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Sheila and the Insects

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MOST READ ENTRY
Bisrock brouhaha


ARTICLES ON STARTING YOUR OWN ROCK BAND
Things you should know
Tips on playing in a rock band
Dirty tricks for rock bands

PICK ENTRIES
Cebu music's golden age
Handuraw farewell
Aktibistas & rakistas
Bisrock brouhaha
Winning attitude
The killing time
Dirty tricks for rock bands
Sex, drugs & rock 'n roll
Tips on playing in a rock band
The Philippine Bandemic
Message to the disenchanted
I am a believer
Popular notion
Media-slaves
A dirty game
Mao caps and shaved heads
Surprise number
Unfairly labeled
Art or entertainment
The black army
Things you should know about starting a rock band
Quiet revolution
Proud arrogant prick
The greener grass
Love and rock
The Gweilo's experience
Rocklandia
On band etiquette
On Cebuano lyrics
On Cebuano fans
On music piracy
On the stage
On indie
Official etymology/who's Sheila?
Sex in music
Money in music
The death of indie
The universal axiom
Addendum: recalculation
Physics of creative momentum
Reason for being
Advertising vis-à-vis music
Ian Zafra mugged
Of chicken holes...
Eight
Doing Disco
Local, vocal, proud?
Killing the disco
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READ OPENING ENTRY
My most hated band

WHAT THEY SAY
ABOUT THE BAND

"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




Orven Enoveso
Ian Zafra
Jerros Dolino

Sheila and the Insects

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IAN'S BLOG
My Favorite Sins

MY OTHER BLOGS
Vintage SATI
SATI lyrics
My Writing Exercises
Text jokes

BLOG LINKS
99.5RT Sunday Sessions
CD review
The Pin-up Girls
Girl in Park
Squirrel Talk
Not quite indie
Two is equal to zero

SITE LINKS
SATI MySpace Page
SATI Auralgasms
SATI Yahoo Group
SATI Purevolume Page
SATI Fiestamundo Page
SATI Friendster Page
IndieCulture Online
Last.fm
Madbanana.tv
NA Records
DMC Ringbacks
Wats
Filipino Links
RockEd
Diaper Dog Pictures
Trekant Film
Eksena.net

BAND LINKS
Cattski
Hastang
Julieplug
Jr. Kilat
Orange and Lemons
Smooth Friction
Squirrel Talk
Typecast
Urbandub
Wolfmann
Ciudad
Missing Filemon

JUST FOR KICKS
Real band riders
Faking indie expertise
The Onion
How to dance properly
Shaving tip

INTERNET RADIOS
RadioGetsWild
IndieRadioLive
Pinoy Radio
Go Listen Live Indie Music

PALS
SATI Pimp
Moon child
Doogie
Oppression
Kady Gurl
Rxprozacstination
Christine
Torch the skies
Sunnystateofrelief
Last dodo bird
Pia
Inkblots
Indieridley
Rhea
TruePinoy
Guile
Corinne
Divine
MadKane
Pinoy Investing

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Discography




SATI myGlobe ringback tones

TO DOWNLOAD:
Simply text [CODE] to 2332. Ringback will be activated within the day. P30 for 30 Days or 1 peso per day.

CODE   SONG TITLE
DA494  Everyday Drive
DA493  Count With Your Fingers
DA492  Your Comedy

Pre-listen for FREE at
www.dmc.ph

THIS MONTH'S LYRICS
Softly
Sheila and the Insects
Originally by Apo Hiking Society


:: Download SATI version ::
:: Original Apo version ::
Written by Jim Paredes

Softly, as the morning sun
Comes through my window pane
Thoughts come to me
Memories of you fill my mind and I smile

So gently, and my world transforms
Into a merry carousel
Turning me round
Bringing me back to the place where I found ...

You there, time could have stood still and then
We'd spend all our moments to share
The dreams that we've known sometime, somewhere

And as, we go through the days
Remembering the love we made
I know that you'll stay
Bringing me more than what mere words can say

I know, that time can stand still and then
We'd spend all our moments to share
The dreams that we've known sometime, somewhere.

