Hear it is

Mikey Amistoso and Marie Jamora

“Hear it is” is a series of interviews with musicians, transcribed here as oral histories. We talk about what they do and what they’ve done, and what has changed since they started making music.

I hope it’s easy to understand that Mikey’s part is aligned to the left, and that’s Marie on the right

We talked about

Ciudad’s Young Fanbase
The Choose-your-own-Adventure Universe of the Interwebs
How technologically-un-smart everyone in Boldstar was
What a “carrier single” is (of which we’re still not entirely sure)
The generosity of genuine music icons
And the benefits of coming together under one umbrella

Marie Jamora may be better known as a filmmaker, especially with the awards and rewards (emotional, creative, etc.) being swept up by her debut film, Ang Nawawala. However, my earliest memories of Marie all involve her being behind a drumset, so she will always be firmly embedded in my mind as a musician. As for Mikey, I was in high school when I first heard Ciudad‘s “Corina Turina”, on the radio and I actually remember hearing the plugs Mikey describes in this interview. The odd thing about Ciudad is that even if I was always a fan (my favorite song ever was “The Herb”. FOREVER), I don’t remember seeing them live until I was almost out of college (and it’s wholly possible that the first time I actually met them was when I played an extra in one of their videos). The other odd thing is that this seems to be the norm with Ciudad fans, who just come out of the woodwork knowing all their songs by heart.

Both Mikey and Marie play for Blast Ople, who I first saw at Kafe, where they did “Wail” by (the) Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. That was probably a decade ago, give or take, and they are still covering “Wail”, which makes them both awesome AND my favorite cover band on the local scene ever. Oddly enough, Blast Ople never comes up in this interview, which is why I’m bringing them up now. Blast Ople, Blast Ople, Blast Ople! Mikey also has a solo act called Hannah+Gabi and a New Jack Swing act in the works, with Marie’s fellow Boldstar (and co-Ang Nawawala composer) Jazz Nicolas.
This conversation was recorded on October 3, 2012.

My name is Mikey Amistoso and I’m a musician. I’m also a composer and an arranger at Liquidpost, I write jingles and music for commercials—basta I write music.

I’m Marie Jamora. I’m a director and I just started a new job at a production house called Gung Ho films.

I will be directing commercials, AVPs, (blablabla) and I’ll be working on my next film

Mikey, can you trace your current taste in music?

I can trace my current taste in music to the first time I heard the album It’s a Shame about Ray by The Lemonheads. It was the first album I bought by myself.

On cassette?

Yes, on cassette.

Do you remember what store it was from?

Yes, National Book Store, Katipunan! (HAHAHAHA!)

Before that, I was influenced by my kuya – so Rage Against the Machine, Metallica, Megadeth, whatever he likes – and then I saw this video on MTV (nung UHF pa), which was “Mrs. Robinson,” by The Lemonheads.
And there was this gwapo guy, singing, with his long hair—

Wow, gwapo pa talaga ‘no?

And I was like, I want this band! And ang cute pa ng pangalan nila, Lemonheads! So I searched for their album, and even if I didn’t know the other songs, I listened to it and it made me want to start a band.

Like Mikey, I also had sibings. I’m the youngest, and they had an extensive record collection, pero New Wave lahat. My brother also had the occasional Michael Jackson record, but it was mostly New Wave talaga. That was my sisters’ taste, which bled into me, but in terms of my own taste I think I will pretty much pinpoint it to when I was in I.S.M. in grade seven. I still liked New Wave, but most of the other kids liked Grunge – which I didn’t understand. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was on MTV, and I didn’t pay any attention to it.

But my middle school crush played drums for a band, and during the pep rally they played “Lithium,” and—wala lang— I saw him playing the drums, and he was so cute, and it was a great song, and I was like “What is this?” So from there, I just started to get into Nirvana and Pearl Jam and all that other stuff.

