//We wanted a name that would speak of who we are, where weÆre from, what weÆre about and why you should listen.
//Each of us, simultaneously common and diverse, have our own storiesùlike islands have their own historiesùwhich form our music.
//As we are part of the great story of the world, our music belongs to the world; one that is at a distance, an Archipelago Q
At recording, April 2008: Chad [bass], Yanny [vocals], Wendell [drums], Pat [guitars].
Archipelago is a new band, with a 14-track debut album dubbed Travel Advisory due for local Philippine release in September 11, 2009. The sound is a fresh global brand of melodic Rock Music, with New Wave undertones and a compelling, personal sense of travel and narrative. The band is led by an emerging, reinvented Yan Yuzon, this time on lead vocals, supported by an impressive roster of local music scene stalwarts: bassist Chad Rialp, guitarist Pat Tirano, and drummer Wendell Garcia.
Founded on the firm insistence that Filipino music is indeed world-class, Archipelago desires to explore creative, effective, modern and meaningful avenues to bring its music on to The World Stage.
"MRI," Archipelago's first single, made #1 on NU107's Stairway to Seven, took #13 on the premiere rock stationÆs Top 107 songs of 2008, stayed on the Pinoy MYX Countdown for an entire month, and won the Silver Prize for Best Rock Song at the 2009 Asia Voice Independent Music Awards (AVIMA 2009) based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the band also received two other nominations.
"May 1" is the bandÆs second radio #1, and its music video stayed on the MYX countdown for 12 full weeks. Expect Archipelago to tour their album at a venue near you very soon.
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Archipelago is: Yan Yuzon on vocals and guitar, Pat Tirano on guitar, Chad Rialp on bass and vocals and Wendell Garcia on the drums. Archipelago was formed in early 2008 and played its first gig on April 11, 2008, at Club Dredd in Eastwood City. They have played 71 gigs to date (and they intend to keep count).
The name Archipelago was chosen as all four members hail from the Philippine Archipelago. This attempt at a somewhat patrioticùthough decidedly unspecificùband name later took on a new layer of meaning to describe the bandÆs sound as one that should be not just for Filipinos but for the rest of the world as well. Besides, as bassist Chad Rialp so eloquently puts it: ôThe world is, at a distance, an Archipelago.ö
All four members of Archipelago are current and active members of other bands: Yan Yuzon also plays guitar for Pupil, Wendell Garcia also plays the drums for Pupil and Hapi House, Pat Tirano also plays guitar for Monkeyspank and Toi, and Chad sings and plays the bass for Liquid Jane, and plays bass for Tempestuous Jones. ôThis doesnÆt make Archipelago a project band, however,ö frontman Yuzon is always quick to point out. ôWe all just have more than one main band.ö
All four members of Archipelago are also actively occupied with other jobs: Yan Yuzon writes for ABS-CBNÆs hit childrenÆs gag show GoinÆ Bulilit. Pat Tirano is Vice-President and in-house engineer of Wombworks Studio (where Archipelago recorded its debut album) and does in-store sales at The A-Shop (an Apple Computers distributor) in Eastwood City. Chad Rialp is a freelance writer and an in-house writer for All Media Marketing House. Wendell Garcia works as a freelance producer, arranger and session recording artist; the 2008 NU107 Drummer of the Year is one of the most sought-after live and recording session drummers today. (ôWe daresay he has played for nearly almost æanyone in this country who makes music of nearly any and every genre.Æö ûTirano)
Archipelago has since shared the spotlight with some of the biggest names in the countryùand with some noteworthy friends from overseas. TheyÆve played with Electrico at Club Dredd (ôItÆs almost an AVIMA reunion!ö ûDave Tan, vocalist and guitarist, Electrico) and jammed with Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes at Magnet High Street (ôNew favorite band... Archipelago from the Philippines. Check them out. So dope!!!!!ö û from twitter.com/travismtv, 3:39 AM, Jun 25 2009).
The eclectic sound of Archipelago is the result of the membersÆ diverse musical influences. Yan Yuzon is heavily influenced by the Britpop strains of Blur, the poignant vocals of Damien Rice and Billy Corgan, and the expressive guitar work of Trent Reznor and Kevin Shields. Pat Tirano trips out on U2, Pink Floyd, Mike Patton, Aerosmith, Massive Attack and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Chad grew up on the richness of Radiohead, Richie Havens, David Bowie, Corduroy, The Foo Fighters and early Jamiroquai. Wendell GarciaÆs wild set of influences include Mute Math, Tower of Power, Sting, Seal, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, The Jackson Five and James Taylorùand thatÆs ôto name a few.ö
All four members of the band have produced and engineered albums for other outstanding Philippine artists. To mention some of their notable projects: Yan Yuzon and Pat Tirano have co-produced a couple of Sponge Cola albums; Pat himself has co-produced a Pupil album and has worked on recordings of artists such as Mishka Adams, Kapatid, Salamin, The Late Isabel, The Jerks, Pinikpikan, Kalayo, Razorback, Wolfgang, Kjwan, Mayonnaise, Cynthia Alexander, and The Dorques; Wendell Garcia has produced and arranged for Pupil and 6Cyclemind; and Chad Rialp co-produced his other band Liquid JaneÆs debut album.
