MUSIC LYF: Pupil Returns In 2015 With New Album ZILCH

Pinoy Alternative Rock Band Pupil is back this 2015 with a new album ZILCH under MCA Music which will also their fourth album in total. The band composed of Ely Buendia, who also worked with another band The Oktaves; Wendell Garcia, Dok Sergio, and new guitarist Jerome Velasco. 

With the last album released back in 2013, they said that during that period they still continue to record songs. They have also tried things such as set up with different venues like warehouses to bring out a whole new sound that is not the usual studio sound. 

"Every band member or musician has dreamed of going to Tagaytay, simbahan, Baguio o sa beach. the problem then was wala pang technology to do that, ngayon meron na, so I'm suprized why many musician aren't doing that" Ely shared.

The band is also gearing up for gigs and an album launch to be held in Craft BGC. The music video of their first single is also on the works and will be premiered soon on MYX.

The Band’s Most Sophisticated Release to Date

One thing is apparent, though: the quartet has long found their musical thesis, and no uncertain number of dalliances will make them stray from their project: in-your-face guitar rock executed in the most rudimentary manner, and this much is evident in first two singles “Out of Control” and “Why.” “I’ve always preferred a stripped-down sound, live and on record, and this was the objective from the moment I started writing new songs for Zilch,” Buendia shares. 

Also key to the revamped operation is the addition of legendary axeman Jerome Velasco, whose genius covers an expansive terrain—from shoegaze to indie pop to sludge rock—and who is, moreover, a longtime collaborator of Buendia’s. He was in post-Eraserheads, Ely-led outfit The Mongols and a constant partner-in-crime in the studio. 
What Pupil has in their hands in Zilch, ultimately, is a more refined rethinking of their sound. “The guitars growl, the drums are in your face, no synth pads, very little delay. [It] is an album played on the gut level. Yet it is, I think, our most sophisticated release to date,” Buendia offers. Velasco confidently chimes in, “Personally I find that it’s inevitable that the band shall release a definitive rock record. I think this was a great time to do it.” Throughout the process, the band was both instinctive and resolute in reconciling the sound in their heads with the sound that eventually ends up on disc. Wendell Garcia’s drum parts, for one, were redone almost entirely in a rented photography studio in an attempt to capture the much-revered John Bonham (skinsman for Led Zeppelin) sound. The band DIY’d the whole thing, installing their own personal mattresses for soundproofing, with bassist Dok Sergio manning the controls. 

“We’re both excited to be making music again essentially. The only thing different is I have a lot of catching up to do,” Velasco airs self-effacingly, alluding to the band’s back catalogue. “[Jerome] and I just work well together. We complement each other. There are no egos, no need to say ‘Excuse me, I’m about to step on your toes.’ I totally trust his instincts. He has impeccable taste,” Buendia says, glowing in his appraisal of the man. The erstwhile Teeth guitarist’s stamp is unmistakable but never overbearing throughout the record, but is most especially marked in melodic cuts like “Resonate” and “Cheap Thrill,” as well as left-field dissonant rockers “Tachyon” and “MNL.”
“I sort of binge-listened all my favorite modern rock albums from the [Smashing] Pumpkins, Nirvana, Pixies, [and] The Cult,” Buendia, moreover, says of his musical diet prior to recording. Zilch displays faint echoes of the modern rock canon, for sure, but the quartet’s distinct strengths—the insistent riffing, the soaring melodies, the monstrous rhythms—are never more afloat.  

Zilch is now out in CDs at Astroplus and Odyssey outlets under MCA Music, Inc. It is also available through digital download via spinnr.ph and iTunes and streaming via spinnr.ph, Spotify and Deezer.


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