My best friend at the time also had this weird phase where she wanted to get rid of all her CDs—and CDs were really expensive at the time!—so Pearl Jam, Nirvana, R.E.M., all of those, she dumped on me. The first CD I bought with my own money though was The Cure’s Wish. That’s it.

Songs and albums I have always loved are best enjoyed in a very comfortable bed…with a great soundsystem…and or earphones…

For me, with a record player. And dancing.

Mikey, what was your first instrument?

My mom forced me to take piano lessons, but I didn’t like it because I didn’t like reading notes.

Ako rin! HAHAHAHA!

So one day, inindyan ko yung piano teacher ko, so kinausap ako ng mom ko, tinanong niya, “Ayaw mo ba matutong mag-piano lessons?” And I was like, “Ayoko eh,” so sinabi niya sa teacher ko na huwag na siyang pumunta, so ‘di na siya pumunta. Poor old lady.

I’m actually worse than you!

Pero gusto ko talaga mag guitar, so when I was in grade school in Marist, I joined the rondalla. And I had the choice of guitar, bandurria, or this other banduria –like instrument na mas malaki—

Ano yung bandurria uli?

Yung maliit na twelve-string na parang *TINGINIGNINIGNIGNIGNINGINGINGINGING* I guess it’s a mandolin? So when I got to high school, marunong na ako mag guitar, so nakilala ko sila Justin (Sunico) and Jeff (Cabal) at tinuruan ako ni Justin ng chords ng “Plush” *sings opening riff of “Plush”* (by the Stone Temple Pilots) at “No Rain” (Blind Melon). And all of a sudden, I could play pop songs on the guitar, and I figured “I can start a band!”

So by first year high school, I started fiddling around, playing random chords and notes. Nag-imbento ako ng melody, and that’s how I started writing songs.

What was the first song you ever wrote?

It was called “I Don’t Want My Girlfriend No More”–HAHAHAHAHA!–*sings*

I don’t want my girlfriend no more
I don’t want my girlfriend no more
I don’t want my girlfriend around
I don’t want my girlfriend around

Kawawa naman girlfriend mo nun!

Wala nga akong girlfriend, bata pa ako nun eh!

I was also forced to play the piano, but we had the Suzuki method, which is where you learn by memorization and they teach you to read sheet music quite late. But by the time they started teaching me notes, I was already tamad. I had this little old maestro who had halitosis and really long nails, so when he would play, you would hear the clicking on the keys. And he was really nice, but when he would talk, I would just have to hold my breath until it was over.

So what happened was, I would read the notes, then he would be like “Okay, good.” But I would ask if I could play it one more time, and what I was actually doing was memorizing so I wouldn’t read the notes. And I used to hide under the bed when the teacher would come. So I stopped.

But I used to write songs on the piano—which was funny, because they were quite complicated songs, and I would just memorize what I wrote. So “Fifteen Years” (the piano composition on the Boldstar album) is something I wrote when I was 15 and was the only thing I remembered from that time.

The guitar naman, I think it’s because of the Eraserheads, when I heard Fruitcake. First I got the guitar, then I got a copy of Jingle magazine so I could learn those songs. And the guitar I got had two strings missing, so I started writing songs with that, so some of those songs are really weird. Galit na galit sila Jazz na ang labo ng mga kanta ko, kasi wala akong strings!

My sister played drums, she had a drum kit at home. So I always wanted a drum kit, and for my 18th birthday I didn’t ask for a debut, I asked for a drumkit. On my way home from school, I was so excited, I was eyeing this Pearl kit in Greenhills and expecting to see it there. Tapos pagdating ko: MAYA! Tapos ang chipipay niya, tapos ako parang “Ano ‘to? Anong brand ‘to?”

I got this poster through a googlesearch, so I’m not sure how to properly credit it, but I’m guessing it’s by Amadeus Cobangbang)

With the live scene, for some reason, my audience has gotten younger. I don’t know why…

How young is young?