I know, that time can stand still and then
We'd spend all our moments to share
The dreams that we've known sometime, somewhere.

Notes:
This song appears in the album The Best of Kami nAPO Muna 2CD+DVD.



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Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Idle Hands and two girls

Ian texts me that we should meet up at the venue so we wouldn't have to pay for studio time for our practice. The production crew was gonna set up the instruments for the 3-night gig at 8pm. So by crude estimation, we could probably start practicing 9 thereabouts. It turns out, we we're off by 2 hours at least. Swell. We started practicing around midnight.

We particularly worked on the song "Idle Hands" coz we had asked 2 girl friends of Ian to sing back-up for us. We had much work to do. Good thing the girls we're game. We actually sounded quite nicely after a good hour's work.

It was a long night and probably one of my most tiring practice sessions. But I'm sure it'll be all worth it for Saturday's show. Tomorrow's gonna be the first night of Idiot Board. Ian's obviously nerve-wracked. It's been pretty much his show most of the way so the stress shows in his face. He'll survive. He better.

Posted at 07:09 pm by bisoy
>Reader comments (2)  

Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Kidney failure

We we're supposed to meet up but Booboop begged off because he said he needed to rest his kidneys so we reset our practice to Wednesday. Scary, considering our debut gig date was looming closer. Deep inside though, I knew we'd do ok.

Posted at 07:06 pm by bisoy
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Monday, June 07, 2004
Disco is dead is born

We meet up at Backyard Project studios again for a practice session. Before we went in the studio, we assesed our song line-up and decided that we'd be better off working on adding another original song rather than practicing "The Shiek". Its such a tricky song so we decided to polish instead "Disco is Dead" the new song. We went in the studio and ran it instinctively and surprisingly, it all came together rather well. We're definitely using it for the Idiot Board line-up.

Posted at 07:03 pm by bisoy
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Sunday, June 06, 2004
A hard Sunday session

Jerros is out of town for the weekend but the three of us decide to set-up an amp and practice in our garage. We used a borrowed guitar amp and used it for Booboop's bass. Ian and I just used our acoustic guitars. No mic set-up, but it wasn't needed. We started at around 2pm and we worked on the guitar dynamics for the song "Maude" which was by now sounding quite nicely with a shimmering guitar intro that Booboop call "Euro-shit". Later that day, after working on the song more, we got to agree it sounded more like "Sheila-shit". Better. We started work on new songs after a few cig breaks and a liter of soda. (Booboop drinks only mineral water as per doctor's orders). We jammed the song "Violet", a song that I felt should have been included in the "Manipulator" album. Surprisingly, we came out with an eerie sound and arrangement that was a mix of 70's sounding bass line (think Santana), a bluesy rhythm guitar, and "slide" guitar lead alternating with Ian's trademark "new wave-y" textural guitars. It sounded pretty exciting that we spontanously came up with an idea for the song's video (hint: sexy girls will be in it, naturally).

We also started work on a song that I wrote, titled "Disco is Dead". It's supposed to be an anti-pop ditty. Booboop's bass for this was very minimalist and served the song well. We agreed to work on it more after our gig next week. O yeah, next week's gig is the first public appearance of the new Sheila and the Insects. Idiot board at the Mango Square plaza.

We ended the practice at (what a surprise) almost 9pm! We were so hungry so we left to grab a bar-b-q meal and parted ways afterwards. Twas a good session.

Posted at 06:55 pm by bisoy
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Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Coming home to 'Backyard'

Sheila and the Insects shows up at the backyard project studios for a rehearsal. This small recording studio which has evolved and expanded through the years to become a practice studio, a beer house, a canteen serving arguably the best porkchop this side of town, and a guitar factory, is where SATI recorded practically all of its albums. We arrived early but had to wait our turn as a band was already practicing inside the studio. The food, cheap yet really good and the light converstion kept the wait easy. Our practice started immediately as soon as the other band was done. We didn't waste time and immediately started work on SATI's new song "Maude". It's really shaping up quite nicely. We also went through the other SATI songs that we plan to perform in our first real gig with a new line-up and since our last band gig in January of this year at the Sinulog show in Fuente Osmeña.

