by Patrick Gallito
Out of Tune features a video format with excerpts from the full interview. For those who want to read the “full” interview (some parts may have been omitted upon the artists’ request to avoid offending sensibilities), a written transcription is also available.
“Cause I’m just a reel fixer…” Just hearing the first line to this song will make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to stop finishing it in its entirety. Awkward Dancer, a rag-tag crew originally organized in a hasty fashion as replacements for an open spot in a gig, seem to have found the golden formula to captivate the unwary listener. For a band that was formed in a span of just under a year they already have people singing the words to their songs in their live performances and (we have it on good authority) even inspired some of their audience to form their own band. Join us in the second episode of OUT OF TUNE as we further acquaint ourselves with JB, Jeremy, Cris99 and Luke (or Josh), the awkward souls that form Awkward Dancer.
(Warning: Some content, themes, and language may not be suitable for minor audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.)
(Disclaimer: This is a love project with bare minimum production by someone with hardly any editing and interviewing skills so please bear with me.)
Awkward Dancer – Interview Transcription
Out of Tune Verse II
September 23, 2023
(Note: The following writing is based on a transcription of the interview conducted last 23 September 2023 at about 10:30 o’clock in the evening at DLV Studios of Awkward Dancer.)
(Note: The interview was conducted in the English language with the occasional Cebuano and Filipino language. For purpose of catering to possible non-Filipino and non-Cebuano speaking readers, the following transcription has already been transcribed to the English language to the best of the abilities of the author.)
(Note: This is not a 100%-accurate transcription since some words are not audible or may be misheard by the author. The author also took liberties in making grammatical corrections, and omitted repetitive words and stutters, if any. However, the substance of the answers remains faithful to the original. Moreover, the author honored the request of the interviewees to omit parts of the interview that they do not wish to be published.)
(00:00:00 – intro)
(Jeremy counts 3, 2, 1 and claps)
Patrick: Good evening, everyone. We’re here in DLV, De la Victoria Music Studios. The time is, what time is it?
Jeremy: The time is 10:37.
(Sheena the resident dog of DLV barks in the background)
Patrick: You’ve heard it, it’s 10:37. We’re doing this late because the Awkward Dance, our second guest for the series, just concluded a session. And what session that was. My ears are still splitting in a good way. And, anyway, this is out of tune. This is the second of 12 bands that we’ll be inviting for this series of interviews of local artists in the Cebu indie scene. Okay, so let’s welcome Awkward Dancer. Is this dancer, right, Awkward Dancer?
Jeremy: Yes, Awkward Dancer.
Patrick: First off, let’s introduce ourselves. From the left…
JB: I’m JB, the guitars and vocals for the band.
Patrick: Before that, I failed to ask you this in the Folding Bed interview, what does JB stand for? Or is it just JB in your birth certificate? JB or…
JB: JB stands for Joseph Bernard. Joseph is from the church, the name of the church in Tabunok. Bernard is, I don’t know where my mother got it.
(Luke and Cris99 teases, “Bernard”)
Jeremy: Hi. So I’m Jeremy. I am the drummer of Awkward Dancer.
JB, Cris99 and Luke: Are you sure?
Jeremy: I don’t know. Yeah, yeah, I’m the drummer. Yes.
Patrick: Alright, next one.
Cris99: Hi, I’m Cris99. I’m the guitar, occasional vocalist of Awkward Dancer.
Luke: I’m, uh, uh, the awkwardness is starting.
Patrick: This is perfect, man, all of us are awkward.
Luke: I’m Luke, the bassist of the band.
JB: Who’s Luke, man?
Cris99: Who the f**k is Luke?
Patrick: Yeah, who’s Luke, man?
Luke: It’s my artist name.
Everyone (except Luke): Oh!
Patrick: Okay, we respect that.
Luke who is now Josh: I’m Josh, I’m Joshua. Too much information and I’m the bassist, also occasional backup singer.
Patrick: Yeah, the thing I noticed about this band is everyone sings. Is that right?
Awkward Dancer: Yeah.
Patrick: Everyone sings in Awkward Dancer. They can sing, man.
Joshua: Thank you.
00:02:57 – what’s in a name?)
Patrick: Alright, so the name Awkward Dancer, as far as I could recall, that’s not the original name. There’s a devil something. Yeah, right?
