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The Strangeness: Saving Rock and Roll, One Drunken Beat at a Time

* originally published on Stache Magazine *

Dial M for Misfits (or Motherf*ckers)

The Strangeness, a 6-piece gang of hooligans from Outer Space, started off in 2010 with Francis Cabal on guitar and Jayme Ancla, Jr., who was then on drums. Since Jayme was not meant for percussing, the two switched places and decided to go on a break until they met Erwin Hilao, the band’s current drummer boy. Ade Magnaye (now with RomCom) used to be part of the band but because of schedule conflicts, Ade was replaced by Bijan Gorospe, who now plays the doom doom bass. Several months later, Ivan Brosas (also from Dr. StrangeLuv) joined the group after he jammed with them at an impromptu gig; he now plays the guitar and synthesizers. Shinji Manlangit, the band’s ‘hype man,’ plays the tambourine and does back-up vocals. He is also the frontman for The Strangeness’ brother band, Don’t Bogart the Can… Man!

Swathed with a hybrid of garage rock and narco-punk, The Strangeness is collectively inspired and stirred by bands like Black Lips, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and other lo-fi stuff. Etymologically, The Strangeness’ name came from an ‘80s horror film. The band admitted, however, that not all of them have seen the movie and that, according to those who have seen it, “The movie sucked so badly.” But the name is undeniably catchy and rad, so there’s that.

Camping with Jesus

The name Jesus Camp for The Strangeness’ debut EP was derived from a documentary about kids who are sent to a religious summer camp, where they become brainwashed with the idea of adoring Jesus. Shinji shared that he was enamoured with this concept. “Our tracks do not have a specific theme. Our songs are not about Christian rock although our EP has hints of religious tones. It’s like going through and achieving a religious experience when you listen to our songs. But you don’t have to take it seriously,” Bijan, Jayme, and Shinji added.

Recorded at Love One Another Studios and produced and released by Wide Eyed Records, The Strangeness’ 5-track EP was released in October last year. Jesus Camp bagged QLE Awards’ Best EP of 2011. “The Strangeness managed to take familiar rock influences and make them sound somehow utterly fresh, because they do it with a laugh and a snarl, and because being sober is such a drag,” Luis Katigbak wrote on The Philippine Star.

When asked which track/s from their EP they like the most, their answers had common denominators. The majority’s vote was Cain Was Furious and He Was Downcast, which was picked by Francis, Erwin, and Bijan. “Out of all the songs from our EP, Cain is the most historical,” according to Francis. It was the first song to be written and was originally intended for his other band, Love Chariot. “It was one of the first Strangeness songs I learned to play,” Bijan said. “I like playing Cain on drums. It’s upbeat but I need to be graceful, too. It challenges me every time,” Erwin adds.

Being Sober Is Such a Drag came second, particularly chosen by Shinji and Ivan. True enough, this anthemic track is a crowd favourite during their gigs. Listening to it is like getting drunk and being sober at the same time – believe me, this is based on a first-hand experience and is coming from someone who has seen them play live for countless of times already. It never fails to bring fuzzy feelings all over.

R.E.B.E.C.C.A. (not included in Jesus Camp), on the other hand, is a song of interest for The Strangeness fans. “It was actually a joke song,” Shinji explained. “But it’s exclusive for playing in Cubao X and during Meiday,” Bijan added.



What Isn’t There (But They Were There)

The Strangeness’ music was featured in the recent Cinemalaya film by Marie Jamora, Ang Nawawala. The band also had a brilliant cameo in it while they performed Jonestown. The entire experience was definitely a highlight for the band. “Seeing our band’s name on the trailer, it was heart-warming,” Shinji confessed. “We’ve never expected that we’re going to be with big bands like Sandwich and Itchyworms. Plus I’ve always been a fan of Marie Jamora. It was really overwhelming,” Erwin added. “They were giving us drinking water, wiping our sweat, and re-touching our make-up. It was a fun experience,” everyone else chimed in.

Another highlight of The Strangeness’ career happened during one of the Meiday events held at B-Side. “We played around 8 songs instead of the usual 3,” Bijan shared.

