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Photo by Madel Crudo

A solo music project turned into a full band in August 2016, Carousel Casualties has been one of the most promising indie bands in the country. From live gigs up to recordings, their music will surely captivate your heart.

The indie rock band is comprised of Emmie Villegas and Pau Villanueva on vocals and guitar, Jot Nicanor on bass, and Xavier Lucente on drums. Their two singles entitled “Safety” and “Flats,” both got top spots on Jam 88.3’s Fresh Filter in 2016 and 2017. Last May 19, they released a six-track EP called Madison. And let me tell you, this EP is worth every centavo!

To know more about this awesome band, here’s our fun interview with the whole Carousel Casualties crew.

Can you tell us a brief history of the band?

Pau: Nung una, Emmie had a different lineup ng Carousel. And nung 2015, they had to look for a guitarist and a bassist. So yung dating drummer asked me to join, and then I asked Jot. Dun na nag-start. Pero nagpalit din kami ng drummer, and si Xavier yung pumalit. We actually consider this lineup as the original.

Emmie: This lineup started last year and the 2015 lineup is basically like a solo music project. I write songs and then I will ask different people to play. Pero eto talaga yung nag-stay.

Why ‘Carousel Casualties’?

Emmie: Because Carousel is like our life. It goes up and down, round and round, and we’re all casualties of it.

Pau: We have no choice but to go with the flow of the carousel.

Emmie: There are times that we really meant to fall down but we have to get up and continue with the flow. Pero honestly, maganda kasi talaga rin siyang pakinggan. Ha ha!

What can we expect from your new EP?

Emmie: The EP has all the mastered tracks and we added two more bonus songs. Yung version din ng “Safety” dun is different sa unang released. It’s the better one with an extended intro of some sort. The EP is also systemized to create a story. It’s actually Xavier’s idea to do it track by track. From the song “Flats” up to “Safety,” it tells a story.

Why you named you new EP Madison?

Emmie: Madison is short for madness and unison which perfectly describes our band, and the band’s music. Because we’re basically different from each other. We all have different ideas when it comes to music.

What’s your favorite tracks(s) from this EP? 

Xavier: My favorite track is “Bright Red Lights.”

Emmie: Because you drum like a beast. Haha!

Xavier: Haha! I actually like my drum part there and it’s a really good song.

Pau: My favorite would be “San Junipero” because it’s just really fun and favorite ko rin yung series na Black Mirror.

Emmie: And favorite din kasi niya yung solo part niya. Haha!

Jot: For me, it’s “Leona” because it’s the most emotionally relevant to me.

Emmie: My favorite is also “Leona” because I think it speaks a lot of desires and emotion.

Which bands from the local indie scene you like watching/listening?

Xavier: I like watching Banna Harbera and The Espasouls.

Pau: There’s really a lot of talented musicians in my mind but I’d say the band Bras Pas Pas Pas Pas, Rob and the Hitmen, and a lot more.

Emmie: My number one fave is Tom’s Story because If I would go to a gig, I’ll definitely look forward to watching Tom’s Story all the time. Among the others, I think they stand out when it comes to show. But musically, there’s really a lot of bands I really like.

Jot: Same thing, musically, I like a lot of bands and artists. But the one band that consistently makes me enjoy their performances is Paranoid City.

When it comes to songwriting, who’s in charge?

Emmie: I write the backbone of the songs. I write the songs and then I’ll present it to them either through recording or I’ll perform it in front of them. Then, they just make their own parts. At the end of the day, pinagsasasama na namin lahat based on the drafts that I did. I think that’s a really good collaborative venture for us.

What are your future plans for the band after the latest EP?

Emmie: Well, we want to rehearse a lot more because we personally think that we’re not that good enough yet to make really good shows. So we want to improve our chemistry and the way we play. And of course the way we write songs, too. Basically, our goal for this year is to be better than ourselves today. At least 10 times better by the end of the year.

Jot: At least 10 times better?! Haha!

Emmie: Haha! I mean, yun yung goal. But if we don’t get there, at least like 5 or 2 times better. I believe that if you can’t reach the stars and you hit the moon, that’s still okay.

Jot: I would also like to add that in due time, we want to finish Madison as an album because there are about 5 or 6 more songs that are already there. They just need to be fully manifested.

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