Patrick: What was that again?
JB: So our first band name was Awkward Dancer versus, er. Awkward Dancer and the Harmless Devil.
Patrick: And how did that name come up, the Awkward Dancer and the Harmless Devil? And or versus? How was that name arrived at?
Cris99: We just wanted to like make it coincide with ADHD.
Patrick: Yeah, that would have been nice.
Joshua: Maybe it was too close to home.
Patrick: Who thought up of the name Awkward Dancer and the Harmless Devil?
JB: It was trial and error. The first thing that we ever, uhm. I mean we suggested Atomic Dangerous, Atomic Destruction.
Cris99: We had a first, first, first band name, JB, Shoegazi.
JB: Yeah, I forgot about that.
Joshua: Oh f**k, oh no. Are we cutting this? Is this safe?
JB: Erwin did not approve it.
Patrick: Why does Erwin have a say in the band?
Jeremy: Because there’s already a band named Shoegazi somewhere.
Josh: We thought it’d be fun to make a play of words with Fugazi, which we really like. Fugazi.
JB: And also the shoegaze part.
Josh: And then Erwin, for context, Erwin is our close friend and sound guy. He’s our sound guru. So anything we do he throws it to Jeremy the brah.
Jeremy: What Erwin does for our band is…
Patrick: Shot out to Erwin if you’ll see this one day.
Jeremy: What he does for us is to what to improve, like, what’s the best sound for this song.
Josh: He keeps us humble.
Jeremy: I mean, he gives good advice.
Patrick: It’s really sweet to have that in a band. Okay, so when did the harmless devil get cut off from the name?
JB: After the X Roads.
(Jeremy topples the rhum bottle)
Josh: We’re safe, we’re safe.
JB: After X Roads. So that was our first gig in X Roads. Yeah, so after the gig someone was saying, “Ooh you played a good set.”
Cris99: I remember who should I say the name?
JB: I don’t know. “Ooh, you had a good set but I can’t remember your name, it’s too long.” It stuck in my mind that…
Jeremy: Cause we actually discussed about that before. The name was too long, Awkward Dancer and the Harmless Devil.
Patrick: Such a waste though because the ADHD acronym would have worked. I mean, I’d love that.
JB: We’ve got something for that.
Cris99: Yeah, we compensated by making every album ADHD.
JB: Like the first release, the Reel Fixer and Southeast Emo, it’s Awkward Dancer versus Highschool Drama Club. So it’s still ADHD.
Cris99: And the new one is gonna be called Awkward Dancer versus Heartfelt Destruction.
Jeremy: It’s gonna be so emo.
(00:06:54 – how it started)
Patrick: Let’s talk about how this band got started? How was this band formed?
Josh: How did it start, Joseph?
Patrick: Yeah, Joseph, tell us. Bernard. Come on, Luke, help him.
JB: It was during Vulgar Noble. I talked to brah that I really wanted to have a band cause he’s been with Zsh already. He’s the current drummer of Zsh before.
Jeremy: Actually, session.
Patrick: Yeah, because I remember you had a different drummer.
JB: So I told brah that this is gonna be the direction that I want. I suggested Hum before because I think one of the DJ’s there played Stars. This is a very nice band. After that it was just a yes and no, yes and no. After that, I really liked Idles. Niño Olayvar organized and Idles night gig. So cause I really liked Idles I suggested to have a band in that cover night. First band was Wujing Balasquist, which was also my band. And then there was a conflict between schedules, the drummer and one of our guitarists, we had a conflict of schedules. I already agreed to Niño that we’re gonna play. So as a replacement, since we’ve been talking in the pandemic, like we’re gonna have a project but we don’t know what project. Like we used to talk, like what, we’re gonna play acoustic and you’re (Cris99) gonna play country, like that stuff. During pandemic we talked a lot – pedals, music. So I invited Crisniño to play guitar. I guess you (Cris99) have no idea about Idles that time, right?
Cris99: No. At that time, I already listened to Idles.
JB: And then brah was the only option cause he’s one of the few drummers here that can play without practice, with a short notice of time.
Patrick: I could attest to that.
Jeremy: To add to that, I wasn’t familiar with Idles. I’m not familiar with the band, man. I was researching. And when he recruited me I was like, okay, let’s listen to this band and I kind of like grew into it. And after a few hours of listening so, yeah.
