Tuesday, March 29, 2011
AN HOUR WITH THE ERASERHEADS [Guess who got slaughtered?]
They arrive in the Inquirer in their t-shirt best, schoolboy hauteur and devil-may-care attitude that make other lesser known bands look and sound like grunge poseurs.
We are talking about our very own Fab Four (the association is a love-hate thing). The most awarded local band in the MTV era. The big crossover success story. The Eraserheads.
Vocalist Ely Buendia, drummer Raymund Marasigan and Bassist Marcus Zabala (guitarist Marcus Adoro is late) look ominously at the conference room, as we file in one by one, prompting band leader Ely to sound off an alarming: “What is this? Ba’t ang dami nyo?”
You’re in Playtime, we say. And Ely proceeds to clam up, pull his chair closely beside Raymund and assume the dog position, that is, they plant their chins on the cold long table as if preparing for slaughter. And then we wonder, will the Eraserheads be game enough for Playtime?
We spoke too soon.
Because behind the glint of their insouciant schoolboy charms lies a media-wise group with a bull---t detector turned up to overdrive. You can take their answers to our questions as plain truth or mere fallacious reasoning.
But there is no doubt that the E-heads success goes beyond creative packaging. They may look like kids on the lam, but they actually work hard just like the rest of us, perhaps even more so. Can you imagine five albums in five years all going beyond platinum?
Other bands, who benefited from their crossover hit, have come and gone or been cocooning for God knows what. Not the Eraserheads who seem to get better as they get older which, for them, is too distant a future to think about. On turning thirty someday (that is, in three to four years), Marcus says: Sana may ngipin pa ako nun.”
(I): Hindi ba kayo nagkakasawaan?
Ely(E): Hindi naman kami mag-asawa. Hindi naman kami magsyota. Bat naman kami magkakasawaan?
I: You’re always together, day in, day out.
E: Hindi naman, tska iba-iba naman ang ginagawa namin.
Buddy(B): We try to stay as far away from each other when we’re not performing.
R: Usually magkasama lang kami onstage, unconsciously…
B: It shows that iba-iba kami ng interests, kahit sa music.
I: So anu-ano ang mga interest nyo?
B: Like me, I like watching movies. Nanood nga ako ng “Air Force One”. Masaya, magaling si Gary Oldman. Di ba sober na sya, pare?
R: Ako mahilig pa rin akong tumugtog, so marami pa rin akong ibang bands, para pagdating ko sa gig ng Eraserheads, excited uli ako. (Smiles) I play with other bands, other instruments. Some professionally, pero yung priority sa Eraserheads pa rin. Kaya kung wala ako sa E-heads, tumutugtog pa rin ako.
E: Ako sa bahay lang. Naglalaro lang ng mga games sa computer. Ngayon busy ako kasi ginagawa namin yung Pillbox magazine. Tinatapos ko yung mga articles ko, so yun lang. Saka yung script. Hirap kasing lumabas eh. Traffic! Wala kang mapapala pag lumabas ka, pwera na lang kung magtratrabaho ka. Kung wala naming trabaho, sa bahay ka na lang.
I: (To Raymund) What’s the exact color of your hair?
R: It used to be green- three weeks ago- but it has faded. (Points to the canned softdrink) Sprite green. Naggogrow kasi yung roots kaya black na ulit.
I: What do you like most about being Eraserheads?
B: The music.
R: That probably. Oh, no, not! (laughs)
E: It’s the fact that we can do, more or less, what we want now, in terms of music.I mean, we’ve been together for five years, we’ve come up with five…good albums, I think (Raymund drums the table and chuckles). Yung, it’s being able to play what you want.
I: What do you hate most?
B: The showbiz part.
E: The fact that until now we still have to kiss ass most of the time.
I: Whose ass don’t you like kissing?
E: Asses that are not very clean. (laughter)
I: All asses are not clean.
B: Some asses pretend to be cleaner than others.
E: We still have a few ambitions in life, like being able to release an international album, which we cannot do unless we kiss…
I: What do you do before you kiss ass? Do you psyche yourself up?
E: It’s not consciously kissing ass, it just happens…
R: It’s more of compromising… We have to play this gig even if we earn nothing from it. But you have to travel, and bring all your equipment and pay all your crew, just play somewhere where people will probably like you and release your album somewhere else.