Like, fresh out of college. Ang weird, kasi nung college kami, yung mga may gusto ng Ciudad, sila Jason Caballa, sila Raimund—mga out of college. Tapos di kami pinapansin ng mga batchmates namin—

Kasi gusto nila kupaw eh.

Ganun ba yon? O gusto nila showbands…I don’t know, siguro matagal na nilang gusto Ciudad, pero ngayon lang sila nagka pera para bumili ng album at makapuntang gig. Baka sila na talaga yung core ever since, kasi sila Shinji (Manlangit) at sila Erwin (Hilao), alam nila pati yung mga unang albums. High school pa lang sila nung linabas yun eh, tapos memorize din nila yung mga kanta. The past two years ko lang sila nakilala, so parang fresh out of college, ngayon lang sila nagka-pera, so ngayon lang din sila nagpakita as our audience.

How about internet, do you think factor din yon?

Oo, kasi walang internet nun eh.

Poster linked to Jason Caballa’s “Admit One’s Last Hurrah,” the Philstar article from where this was yanked:

I think gig scenes are cyclical, so before you could have something that was very popular–like Sunday Grabe Sunday or Buzz Night, or Admit One— with a loyal amount of people. Then you see the numbers dwindle, and then you have a new production. Now, what I noticed now is that the dwindling factor doesn’t go down as soon as it used to. There are so many bands right now, so it’s not as if there’s a specific band or production dominating the gig scene. And I think that’s really great! If you don’t like what’s happening at Saguijo, then there’s something else at B-Side on the same night, and then you get to choose. Or you can catch a band at one place first, then go somewhere else.

I think it’s really great that there are a lot of bands right now. I’m not saying they’re all great, but having a lot of bands means each band has their friends who go to the shows for their friends’ band, and then they get exposed to more music at the gig. So you have this sort of pay-it-forward thing. And now, I think musicians can actually make money at their gigs, not exactly at the gate, but by selling merch and albums.

Ciudad’s first album was recorded in a real recording studio, at Tracks in Pasig, with real tapes and reels. Analog stuff. For the next album, Is that Ciudad?, we bought our own recording equipment. It was a Digital Workstation with 16 tracks, about as big as a mixer, at may hard drive at screen na maliit, and that’s where we recorded our next few albums and we still record drums on it. So unti-unti siya paliit ng paliit, at pa-mobile ng pa-mobile, until you don’t need a studio. We record the drums wherever we want—in the bedroom, in the pantry—and you no longer need a minimum of nine mics (yan daw yung rule, sabi ng engineer sa Tracks). Now, we actually have some songs and drum tracks recorded with just one mic, and it actually sounds cool. Since it’s gotten easier, we’ve become more open to experimentation.

When Boldstar started recording an album, more than ten years ago, we had a smaller version of your workstation. It had 8 tracks and the cartridge was a zipdisk. And this is how not-technologically-smart we were: we had Buddy (Zabala) and Raimund as our producers. So at the end of the recording, Buddy goes, “Here are all your zipdisks.” And we were like, “Oh, thanks Buddy, but you can just wipe them clean and it’s fine with us.” So we just left them with him!

Now, when Peavey (Nicolas) asked us to give him our files so he could remix and remaster them for fun, and we’re all “uuuhhh…we…we left them with Buddy and told him to…erase them.”

Well, it’s not that you’d still be able to work with a zipdisk. Meron pa bang zipdisk?

No, but they still have the Korg! Peavey actually works with the Korg, and the only reason he got to remix some things was because they were still on the hard drive of the Korg!

I also like how it’s cheaper now. For example, an album I’m been listening to a lot for the last month is Japsuki’s Monologue Whispers, which was recorded by one guy entirely on GarageBand. By one guy! That would not have been possible before.

It’s nice, because bands now can actually practice their craft, and have demos, and not have to worry about saving—because before we had to save Php 10,000 (250 USD) just to record drum tracks. That’s not even an entire album. We were so lucky that Jazz’s dad had a studio where we could record, but not everyone was as fortunate as that. So now it’s a great time because if you want to make a song, you make a song.And the only problem, really, is if your song is any good.

