Listen to the music of Kiss Jane

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - It’s good that Kiss Jane comes at a time when its members don’t have to put a label on their music, justify why they have a woman for a frontman or please people they’d much rather kick in the eye.

Because, really, they are not very good at explaining things.

Ask Kiss Jane member Sheila a simple question about her musicality and you’ll get an answer that could drive any hatter, well, mad.

“I studied piano but I write songs using the guitar which I don’t get to play in the band because I’m its drummer.” Check.

Fortunately, words are unnecessary in appreciating the music in their Sony Music debut album, Free. Composed of 12 tracks bannered by the promotional song, Kahit na, it is pop music at its freshest with an alternative zest.

Or as Kiss Jane bass guitar player, Heinz, puts it, “The music is not as aggressive as Paramore but not as laidback as Alanis Morisette.. .not heavy like Wolfgang nor electric like Updharmadown.” There they go again.

According to Sheila, who formed the band and wrote or co-wrote seven of their songs, all she wanted was for her music to be heard. She told the tale of one brave soul who, armed with demo songs recorded at a home studio, bravely went to Music R Us Publishing one day a few months back, in the hopes of at least getting help in matching these to the right act.

Sheila went to the right place and the right people. Before long, Kiss Jane was signing a contract with the publishing house and Sony Music, and recording an album they’ve always dreamed of making but never really expected to do this soon. 

“We didn’t have grandiose plans when we closed the deal with Sony,” Sheila recalled. “In fact, we only practiced during the weekends because that’s the only free time we got from our day jobs. Nor did we practice to get gigs. We just enjoyed playing music together. Kumbaga, bahala na si Batman kung saan ‘yon abutin.”

Free was recorded at Sonic State Audio under the meticulous eye of renowned album producer Jonathan Ong (Gloc 9, Kamikazee, KC Concepcion) who also co-manages the quartet.   

“Jonathan helped beef up our sound by giving the songs full arrangements. Kaya nga extra effort kami sa mga susunod namin na gigs because we have to approximate those arrangements using just four instruments. We’ll do our best and hopefully, people would like what they hear,” Heinz said.        

Perhaps this philosophy of not pandering to people is the very thing that makes the band appealing. At a time when manufactured-this and manufactured-that are easily detectible from a mile away, Kiss Jane is purely about the music and people feel it, respond to it.

Even the story behind their choice of name bears no marketing angle.

“It’s the title of that Velvet Underground song, Sweet Jane. We just thought of changing sweet to kiss.”

Why so? They don’t know (and not because it rhymes).

It’s apparent, though, that they are liked by people from both ends of the spectrum. Although Free is yet to hit the market, Kahit Na is already being played in both niche and mass-oriented radio stations.

Kiss Jane vocalist Jaq and guitarist Jeff add that if one listens to their other songs namely Lihim, Free, Lagi, Minsan Lang, Baliw, Langit, Mistakes, Bituin, Sana, Don’t Wanna and All The Things, one will understand what the band and its music are all about will come.

  And by then, we would have all embraced Kiss Jane.

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