"Ang Talahib, matalim na dahon. Nakakasugat."
That was uttered by a Talahib supporter during their album launch last December at 70s Bistro. To add to the quote, "maghilom man, may markang naiiwan."
It took them a decade to release their album, "Mga Awit ng Pag-ibig at Digmaan," but according to Burn, it has been a long time coming. They've left a mark among the people they've encountered along the way that he wasn't surprised with the turnout at the launch.
"Actually hindi ako nagulat na marami. (Janis: Ako din.) Kasi maraming uhaw na mailabas yung [album]. Maraming sentiments na gustong sabihin," explained Burn.
Like many indie bands, money was the main reason for the delay of the album production, but through pledges from friends and supporters, they were able to put up enough fund to finance it. According to the band, the technicalities was the difficult part, but the songs were already there. The songs have been played many times on numerous gigs over the course of 10 years that the album has become a "compilation," said Bonjo Agustin. He added, "Naipon siya, kaya naging parang symbolic. Historical."
Still, the outpouring of support starting from pledges to the actual launch of the album was quite overwhelming for Noel Taylo.
"Sa sampung taon, ito ang naipundar na mga listeners mo. Nakakagulat at nakaka-overwhelm ang kanilang support... Hindi nasayang yung sampung taong struggle mo sa paggawa ng album."
And while they've had difficulty breaking into the mainstream music industry, in part due to the progressive nature of their songs, they harbor no ill feelings about the mass-driven popular tunes. When asked about the K-Pop phenomenon, Burn said, "Wala namang problema sa K-Pop eh. Ang objective naman ng Talahib ay i-K-Pop ang katutubo. I-popularize ang katutubo."
"K-Pop. Katutubo Pop!" Jo-nes quipped.
Watch the rest of our indiescussion below.
for more photos from the album launch.
Talahib's music blends Philippine folk music with more contemporary styles of reggae, dance and rock. All their songs are sung in the native tongue reflecting the progressive themes of their songs which talk about love and war as the title suggests, and specifically about social issues including the plight of Philippine indigenous people, the preservation of our heritage, and human rights.
The band is composed of Janis and Noel Taylo on vocals, Bonjo Agustin (vocals & rhythm guitar), Burn Belacho (lead guitar/ Bamboo Flute), Mrk Estandarte (bass), Darell Roberto (drums), Max Celada (percussions), Domeng Molina (percussions), Jo-nes de Vera (percussions), and Paw Bondoc (percussions).
"Mga Awit ng Pag-ibig at Digmaan," is available at Coconut House -Circle, Conspiracy Bar, Popular Bookstore, Bookay Ukay, Kanto Artspace, and Skinworks.