May 9, 2012

PINNED: The Nameless Heroes

Fresh from a stellar performance at the first-ever Manila Music Festival, The Nameless Heroes talks about staging a comeback this year after a long hiatus that resulted from a derailed record deal with MTV Pilipinas. The garage-punk foursome also gave  quite a stirring opinion on the state of the local rock music scene and the longstanding comparisons with British bands such as Kaiser Chiefs and The Arctic Monkeys.

What was it like playing for a festival crowd? You brought the house down with your set at this year’s Manila Music Fest!
As always, there were jitters… This was not our usual weekend gig in a bar around the metro, not our usual crowd. We’re talking about an open field with people coming from anywhere. It somehow got us hyped and anxious at the same time.

As for our set we didn’t have time for stage rehearsals or sound checks. Sarah Meier called us out, we got up the stage plugged our gear then boom! Before anyone noticed it, we’re halfway through it. We were having a hard time hearing each other and we really thought we sounded crappy and all, well the first part at least. We’re just glad that we were able to pull it off, getting some people in the groove while in the process and eventually finish the set.

Your single “Room 306” went on heavy rotation at MTV Pilipinas back in the day and some critics even called you the next big thing. So what prompted you to take a break for 4-5 years, I mean you got everything working to your advantage?
That was our heyday. We were ready for it, we tried to optimize what we had, but unfortunately MTV Philippines was shut down, marking the end of our supposed 5-year contract with them. We were young (we still are) and we also had to take care of our studies, our transition from high school to college. Throughout our so called break/hiatus we’ve also gone through some lineup changes. Original axe man Vino Dompor has migrated to the US while Beejay Esber (The Dropouts, Tether) who replaced him is currently busy with other commitments. Currently, we have Allan Mallanao from the now defunct punk/ska outfit Pepe and is the third man to take the post.

Your songs remind us of Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys and all these British bands from 2004-2007. Do you find the comparison a compliment or more of a detrimental factor to your growth as musicians? 
Well, everything has its pros and cons. Being compared to great acts would always be a compliment, the only downside to that is when people start branding you as such and they set these expectations, and when you don’t meet them they suddenly have nasty things to say about you and the things that you do. Comments, good or bad they will always be there. We find all these things around us and we try to draw inspiration from them and make the most out of it.  

Any details on a new single or an album?  
We have some unreleased tracks and we’re also trying to work on some new material, hopefully we could get a single out by this year’s second or third quarter and an album by the end of the year. (This also goes as a shout out to would-be-sponsors or would-be-management. Yihiiii!) No! We don’t want touse our folks money that’s why we’re trying to do this on our own.  

Any local artists you want to collaborate with in the future?   
 Anyone who’s down, anyone who wants to create good music…

Is Pinoy rock already dead? What is your opinion about the on-going debate between optimists and those who are disappointed with what is happening in the local rock scene now? 
No, it’s not dead; it’s more of like in a coma or a selective state… the conflict has been there and it will always be. Every individual is unique and therefore is entitled to his/her own tastes. The so called “scene” has only familiar faces, why you ask? Then we go back to that selective state as your answer, one could not help but ponder “is it the people inside that’s very unreceptive?” or “is it those people exerting too much effort trying to get in and spacing themselves out while doing so?” It almost seems like a paradox, wanted by no one but created by everyone. No one wants Pinoy Rock dead, not the pillars that our Rock and Roll forefathers built, but everyone is killing it… 

If there’s one local album you can listen to for the rest of the year, what is it?  
Eze and Osep would play any Sandwich album; Allan’s would be Greatest Hits by The Ex-Presidents Combo from 1996 while Juan prefers Bipolar from Up Dharma Down…    

What can we expect from The Nameless Heroes in the near future?  
More music!!! An EP and perhaps an album or two (if we get fortunate enough); music videos, magazine spreads, gigs, a billboard in EDSA LOL, concerts, the works… everything proper and appropriate for a band. A record deal.

The current NH lineup consists of Eze Alonzo (vocals/guitars), Allan Malanao (guitars), Osep delas Alas (bass) and Juan Pacheco (drums). Like The Nameless Heroes on Facebook. Follow them on twitter here

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