Patrick: So, if I got it right, this band started with Crisniño and you first?
JB: Then I couldn’t think of a bassist so I was looking at the lineup. Since Ala Akhbar was there, I was thinking, “I’m gonna try Josh.”
Josh: I stood out so much because I was so damn pale.
JB: He’s there already. He’s in the gig already.
Patrick: You know what? Let me just cut you. If you’re gonna make a music video for Dark Black put him. There would be contrast. Put him in the nude, man. Anyway, let’s get back on track.
JB and Cris99: Yeah!
JB: Good suggestion, man.
Patrick: Anyway, let’s get back on track. So you were looking for a bassist and Joshua was playing in Ala Akhbar…
JB: So that’s when I made a GC and suggested that we’re gonna play Idles night. There’s another GC for the songs. Our first option was Colossus, Never Fight a Man with a Perm. All the songs was taken out already.
Patrick: Yeah, I told Louell, the Beachland Ballroom, I said, “Louell, give it to them.” But you have to understand we have very limited range.
Josh: And it was a great gig.
Patrick: Anyway, let’s go back.
JB: I was okay with anything as long as we could play Car Crash because it’s one of the songs that helped me during the pandemic a couple of times. So I suggested songs from the new album, Crawl. Then we practiced. We met only once, right?
Patrick: For that gig?
Cris99: Yeah, in his house.
Patrick: You practiced one time for that gig and I saw you guys played and it was really good.
Josh: And I was a stranger to these guys.
(JB, Jeremy, and Cris99 agrees)
Jeremy: I’ll speak for everyone. We were complete strangers.
Josh: Awkard dancers.
Jeremy: That’s why we call ourselves Awkward Dancers because we were complete strangers to each other. I don’t know this (Cris99) guy, I don’t know this (Josh)guy. I mean I know this (JB) guy but as an acquaintance.
Cris99: May I cut in? Do you (Jeremey) want to tell the story on how we first met?
Patrick: Go ahead.
JB: It was Tea Party, brah.
Jeremy: It wasn’t the first time we met, but I saw you. My first encounter with you, it was at the Tea Party.
Cris99: For context, Tea Party was a gig that JB organized.
Patrick: Oh, I was thinking tea and crumpets, and all the British stuff. With the mad hatter and all.
Josh: I’m a bit disappointed.
JB: It was Tea Party, in Talisay.
Jeremy: And I saw this (Cris99) guy moshing on his own without anyone, like, he was alone. He was basically moshing alone, like awkwardly moshing on his own. I was like, “Oh, dude, what’s wrong with him?”
Josh: Awkward dancing in its prime.
JB: I remember Bobbi told me, “He’s on Berocca.”
Patrick: I also saw Crisniño in one of the gigs, he also moshes like that. I really appreciated that because it’s rare to find someone that is not conscious about how he appears to the crowd. This speaks also true to you (Josh) because I also notice you being that guy. Yeah, I appreciate people who go to gigs and do this, like, “f**k you, I’m gonna do what I want.”
JB: Oh! We can say, “f**k you.”
Cris99: Yeah, we can curse.
Jeremy: I was really impressed with him. I didn’t know him.
Patrick: Speaking of which, we got a third guy. Clai clai. You can’t see him in the camera but he is there. Clai clai is here. I think this guy doesn’t need an introduction. Anyway, let’s go back.
(In the background – Claiclai: F**k, f**k, f**k.)
JB: Yeah, so we practiced like only once.
Jeremy: That was three hours, four?
Patrick: Man, three hours or even four is not enough for other people, but you guys made that work.
JB: We scheduled another practice before the gig, but I was so drunk.
Josh: It was so good. We went to Movans after.
Cris99: Just for everybody’s context, the words “I was too drunk” will be recurring a lot in this video.
JB: I still remember Folding Bed was also scheduled for a photo shoot and then after the photoshoot we were going to have a practice for the Idles night but all of those canceled because I was so drunk. I was late for our Halloween party.
Patrick: For the context of the viewers, the Awkward Dancer has a punishment system for anyone who messes up the gig or comes late to practice. So it’s either a** or cash. So JB saying he messed up that gig so I don’t want to see his nether regions.