I: But you can’t be Eraserheads without showbiz.
R: Exactly, but we knew that beore we went mainstream. We too up MassCom in college so we were prepared. We just don’t like it. We don’ look forward to doing those things, like doing free shows at Christmastime just to please people or not make people hate us.
B: But that was before, that’s what we used to do.
I: But that is paying your dues, di ba?
R: Something like that. But we have to pay the crew, travel, and (deal with) the traffic.
I: Is it good money?
E: It’s very good money.
B: It’s born out of, we’d like to think, hard work.
I: You have to pay taxes…
E: Well we don’t want to but… (laughter)
B: Who wants to?
E: but everybody has to pay taxes.
R: We have to deal with accountants and the management…
E: Yun pa ang isang nakakainis, the business part of the…business. (snorts)
I: Do you think you have enough until you get old?
R: No, we don’t’ have enough. We could work harder but we’d rather not play everyday. Baka magsawa kami.
B: (grins) We could work our clean asses off so we could have enough, but we choose not to.
R: We could do pwesto every week or every day like other working bands. But we’d rather keep it exciting and choose the gigs we like to play.
I:What have you done with your earnigs so far?
E: We’ve bought a lot of things…
B: We’ve invested in a lot of things.
R: Our first investment was… we bought our musical instruments because we didn’t have any when we started. Next was the place where we live, the apartments, which we pay for every month.
E: We’re investing on ourselves. We formed some sort of a corporation to make it, I don’t know, to make it legal.
I: Who’s the money wisest among you?
B: That would have to be our manager. (laughter)
R: (to Buddy) It has to be you.
B: No, it’s Marcus. He’s not here so he can’t defend himself.
R: Marcus is in the stock market.
E: I guess he’s stuck in the market right now.
B: (to the recorder) Marcus, this is what you get for not being here. It’s your fault.
I: Have you finally finished your studies?
B: No. None of us has. We’ve been super-seniors since…(laughter) Mega-seniors.
R: …since our girlfriends were in high school. (laughs)
B: Since ’93, ’94.
E: You can never finish your studies. You still have to continue learning.
I: Do you think it’s important to finish your studies?
R: Yes, to please our parents.
I: Do your parents still have any say in your life?
All: Yes, of course.
E: Siyempre, hindi mo naman maiaalis yon. Once in a while they tell you to brush your teeth, sleep early. (grins)
R: We visit them but it’s hard to go home regularly. Our parents live far away. Buddy lives in Zamboanga. Ako sa Quezon. Si Marcus sa Cebu.
E: Oo, si Raymund sa Candelaria, ako sa Las Pinas. (laughter)
I: Kaya kayo nagdorm (sa UP Kalayaan Residence Hall)?
B: That’s where we met. We’ve been together since ’89.
I: Is anyone of you married?
I: Living in?
B: Marcus isn’t here so…
E: Yes, he’s (Marcus) married and living in at the same time. (laughter). And he’s also gay. (laughter) And he loves his dog so much to the point of obsession.
I: You mean among the three of you nobody is living in?
E: Hmmm… Well, yeah.
B: I live in an apartment. (laughter)
I: With a girl?
R: He lives with two boys and three girls…
B: I live with one boy and about 5 girls so that makes me polygamous.
R: We’ve got housemates.
B: We’ve got a lot of housemates, college friends…
I: You live in with your housemates?
B: Well, separate rooms. (laughter)
I: Kasi the fans want to know.
B: Ah. We live in with our housemates, separate rooms.
I: Do you enjoy having fans following you around?
R: Not the following around. (grins)
E: We don’t mind having fans… sometimes, di ba, OK.
I: Anong worst experience nyo with fans?
R: The phone calls. (drums table)
B: You don’t get any phone calls.
R: That’s why I don’t give you (Buddy) my number. (chuckles)
B: (Shakes head) Lucky guy.
E: Oo, yung phone calls sakit sa ulo talaga, grabe.
I: How do they get your numbers?
All: We don’t know. They have means.
B: they probably work with PLDT or Bayantel.
R: They call every five minutes.
I: What do they say?
R: Nothing. Some of them just go blank and hung up.
