while the latter is a narrative about a rock star’s lifestyle involving sex, drugs and money.

Gaan explores a vein of irony with “What You Want.” It paints a frightening scenario of the consequences of some things that we desire. In the song “Eternal,” haunting vocals and guitar strumming blend to deliver a smooth hypnotic piece.

Travel Advisory delivers an exhilarating musical journey that assures rockers arrive in better shape.

My Myx, Your Myx, Everybody Myx!


By Angelique Manalad

(Fudge Magazine Feb-March 2009 issue p.66)

The annual event presented by Myx dubbed as Myx Mo, was a night of good music, sweat, shouts, possible brawl and everything you could ask for in a rockin’ big concert. But it’s a different world backstage. A night of bonding, catching up and that nerve-wracking feeling of performing in front of that crowd who will either love you or hate you.

More than 50 artists and bands performed for the night in SM Mall of Asia’s concert grounds, newbies and legends sharing the same stage—strictly, OPM at its best. Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano, celebrating his 25th year in the business, wowed the crowd with his singing prowess and dance moves that proves that with age comes greatness.

Yeng Constantino was excited as she is invited for the first time to perform with other artists she looks up to and really live that dream. “This year natuwa ako kasi nakasama ko, kasi nagkaroon ako ng chance makasama yung mga paborito ko ring mga artists like Sandwich, si Kuya Raimund Marasigan, specifically sya sobrang idol ko kasi yun. Ang saya kasi parte ako nito. Isang gabing puno ng musika.”

As the event’s title suggested it’s everyone’s mix of music. Opening the night’s grand show is our pride Charice Pempengco who sang our national anthem with her diva voice praised by Celine Dion herself. Smiling at everyone, Cherisse finishes her song and as she made her exit in the side, triumphantly saying “Tapos na!” Then off to cater to the rest of media eager to ask her questions and take her picture. For some, it’s their first night out in such a big crowd once again, “It’s a nice feeling. I’ve been away for some time; it’s great to see the fans again and the music bands.” Rico Blanco shares. While, Ely Buendia with his band Pupil, performed in tiptop shape.

The backstage is full of buzz among artists, press people, die-hard fans who scored the SVIP passes, sponsors and of course Myx staffers. While the crowd outside is busy waiting for the next performer, the musicians are busy waiting for their turn in the constraints of their own conversations with other artists. “It’s always nice to be a part ng Myx Mo kasi para syang family reunion ng lahat ng artists. Napaka-rare, siguro mga twice or thrice a year lang magkaroon ng event na ganito na lahat ng artist sama-sama; hanging out backstage, trying to find a quiet spot kung saan pwede mag-bond, tumahimik at mag-enjoy lang.” Parokya ni Edgar’s Chito Miranda shares.

Presenting their new song, Kjwan was excited and happy to perform and be a part of the line-up for the night. “Myx Mo is different. The crowd that this thing draws is different. It’s good to play with these musicians. I mean there’s not just one kind of music, it’s all kind of music. It’s OPM at its prime. It’s always an honor to perform here.” Vocalist Marc Abaya imparts.

Wendell Ramos of Pupil and Archipelago, who also lend his skill to Spongecola for the event, is in awe with the young bands he witnessed amid the physical exhaustion of playing the drums for three bands during the occasion. “Sobrang proud ako. Ang daming magaling na musikero sa’tin talaga. Yung mga batang banda kanina, sobrang todo at ang gagaling. Hopefully, sana walang masaktan ngayon. Wala pa kong tulog, pero for the love of music kahit may sakit ako, tutugtog ako.”

With such high energy and the spirit of brotherhood among fellow musicians and music lovers, the event was declared a success. No mixed feelings about that.

No band is an island


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.”