Speaking from an indie musician’s point-of-view, marketing and distribution are easier because of tumblr and the share and like buttons and reblogs. Before, we’d ask Quark (Henares) to make us plugs to play on NU (107). Yung parang *in Pontri’s voice*, “September SEVEN CiuDAD, ALBUM launch, How Are You Mico the Happy BEAR (!), Club DREDD” or whatever. And then nagkaroon ng internet, pero parang email-email lang. You had listbot or yahoogroups to post your gig sked and invite all your fans. Sometimes they’d reply, sometimes they didn’t. It was all websites, like how would you know about Ciudad? You’d go to their website.

Speaking of websites, people still actually remember your tripod address HAHAHAHAHA!

…Pero uso pa ba yun ngayon? Yung may homepage? Now, you just have a facebook page and a tumblr account, and people follow you. The concept of following is genius, kasi they get to subscribe to your thoughts, to your announcements; so you’re pushing your own marketing and your own information. Kasi dati, hihintayin mo pa sila na lumapit sayo, ngayon, nananahimik lang sila tapos bobombard mo sila ng announcements. So it’s more aggressive now.

For distribution: with bandcamp and iTunes, one click and a few credit card dollars, at meron ka nang album available to the world.

What’s nice about marketing now is that if it’s a hard sell, it’s actually a worst sell—and that’s good. If you like something, chances are someone else also likes it. You don’t have to follow the rules of “kailangan nandito, kailangan nasa TV network o radio station na ‘to…” All these dinosaurs are falling and giving way to this choose-your-own adventure type-thing on the internet, because people just go where they want and you just follow.

With following, you can do the boring thing, which is just more promotional. But what’s more awesome is if you follow a celebrity or someone you admire, it’s about their thoughts and what they’re listening to – which actually makes you a bigger fan of that person and their work, because you see the process it goes through. When I see a director interacting with his writers and actors, I find it really cute!

So I do think that it’s great, because it’s literally in the hands of everybody, you literally have your studio in your phone. Every person takes a picture, and that becomes an ad for something— or anything! I think it’s great, and it actually makes advertising a harder job now.

It’s also trickier for bands to make as much money as they used to. Before, you could say triple-platinum Eraserheads, at totoong triple-platinum. Now, you literally have the record labels buying 30,000 copies back just to give away to employees so they can say it’s triple platinum. People aren’t really buying when they should be buying.

I think distribution in terms of local music could be better. For now, it would be nice if you have a centralized place where they can get and pay for your music, because people are too used to not paying–which annoys THE SHIT out of me because people need to eat! I mean, it’s okay if you want to steal music from Justin Timberlake because he doesn’t need your money. But Mikey would appreciate that 200 pesos, di ba?! Even Ely Buendia has children that have to go to college.

While I do believe that distribution could get better, I still think it’s the audience that needs to change their minds in terms of how to appreciate the music. Because if radio is dying and AstroVisions are dying, where are you gonna get the music? You have to go online and not torrent the record, you need to buy it.

Dati may record labels ka na gagawa ng press and publicity, but mostly it was all D.I.Y. Album reviews are usually favors from writer friends. Before people would really approach us to do reviews–well, hindi naman, mayroong mga fans talaga na gagawa on their own.

Before it was all PR releases from the record labels, for the bands they represent. So if you were not on a major label, the wala–unless you had a fanzine–you had to make your own little D.I.Y. fanzine. There was no internet, so we had magazines. There was fly, which was like a step up from a zine but not quite a magazine, which was music related. There were some nice magazines when we were young that were music-centric, but of course those things die, because no one wanted to pay.
Magazines still approach you, right?

Well, one magazine: Status…I didn’t actually get featured in print. I’m on the website, so I don’t know if that’s of lesser value kasi website “lang”, quote-unquote.

I don’t think it’s unofficial, I do think they update the website more so he turnover’s just quicker because there’s more space.