Hey, OPM’s Not Dead!

The Strangeness believes that the current state of OPM is alive, kicking, and fun. “OPM is alive. There are so many bands. There are a lot of scenes. If some people are saying that OPM is dead, maybe they’re just looking at a different spectrum or in the wrong places,” Shinji and Bijan asserted. “Even though several outlets have been obliterated – NU 107’s demise, Cubao X is gone – the scene is still very much alive. There are new EP releases and new music videos every month. As long as people learn to play musical instrument, OPM will live on,” Erwin expressed.

“It’s really ridiculous if we say that OPM is dead. We have the Internet! We have music players. We have… everything. People just need to dig deeper,” Jayme cracked. Ivan also told us that people should also learn to appreciate the music and the passion behind it, instead of going to gigs – just for the sake of.

More Strangeness Coming Our Way

The Strangeness has just started preaching rock and roll for beginners; they still have a long, long way to go. Their full-length album is in the making and is to be expected next year. When we asked them what else they want to accomplish as a band, everyone bombarded us with eager responses. “We would like to score a film, a play, or a TV show,” Erwin and Jayme exclaimed. “We would like to play on Master Showman and RJ. A tour would also be great,” Bijan and Shinji declared (and they were not kidding).

Behind their electric guitars and microphones, these musical hoodlums are a bagful of jocundity, with frequent avalanches of mirthful puns and witty remarks. There is not a dull moment when you hang out with them, even if they’re just being themselves. Collectively, The Strangeness aims for more gigs, more music videos, and more fun – after all, having fun is what they are incredibly awesome at.

The Strangeness are:

Francis Cabal – rhythm guitar, vocals
Jayme Ancla, Jr. – lead guitar, vocals
Erwin Hilao – drums, vocals
Bijan Gorospe – bass, vocals
Ivan Brosas – guitar, synthesizers
Shinji Manlangit – tambourine, back-up vocals

www.thestrangeness.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/thestrangeness
www.thestrangeness.tumblr.com
www.twitter.com/the_strangeness

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The Strangeness: Saving Rock and Roll, One Drunken Beat at a Time

* originally published on Stache Magazine *

Dial M for Misfits (or Motherf*ckers)

The Strangeness, a 6-piece gang of hooligans from Outer Space, started off in 2010 with Francis Cabal on guitar and Jayme Ancla, Jr., who was then on drums. Since Jayme was not meant for percussing, the two switched places and decided to go on a break until they met Erwin Hilao, the band’s current drummer boy. Ade Magnaye (now with RomCom) used to be part of the band but because of schedule conflicts, Ade was replaced by Bijan Gorospe, who now plays the doom doom bass. Several months later, Ivan Brosas (also from Dr. StrangeLuv) joined the group after he jammed with them at an impromptu gig; he now plays the guitar and synthesizers. Shinji Manlangit, the band’s ‘hype man,’ plays the tambourine and does back-up vocals. He is also the frontman for The Strangeness’ brother band, Don’t Bogart the Can… Man!

Swathed with a hybrid of garage rock and narco-punk, The Strangeness is collectively inspired and stirred by bands like Black Lips, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and other lo-fi stuff. Etymologically, The Strangeness’ name came from an ‘80s horror film. The band admitted, however, that not all of them have seen the movie and that, according to those who have seen it, “The movie sucked so badly.” But the name is undeniably catchy and rad, so there’s that.

Camping with Jesus

The name Jesus Camp for The Strangeness’ debut EP was derived from a documentary about kids who are sent to a religious summer camp, where they become brainwashed with the idea of adoring Jesus. Shinji shared that he was enamoured with this concept. “Our tracks do not have a specific theme. Our songs are not about Christian rock although our EP has hints of religious tones. It’s like going through and achieving a religious experience when you listen to our songs. But you don’t have to take it seriously,” Bijan, Jayme, and Shinji added.

