"I didn't like the name but it doesn't matter. They played great band music." - Nina Araknida Sunstar, Flip / September 15, 2002
"Few rock bands in town could stand at the crossroads of a dynamic and evolving music scene and knock down the high walls that divide music genres and audiences with as much success as Sheila and the Insects. " - Ronald P. Villavelez Yup!, Issue 1.03 / November 2001
"Sheila & The Insects’ music is new wave-influenced post-punk rock music that is considerably heavy yet still melodic " - Cris O. Ramos Jr. The Manila Times / May 31, 2003
"What does an indie band do with the oft-maligned mix of rock and new wave? In the case of Cebu-based Sheila and the Insects, plenty." - Ganns Deen PULP , PulpReviews / Issue 13, March 2001
Suddenly and without warning, they invaded the concrete lot. Garbed in (so unoriginal) black, they celebrated their ten seconds of stolen attention from bystanders with cocky and purposeful strides. Feeling like they owned the place, they nonetheless came across as almost pitiful rather than menacing. They were trying too hard I guess.
Fancy hairdos and trying to make a statement with sweaty shirts emblazoned with meatless slogans and clichéd logos, they only made me stifle a laugh. And they all looked so young and the same. Especially from where I was seated, enjoying a late lunch of sticky pizza and fancy iced tea more to alleviate the unusual heat wave, they looked like cheap clones of each other.
And they were arriving in droves. They probably understood the concept of safety in numbers, which probably explains away their misplaced arrogance.
We had come all the way to SM Fairview to play in an outdoor show at the mall’s open-air parking lot and seeing the growing black horde before us now gave me a slight sense of unease. These lads were typical of the pubescent hormones that frequented free outdoor concerts. Wild, pretentious teenage rock fans who consider watching shows more a physical sport than a sonic experience that they actually mosh more than they listen.
We, as a band, in all our years of existence, never could make a connection with them. Partly, this explains my disdain for them, which I hold at level with my disgust for faux socialites. But more than that, I’m only now beginning to understand, it is their utter lack of substance that really ticks me off.
“They are poseurs and that’s all they are”. That’s how Pao succinctly put it.
We were cooling down after our gig that saw our audience made up mainly of ‘the black horde’ show little enthusiasm if at all. We were strategizing how to tailor our set list next time so we’d do better before such a typical audience.
Then this young lad, he wasn’t dressed in black thank goodness, walked towards us and asked if we were Sheila and the Insects. That’s how we met Pao. Apparently, he had only listened to the show from afar and so liked what he heard from us that he sought us out to buy a copy of our album right there and then. Luckily, we discovered one stray copy in the trunk of Boom’s car when we tried to fish it for its contents, which was made up mostly of our stinking t-shirts and guitars.
So we made a quick sale and new friend. Also, Pao’s comments slowly made me realize there may have been more people out there in the fringes of the ‘black sea’ who had actually braved the scorching afternoon sun one unusually hot Sunday in Fairview for the music and not the moshing. So although the main body of the crowd hardly showed enthusiasm for our set that afternoon, who’s to say we didn’t gain a few more ‘believers’ in our music other than Pao who had had the energy enough to actually seek us out in the parking lot near the backstage.
Flowerfish isn’t for everybody’s consumption anyway. I’d certainly hope not. So why bother ourselves with appeasing a clueless horde. We should strive to please a much more discerning audience. The type who do not need to look to their peers to make up their own minds.
We ought to look to the strong, intelligent, and independent-minded few. They’d understand our music much more than a whole battalion of ‘black shirts’ ever could on any given Sunday.
I have made some insinuating statements here regarding the collective taste and intelligence of the warm bodies making up the typical mosh pits here in Manila. Probably unwise of me yet I offer no apologies nor hold caution, their numbers notwithstanding. I’m guessing it would be so unlikely they’ll ever know what I think of them. Surely, It would be so uncharacteristic, or too much, to expect of them to read blogs. Or read if at all.
it doesnt matter if everyone arounds you wear black and acts like monkeys in a cage..its the number that matters..the population..i never thought of the idea of kids moshing in a reggae music but they do knock each other out even a rock band plays sweet child of mine and just like what you've felt bisoy..its disgusting..everything they do in a gig is irrelevant and sometimes because of their acts gigs end early causing a lot of trouble...but somehow they contribute at least for the scene and it is that they showed up..they will flood the scene definitely..think of this, if i were to play in batanes or in babuyan island (im from batangas) and im expecting mods or punk rockers would show up, should i get worried or disgust if a bunch of black shirted possers invade the scene and mosh eventhough they havent heard of our songs?..i'll be damn happy i guess...another thing about the presence of the black army, if the gig youre playing to has to be in a cover of magazine or in a t.v show it will make youre band really look a sell out..