B: Or some just play music.
I: So they want to hear your voice?
R: I don’t know what they’re thinking. Some are spooky…
I: What’s the most “off thing” told you on the phone?
E: Pwede bang I-print yon? Hindi kasi naming alam kung fan eh, kasi parang deranged na siya. Pinagmumura nya ako sa phone.
B: Yeah, may mga nagmumura. Ewan, outright they just want to exercise their vocal chords. That’s the only time probably they can express their expletives. But some, their not even fans. There was this one nga na hoping nag-disband na daw ang Eraserheads and all that. That was the creepiest so far, for me.
I: Fan ng Rivermaya? (laughs)
B: Are you printing that? Girl yung tumawag.
E: Yan pa ang nakakainis sa lagay naming ngayon. I don’t know why but we’re the most maligned local band.
I: Maligned by whom?
E: By everybody. By the media… (snickers)
B: We’re a favorite target.
I: How come?
E: Case in point, yung “Alapaap” thing. They’re using it for the [Citizen’s] Drug Watch commercial, I think. Para saan nila ginagawa yon?
R: They should use “Iskul Bukol,” di ba? (“Iskul Bukol” is the defunct sitcom that starred Tito Sotto, the senator who charged that Alapaap encourages drug use.)
I: Yun ba yung nagkaroon ng Senate inquiry?
E: Tapos na yon eh. Ngayon may recent. Ginamit nila yung song.
R: They’re using the song for the [anti-] drug campaign.
I: Were you ever on drugs?
E: Off the record? (snickers)
B: Are we talking of prohibited drugs here?
E: Over the counter prohibited drugs or what?
R: No. (laughter)
B: Without a shadow of a doubt, no.
I: How can you be young and not be on drugs?
R: Why, what’s wrong?
E: We’re not on drugs.
B: And we’re not young. (laughter) You know, people can get different highs kasi eh. Raymund gets a high from Sprite.
I: Why do you think you are maligned? Is it because you’re successful?
E: I guess that’s probably one of the reasons. I think there are two kinds of people in this country. There are those who cheer you up when you’re successful, and there’s the kind that pulls you down. Yung mga may crab mentality. And I think yun ang pinakaunderlying reason people are saying bad things about us, doing bad reviews of our albums just because we’re successful.
B: They don’t think we deserve it.
I: So you let this get on your nerves?
E: Well we’re trying not to let it get on our nerves, but for the five years that it’s been going on, nakakainis na.
B: Enough is enough sometimes.
I: So it somehow affects you?
R: yeah it does. Especially if you’re not a musician and you dis my album—gumawa ka ng album at mas maganda sa album ko, OK lang.
E: Oo, saka ka mang-dis.
R: Mangdi-dis ka for nothing, bulls---t! (emphatic)
B: To put it lightly, they’re way out of context all the time. They’re talking of things they know nothing about.
R: We even hate good reviews that are out of context.
I: Do you give a damn that other bands feel insecure about your success?
E: No, it’s their problem. Siguro kung kami ang insecure, di ba? (snickers)
I: Do you have groupies?
E: We have a few downstairs.
R: (laughs) Rock ‘n’ roll.
B: It’s part of the life, it’s part of the compromise. It’s part of kissing ass.
I: Do the groupies spoil you rotten?
R: (hesitates) No, we’re not spoiled.
B: Most of the groupies actually are responsible.\
R: They bring food.
I: How do you handle them?
R: Gently. (laughs) We have nice groupies. They’re from different schools.
E: Different age brackets…
B: ….different backgrounds, socioeconomic and political…
E: Different sexes.
I: How do you deal with your female fans?
E: We try to treat them nicely, as nice as we can, even though…
I: Let’s say a female fan is making a pass at you na…
R: (laughs) Nothing’s wrong with that. We don’t encourage it. (laughter)
E: But we don’t prevent them from doing anything they want to do. (chuckles)
I: What gifts do you get from them?
R: Different. Food, hopia…
B: We get tapes, videotapes, t-shirts, toys…
I: Nothing valuable, like jewelry…?
E: Valuable naman yun lahat.
I: Walang fatal attraction?
B: Nobody’s died yet.
I: You think there’s somebody on the brink?