Pero ngayon panahon na rin ng mga Pitchfork, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan. ‘Di ba dun sila lagi nagprepreview ng mga albums, tracks, or videos. So mas digital, mas internet-based na ang press ngayon. Nagre-rely sila sa mga–again–blogs. Mga Rolling Stone at Spin, nagbabasa ka pa ba nun? Meron pa bang Spin?

Meron pang Spin…but it’s a website. I subscribe to the mailing list HAHAHA! But I don’t read it because I just don’t find the angles they take very interesting, as compared to before.

Album reviews, dun din, so it’s all internet-based now. Before if I wanted to buy a new album, I’d have to buy–

Yeah, what did you read when you were younger?

I would read Rolling Stone, Spin, locally Pulp.

Would you go to the library to read that or you’d buy your own copy or what?

I would buy sa National or Filbars, or papauwi ko sa pinsan ko na galing States. Local din dati may Rock n’ Rhythm, alam nyo yun?

Hindi, ano yun?

‘Dun dati yung mga chords ng Metallica, tapos may articles on the band…tapos parang black and white lang siya HAHAHA! Pero nafe-feature din dun yung mga alternative.

For me, when I was young, I used to read a lot of British music mags like NME and Melody Maker, which I’d have bought abroad. And then I used to write for the lifestyle section of Philippine Star about music. And that’s where I started to see the articles of Erwin Romulo. He also wrote about music, and I was really competitive, I was like “Fuck! He’s writing about Supergrass this week? Sige, I’ll write about Radiohead next week!” And I did it through college, but I stopped because I hated transcribing.

I used to love collecting zines from the scene here. I remember Toti Dalmacion had Groove Nation, he had a zine–

Remember Paolo Cruz, yung Halo-Halo? One issue lang ba yun?

Halo-Halo! One issue nga lang yun. Pero maganda naman.

When I used to go buy records at Groove Nation–which is near here, Verdana Bldg.–he asked me to write for his zine. So I also used to contribute to zines. But what’s nice about the internet now is the net that you cover–like this little scene: everybody can read about it if they’re interested, which is great. I think that the record labels die because they don’t catch up. In terms of the press and how they deal with that – how they market the bands, even the way they do music videos, like how they release a single and how many months before they release another and where they release it–is it on the radio? Is it on television?–it’s just really archaic.

When I watched Garbage in Singapore, they said something that was awesome, Shirley goes, “This song is the single right now in the US. I’m saying that because we are our own record label now, and being our own record label now. we don’t have to have once single at one time. Right now, we have four different singles in four different parts of the world.” At lahat kami parang, “YAAAAAYYY! THAT’S AWESOME!” No rules, which I think is great for bands. It’s about the idea na talaga eh, so what Blur did when they released their album, they released the two songs, and then they came up with a lyric video first, and then a live video, a studio video, and then they were at the park–ParkLive, right?–and then they did the Olympics! It was literally one beautiful plan of awesomeness!

But what I learned from Ang Nawawala, with marketing, is that although you have presence online, it doesn’t necessarily get the people into the theaters. You can cover this demographic , but if you wanna get that one, you really have to go through TV and radio…AM radio! Or something (I don’t know!). TV talaga, you need TV. I think even for musicians eh. I don’t know if anyone watches Myx, but if they’re seen on teleserye, like how Itchyworms got so fucking big after Showtime–it’s crazy! Like I saw them when they went out of town before and after Showtime. After Showtime, when they go out of town, you can see the people trying to touch them.

Mostly because of Jugs (Jugueta)?

I was walking three people behind Jugs tapos kahit ako hinahawakan, which was like, “WHAT? WHAT?!” IT’S WEIRD!

Question: Archaic na ba yung “carrier single” *does air quotes* ?

Ano ba yung carrier?

