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The long wait is over! After four years, Ang Bandang Shirley is finally releasing Favorite, their 3rd album following Tama Na Ang Drama (2013) and Themesongs (2008). Yayyy!

The 14-track LP was produced by a cast of music producers who worked alongside the band: Modulogeek, Big Hat Gang, Nights Of Rizal, The Ringmaster, and Mikey Amistoso of Ciudad and Hannah + Gabi.

While everyone’s excited, on March 21, Tuesday, Selena Salang posted a tinyletter to everyone saying that the Favorite launch on Saturday will be her last gig for a long while. (Huhu, no. *cries*)

So perhaps for the last time in a long while, here’s an interview featuring the entire Shirley crew: Owel Alvero, Ean Aguila, Zig Rabara, Selena Salang, Kathy Gener, Enzo Zulueta, and Joe Fontanilla.

Can you tell us a brief history about the band?

Ean: Kami ni Owel yung nagform ng banda during high school. Gumawa kami ng band habang ginagawa namin yung graduation song ng batch namin. Pero dahil namatay yung band na yun, Owel formed Shirley and recruited another girl.

Owel: Basically, nagba-banda kami nung high school and inaaya lang talaga namin yung mga nakilala na namin nung college na sumama sa’min. Si Selena, inaya ko lang siya nung nakita ko sa isang gig. Then, si Enzo nameet namin siya sa isa ring gig and sobrang galing niya tapos ayun, inaya na naming mag-jam.

Ean: Mainly, we didn’t have a plan to have many members.

Owel: Actually, di kami masyadong nagpaplano simula noon because we really just want to make music.

You’re probably sick of this question, but who is Shirley?  

Owel: Yung Shirley, ginamit namin siya na parang tribute. Nung nabuo yung band, kaka-disband lang ng Eraserheads. Highly influential sila sa’min. Ang dami naming memories na based on Eheads song. So naisip ko na maybe we can name the band after an Eraserheads song.

Ean: Napili namin yung kantang “Shirley” from the Ultraelectromagneticpop! album.

What can we expect in your upcoming album?

Kathy: Kakaibang Ang Bandang Shirley ang masasaksihan niyo. Ha ha!

Joe: This is the first recording namin with Enzo.

Owel: Eto siguro yung album na hindi lang sa iisang recording studio ginawa. Nagrecord kami in different studios, sa bahay ni Ean, sa Wombworks, then may nirecord sa Jakarta and Houston.

Selena: Yun yung mga collaborators namin. They record sa ibang lugar then pinagsasama namin.

Ean: Marami dun sa kanta, kung paano naming na foresee irecord, nagawa namin siya as is. Parang 90% of expectations yung nakuha namin.

Kathy: And kakaiba rin yung album namin ngayon kasi personalized siya. Kapag bumili ka ng album, you can put stickers to it. May mga sticker sheets siya sa loob so ikaw na yung bahala kung paano ididikit. Yung stickers inside is by Bijan Gorospe. Then we have album launch exclusive stickers by Rob Cham, Apol Sta. Maria, Hulyen, Manix Abrera and 8-bitfiction.

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

Owel: Lahat kami nagsusulat in varying levels. For example, nagrecord kami ng isang kanta, then may part na ‘di comfortable or awkward yung words, so iko-consult ko yun sa band and then kanya-kanyang suggestions na.

Kathy: But Owel and Ean talaga yung main songwriters.

Ean: Mino-modify namin yung songs namin lahat.

What’s your favorite song from your latest album?

Kathy: Nagi-iiba siya eh.

Zig: Yes, depende talaga sa mood namin.

Owel: Mahaba yung album, so minsan depende sa feelings. Yung album, parang range of songs na hindi lahat magugustuhan mo at the same time, pero magkakaroon ng chance na magustuhan mo rin sila eventually.

Ean: Kumbaga aakma siya sa different aspects of life.

Which bands do you like watching?

Owel: Ako talaga, Sandwich. Sobrang solid nila panoorin ever since.

Ean: Pero kung as a band, sobrang iba-iba kasi kami.

Owel: Pero ako, Memory Drawers and Sandwich talaga.

Joe: Outerhope, Musical O.

Kathy: Ako, gustong-gusto ko talaga Sandwich. Tapos sa mga bagong bands: Rusty Machines and The Strangeness

Ean: Nae-excite ako panoorin ng live si Bullet Dumas, Tom’s Story, at Ben & Ben.

Selena: Off the top of my head, Chairman Mouse, kasi nage-enjoy akong panoorin sila. Then, The Wants, kasi of all the Alex Turner-like bands, sa kanila ko pinaka natutuwa. Tapos syempre Ourselves the Elves.

Zig: I really love Ciudad, kasi bihira na ko nakakakita ng medyo ka-edad ko sa scene. Tapos Ourselves the Elves din saka Shirebound and Busking.

Enzo: Ako, Ourselves the Elves kasi nakita naming yung growth nila since nung nasa UP pa lang. Of course, Oh! Flamingo kasi ang galing talaga nila.

After the 3rd album, what are your future plans?

Kath: Magre-release na kami ng Vinyl.

Ean: Balak din naming pumunta sa mga provinces para tumugtog.

Kath: More stickers for the album. Pero ‘di kasi talaga kami ma-plano ng malayo. ‘Pag ginagawa kasi namin yun, ‘di talaga natutuloy. Sumasabay lang kami sa alon kung saan man kami dalhin. Pero yun nga for now, yung vinyl talaga muna yung next.

Ang Bandang Shirley is set to release their third full-length album “Favorite” on March 25, 2017 at Blue Bay Walk Garden, The Metro Park in Pasay City. For more details, visit the event page here.

Check out MB Life Sessions featuring Ang Bandang Shirley below:

 

Photos by Chealsy Dale

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