B: The guy from Chatterbox, pare. (laughs) Natatakot na ako don. (laughter)
R: (To Ely) Yung papatayin niya si Marcus, pare, para lang gawin mo siyang katulong.
E: Ah oo, yun.
R: We have wacky fans.
B: That was part of a letter na…
R: Ayan na si Marcus.
(Marcus enters the room)
B: (To the recorder) Please remember, everything we said about Marcus is true.
M: (holds recorder to his mouth) Kung may tanong pa kayo number ko sa bahay 4346566.
I: What do you think you show best about your generation.
E: It’s the fact that our generation grew up in a very repressed atmosphere. I speak for myself…
B: You can speak for me too.
R: For both of us. (laughs)
B: You speak for all of us.
E: We grew up in the 70’s, pero we didn’t notice that…
R: Everything was locked up.
E: Na bad-trip talaga kami nung sinensor ni Marcos yung Voltes V. We were just kids, we were playing around, we were having fun with these Japanese robots for heroes.
B: Hindi tuloy naming napanood yung mga x-rated cartoons. Hanggang “Daimos lang kami at “Grendaizer.”
R: We didn’t know we had curfew. In college we found out we had curfew back then.
E: Suddenly na-invade ng politics yung world namin. I really didn’t care what Marcos was doing because I didn’t have any idea. Pero nung kinuwento sa akin ng nanay ko: “Tinanggal ni Marcos yung robot kasi daw…” Sabi ko: “Ba’t ganun?”
R: At yung mga video games sa Makati…
B: That was the last straw. (shakes head) That was really…demented.
I: And how did that carry over to now?
E: We’re still rebelling against…
B: All forms of injustices…(laughter)
E: (laughs) Oppression…
R: Probably our only political stand.
E: Yes, we’re very much against censorship. We are for free speech.
B: Pero weird ano, kasi nasa Constitution natin yan.
I: How free is free to you? As free as the Constitution allows it or…?
R: We don’t even read the Constitution. Personal conviction siguro.
B: How aware is the generation right now of the Constitution right now to start with? Siguro you should put it in that context before people start talking about freedom from oppression and all the beautiful words we can think of. So the root of the problem is, it has to be self-expression. Kids today are starting to express themselves, different ways, not always constructive but they’re learning.
E: I think the problem is, a lot of people think they can think for others, like the censors. Pero di rin natin sila masisisi, kasi there are two kinds of people—those who can think for themselves and those who cannot. And those who can’t think for themselves deserve to be influenced and controlled by others. Kaya what we are saying now is you can do what you want.
Kasi kami hindi kami grumadweyt, we wanted to form a band, we wanted to make music, so we did--- against all odds, against all norms. Hindi naming sinunod ang gusto ng pop industry. So that’s what we’re trying to prove. We’ve already proven that, I think.
Nakikita ng mga young people ngayon na you can make a difference if you really want, if you really just think for yourself. (long pause) And that Dr. Armstrong (a character on Voltes V) is very much alive. (chuckles) (Raymund laughs)
B: And the children of Dr. Armstrong are Steve, Big Bert and Little John. And Jamie is the daughter of General Robinson.
I: Naiwanan ba kayo in front of the TV?
B: Kasi may curfew noon eh. There was nothing much to do in the afternoon and in the evening.
R: Besides, there were no other channel where we lived. We grew up in the provinces. All we got was “Voltes V at five o’ clock so everybody watches it. We watched “Combat,” “Man from Atlantis.” I can sing you the theme! (hums)
I: How old are you guys?
I: Marcus, sabi nila gay ka.
M: Ha? (Raymund laughs) Galing nga ako sa parlor eh. (laughter)
I: What if you find out that one of you is really gay?
R: We don’t care.
E: Si Marcus nga eh. (laughter)
R: We’ve worked with gay people.
E: It doesn’t bother us.
I: (To Marcus) We asked them who’s the money wisest among you, they said it’s you.
M: No. Ginagastos ko nga kaagad eh. Kung masagasaan ako, magkagulo pa sila sa kalye. (laughter)
I: Wise nga. Saan mo ginagastos?
M: Sa baril. (laughter) Instrumento, gamit namin, sa kotse.
I: Where do you think you will be 10 years from now?
