Slapshock takes The Crown with apl

Patricia P. Esteves (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Rap-metal band Slapshock expressed their excitement over the release of their second single The Crown from their international album Night Owls as it features their idol and mentor apl.de.ap of the Grammy-winning hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas.

Apl, incidentally, produced Night Owls under his label BMBX. As the band’s producer, apl sponsored Slapshock’s one-month stint in the US last year and linked the group with the top rock royalties in Hollywood — Shavo Odadjian of US metal/rock band System of a Down, American record producer Terry Date and Grammy-nominated mixer/producer Damien Page Lewis for a collaboration on the album.

Last April, Slapshock finally released Night Owls to critical acclaim. The album’s carrier single Night Owls, hours after its release, shot to the top spot of iTunes.

“It’s been a very good year for us,” Slapshock frontman Jamir Garcia told The STAR at the launch of clothing brand Dickies’ social media sites at Roadhouse bar in Pasay.

“We couldn’t be more grateful to apl who has opened doors for us. We’re very excited with the release of The Crown because you’d hear apl rapping in this song. Hip-hop sya and rap metal kami but we were able to blend well with our collaborative song The Crown,” Jamir said.

Jamir and the band’s other members Chi Evora (drummer), Lean Ansing (lead guitar), Jerry Basco (rhythm guitar) and Lee Nadela (bass guitar) are back in Manila after a dizzying world tour that took them to Dubai, Thailand, Singapore and some cities in the US West Coast.

Jamir, who composed The Crown, said he felt strongly about the ditty because it talks about the pervasive corruption in the Philippines, which is always timely.

For the song, Slapshock collaborated with Shavo and remembered how the international rock star put so many revisions in the song to improve it.

“I felt that Shavo brought out all his musical experience to improve the song and make it more meaningful” Jamir said.

Slapshock also said they’ve learned so much about the work ethics and style of Date and Page Lewis.

The other songs in the album include Coma, Turn Back Tie and Dangerous, which talk about Filipino sentiments on love, life and dreams, said Slapshock.

Coma is about waking up from a coma and realizing that after a deep sleep, you’ve lost everything that was so dear to you because you took everyone for granted. Turn Back Time is a love song about regrets and not having second chances,” Jamir said.

Dangerous depicts the kids nowadays, how they’re driven through music,” he added.

No one could be more prouder for Slapshock than apl who saw the group’s potential the moment he saw them perform in an October fest event a few years ago.

In a separate interview with apl, he recounted a time when he let his friends in New York listen to Slapshock’s album, and everyone thought the band was American.

“Everyone said, whoa is that a band from the Philippines? They sound so world-class. And I said yes they do that in the Philippines. The first time I heard Slapshock, I was just blown away. I never heard anyone like them. They’re an original. On my part, I just gave them the resources and linked them up with the right people because they deserve it. The talent and hard work is theirs,” apl said during the launch of his label’s new talents which include two Filipino artists and a Singaporean at the Hard Rock Café in Makati on Saturday evening.

Slapshock, for their part, reiterated it was an honor to work with apl on their very first international album.

These days, Slapshock said they’re taking things slow. But they will still have gigs and concert tours with Dickies until the end of the year.

Slapshock will also participate in Red Horse’s Muziklaban, an annual rock band competition for young unsigned musicians. Jamir is one of the judges of Muziklaban.

One of Slapshock’s goals as a band is to develop, support and train upcoming Filipino bands.

“I’m a judge for Muziklaban so I’m a part of looking for new talents na pwedeng i-groom. Ang gagaling na ng mga banda ngayon at pabata ng pabata. With today’s technology, nakikita mo na yung magagaling na banda,” Jamir said.

His advice to upstart musicians?

“Respect the music, work hard and keep on writing your own songs,” Jamir said.

Next year, they hope to release a follow-up album to Night Owls and collaborate with Jonathan Davies of Korn and Deftones.

“After 17 years of being together, we feel like a new band. We’re excited for things to come. We’re still dreaming of big things and we will not retire in the near future,” he said.

On another note, the members also said they were delighted that Dickies finally opened social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“As brand ambassador of Dickies, we feel very happy that Dickies is already on social media. It’s another venue for us to reach our fans and connect to them because we owe the fans so much,” they said.

(Fans of Slapshock and Dickies can now find them on Facebook: @DickiesPhilippines, Twitter @dickiesPH and Instagram @dickiesphilippines.)

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