I met Easy on the React! board over a year ago now.He was a dude i would always end up talking to for hours.He's just a crucial dude and he also happens to sing in Half The Battle.The Philippines most prominent youth crew outfit.They have a record out on Just Another Day records.Check out the songs on myspace and ORDER THAT RECORD!you wont be disappointed.
The following interview took place over facebook chat on the 14th of January.What else can i say?He's a good dude.
Can you give me a bit of a history of Half The Battle?
i grew up in the US in the DC area and then moved to the philippines back in 2003...
i didnt know many people there when i first got there but wanted to make music...
my wife was in a manila based band called Dance of Decline and introduced me to the most awesome smiley
positive dude EVER named papao! I knew i needed to start a band with him because his old band Feud was KILLER and at the time he wasnt doing any other bands so we got together and wrote a few songs.
we were both into youth crew stuff so it worked out.our first drummer was this insane metal drummer but he just didnt fit so pao introduced me to Mike Puso (puso means heart in tagalog) and Rommel (with no cool nickname) both of whom lived in the same neighborhood as Papao and thats how all the members joined.
we recorded a demo with 6 songs and a Final Exit cover, used brown envelopes recycled paper and twine for the packaging and gave them out for free at a couple shows.One of the shows was the first Cavite Hardcore Fest where after our set I got trampled by kids snagging free demos.i dont know many people who still have that demo but our sound was a little different cuz my vocals were all screamy and over the years they have evolved into what they are now.
we also released a 3 way split CD with a couple AWESOME local bands FEUD and PLAY
Awesome things kinda fell in to place then?
Yeah we really became good friends and I've never had a band that was SO fun to practice with... It's seriously as fun as a show every time we practice, we are never at each others throats or anything like that... I could go on and on about how we started out but i figure you have specific questions you want answered ahhaha...
whats the hardcore scene like in the philippines right now?
O what I love about the scene in the philippines is that because of the relative small size of the scene it is very much like a large family. I feel so close to so many people in the scene there and because of this the shows always seem to be a blast.fights are very few and far between and there are awesome vibes almost all the time.there are very few bands that sound like HTB in the philippines, a large percentage of the bands there are more on the heavy side, whether it be metallish or your standard heavy mosh hardcore.
says too long
fucking face book.
when this happens usually kids are having to pay these bands' guarentees out of their pockets because we dont use corporate sponsorship for our shows and we cant really charge much at the doors because kids wont come if the cost is too high... But when bands from abroad come they are treated like family! they are really taken care of! Sometimes i wish i was in a touring band going there hahaha
hopefully u can piece that together
how stoked are you to show Bang Bros around when we tear up SE asia?
VERY! I have so much to show you! the Philippines is such a beautiful place man! and you have to record an EP in my studio while you crash there!
Thats something that HTB really plans on doing sometime in 2011. hit up the rest of SE asia! we've been wanting to do that for years but the timing hasnt been right
it must be hard living in the states knowing thats back in Manilla waiting?
It is very tough man... as a family my wife and I have had to make choices as to what is best for our kids and for us personally and we are torn between two places... there is the stability of being in the DC area of the US but our hearts still belong to the philippines... we will be returning there this year sometime, hopefully the first half of the year... I have been missing my bands and my studio, having a studio is a dream come true for me since before I even know what hardcore was back when i was listening to Pegboy and Superchunk hahaha
'What We Have' is an awesome record.How did the collabo with Just Another Day records come about?
Hahaha its actually a case of me being a begger!! I was dreaming of having someone release it on vinyl because I truly believed in what we had to say and believed that they were really good songs... so I sent Seb a message asking him if he knew anyone that would be interested in doing a vinyl release and by the way he had NO IDEA who I was and I didn't know him either I don't even know how i got his info! i cant remember! Anyway he said he would give it a listen so i gave him a DL link... he wrote back to me that it was one of the best things he had heard in awhile and asked if we would let him do an LP release and of course I said YEAH!!! it was completely a dream come true!
I also think it came out FANTASTIC.the layout on the high quality gatefold sleeves looks killer! VERY pleased with how it ended up. I hope everyone that wanted to check it out got a chance!
Have you been communicating with the dudes while youve been in the states sending music and shit?