M: Ten years older. (laughter) Sana may ngipin pa ako nun.
E: (To his bandmates) We don’t want to be playing together pag kwan na tayo di ba, 30…?
I: What will you be in your 30’s?
E: We don’t even think that far ahead.
R: I think our managers [will handle] that for us.
I: But does it ever cross your mind you’ll turn 30 somehow?
R: Not yet, but now that you’ve pointed that out…(laughter)
E: Thanks for telling us. We’re depressed now.
R: The only future I ever think of is the future of the Philippine music industry which sucks right now. (cheers and hoots)
M and B: All right!
E: Which continues to suck.
I: why do you still say that it sucks? People have been saying that for years.
R: For a time it was going up, but some people have failed to release albums recently, some people we admire…
E: Hindi na-sustain yung excitement at momentum, ang nangyari, ‘yung mga record companies naghahanap na naman ng bagong pagkakakitaan. I mean, nale-lessen na naman yung support sa ano…
I: Bakit hindi na-sustain?
R: Ewan, theory lang siguro: “Yung ibang sumikat binanatan ng press, naapektuhan, natakot mag-release ng iba. So hold siguro muna. Yung iba baka nag-disband na.
E: There were so much hype that went along with the bands coming out na sa sobrang hype at excitement, naubos—prematurely.
R: Some bands think with rock n’ roll, you can do anything. They forgot to work. They think we’re just here smiling… But they don’t know we tour every week, we have gigs, we record…
I: So you’re blaming the other bands, not the industry?
R: It’s the whole industry, even the record companies. They won’t give enough support, they won’t make videos/ I think Filipinos are better than Malaysians or Indonesians… we’ve seen bands from other countries. We’ve seen MTV India.
I hate dissing them ‘cause they’re probably nice, but [their music’s] all the same. But they’re there, so people buy them. They support their artists. Here, we probably sell more than other people, but we don’t get as much support as the other people in other places get.
I: Pero yan ang sinasabi ng recording artists two decades ago. Up to now, ganyan pa rin?
R: Not exactly. Before us, there was even lesser support. Record companies didn’t usually allow artists to record by themselves. At least now they do. Now we have a few videos, we have MTV Philippines… and now they produce more local shows, but not yet enough to sustain the industry. Kasi kids wrote to us: “Whydon’t you play in this place, or in this place?” We can’t ‘cause promoters won’t invite us and we can’t just go in, unlike in other places. We think there’s enough talent for the Filipinos.
I: When we talk of audience or market, there’s more than enough to sustain the industry?
R: Of course. We get letters from far away, even from Alaska, Australia, the States… there’s enough variety in the Filipino style and music. We have reggae, punk-rock,hip-hop, everything. We even have disco…
I: You don’t see yourselves working na parang Rolling Stones, still playing now that they’re in their 50’s?
R: Probably business partners or golf buddies. Just kidding. (chuckles)
I: Bakit ang APO?
E: Hindi naman kasi kami pwedeng mag-host eh.
B: Saka iba naman ang circumstances nila.
R: We wish we could host, we wish we could act…
I: You can learn.
E: (shakes head) There’s no point in learning. Hindi naming hilig yon eh.
B: Probably we can make it a project of ours. We’re dealing with everything else on a per project basis. “What are we doing next?” The marketing, so we do the marketing. “What’s our next project? Are we gonna do an album?” Then we work on that.
R: Right now it’s releasing the second Pillbox, that’s our fanzine.
I: Do you think you’ve reached your peak?
R: We still have to do many things. We’re not close there yet.
I: What do you mean?
E: To be more popular than “Macarena.” (laughter)
I: So anong gauge niyo, popularity?
B: We still like to think of it as a yearly thing. The peak being the album, releasing and promoting it.
E: If we didn’t go to California, we might have been satisfied. We saw the other side, the new world, the First World. It was a very, very positive thing. We played to a packed venue, full of Pinoys. But we also spoke to a couple of black Americans.
R: They have a healthier music scene.
E: It broadened our horizons.
I: What else did you realize?
E: Na-realize namin na music is music wherever you are.
B: It’s the international language.
E: Now it’s not far-fetched for us to think na pwedeng ma-appreciate ang music naming or any Filipino performer sa abroad.