theres nothing wrong with moshing, and it can be quite a lot of fun. its just theres a place and time for it. but its more suited to metal. but some people get too freaking caught up in this whole image thing. if you wear a freaking blue t-shirt your not as bad ass anymore? little rebels, all conforming to the same norm all wearing black thinking theyre individuals, but they all look alike, trying to look as meanacing as possible, rebelling against nothing significant at all. its ironic, sad, and amuzing at the same time. plus theyre usually the biggest pussies.
denice August 26, 2005 06:07 PM PDT
for the record, i really like your music (in fact, i am listening to flowerfish right now. on loop.;p) although admittedly, i haven't really discovered you guys before fete de la musique. see, the reason there is because, like the "orcs" that is the subject of this blog, I have been fed by the media on what is popular.
yeah, to put really bluntly, it is the "jologs" crowd that makes free concerts such a tiring event. But i guess that is what makes the concerts free. Freedom from denting your savings you promised yourself you'd not touch, and freedom of speech and beliefs. Freedom to come even if you do not know the bands playing, and freedom to choose to listen or to break your bones in a completely senseless activity such as moshing.
in any case, free concerts serve as a magnet for everyone to hear different genres other than what was in their culture. And while it is also a magnet for orcs to create their brand of mayhem, it is also a great venue for the rest of us encumbered by the protective shell of mediocrity to venture beyond our comfort zones.
i completely agree that orcs can be a completely irritating audience (or co-audience for that matter). they make dancing an extreme sport. But they do take up the majority of the masses (which, as common knowledge has it, do not make a habit of thinking). And they probably scorn the rest of us too for being hoity-toity elitists. And while I myself would hate to be labelled as one of them, not one of us could completely deny that we were never poseurs in our own way, if only to completely distance yourself from their likes. it has always been a matter of perspective. As it is said, "he who is without sin..."
I also love wearing black, and yes, I should be a stockholder of eyeliner companies already. I like the look because it makes me feel strong and invulnerable, while at the same time conveys the message "do not mess with me" most convincingly. I love rock music with rich words and piercing metaphors. I think, and yet many who sees me may judge me as a poseur. I probably am, deep down. We all harbor our own pretentions.
iyay August 26, 2005 04:30 PM PDT
can i just share one more thing.. (i really can relate to ur story) about my experience in fete de la musique this year...
as we proceed near the main stage with my friends where world/reggae and ska music will be held..we were at a lost because the stage was flooded with people all dressed in black..well its ok to wear black...but i just dont understand why these people keep on smashing with each other (hurting each other) with the background music of such respectable and renowned artists like cynthia alexander...makiling ensem..??????????????? we were like.. what the f***??? i felt like im inside a class filled with autistic classmates..just pisses me off..waaaaaaahhhh!
bisoy August 25, 2005 07:18 PM PDT iyay and micosci,
haha, thanks for your input. Maybe I just needed to vent some of my pent up frustrations. Maybe I exagerrated a little but i think you could and did agree to most of what I said. That generally, most of those in the black horde really are just showing off. I knew it was unfair of me to make sweeping comments but hey, it wouldn't have been as fun writing it with much restraint. haha. thanks again for taking the time to drop by our blog. Really appreciate it.
nice term for freakazoids dressed in black... hehehehehehe! well, for a fact, i love wearing black shirts... i love the color black. but the hell with them, even though i like the color... hehehehehe!
i am not antagonizing you guys or something, but you do have a point. countless posers have flooded the metro, and i do not like the sound of that. since i have been accustomed to wearing black shirts, one thing is for sure... i NEVER (and i mean never...) wanted to be one with those unappreciative crowds. i go to concerts for the sole reason of listening to music. well, a bit of slamdancing wont hurt, anyway. you cant expect a very quiet and peaceful concert... hehehehe. ewan ko, siguro nga, wala lang talaga sa lugar yung mga fashion statements ng mga posers na yun, just like what iyay gave as an example. slam lang ng slam, wala naman alam sa music. ang babaho pa nila... they really look stupid. i love music, and because of that i love going to concerts and gigs. but definitely minus the overly dressed freaks called "posers." i hate going to big rock concerts like the pulp summerslam and looking like the rest of the mob there. i hate it. hehehehehe. i still want a separation from those kinds of jologs crowd. SATI rocks... keep up the good work... peace out!
iyay August 24, 2005 12:26 PM PDT
"black sea" wahahaha...i also pity those black loving people..me and my friend went to see a movie together in sm manila hoping that we could watch some quality indie films featured in cinemanila..however..there's this group of young girls who are all dressed in black..with black lipstick (seemed that they just had adobong pusit)...messenger bag with a keychain of a voodoo doll???...black eyeliner...black nail polish...and these girls ages probably 14-15 y.o....they just made themselves look funny and foolish..oh well...just reacted to ur entry bec. i know the feeling... more power to sati and good luck...il be buying ur album this weekend!