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Friday, September 16, 2016

Mano-a-Mano With Paranoid City: Part 2 - Taking Flight

09/15/2016 12:46:04 AM


What does it take to score a gig overseas? This may not be a 101 article, but from here, we continued having our longest conversation with Paranoid City about some tales during their travel as musicians to the uncharted territories. On how they earned the respect of the community, establishing rapport with An Honest Mistake, on the rough times of preparation, and how to make your mama-land (and fellow kababayans) proud.

SlickMaster: So paano kayo nadiscover ng mga foreign na band?
Dax: We' re really nice people.
8-Bit: It's a mix of good luck and goodwill, I suppose. Kasi hindi naman sa pagbubuhat ng bangko, pero isa kami sa mga pinakamadali niyong makausap na banda.
4Track: In addition, isa kami sa mga bandang hindi isnabero. As in literal.
8-Bit and Dax: Totoo yun.
4Track: I vouched for it, kasi yung nangyari noong 2013 sa Sonic Boom. They invited a band from Malaysia which is An Honest Mistake. Tapos parang they were so pissed off in a way, kasi yung time nga naman parang pahaba nang pahaba. Any band can feel that way. We approached them at the backstage, “Dude, the moment you guys performed sa stage, we will be helping you out.” Kasi wala silang roadie or whatsoever. Tapos eventually, nag-build kami ng good rapport with them.
8-Bit: Pero we're not expecting anything ha?
4Track: Good thing, this band (AHM) asked 8-Bit of they can do a collaboration from like Paranoid City. Lalagyan n'ya ng taste ng banda na An Honest Mistake with the Paranoid City feel.
8-Bit: That single was released yesterday. You can check it out, it's called “We're All Right” by An Honest Mistake, and I played the synths there. Again, recorded at Nick Lazaro's Studios.
SlickMaster: Wait, ito ba yung music video na shinoot sa B-Side?
8-Bit: Yes. That's it. So again, parang yun nga, it's a mix of good will and good karma. You know, we're not expecting anything with this one to make them feel at home. Kasi ikaw nga naman, tutgtog ka sa abroad, parang wala man lang... gets mo?
4Track: Parang sa madaling salita, when we went to Malaysia, sobrang ginantihan nya ng tripleng-tripleng-triple pa yung parang feeling namin na akala namin na hindi naman kami actually nanghingi or whatsoever.

Dax Balmeo (a.k.a. Dax, guitars and vocals)
So guys, being nice helps a lot. Moving on, 4Track described the process of playing in the overseas a very rough one. “Sobrang gapang talaga.”

8-Bit added, “When we play abroad we wanna show them na yung banda sa Pilipinas, magagaling. So technically, parang dinadala namin ang pangalan ng bansa.”

Rommel Celespara (a.k.a. 4Track, vocals, support synth operator, and FX/loop scientist)

Paranoid City was also one of the Filipino bands who tried to help build a connection between them, the nation's music scene in general, with that from the foreign-land. They recalled one instance in Thailand where aside from performing in stage, they literally shared the best music Filipinos were then offering.

8-Bit: When we went to Thailand, we brought demos.
4Track: All demos from the different bands in the Philippines, hoping na maraming sila.
8-Bit: We first asked them kung meron ba kayong spare copies ng mga CDs niyo. Pero wala kaming ibebenta. Ibibigay namin yun. We just wanna spread our network. That was the local scene in 2012. Most ng mga banda nun, pa-start pa lang. Yung mga isang kanta lang meron sila, kinompile ko pa.

Japo Anareta (a.k.a. 8-Bit, dual synth operator and vocoder)
8-Bit shared the spirit of another goodwill spirit that he believes should be passed from time-to-time. “Ang point namin, tinulungan kasi kami ng mga senior namin. Tapos kami, we want to pay it forward para sa mga susunod na henerasyon.”

As this band may say, it was a sense of fulfillment of risking them all, especially if we talk about their post-gig response.

SlickMaster: How's the experience about the tour in the past few months?
4Track: Priceless. Feeling namin yung Incubus na pumunta sa California, they rented one place katabi ng beach, they write songs, the VIP treatment, ganun.
8-Bit: It's a long and hard road before we got the gig. We are not the most financially-stable band. Pero ito kasi driving force namin, na sana mainspire din yung mga younger bands na kung meron talaga kayong gustong gawin bagay, gagawin mo talaga eh. Kahit mawalan ka ng pera, pero gusto makatugtog sa abroad, gagawin mo yung struggle eh.