After two hours worth of practice, we called it quits and packed up for the day. Next session will be Sunday.

Posted at 06:52 pm by bisoy
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Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Maude gets started

It took us a couple of weeks to jam again since our last practice session. Though we wanted to do this thing at least once a week, our busy schedules prevented us from setting a date suitable to all four. So, anyway, we all met at Taylor practice studio. We decided to devote this session to developing Maude, a new song. We we're starting to get the feel for the song and we were beginning to get into the groove when this lady taps the glass window from the outside and signals that our one hour is almost up and we should play our last song. Last song! Did we lose track of one hour? The insects protested and blamed the lady's faulty timekeeping. We jammed for maybe a half hour more. We ended the session by recording Maude (work in progress) on a small tape recorder. Its our crude way of documenting our latest arrangement for future reference and development. After our session, Jerros went ahead of the group to catch his night shift. We three decided to cool down with a round of beer at a nearby joint which turns out, is frequented by taxi drivers and juvenile delinquents. Not exactly a friendly crowd so we left after just one round (rightly so, I surmise).

P.S. - We paid only an hour's worth of studio time. Every peso counts nowadays.

Posted at 06:50 pm by bisoy
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Thursday, April 15, 2004
Quirky start

First official practice of the new lineup:
Orven - vocals
Ian Zafra - lead guitars
Jerros (formerly of Urbandub) - Drums
Booboop (formerly of Glitch)  - Bass

It was a bit bumpy at first but once we got going, the
songs started to flow naturally.  We still need to do a lot of work but its
a good start.  We jammed for an hour and played old SATI songs like Idle
Hands, Falling, Everyday Drive, Favorite Sin, (Ian does the vocals for
this ditty and discovers the downside of chainsmoking when he can't
reach the notes,) and a lot more. 

By a strange coincidence, Blair Kabahar and Benjie
Fernandez, SATI's previous drummer and bassist respectively, showed up
to visit a friend and chanced upon the practice session.  It was a bit
awkward for everyone but it was cool.

Posted at 06:47 pm by bisoy
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Saturday, April 10, 2004
Reemerging

Finally, the new line-up meets up as a group for a (drinking) session at C24 convenience store in Mabolo, Cebu.  Plans for the next album and new songs were discussed.  A lot of friends show up to crash in on SATI's small 'party'.  Among those who showed up were Warren of Squall,  Kenneth Ruelan, April and Jade, Gina of Kahayag Café, Lalay of Urbandub, and Donna and Kris of Fatal Posporos and Cambio.

Posted at 06:42 pm by bisoy
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Friday, April 09, 2004
My most hated band

I was invited to write a piece for SunStar Daily. Although they liked it, it wasn't published because it was too long. Rather than bother with editing it down to the acceptable length, I'm posting it here instead. I felt it elegantly explains why Sheila and the Insects is back, hence, I opine, a perfect opening entry to this weblog.

------------------------------------------

I HATED SHEILA AND THE INSECTS

I hated Sheila and the Insects. If you don't know what I'm talking about, they were the band from Cebu that burst through the Manila music scene circa 2000. Getting noticed with new wave sounding ditties and topping the Manila rock charts with two singles culled from a well-received independent album, SATI was for a time the toast of Cebu. I should know. I am their frontman. I still am.

I’m the lead vocalist for the band, and I have been for close to ten years now. I didn’t always hate playing in the band. In fact, when I first started, I absolutely enjoyed it.

It was different before. I was still in college then when the norm was that bands played cover songs during gigs. Although there were bands that broke through with their original songs particularly during the “Local Ground” era, that scene, although now legendary, did not last long. We had emerged during the mid-90’s at the tail end of that short-lived local band scene explosion. The momentum, although meteoric, had quickly ebbed. We found ourselves riding a dying wave.

But we went on.

