Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sponge Cola: The Sweet Taste of Success

Diamond-recording band Sponge Cola back in business
Releases fourth album Araw Oras Tagpuan under Universal Records

The only recording band to reach diamond after Eraserheards for the outstanding sales of Tambay (EP) via Coca-Cola’s summer promo, Sponge Cola scores yet again as the band releases its highly anticipated fourth full-length album titled Araw Oras Tagpuan under Universal Records. But the band is not content to rest on its laurels yet, this is just the beginning.

Composed ofYael Yuzon (vocals/guitars), Erwin Armovit (lead guitars), Gosh Dilay (bass) and Tedmark Cruz (drums), Sponge Cola has always made its presence felt since breaking the local music scene in 2002 via Madonna’s Crazy For You.

In the past nine years, Sponge Cola has gone from nowhere to full-fledged phenomenon on the strength of its three bestselling albums: Palabas (2004), Transit (2006) and Sponge Cola (2008). Only one of the few bands that couldn't help but hit, Sponge Cola went on to producing chart-topping singles such as KLSP, Gemini, Jeepney, Bitiw, Tuliro, Movie, Pasubali, Puso, Ayt!, Makapiling Ka, Di Na Mababawi and so on.

From then on, the band's popularity doesn't seem to be waning. It was evident from numerous awards and citations received by the band. From favorite artist to favorite song to favorite group to favorite rock video to favorite vocalist to achieving gold and platinum awards, Sponge Cola’s rise to full stardom never stops, and it shows no sign of flickering.

In fact, the rocket ride to the top doesn't look as if it's going to end any time soon.

Just recently, Sponge Cola's Tambay (EP) earned the band a diamond record in sales. The band in unison says, "It's a great feeling. We're very thankful. We appreciate the support we get from people."

The band’s new album's title says Araw Oras Tagpuan—date, time, place—Armo said they just wanted to create something that strings our ideas on space, time, fate and choice together.

Yael elaborates, "I like the swagger that the title suggests. It's like ‘Give me a time, date and place and we'll be there.’ But with said swagger, it still feels down to earth, which is I think how are we these days, in my head at least.”

Araw Oras Tagpuan consists of 12 tracks that include massive hits Tambay, Regal and the new hit single Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay. Other songs included are Walang Wakas which became the theme song of ABS-CBN’s series Wansapanatym: Rod Santiago’s Buhawi Jack; New Steel which features Paolo Valenciano of Salamin, Ria Redulla, and Los Magno of Outof Body Special; and Warning featuring Norma Love, Iwa Motor, and Mowmow of Tanya Markova.

 In this album, nine out of twelve songs were mainly written and co-written by Yael along with Gosh. It is interesting to note that the collaboration with these artists adds hip hop, new metal, and retro to the band’s definitive music.

In an exclusive interview with BANDS Magazine when asked what the video for Kay TagalKang Hinintay is about and what new fans can expect from it, Yael shares, "My brother Yanny who plays guitar for Pupil and sings for Archipelago directed it in Bacolod. As a theater director, he's known for bold, riveting plays, often pushing boundaries and never failing to move. It was our first time to fly outside Manila to shoot a music video. It showcases the beauty of provincial life. And yeah, love."

"I just want them to listen freely and take whatever they want/can from the material, Armo says when asked what they would want the audience to hear within the lyrics of their songs from Araw Oras Tagpuan. Yael adds, “[And] Catharsis lang naman as always."

When asked what happens in his head when he composes – the creative process before he writes it down or put his hands on the guitar – and how his persona plays a role in that process, Yael says, "It depends. Sometimes I play with words, then a persona is formed. Sometimes it's me, sometimes it's someone else. It's usually someone similar to me at least." 

"Fall where they may. And then someone figures it out for us. We just write," says Yael when asked if he consciously thinks, "Oh, this will work for us with the market; that will work well with the mainstream"? Or do the songs just fall where they may.

In the latest issue of Pinoy Mag, correspondent Box Garchitorena writes that it would be hard to pick singles in this record that throws a lot of possible ones. The record as he puts it screams a resounding "we’re not done!"

The one thing commendable with Sponge Cola is that this group is not afraid to experiment and take the music to different places.

True enough.

That’s what Sponge Cola always known for.  They are not afraid to experiment and take the music to different places. "This is just how we are. We do whatever we want to go, making music is what we do. We keep it real. [And] We’re all about the fun," Yael says.

And when asked how their values and faith changed in these remarkable years of success, Yael proudly states, "They haven’t, they’ve stayed the same, and we’re still the same people with the same beliefs, fighting for the same principles."

*To get the ringback tone of Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay just text UD089 to 2332 for GLOBE users and text FKAY to 2728 for SMART users. Ringback tone for SUN users, just text GetSong[space]6151699 to 2728. P15 for 15 days

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