Eric Strange (drums, beat engineer)
Of course, the Singapore/Bangkok/Malaysia experience wouldn't be complete without meeting fellow Filipinos right there.

SlickMaster: Sa mga past gigs ba, may nakakakilala ba sa inyo na mga kapwa Filipino?
Paranoid City: Meron.
SlickMaster: How's the experience?
4Track: Last year when we performed in Singapore, we were playing a cover song from the band Eraserheads which is “Balikbayan Box.” Nasa stage ako, napi-feel ko na yung mga tao na nakikinig sa amin para silang umuuwi sa Pilipinas at parang umiiyak sila sa amin. As in parang na-feel ko talaga kung gaano ka-genuine o ka-totoo yung feeling. When you guys performed sa stage, tapos nakapag-connect ka pala sa tao, ibig sabihin nun you're singing the sing by heart. Tapos noong June this year, naulit yun.
8-Bit: Ituloy mo ha? Pero when we played sa Laundry Bar, there were Filipinos working there...
4Track: And nag-request, “Sir, can you play an Eraserheads or Rivermaya song?” Sagot ko naman, “Sir meron po kaming cover song from Eraserheads.”
8-Bit: Kasi wala kaming Tagalog song.
4Track: When we played, parang tumigil yung crew, tumigil yung mga OFW, tumigil yung audience,
8-Bit: Nakita ko ng yung nagpupunas yung baso, medyo nakatingin sa akin, parang “kuya...” Parang na-feel namin na nakakonek kami sa mga ofws dun
4Track: Good thing rin kasi. One OFW is telling us “Sir, pang-3 taon ko na dito sa Malaysia. Ayokong umuwi kasi yung ipon ko, ibibigay ko sa family ko sa Pasko.” Nagtitipid sila. They really did sacrifice na mag-stay ng matagal dun to give something for the family. Tapos rewarding yung feeling din na they saw some bands from the Philippines na nagperform ng Filipino songs.
8-Bit: Pati rin sa Singapore, nung nagperform kami sa Esplanade, nakakatuwa kasi there were a couple of Pinoy expats there na nanood. Parang “Uy, may Filipino ulit”o “Uy, may Filipino sa Singapore, sa Esplanade theater pa!” Hindi naman araw-araw na may Filipino roon eh. Parang suwertihan lang. So we're grateful dun na nagkakaroon kami ng opportunity sa abroad, na nakapagpasaya kami ng mga kababayan natin.
8-Bit: Ituloy mo ha? Pero when we played sa Laundry, there were Filipinos working there...
4Track: and nagrequest, “Sir, can you play an Eraserheads or Rivermaya song?” “Sir meron cover song from Eraserheads.”
8-Bit: Kasi wala kaming Tagalog song.
4Track: When we played, parang tumigil yung crew, mga OFW, yung audience.
8-Bit: Nakita ko ng yung nagpupunas yung baso, medyo nakatingin sa akin, parang “kuya...” Parang nafeel kami na nakakonek kami sa mga OFWs dun
4-Track: Good thing rin kasi. One OFW is telling us “Sir, pang-3 taon ko na dito sa Malaysia. Ayokong umuwi kasi yung ipon ko, ibibigay ko sa family ko sa Pasko.” Nagtitipid sila. They really did sacrifice na mag-stay ng matagal dun to give something for the family. Tapos rewarding yung feeling din na they saw some bands from the Philippines na nagperform ng Filipino songs.
8-Bit: Pati rin sa Singapore, nung nagperform kami sa Esplanade, nakakatuwa kasi there were a couple of Pinoy expats there na nanood. So natuwa kami na parang “uy, may Filipino ulit.” Natuwa kami na parang “Uy, may Filipino sa Singapore. Tapos sa Esplanade theater pa.” So parang, oh, hindi naman araw-araw na may Filipino roon eh. Parang swertihan lang, ganyan-ganyan. So yeah, we're grateful dun na nagkakaroon kami ng opportunity sa abroad, na nakapagpasaya kami ng mga kababayan natin.

Stay tuned as Paranoid City talks about their upcoming gig in Zandari Festa. That's coming up in the last part of this mano-a-mano series!

Author: slickmaster | © 2016 september twenty-eight productions

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