Our first gig for 2011 that garnered a considerable amount of listeners was in the intimate confines of JAM 88.3, which I believe is the only radio station left that plays great indie pop tunes.
It was our third time to guest and perform in their weekly Sunday show called Jam Sessions. The first one was back in 2008 before we release “Pocket Guide To The Otherworld” followed by a mall show in Cavite last year after the release of “The Sight Of Love“. Both hosted by Tracy Abad.
This time we had the crazy pleasure to be interviewed by the boisterous and convivial tandem of Jugs Jugueta and Kelvin Yu, both members of the local band Itchyworms, now turned noontime show hosts and DJs on the side. Aired last Sunday is a pre-recorded interview and live performance. So live they never bothered editing the supposed “outtakes” which I find ludicrously amusing.
We visited the station to record our session exactly a week before our supposed guesting. We were advised to do an acoustic set, but to our surprise, there inside the booth is a full band set up being used by Tanya Markova who’s about to wrap up with their show. An electric drum kit and a Bass amp is in place, which instantly changed our minds from playing entirely with just an acoustic guitar.
Law didn’t bring his electric bass guitar. We didn’t want to miss the opportunity where each member can play. (It’s not everyday we get to play live on radio). Good thing Em Aquino (bassist of Your Imaginary Friends) left her Ibanez Jet King Electric Bass at Lilystars headquarters, prompting my colleague/roadie Antonette to make a run for it. I’m not sure if she asked permission from the owner, but we are very thankful for this coincidence. (Thanks Em!).
The session was unlike any of our past radio guestings. It didn’t even feel like we’re on the radio. The setting was more of a drinking spree on a side street, with the hosts laughing out loud at the most ridiculous comments and private jokes they throw at each other and the band. There was even a barrage of questions about Orange & Lemons, to which I comfortably indulged in, giving in to their curiousity.
A wave of nervous excitement greeted us when we started playing the first song “A Gentle Persuasion”, judging by the fact we came unrehearsed and unprepared to play all our new songs especially in a full band set-up. I even have to stop midway in “Birthday Wishes” because I thought I skipped a line (when in fact I didn’t). Eventually we didn’t mind and went along with the show.
I hardly remember the flow of our long, crazy and sometimes insightful conversations. But one question of Jugs sticked to me like a flypaper. “Don’t you miss the big time boy?” he quips. To which I readily replied by singing the chorus line of Lennon’s “Watching The Wheels”.
I told Jugs it would hypocritical to say that I don’t, but I wanted something more that just instant commercial fame and money. And I stand by the adage, “With good music, money will follow.” I play music not just as a profession but a an avenue of self-expression. A means to capture into music any aspect of my day to day living. It may be something amusing, inspiring, challenging or depressing. Through The Camerawalls and Lilystars Records, we are trying to build a healthy pop scene in this part of the world and help other local bands, hoping to reach a larger niche market in and out of the country someday.
***photos by Antonette Maniquis