The recording process had already been a couple of months underway before all four Archipelago members even had a chance to all be in the same room together. Bassist Chad Rialp, who was last to join the band, only met drummer Wendell Garcia in the studio after completing almost four songs within several weeks of bass track recording.
Album 1.Travel Advisory
ArchipelagoÆs self-produced debut album, Travel Advisory, distributed by Sony Music Philippines, is slated for local release on September 11, 2009. The 14-track record took about two years to make, from the bandÆs inception on through the very active months of songwriting, arranging, recording, mixing and mastering. The album underwent almost ten rounds of remixes and ôfinal-then-more-final mastering,ö as Archipelago ôneeded to do it exactly right the first time around.ö The resultant sound has been described as ôa fresh global brand of melodic Rock Music, with New Wave undertones and a compelling, personal sense of travel and narrative.ö
The overall visual direction of Travel Advisory and all photography in the album was executed by Malaysian design wunderkind Julian Oh, formerly of Hue Visualab in KL. Yan Yuzon first met Julian in Singapore when Pupil performed there; Julian was then an integral part of the Hue team that worked on PupilÆs ôSet Me Apartö music video, which became the Animax entertainment channelÆs station theme for 2007. The album cover shot of the airplane wing was taken on the flight Julian and his girlfriend Carol Chon took to come over to Manila for a couple of days to create the album art. Julian and Carol currently reside in New Zealand.
Travel Advisory has a few musical guest spots up its sleeve, by the likes of DJ TravisM, Erwin Fajardo (Liquid JaneÆs keyboardist), Nina Guerrero, and Pauline Diaz AKA Toi. The album was co-produced by ArchipelagoÆs four members and Sponge ColaÆs Yael Yuzon.
Though the debut album comes out on 9/11, (ôA very poignant date for a very poignant recordöùYuzon) its first and second singles, ôMRIö and ôMay 1ö, respectively, have already been in rotation (since late 2008 and mid 2009, respectively) on radio and TV as ôteaserö singles. Public anticipation for the release of Travel Advisory looms high and as Wendell Garcia waxes, ôthatÆs a challenge weÆre more than willing, ready and able to meet.ö Current carrier single ôBlack Boxö is already on-air and is already making waves for the band, which is fast gaining recognition as an ôIndie Supergroup.ö
ôMRIö was written at Wombworks Studios on the day Yan Yuzon had an actual MRI taken of his right knee (interstitial tears on the right PCL from a bad basketball injury). (ôSliding down the hole, I felt like I was being buried. I panicked so badly we had to stop the procedure. I knew then that it had to become a song.ö ûYuzon)
The ôMRIö video premiered on MYX on January 23, 2009. (ThatÆs 01.23; this band clearly has a thing for numbers.) A passion project directed by up-and-coming filmmakers King Palisoc, Maui Mauricio and Mackie Galvez ("They each wanted to direct it so we just made them do it together..." -Yuzon), the video spent an entire month on the OPM Countdown of music channel MYX. The epic track itself went on to hit the #1 spot on the prestigious ôStairway To Sevenö countdown of NU107, the PhilippinesÆ foremost rock radio station. The song also made #13 on NU107Æs Top 107 songs of 2008 (ôA more than pleasant surprise for the New YearöùRialp)
Archipelago was honored to be thrice-nominated in the 2009 Asia Voice Independent Music Awards or AVIMA, based in KL, Malaysia. ôMRIö was nominated for Best Rock Song and Best Moody-Melancholic Masterpiece, while its video, breathtaking in its black-and-white simplicity, was nominated for Most Mind-Blowing Music Video. Archipelago ultimately wins the Silver Prize for Best Rock Song; MalaysiaÆs Pop Shuvit takes the Gold, while SingaporeÆs Electrico bags the Bronze. (Upon receiving news of the victory: ôThis AVIMA isn't just an award for the band, it's for the country, and this country's great musicàö ûYuzon)
ArchipelagoÆs second single, "May 1," was released on radio last April 14, the same day director Quark Henares and the band filmed the video for the song. All four band members huddled in a toilet in between takes to speak to NU107 jocks Kim and Monica on air via speakerphone to introduce the follow-up single. ôMay 1ö soon ascended to the #1 spot on the NU Stairway and stayed there for three weeks.
The ôMay 1ö video premiered on MYX on May 1, 2009. It entered the OPM chart a week later, and stayed there for 12 full weeks, eclipsing first single MRIÆs tenure on the chart and giving testament to the gradual increase in the bandÆs street credibility and public acceptance.
The ôMay 1ö video stars ballerina Cassandra Soenen, the French-Filipina niece of Yan YuzonÆs girlfriend. Casuy (her nickname, which means æcashewÆ) gets credit for the video concept for simply, matter-of-factly coming up to Yanny at a family dinner and saying: ôI wanna dance in a music video.ö
The ôMay 1ö video also ôstarsö the school grounds of Ateneo de Manila University, Yan YuzonÆs alma mater, where he went to for grade school, high school and collegeùand where he taught Theater Direction for three semesters at the School of Humanities. The May 1 video was filmed on-campus without actual permitsùthe one-day shoot went on under the guise of being an official student org activity. Thus far, no representative from the university has issued any sort of protest or complaint.
ôBlack Boxö is the carrier single off the upcoming album, Travel Advisory. The 3-minute upbeat dance rocker premiered on NU107 and on Hot 100.7 FM in Athens, Georgia in the United States last September 1, 2009.