JB: I paid.
Patrick: Okay, so it’s cash.
Josh: He paid with his a**.
JB: So we played Idles night then after the gig we moved to Sol’s. Again we were too drunk. There were so many people at Sol’s.
Patrick: So that goes without saying that you guys really know your s**t given that you only practiced one time and you pulled that off.
Josh: What I want to point out is that I lost my s**t literally when they invited me to play with them because I know JB from his previous band, Zsh. It blew my mind.
Patrick: To those people who don’t know, he (JB) is from Zsh, Highway Seven Circus, Folding Bed, now this, and also Kubra Commander. So I’ll be interviewing this guy a lot.
Cris99: You whore.
Josh: So I have so much praise for these guys because I just catch up to whatever skills that I may have. So I was like sweating bullets. I got to practice out of my mind because, you know, I’m playing with highball players. So that was great.
(00:17:55 – creative direction)
Patrick: What did you envision, the direction of this band, when you formed it?
JB: After the talk that we’re gonna make this serious, not everybody was on board. Like, brah, you need to say that?
Jeremy: When I was recruited in this band, I was skeptical because I had experiences before that I got into a band, it was sketchy. It was, you know, I wasn’t sure if this band is going to go anywhere. I was like, okay, let’s try this. Because I had a band before where I was recruited as a drummer, it didn’t go well, I was disappointed. I had to leave. Because why would I waste my time with this band. I was with the Spirals before, I had a great time.
Patrick: For those of you who don’t know, Brah here, I think, I mean all of these four persons here are in different groups, different bands, but brah here is a legend.
Jeremy: Going back to what I was talking about getting into this band, I was very skeptical because I don’t know these people. When I got to know them during practice I was like, “you (Cris99) don’t know chords, “you (Josh) don’t know notes.”
Josh: I don’t know fundamentals, dude.
Patrick: High five (with Josh).
Jeremy: They don’t know chord progressions.
JB: We don’t know s**t.
Jeremy: I was like, “what did I just get myself into.” So I was like, you know what, let’s see where this goes. So I just tested it out. Because they still have the idea of how to read tabs. I still had some hopes. I wanted to make this band grow because somehow when we create music it just works. So that’s why here in this band,
Patrick: When was this band started?
JB and Josh: December.
Patrick: 2022? So it’s still under a year and these guys are making waves.
Jeremy: So I have right now hopes for this band.
JB: As for musical direction, our first plan was to do something like Idles. Since Brah mentioned it like we don’t know chords, we don’t know shit, we’re going to be effects based. Except that we’re not going to use our delay in oscillation. That was our agreement. No oscillation.
Patrick: Oscillation is off the table, guys, for Awkard Dancer.
JB: We were thinking, check out this band, pop. Then check out this band. And since we don’t have any material, then Brah joined the company, we’ve been workmates, I think it was November. We jammed. I gave them the riffs to our first song. It was very doom.
Patrick: What song was this?
JB and Cris99: Sins of our sins.
Patrick: This was the first song that was created by this band and it’s not the single that was first released, right?
JB: The three of us jammed.
Jeremy: We made the song while we were drinking.
Cris99: Again. We were too drunk.
Jeremy: While were drinking and we jammed it and it was like, what the hell, this is good.
Josh: It was in the karaoke, Antoques.
Patrick: I’m confused. How do you create a song in a karaoke, in Antoques? Did you bring an acoustic guitar? You sang it acapella and everything?
Jeremy: Acapella and I did this (drumming) in my lap.
JB: The idea was that we’re gonna sing Christ ninins, Christ ninins, just to make fun of him (Cris99).
Cris99: We were also going to make fun of him (Jeremy). Jeremy the brah, Jeremy the brah.
JB: It sounded like duh-duh-dun duh-duh-dun, duh-duh-dun, Jeremy the brah. Then go to the next part, Chrst ninins, Christ ninins. That was the first song.
Patrick: You know when you release your album you should record this idea, the Christ Ninin, Jeremy the brah as a bonus track or something.
Josh: Yeah, we should. Hidden track.
Jeremy: I mean, it’s already recorded, but we decided to make something else for that in the future.
(00:25:13 – creative process)
Patrick: Moving on. I understand that the four of you have different influences, right? I mean, that’s clear, I know Brah, I know him. So how does this work when you make the music? So it’s free for all? Like, I make this, I start with this I give it to you, it’s up to you?