Yung nag-ca-carry sa album? HAHAHAHAHA! Actually Ciudad, wala nang singles ngayon eh. Tinatanong ako ng isang music video director, “Uy, I want to direct a video, ano ba yung single ninyo ngayon?” Wala eh, you just pick a song and we’ll release it on YouTube, and maybe submit it to Myx. So yun na yung publicity namin, wala nang “This is our carrier single! Watch out for our next…single…in two months…” Every song on the album is now a single.

Me and Jazz were talking about this, because we didn’t like the way that record labels release one single every six months. They try to milk an album for that. But when The Beatles were out, if you look at the charts, there were like three Beatles singles competing with each other for the top, kasi labas lang sila ng labas!

They’d release a single with a B-Side, and then the same day they’d release an album that did not have the same singles. So it’s just songs! Release some fucking songs! No one cares about your “carrier single”! Beatles, yay!

On history and icons, dati yung icon lang: Juan dela Cruz Band (HAHAHAHA!), o kung ano yung band nung 70s. Ngayon, icon na rin yung contemporaries namin when we were starting out. So ganun na kami katanda. Eraserheads icon na yun HAHAHAHA! Kung sasabihin mo kasi “history”, yun yung “past” eh, like The Dawn, Juan dela Cruz. Ngayon, yung history, yung past is Eraserheads and Rivermaya.

But those bands are still alive!

Yeah…and kasabay na namin sila sa gigs when they were not yet icons…so that makes Ciudad what? A dinosaur? I don’t know…

Howie Severino, in a talk (I might be paraphrasing) said, “History is journalism in slow motion.” It’s a really good point that bands that are alive until now–which is great–are part of history. Pepe Smith is still playing. Nitoy Adriano (of The Jerks) is still playing. As long as you’re alive, you can still play music, it doesn’t matter how old you are. Icons, like say Ely, Raimund, Francis (Reyes) – they love playing with younger musicians, and that’s why they never grow old. The music will always be new. It’s not sad like Spinal Tap, na sobra silang tanda and they’re playing the same songs. here, they have a new band, tapos iba yung genre. Like Francis Reyes’s Peso Movement is such a great band – with members of Soapdish. You have Ely in The Oktaves with members of Hilera.

From The Oktaves facebook account. Click to go to source.

Raimund Marasigan is one of the most generous people I know in terms of new talent. Like when I was young and didn’t have a band, he set up my drum kit. He saw the state of my drum kit na pangit ang cymbals, and he was like, “You can’t play like this, I’ll find you some second-hand cymbals.” So he found me those, gave me a good price for it (because it was from a friend of his), then he goes, “I’ll set it up for you.” Then he shows me the workshop exercises, and what I should do. And he was with the Eraserheads. This was when they had already released Sticker Happy, and he wasn’t too sikat to hang out with a college kid.

Before, maybe icons were just icons, and unreachable sila. Pero sila Raimund ngayon, nagme-mentor sila ng younger people, and I wouldn’t be here doing this today if it wasn’t for Raimund din. He’s the one who pushed Ciudad to the record labels, he’s the one who told us to buy our own recording equipment. So ang galing na yung icons nagiging contemporaries

Before he had Sandwich, he had a lot of time on his hands, so we used to be phone buddies. He would call and be like, “Hey Marie, I met someone at a gig. His name is Jugs and he has a band called Itchyworms,” and I’d go, “I don’t like that band. They play ‘That Thing You Do.’” (HAHAHA!) And he’s like, “No, no, okay yung mga originals nila, but they have to play originals!” And that’s something I told them early on, kasi Raimund never told them that–I mean, he did, and it was something that Jugs really wanted, but Jazz wasn’t listening.

‘Di ba when they were starting Sandwich, he asked, “Marie, who’s that classmate of yours?” (This was Marc Abaya.) We’ll get him hah!

He goes, “That guy! I saw him in the battle of the bands, and I voted for their band (Shirley Beans) because they played ‘Wicked Garden’ by Stone Temple Pilots, tapos sobrang ganda ng cover nila.” And Marc had a demo which I had heard, so I told Raimund it was really good, and he goes, “I want to hear that demo.” So he gave that to Raimund when they met nung isang birthday party ko, and in my mind that’s the birth of Sandwich.