And we had to survive. So without knowing it, we evolved into a band that played covers. Yes, we had original songs but nobody really appreciated them. Not when radio didn’t really support local bands and musicians. Radio had myopic play lists back then. (Not to say that it’s great nowadays.) Myopic in the sense that they never noticed talent right under their noses. I’m not saying their program directors didn’t have taste in that they never took notice of our band. That would be saying too much. After all, as I recall, we sounded awful years ago. Not to claim we sound great nowadays, but at least now I think most will find our songs palatable.

So going back to radio, their play lists had to be mostly foreign acts (read: top 40 hits) with a sprinkling of OPM (read: Martin Nievera ballads and other similar-sounding tagalog songs). Never any songs from Cebuano artists. Never!

Okay, I may be exaggerating, but only to stress a point. The point being that Cebuanos back then, never really took notice of local original music. It’s almost like when you never notice a pretty neighbor and it takes a comment from a visiting cousin from out-of-town to make you take a second look. Bad metaphor, I know.

So anyway, we still went on.

And on our gigs, we played cover songs. Hey, we were really enjoying ourselves. We were playing songs from The Smiths, The Cure, and Echo and the Bunnymen. What could be more ‘cool’ than that? Hey, we were young, collectively naïve and I had more hair then.

It was great and I was having the time of my life. We played gigs in small clubs and eventually got invited to bigger clubs, clubs that had more class, much more expensive beer and a spunkier crowd. So every time we’d play for these better-dressed people, we’d throw in cheesy covers like “Ghost in you” by the Psychedelic Furs (it never failed) or that anthem-like “Don’t you forget about me” by the Simple Minds. People went gaga over the “lalala” of that song’s ending. They loved us. And we loved it.

Maybe we loved it too much that we fell for it. It was the lure of bigger crowds, and bigger bank checks. We took it all in. Shamelessly. Nothing like fame and fortune.

I think we would never admit it then, but I think we got greedy. We wanted more, so we went to Manila. We we’re getting noticed in our neighborhood now so we figured the next natural step would be to get noticed in a bigger neighborhood. So we quit our day jobs, against our parent’s sane advice, packed our guitars and clothes and tried our luck in the big city. Like I said, we were young and naïve. We knew in our hearts we’d make it.

And we were right. Eventually.

We couldn’t get gigs in the classy bars, because we didn’t have a sexy female vocalist fronting, our band-name notwithstanding. Audition after audition, we got turned down. Until we decided to do our own stuff and play our own songs. Then things started happening for us. Our band’s self-discovery led us to the right gigs, the right connections and, eventually, the right breaks.

Eventually, we succeeded beyond our expectations. But only because we wanted it badly enough that we persisted for two years and against all odds. Nothing like the hunger for fame and fortune to drive you on. Yes, national radio finally played our songs, we topped the rock chart and we played in the NU107 rock awards as “Best new artist” nominee. I was living my dreams.

But we didn’t enjoy Manila. It was a rough neighborhood. And so we went back to Cebu. Back to the grind of gigs and the tiring band circuit. And we went back to playing cover songs, because sadly, Cebu still generally liked the old, familiar Sheila and the Insects.

That’s when I started to hate playing for the band. I had found my soul in Manila playing songs that I myself wrote only to fall back into the same trap of playing cover songs. The rest of our band’s story here is one filled with constant unease, painful compromise and soul-less existence. At least that’s my version. And that’s my reason for eventually breaking up with the band.

I wanted honesty in my music. Something that, I’ve come to realize, means more than the weekly bar gigs, chanting party people, and the regular talent fee. I sold my soul for a song and I have had enough of it so I quit. There.

But were back now. Sheila and the Insects is back in the band scene. We’ve got a new sound, new songs, and a new album in the works. I’m playing with Ian Zafra, the guy who recruited me in the band years ago plus Boobop and Jerros, two new talented members who share the same ambition for the band.

So what’s different this time around? Our songs are for sale but not our souls.

I know I may sound presumptuous but at least I’m being honest. Something I’ve been unable to claim for my music for quite a few staggered years.

Posted at 05:46 pm by bisoy
>Reader comments (24)  

Tuesday, January 01, 2002
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Posted at 10:47 pm by bisoy