Well we have been communicating here and there through emails and other online stuff.BUT as far as music goes I havent been sending over tracks I've just been saving them and when we hang out again we will work on them! I definitely have to keep in touch with Papao because he is taking care of our studio while I am gone and doin a kickass job of it! I really miss them and dream of when we will be hanging out again. like Cinderella said 'you don't know what you got til its gone' hahaha
hey fucker stop logging out
its not me.Its this fucking eircom bullshit broadband.
Was there any particular band that got you into punk/hardcore?
well growing up in the DC area my first introduction to hardcore was the same as most people with minor threat and state of alert and all those DC bands but the band that really got me involved was Battery... this was 1995/1996 so they were in full swing at that time and everytime i would go see them I would think how lucky i was to see my favorite band for only $5 and be able to climb onto the stage with them and sing along!! no other kind of music scene offered that kind of personal closeness like that... I really felt like part of the show and not just some faceless kid in the crowd... and the fact that Brian had things to say! it was just music for the sake of art with bullshit poetic lyrics! he had a message he wanted us to know about and I fell in love with that aspect of hardcore! thank you battery!!
thats incredible that you got to see them when they were knocking around.Did HTB ever cover any Battery?
not yet hahaha
speaking of covers.
that cover of positive thinking on the records is AWESOME!
thanks for the compliment about the cover! it was fun to do! we had a video of the recording but it disappeared haha
Rancor was one of my favorite bands when i was in high school
my turn! how about you???
what bands got YOU into HC?
this is interesting to me because I am unfamiliar with Irish hardcore especially older stuff!
Me?Who's zine do you think this is?
this is OUR zine now!
i was kind of a late entry to hardcore.my brother played lots of metal when i was growing up.he turned me onto Cro Mags
and stuff like that
my first real exposure to hardcore was seeing an english band called November Coming Fire playing in a football club in Dublin
never heard of them what were they like?
sorry sorry i keep asking you stuff
They were kind of a Danzig/Samhain hardcore outfit.a good band to see first i reckon.I cant say i listened to them much after that though.
my next show was Terror/Blacklisted and Donnybrook in london.
i saw Blacklisted and thought "this is what i want to be a part off"
then i found youth of today and the rest is history
whered you find them?
ok ok sorry i keep getting sidetracked hahahaha
did you know HTB did a cover of put it aside on a malaysian released YOT tribute comp?
i didnt know that actually.Send me a link for that.
i think through this guy i got introduced to.Gav was the fucking best.The first thing i knew about him was he was staright edge and he wouldnt add you on myspace if you said you dank/smoked haha
i used to go to his house and load up my shitty zen with music.
he was very understanding and patient with me.He is now one of my best friends and the person i text most.im usually hassling him for information about some shit or another
the kids i first went to shows with are no longer active in hardcore at all and i think only one of them is still straight edge!! i still dont want to "grow up"! that shit is lame!
I am very proud to tell my kids about being straight edge and it makes me happy when they ask what someone on tv is drinking and i tell them liquor and they say EW... and they love wearing X's on their hands
uh oh i think u left me!
no im here.
thats pretty cool about your kids.
theres a dude up in northern ireland who i regularly trade records with and his oldest kid is into that wrestler cm punk whos straight edge and his kid is wearing x's on his hands all the time now
that dudes also so crucial.such an insane record collection.What up Mel?
hmm i dont know how i feel about CM punk!
this is a thorny issue alright
i dig on him.x's all the way
I guess if the end goal of sxe is to get people to be clean then any exposure is good... i just dont like the idea of using sxe as a gimmick to advance your professional career... and there are kids who are claiming edge who have no idea who minor threat or YOT or anyone is I feel like you should have a solid hardcore foundation of understanding where sxe comes from before you should make that commitment!
sorry if im ranting haha
hey its your zine too haha
yo im gonna wrap this up.
as you wish
once you give me the top three albums EVER!
or the last three records you listened to
which one do u want?
ok ill do both
i dont mind.JUST GIVE ME THREE FUCKING RECORDS!
top 3 albums ever
3. true colors - focus on the light
2. turning point 7"
1. we're not in this alone.
last 3 records i listened to are banner pilot - collapser
sick of it alls first 7"
The long winters - the worst you can do is harm haha
thats a good call.especially on the YOT record.
Easy,thank you :)
sure man anytime! thanks for asking me questions its been fun!
and by the way its hard to pick the best 3 ever
thats why i ask it