Indie watch: 6 indie bands we fell in love with at Gold Soundz III

I was quite surprised when I found out that recently staged Gold Soundz III at Route 196 Katipunan was produced by two guys who are still in school: Ateneo de Manila high school student Jerome Exmundo and university dude Paolo Arciga.

Named after the eponymous song by American indie band Pavement, the annual gig targets young adults who are still developing taste for alternative music. If this were a college course, we’d call it Gigs 101. The objective: to ignite an interest in attending gigs, supporting local acts and having a good time.

With Jerome and Paolo handpicking the performers (some of them established, some just starting out), Gold Soundz has easily become a platform for people to find out about new music.

What’s also amazing about it are the diverse genres of rock ranging from folk, blues, pop, and punk. There’s always something for everyone, if certain acts don’t particularly tickle your fancy. Now on it’s third run, it looks like their plan worked.

Scroll below to hear samples from the bands that performed at Gold Soundz III.

And while you’re listening to their music, we talk to gig organizer Jerome Exmundo, who also happens to be the lead singer of Chairman Mouse.

Coconuts Manila: Besides organizing these gigs and being a full time student, what do you do to kill time?
Jerome Exmundo: I’m a typical dork. Gigs and stuff are still actually a pretty rare and special treat for me. The span of time in between gigs is usually a couple of months so I have a lot of time to kill in between them. Normally, that time is spent alone in my room, either watching anime or movies or TV series, playing video games, attempting to write songs, or occasionally reading stuff for school.

Do you have any plans of releasing an album in the near future?
Probably not in the near future. We have to build a following before we release anything. So we’re gonna stick with making new songs and gigging until everything clicks so that an EP launch would be something people would go out of their way to go to. If we launch too soon we’ll seem like a bunch of pretentious asshats.

Which artists or bands do you particularly listen to and are they big influences on your sound?
Most, if not all, of the music I listen to find a way to manifest itself in my band’s sound. When I write, I try to write like my favorite bands like Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, We Are Scientists, Arctic Monkeys, Smashing Pumpkins, Pavement and so on. My bandmates generally listen to the same stuff too so I guess it’s fair I steer our sound in that direction.

Where do you draw your music from?
Just little concepts or feelings I feel would be interesting if expanded upon. Like I’d be spaced out one day then a thought or phrase would come to me then I’d be like ‘this could be a song!’

So, you’re finally leaving high school and (hopefully) entering college. Does that excite you or the does college seem daunting?
I’m excited. The only thing that worries me though is what college I’ll end up in.

Once you do enter college, do you see yourself still organizing Gold Soundz and performing with your band?
Yeah definitely. I hope things blow up by then and that I’ll finally be able to make a real impact on the local music scene.

Will we see and hear more Gold Soundz?
Hopefully. We don’t plan on stopping it any time soon. As long as we’re young and still love music we’ll keep it going. We just hope public interest doesn’t flag.

Now, time to listen to tracks from the bands that performed at Gold Soundz III:

Perky Wasted

Fun, loud and full of energy. If you’re into punk rock, you might like them.
Member: Raj Sangalang (vocals, guitar), Ian Invencion (lead guitar), Jigo Virina (vocals, bass), Max Cinco (vocals, drums)

B.P. Valenzuela

If you’re into a more folk vibe with clever use of looping, B.P. might be your cup of tea.
Member: Solo act

Chairman Mouse

If you like the Cure, you will like this band led by organizer Jerome Exmundo.
Members: Jerome Exmundo (vocals, guitar), Yego Nepomuceno (lead guitar), Emilio Fabregas (bass), James Marco (drums)

The Strangeness

Upbeat and sometimes bluesy rock & roll. Their album is available for download here:
Members: Francis Cabal (vocals, guitar), Jayme Ancla (vocals, guitar), Bijan Gorospe (vocals, bass), Shinji Manlangit (vocals), Paolo Arciga (synths)

Imelda

Loud, fast guitars backed up by angst driven vocals.
Members: Jam Pascual (vocals), Miguel Feria (guitar), Vincci Santiago (guitar), Diego Manzano (vocals, bass), Nash Ignacio (drums)

She’s Only Sixteen

If you’re after that lo-fi rock sound, definitely check these guys out.
Members: Roberto Seña (vocals, guitar), Anjo Silvoza (bass), King Puentespina (drums), Andrew Panopio (guitar)

Photo of Jam Pascual, vocalist of Imelda, by Daryl de Veyra

MORE STORIES FROM COCONUTS MANILA:
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– Jolly Jeep #67 on Carlos Palanca Street in Makati

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