B: It’s not discontentment. It’s realizing there’s a lot more out there, a whole new experience, new cultures… so why not set it (your goals) a little higher?
I: And it’s also because you saw how the music industry is out there?
B: … It’s still the same thing.
I: But for you to make it there, you have to be based there.
R: Not exactly. Some Japanese artists are popular everywhere, like Shonen Knife and Pizzicato Five, and they’re based in Japan.
I: Why do these groups make it there?
R: Music videos!
B: It’s the 90’s phenomenon.
E: It’s the exposure they get from MTV…
R: Or any video channel.
E: But it’s a sad thing again kung uunahin nila ang music videos then ang reality ganun pa rin…
R: Nobody could understand what the “Macarena” is saying but it had airplay everywhere, di ba?
B: They had these people dancing.
R: We don’t even think people in Japan understand what the British are singing. We don’t even understand half of what the British are singing, but we like them, and we see them on videos.
I: And BMG can’t do that for you?
R: Well, they’re doing something but we don’t know yet.
B: They’re giving the support.
I: You’re the most heavily supported in the BMG stable?
R: No, they support everybody.
R: We don’t measure it.
E: We can’t really say.
I: But you’re among the frontliners.
B: Well, I think it’s safe to say that for everybody some are more equal than others. (long pause) Whatever that means.
I: Ano na ang status ng alternative music scene dito?
R: We think there’s more to local talent.
E: Kasi may nakausap kami sa Singapore so na-realize namin again na mas OK pa dito ang lagay ng mga Filipino artists. Dun talagang walang local scene.
B: It’s all imported.
E: Hindi nila alam ang music nila doon. Halo-halo ang culture doon eh. May Chinese, Malay, Indian…
R: For a local artist to break sa kanila, you have to know how to sing in Malay, Indonesian…
E: … pero ang gagaling ng bands nila. Napanood naming ang mga college bands dun, ang gaganda ng mga kanta nila.
R: Grabe ang underground [bands] nila, [compared] sa ating underground scene, pero wala lang magre-release.
E: Ang BMG-Singapore, wala silang A&R department, walang nagha-handle ng local kasi wala talaga silang local. Puro foreign artists. Parang yung scene dito mga five years ago or (nung) ‘80’s, ganun yung scene nila ngayon doon, which is very sad. Nagulat nga ako, it’s an eye-opener para sa akin.
I: But it’s also interesting kasi when you say Singapore, akala mo…?
B: But it’s probably good kasi for a police state they’re picking up. And I think one edge of Filipinos talents also, yung language facility. We can use English. It’s second nature to us.
I: Yun bang “Kaliwete” single nyo tungkol sa death ng punk-rock?
R: Punk is not dead. But alternative music is still alternative music. We still listen to alternative music that is not in the mainstream.
I: Like what?
R: Drum n’ bass, techno. There’s more to alternative music than Green Day. There’s nothing wrong with Green Day, they are a great band. And Bush.
I: You’ve been cited as the Beatles pf the Philippines, kanino ba kayo mas pabor, Blur o sa Oasis?
E: Mas Blur. (laughter)
B: We probably listen to both.
I: Pero Oasis is more like the Beatles. They admitted that. How about you? Would you admit that somehow, yung music nyo may pattern sa Beatles?
R: We’d like to be the Rolling Stones of the 90’s. (Grins)
E: Hindi naman naming ini-strive any kind of stature na ganun kalaki. Bahala na yng Oasis na mag-ambisyon ng ganun. They’re from England, they probably can claim that. We’re a totally different thing.
I: But how do you feel about being called the Beatles of the Philippines?
R: Flattered. And annoyed. Minsan kasi yun ang escape ng journalist. Para mas maintindihan ng ermat ko, sabihin mo na lang Beatles, when in fact we have other influences aside from the Beatles. We listen to Blur, Apo, Joey Ayala…
E: Ang nakakainis lang dun, once na ma-pinpoint na nila kung ano yung itatawag nila sa amin, dun na sila mag i-stick. “OK Beatles na yan.” Kasi nung unang lumabas kami, they were always asking us, “Ano bang style nyo? Sino bang idols nyo?” Minsan lang ako nagsabi, I admitted that I really like the Beatles…
M: (mock disgust) Oh, my god!
