By: Darwin Fernandez | The Millennials
If you don’t like the 12 names that won on election day, then get a load instead of 14 from a band that influenced the great ska music of the Philippines.
Celebrating decades of music-making and excited for new horizons to be ventured, Put3ska couldn’t have picked a more ideal venue than the Music Museum, where they had one of their largest concerts at the height of their fame in the 1990s.
Fusing all their years together in one special evening, some of the band’s past personnel will share the stage with the present members in what promises to be an upbeat, big-band atmosphere. Throw-in perhaps a repertoire of some covers of modern ditties that will prove remarkable music like those of Put3ska’s defy timelines.
To perform are vocalists Scarlet Brown, Emelee Nicart and Mae Ylagan; drummers Brutus Lacano and Rogel de la Cruz, bassist Rommel Cruz, guitarist Arnold Morales, keyboardist Nomer de los Santos, trombone players Marvin Flores and Daniel Quianzon, saxophonist Richard Cruz and Joey de Guzman, as well as trumpeters Eldie Siochi and Ruel Cabrera.
It’s been more than two decades since the crew members were put together in a room—literally.
Fast-forward to just a few weeks back: the ever-present laughter among bandmates echoed in the event’s press conference, just like the reunion of friends.
Lacano couldn’t help but tease Brown about how much time has affected the band: “Yung dating ganito ka-taas yung talon…ngayon hanggaang dito na lang,” putting his hands together in comparison.
Regarding the concert, Brown said she felt “mixed emotions” that Put3ska is still around, but things have changed since they last performed.
“Ngayon, ni ne-nerbyos [because of] the preparations. We want it to be the best show—ever,” she explained, as the room was filled with cheers.
When the din died down, Brown went on to say: “It’s the human factor. I’m not like the Myra of 20-plus years ago.”
Feeding more of the “oohs-and-aahs” of the venue, the boys of the horn section had more of the Put3ska spirit to spare. Flores, for his part, spoke on behalf of the brass-blowers: “Yung talon, medyo mababa na,” he joked. “Pero promise namin sa inyo, mas magulo horns section ngayon, [and] mas malupit.”
True ska definition
Literally “married” to his craft, Morales was never far from the scene, as if the stage was his home, and music was his wife.
He has been raising the sound of his crew Urban Bandits nearly under the radar, along with fellow Put3ska member Dela Cruz.
He passionately spoke about Put3ska’s resurfacing, saying it’s more than just a comeback, but also a tribute to ska itself.
“Kaya kami nagpakita ulit, para i-korek na yung scene sa PIlipinas” Morales emphasized. “Gawin na naming yung standard, tutal andito na kami. I-korek na yung dapat i-korek.”
He pointed out the need to pay homage to the true definition of ska, placing it in the shoulders of the band to remind artists what pure ska sounds like.
“May problema sa eksena,” the guitarist continued. “Ano ba yung umaapekto: Yung ska sa mga Pinoy, or yung mga Pinoy ang umaapekto sa ska?” went his rhetoric.
“Kapag sinabi mong ska, dapat dala mo yung roots. Hindi mo pwedeng imbentuhin ’to ng basta-basta sa ibang genre. Pwede ka lumabas dun eh, pero sa ska, hindi pwede.”
When asked what his thoughts were on the relevance of ska to the current music taste of the Pinoys, Morales answered in a clear, crisp manner with the honesty of an artist: “Wala akong paki-alam!”
What’s in store
Like an Endgame spoiler, Morales plainly answered that after Put3ska’s night at the Music Museum, there is more to expect from them.
He also hinted about an album in the works, set to be launched before the year ends.
Opening for Put3ska are Beat Bahnhof, Japanese musicians and fans of the Filipino band. They last played in the country at the 2018 PhilSka Music Festival.