Recorded at Love One Another Studios and produced and released by Wide Eyed Records, The Strangeness’ 5-track EP was released in October last year. Jesus Camp bagged QLE Awards’ Best EP of 2011. “The Strangeness managed to take familiar rock influences and make them sound somehow utterly fresh, because they do it with a laugh and a snarl, and because being sober is such a drag,” Luis Katigbak wrote on The Philippine Star.

When asked which track/s from their EP they like the most, their answers had common denominators. The majority’s vote was Cain Was Furious and He Was Downcast, which was picked by Francis, Erwin, and Bijan. “Out of all the songs from our EP, Cain is the most historical,” according to Francis. It was the first song to be written and was originally intended for his other band, Love Chariot. “It was one of the first Strangeness songs I learned to play,” Bijan said. “I like playing Cain on drums. It’s upbeat but I need to be graceful, too. It challenges me every time,” Erwin adds.

Being Sober Is Such a Drag came second, particularly chosen by Shinji and Ivan. True enough, this anthemic track is a crowd favourite during their gigs. Listening to it is like getting drunk and being sober at the same time – believe me, this is based on a first-hand experience and is coming from someone who has seen them play live for countless of times already. It never fails to bring fuzzy feelings all over.

R.E.B.E.C.C.A. (not included in Jesus Camp), on the other hand, is a song of interest for The Strangeness fans. “It was actually a joke song,” Shinji explained. “But it’s exclusive for playing in Cubao X and during Meiday,” Bijan added.



What Isn’t There (But They Were There)

The Strangeness’ music was featured in the recent Cinemalaya film by Marie Jamora, Ang Nawawala. The band also had a brilliant cameo in it while they performed Jonestown. The entire experience was definitely a highlight for the band. “Seeing our band’s name on the trailer, it was heart-warming,” Shinji confessed. “We’ve never expected that we’re going to be with big bands like Sandwich and Itchyworms. Plus I’ve always been a fan of Marie Jamora. It was really overwhelming,” Erwin added. “They were giving us drinking water, wiping our sweat, and re-touching our make-up. It was a fun experience,” everyone else chimed in.

Another highlight of The Strangeness’ career happened during one of the Meiday events held at B-Side. “We played around 8 songs instead of the usual 3,” Bijan shared.

Hey, OPM’s Not Dead!

The Strangeness believes that the current state of OPM is alive, kicking, and fun. “OPM is alive. There are so many bands. There are a lot of scenes. If some people are saying that OPM is dead, maybe they’re just looking at a different spectrum or in the wrong places,” Shinji and Bijan asserted. “Even though several outlets have been obliterated – NU 107’s demise, Cubao X is gone – the scene is still very much alive. There are new EP releases and new music videos every month. As long as people learn to play musical instrument, OPM will live on,” Erwin expressed.

“It’s really ridiculous if we say that OPM is dead. We have the Internet! We have music players. We have… everything. People just need to dig deeper,” Jayme cracked. Ivan also told us that people should also learn to appreciate the music and the passion behind it, instead of going to gigs – just for the sake of.

More Strangeness Coming Our Way

The Strangeness has just started preaching rock and roll for beginners; they still have a long, long way to go. Their full-length album is in the making and is to be expected next year. When we asked them what else they want to accomplish as a band, everyone bombarded us with eager responses. “We would like to score a film, a play, or a TV show,” Erwin and Jayme exclaimed. “We would like to play on Master Showman and RJ. A tour would also be great,” Bijan and Shinji declared (and they were not kidding).

Behind their electric guitars and microphones, these musical hoodlums are a bagful of jocundity, with frequent avalanches of mirthful puns and witty remarks. There is not a dull moment when you hang out with them, even if they’re just being themselves. Collectively, The Strangeness aims for more gigs, more music videos, and more fun – after all, having fun is what they are incredibly awesome at.

The Strangeness are:

Francis Cabal – rhythm guitar, vocals
Jayme Ancla, Jr. – lead guitar, vocals
Erwin Hilao – drums, vocals
Bijan Gorospe – bass, vocals
Ivan Brosas – guitar, synthesizers
Shinji Manlangit – tambourine, back-up vocals

www.thestrangeness.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/thestrangeness
www.thestrangeness.tumblr.com
www.twitter.com/the_strangeness

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