E: (grins) O pare, you didn’t know that ha!
M: Ikaw palang may kasalanan eh!
E: Minsan ko lang masabi then, “Yun Beatles pala! Kaya pala ganun ang tunog nila. Kaya yung next album nila, Beatles ulit.”
B: Pero I guess hindi naman natin ma-blame yung tao kasi human nature lang yan eh, mahilig mag-label.
I: Are there offers for you, especially Ely to go solo?
E: May isang TF film nga na… (laughter)
I: What could possibly cause you to split up?
E: Lahat naman kami we’ll probably make the decision, not because of any outside factor but…
R: We’ve had our share…more of musical differences.
E: okay lang siguro kung musical eh, pero wag lang personal… Yung musical pwede bang pag-usapan…
I: How to you settle musical differences?
R: We vote, for everything we decide on. Kung music, especially in the studio, we vote with the producer Robin Rivera. If it’s about management, the management votes with us.
B: We always find a quorum.
I: How about personal differences?
B: That’s a totally different thing.
M: Suntukan. (laughs)
R: We’ve had our share of personal differences.
E: Hindi pa naman nagkakasuntukan. Kurutan pa lang.
R: Mas malaki na ‘to sa apat na tao lang eh. We have the crew na probably part of the band na. Pag may bad tripan, kakausapin ka nung isa.
E: Maghahanap ka pa ng way para maayos. Kung mapag-uusapan pa naman di ba? It’s not yet time to think of selfish stuff…
R: Besides, it’s safe to say that we’re doing everything we’d like to do for the moment. Siguro not everything but close enough. It’s better than a 9-5 job.
B: It’s a 5-9 job.
I: You’ve survived change of managers.
B: No we’ve survived changes of managers.
R: Four managers.
I: Did you fire them or kusa silang umalis?
E: The first one (Ann Angala) we fired. I’d like to make that clear.
B: Yeah. The following ones fired us. (chuckles)
E: Ann got married and got pregnant.
B: The second were Jessica (Zafra) and Ernest (Mangalubnan). Jessica had a TV show. Ernest was trying to go back to school.
R: The other one is an old friend, not that old but… Dey Cabuhat and Jett Nava. We’ve had all female managers.
I: Is that a preference?
E: Yes, ‘cause we can’t take orders from… (grins)
B: Saka second nature na sa kanila ang mag-alaga.
I: Aren’t you worried that you’ll be remembered only for your music videos?
R: I don’t think so.
E: Hindi naman siguro. Tingin ko, sa music naming kami maaalala.
R: We’ve yet to do a very good music video we can really be proud of.
I: How does it feel to win the MTV Asia Viewer’s Choice Award?
R: We’re proud to represent the country, excited… Lahat na. Labo-labo eh, kasi jet-lag…
B: Pagod, but it’s one of the experiences na hindi mo maipapalit sa lifetime mo.
I: Sinong nakita niyo dun (Radio City, New York)?
R: Si Pat Smear. (snickers) Pero nakita na naming siya sa Araneta [Coliseum] sa concert ng Foo Fighters.
I: Si Cindy Crawford?
E: Tulog ata ako nun eh.
B: Nakita din naming ang Spice Gels (Girls)
E: They’re very fat. Lalo na yung isa.
M: Maliliit lang pala sila eh. Ganito lang sila o. (Shows with his hand a five inch figure)
E: Ang layo kasi namin eh. Second mezzanine. (laughter)
I: Who’s the most popular among you?
R: Him. (points to Ely)
E: Kasi ako yung salita ng salita eh. (laughs) It doesn’t really matter though, I mean to me, and to them, I think.
I: Walang tension sa inyo?
E: Wala, hindi naman kami Menudo eh na nagpapa-cute-an lahat. (laughter)
R: We’re not Boyz II Men.
I: Paano ang hatian ng pera?
All: Equal. Walang lamangan.
B: Alphabetical ang hatian naming. Ely gets the first share. Equal naman kaya walang problema.
E: Minsan by height, kaya ako pa rin ang nauuna.
I: Teka, di ba dapat si Marcus kasi “A”?
E: Hindi, nag-uumpisa kami sa last letter eh. (laughter)