Patrick: How do you do it? How do you start?
JB: After the first song, that was very heavy, and We Don’t Know Sliver, we already got two songs. And then we decided that this stuff won’t sell. No one will appreciate this. Only ourselves are going to enjoy it. We were recording that time, the two songs, in my house, then Crisniño jokingly, so this is the process of how we make songs, jokingly made a riff. Like he was speaking in Tagalog, “how to make a shoegaze song.” First…
Cris99: I was speaking in Tagalog. I was explaining the process of how to make the basic of a shoegaze song. So you put, like, your fuzz or your distortion of choice after your reverb or delay, whatever you want. And then so I was like jokingly doing like a Major 7th chord because that’s the usual chord you see like everybody’s shoegaze ballad. So I started playing it and then we started thinking that this actually sounds good.
Patrick: Which song was it?
JB: Reel Fixer. And then in terms of making music, that’s how we’re going to make music. It started with an idea then I’ll chip in, he’ll chip in, it’s for everybody. No one should be left behind. Everyone has a say in it.
Patrick: In terms of initiating a song, this is free for all, everyone can give an idea?
Josh: We pitch in with the lyrics, how the sound goes. And that’s the fun part because we don’t pressure anyone. We say, “that’s wrong” we don’t want to make it weird. Make everything comfortable for everybody.
Patrick: That works because every song that comes out you can say that this is Awkward Dancer. This is not a Joshua, this is not a JB, this is not a Cris99, this is not a Jeremy thing.
Josh: Because I believe we’re like making it comfortable for everyone when we make the songs.
JB: As per agreement, we were going to play it as simple as we could.
(00:28:02 – go to place)
Patrick: In terms of songwriting, practicing, where do you usually go?
JB: In my house. In Tabunok.
Patrick: You’re (Jeremy) from V. Rama, you’re (Cris99) from Tisa, you’re (Josh) from Guadalupe, so it’s not too much of a hassle for you to travel south to do this?
Jeremy: As long as it’s scheduled because we all have our schedules
Patrick: For everyone who don’t know, these three guys, Cris99, Jeremy, JB, work in the same company. Let’s not name companies, but they work in the same workplace.
(00:28:50 – reel fixer)
JB: Fun fact, Reel Fixer was an account in our company. We cannot mention the name, it’s called something like that.
Patrick: You heard it first here, man.
Jeremy: So we’re not going to disclose that.
Patrick: So Reel Fixer is an account for the company?
Jeremy: It’s not the real name.
JB: Because I asked our senior manager, “could we use it?”, she answered me, “you’re going to get terminated.” And then so we decided to change to “reel.”
Patrick: Because the first time I heard of this song it was the music video. It was shared everywhere. Reel fixer, like the video, so “who’s fixing the videos here?” Since we’re on the topic, when we talk about Awkward Dancer this song is what comes to mind, how was this song made and what is this all about?
Cris99: So the full title of Reel Fixer is Reel Fixer (Pasteurized Milk). Because when I started working for the account, I got really sick. I had lacerations on my kidney, my bladder. My doctor advised me to avoid any other drinks aside from water and pasteurized milk.
Jeremy: That’s true. It happened.
Patrick: We learned that the title is from an account, but other than that does it have a significant meaning, the Real Fixer name.
Cris99: Me and JB would talk a lot about Air Supply because Air Supply is a big factor of Awkward Dancer.
Patrick: You love or hate Air Supply.
Cris99: We love Air Supply. We love Air Supply to death. And we wanted to incorporate that melancholic love element into the song. So JB wrote the beautiful lyrics to Reel Fixer and everything’s history.
Patrick: The lyrics is self-explanatory I guess, but anyway, let’s just hear it from you guys, what is Reel Fixer about.
JB: It’s just nothing.
Patrick: I don’t believe you.
JB: During the time we wrote the song it was in my house again so again we decided to make something that can connect. So we were really laughing at those bands, I don’t want to mention names, songs coming from a heartbreak so we decided, “this should be our ticket. Let’s make a heartbreak song.” We were just making fun in writing,
Josh: And then it got real.
