So where do you perform?
The band doesn’t have any regular gigs at the moment. Most of the time we are just invited to perform on some local productions in which also depends also on our own work schedules as usual. Productions such as Blacksheep, Roots, Rocknation, etc. event gig can be venue anywhere in Dubai depends on the production. For gig updates just check our FB page “Xalbaje”.
What makes your style unique?
If you will listen to our originals, each songs has their own distinction, you will hear classic, alternative, metal heavy riff, funky, it’s a fusion that we don’t stick to one genre like other bands. If there is one thing to stick to that is to stick to Original Pinoy Music. We also try to make the melodies as catchy as possible and most of our lyrics mostly depict OFW everyday life.
What and whom were your inspirations?
Pinoy Rock Bands who already got their names in the industry. Razorback, Asin, Imago, Eraserhead, Dong Abay most especially. He got these lyrics that struck the Filipino heart.
What distinctive experiences have you had in this field to date?
When we first played in the music room. They never expected us to play original Pinoy stuff since they’ve known us covering songs from Alanis, hole etc. the impressions just overwhelmed and the gig invitation just poured in. We never slowed down after that.
How has your style developed and/or changed over the years?
Liza is from classic rock genre while Tziz and Zandro were into Reggae alternative. Joven joined the band 2010 with much more progressive rock influence. After that we cover songs from Reggae to Grunge, played in various gigs and events and finally setup to do originals this early 2013.
How long have you been in Dubai, brought you here, and where do you come from/originate?
Liza came from Basilan, war tormented place, in which also can be seen in her lyrics. She was recruited to sing in a Filipino show band based in Abu Dhabi year 2004 and later transferred to Dubai. Zandro and Tzis are from Tarlac old time buddies. They came here 2004. Joven came from Zambales arrived in Dubai later of 2006 and joined them in 2010. We all came here for one thing and that is to get a higher paying job.
What is your impression of the Dubai scene?
We are very happy to see a fast booming underground music scene here in Dubai, you got lots of production depends on the music genre that you’re into. Metality and Storm productions were into more metal scene. You will also find talented Filipinos playing with known bands. We also got these pure Pinoy productions Roots and Blacksheep, which invites Filipino talents to show off and play their piece.
What do you hope to add to the scene?
Another imago of Asin born in Dubai? To show that there are still bands that can create quality music… Music that would stick.
Who do you admire most at present?
Liza adores Alanis Morissette, Joven loves Dong Abay
What is top of back when it comes to laying down the beats? Who’s hot?
Liza and Zandro will do first the lyrics then Joven try to put up some melodies, riffs tunes and arrangements. All in all were just trying to make the song as simple, clean and catchy as possible.
Any rising stars in the musical world you have your eyes on?
We are currently blind at these times on what was happening outside. Media is just totally broad, internet, radio, TV and lots of subdivided genre and scene, you can see dozens of talents spurring out in OPM, reggae or metal scene, unlike our days. Yes from the 90’s the source is basically simple. Simple as LA 105.9.
What advice would you give to those trying to break the scene in Dubai?
Do make your own original songs, cover songs are fine to build foundation, but everything relies on one thing, those original music that you can do.
It’s definitely not an easy ride, but do not give up, let the music keep you going on forever. Music is a great gift was not given by mistake it is given with purpose.
Finally, what can clubbers expect when attending one of your gigs – what do you most hope they take away?
We try to take the watchers away from the present and take them back to where it all started. Yes Original Pinoy Rock genre, its loud and its serious.
Interviewed by: NJ Bakr