He was open-minded enough to get a college kid to join his new band.

Where most guys would be mayabang or threatened by new talent–hindi ganun si Raimund eh! And you see that with Jason (Caballa) mentoring Taken by Cars. I think he got them to play at a Sunday Grabe Sunday, and Raimund saw them there, so after their set, he goes up to (Bryan) Kong and tells him that “Mike can’t drum for Pedicab,” for our next gig, can you drum for us?” And si Kong – umiyak ata eh! (HAHAHAHAHA!)

So ang galing eh. With icons it’s not just about who’s cool or looks good on the cover of what, it’s really about who and how they are. That’s how they last.

That’s why they’re still alive

Even Bamboo’s a really nice man. When I’d direct their videos, he’d always tell me to just make whatever I want and make sure the band has one shot.

(Speaking of directing) Mikey’s gonna direct a Ciudad video really soon!

Like next week!

Director hat!

I live for the moment. I don’t think of the future. Or the past.

He’s also scoring Ely Buendia’s, Yani Yuzon, King Palisoc’s, and Khavn dela Cruz’s film. .

So we’re venturing outside of music. Actually, dual-citizenship si Marie eh, film and music. Galing nga eh.

Pero yung music, parang pa-ganyan-ganyan lang ako eh *makes little stabbing movements*

Hindi! Alam mo yung ginagawa mo! Pero ano ba, ano ba yung future ng music ngayon?

Gawa ng gawa lang, then market it yourself. Ako, plaka eh! Yun yung future ng music!

What about new bands? Like Don’t Bogart the Can, Man, or The Strangeness?

I was actually thinking about this, when it comes to marketing bands. Like, if you have a Number Line kind of situation, is that better? If you’re actually housed under one umbrella. Because I’m working on the soundtrack for the film right now, and as I was looking at means for online distribution, I got to see where most bands are housed. So, for example, because iTunes is not like “Hi, iTunes! I want to put up my thing, and blablabla!” They’re like, “Do you have a record? These are our suppliers. Boom.” And then I looked at each one of those, and I’d look at the catalog of each one, for example the UK one (AWAL) had Radiohead stuff, or Redeye houses Barsuk Records, and looking at that, I wanted to sign up with them because their catalog was really awesome.

And I actually could! But you also have to think about the cut they will get from your stuff. And what some of these distributors do is buy out record labels, and then they don’t accept everybody. They curate their selection of what they distribute online. So is that the future of Filipino music, in that you have an indie distributor, but it’s curated? Like, if you’re under that distributor, it means your band is good? Or is it every band for himself? Cutting out the middleman is interesting, but at the same time, there’s no centralized directory of where the bands are. How are you going to find all that music?

A magazine I used to buy was CMJ Music Monthly. What I loved about it was it came with a sampler, and then they had a write-up inside talking about each band on the sampler–but it also said “Recommended if you like…” That recommendation opened my mind to other bands. That’s how I found Death Cab.

So something like that could work here, where there are so many new bands – how are you gonna find them all? You can’t go to all the gigs. I don’t know.

Duration: 58 mins. with outtakes, including various future plans and Mikey’s modelling career. Is that Ciudad turns ten next year, so that will be remastered and re-recorded in parts. The Ang Nawawala soundtrack will be out on vinyl by late November. In the meantime, Mikey is still directing and scoring films and videos, while Marie is busy trying to wrangle down her Ang Nawawala co-writer, Ramon de Veyra, to write the next film.
Recorded in Makati, Metro Manila. Art by the lovely Joanne Tong.

4 thoughts on “Mikey Amistoso and Marie Jamora

  1. Pingback: Diego Mapa | The Peripheral Universe

  2. Pingback: Quark Henares | The Peripheral Universe

  3. Mikey shits on the strangeness of the Cabal that practices a weird craft. They are planning to bring Black Death to the Universe.

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