Patrick: So on record, these guys, according to JB, doesn’t mean anything, so let’s just take his word for it. See the facial expression of Cris99 will tell you everything.
(00:32:44 – out-of-band activities?)
Patrick: Outside of the band activity, the practicing and everything, do you guys hang out or anything?
Cris99: We hang out too much.
Josh: Well, these three hang out because they work in the same job. I have to catch up during band practice after their work and it’s sometimes hard for me because they’re night shift. But when I get there all that problem goes away. It becomes a party. I can’t express it enough. Sometimes I’m too tired, we practice on a Sunday, I have to work on a Monday.
Patrick: Alcohol is like the middle ground.
Josh: It’s middle ground, but when I get there it’s all party, it’s real fun. And when the creating music part happens, I don’t get nervous. I’m not really a good musician.
Josh: Shut up!
Cris99: You sonofagun. You bass-playing sonofagun.
Josh: But you see that’s what I mean. It’s that comfortable between us that we can say stuff like that. And I really appreciate that.
Patrick: I was in the studio earlier, these guys they’re practicing. You could really feel it. Everyone’s comfortable with what they’re doing.
Josh: And I really appreciate that because they’re okay with me being, because to be honest I really do need work with fundamentals and I’m trying, but these guys are really open and cooperative with me.
Patrick: Since we’re on the topic, how many a** or cash have you?
Josh: I lost count. I got a pretty face so, you know, it’s a lot of cash, if you know what I mean.
(00:34:32 – current listens)
Patrick: Okay, let’s talk about current listens. JB, what were you listening to again. Last time you said you were listening to the most recent Kubra commander album, is it still, did it change over the how many days? Five?
JB: I listen to Kubra Commander and after I get bored with it I jumped to Hum, to Title Fight, then to Air Supply again. Like it’s just a cycle.
Patrick: Brah, what have you been listening to?
Jeremy: Still the same thing. I listen to ska, mostly. And then I just recently found an artist named Boy With Uke. It’s kind of like Twenty-one Pilots. I got hooked into it. And I started trying to come up with something else because I write songs. Then I went back to Blink because they’re releasing One More Time.
Patrick: Cris99, your current listens.
Cris99: Currently I’ve been listening to Big D and the Kids Table, thanks to Brah. It’s a ska band. Strictly Rude is a great album if you want to check that out. There’s another band called Big D so you need to specify. It’s ska. A lot of the songs are not necessarily ska, but they’re really good songs. And it really opened my mind to how ska punk is like generalized in this sort of bubble. They sort of break that bubble and it’s really good. They make a really good album.
Jeremy: Sometimes they tend to go to jazz.
Cris99: Yes, exactly. Other than that, I listen to the same other stuff. Air Supply, listening to a lot of At the Drive-In. I’m a huge Omar Rodriguez Lopez fan. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
JB: He’s a copycat of Omar.
Patrick: Josh, what have you been listening to recently?
Josh: Well, I really love Idles considering the band Idles is having a concert in December. I’m trying to go there if the funds are due. I also like Squid who’s also going to be there. It just so happens JB likes Hum, I just recently heard that band and I love it. I’m like this is great, I love what he likes. Jeremy likes Wet Leg, I like Wet Leg. This (Cris99) guys is a doomer, he likes doom stuff…
Patrick: So basically you’ve been feeding off the music that they’ve been listenting to also.
Josh: Yeah, totally. Because I like, because usually the music I like are the music I like 8 years ago.
Patrick: And what are those?
Josh: Chevelle or Tool. I love tool.
JB: We all agreed in System of a Down.
Josh: System of a Down is the best. It’s classic.
Jeremy: We all agree on Deftones.
Patrick: When I arrived here in DLV, just for context, when I stepped outside the car, what I heard blasting was My Own Summer (Shuvit). These guys were covering it.
(00:38:48 – defining the sound)
Patrick: Okay, when we talk about the sound, how do you define it, the sound that Awkward Dancer makes?
Cris99: That’s actually hard. I guess if we’re going to be generic, if we’ll generalize the terms, like definitions of the songs, I guess we would fall under the term of shoegaze, emo-ish…
Cris99: Grungy-stuff. Like with Hum and Failure. Like with the grungy shoegaze thing that they were doing at that time, I think that’s what we’re trying to go for but with our own twist since we have our own unique takes on it. Like with JB he has his own takes on the riffs. Brah has his way that he conveys with the drums. Josh has this real subtle way of, especially playing live, I’m really impressed the way how Josh improvises on the bass.
Patrick: I’m loving the energy too when I see this (Josh) guy. I mean all of you. This is what I realized just now, this is what I love about you four because you’re into it. It shows when you’re live. You’re really loving what you’re doing.
JB: We should really be playing better live because it’s either a** or cash.
Josh: Oh no!
Jeremy: We should play better.
(00:40:33 – gear talk)
Patrick: Let’s now talk about gear. Are you guys that picky about the instruments you’re playing, what you’re using, the drumsticks, whatever, the pick?
JB: Me, yes. I tend to pick and understand every gear that I use. Every band that I’ve been too, I have different gears for every band. Like for this, I use this exclusively for Folding Bed. It came to the point that I was addicted with fuzz and then realized that pedals is not the only factor on how you will sound good. Amplifiers is 70% of it, that’s for me. For me, in terms of gear, what I want is just a loud amp with huge headroom.
Patrick: Because I remembered when we went to Manila for the Shoegaze Fest, you had that Teisco, the pink one, the one you were using currently. I mean, you talked about that it was being repaired or something. So right now that’s like your go-to guitar?
JB: Yes. Because of the pick-ups. Single coil microphonic. It’s so noisy.
Patrick: Cris99, how about the guitar you’re using?
Cris99: I’m currently using a strat that I heavily modified with Ernest. Shout out to Ernest Diño, Retaso, Spirals, Retaso Guitars, Retaso Media.
JB and Cris99: One of Cebu’s best.
Cris99: If you need any help with your gear go to Ernest. Don’t even second guess.
Patrick: You know what? We’re in the same band but I hardly could let him do work for my things because he’s really busy. A lot of artists, a lot of people in the bands are asking him to do things for their instruments.
Josh: That says a lot about him.
Patrick: God bless you, Ernest.
Cris99: Yeah, I’m using a Squier Stratocaster that I got from Joel from Folding Bed as a gift and it used to have the typical all single coil setup that Stratocasters have, but I really didn’t like it that much. So I bought like a bunch of stack P90’s, so stacked P90’s mean that there are two P90’s in one pickup. It’s like a humbucker so I put them in like a 90-degree angle position. I was trying to be like Deerhoof, remember Deerhoof? You know how like Jimi Hendrix plays his guitar backwards? So the pick-ups are like going like this, so I put all my pick-ups like that. And the neck pick-up is just the full two pick-ups on and the bridge pick-up is just one of the pick-ups on, it’s split all the way.
Patrick: So this one has a split selector?
Cris99: No. Just the bridge pick-up is split. Because I prefer the sound of single coil on the bridge and I had Ernest choose the pickguard style. He makes really sick pickguards.
Patrick: He even makes his own guitar. Damn that man.
Josh: It’s crazy. His paint finish is insane and he will never tell me the secret. He just keeps saying, “No, I just keep painting.” Sure, you do. What sandpaper are you using? What grit?
Patrick: Whose virgin blood did you sacrifice?
Josh: How many babies did you kill to make your goddamn color?
Patrick: Okay, Josh, how about sound in your bass, nothing in particular?
Josh: I just use a Polytune tuner. As long as you tune your guitar everything is fine. But to be honest, all jokes aside, I learned a lot from Erwin.
JB and Josh: Shout out to Erwin.
Josh: He taught me a lot about mixing with the sound. Maybe for some musicians it’s very basic, but for me I was mindblown.
Patrick: I don’t even know anything about this.
Josh: Same as me and I really appreciated it. And then JB shows me videos about some preferable compressors and fuzz.
Patrick: So right now you’re using compressor on your setup?
Josh: I’m using a compressor, currently. It’s a second-hand, it’s from Rapi, bassist from The Pervs. And I really appreciate it because if the amp gets compromised I could just use that and it just blows my mind.
Cris99: It’s not just any compressor, tell them what it is.
Josh: It’s a Karaoke…
JB: Devi Ever.
Cris 99: Devi Ever. If you’re into pedals that name is gonna ring a bell.
JB: Female builder.
Josh: I’m like Frodo receiving the sword Sting from the Lord of the Rings and I don’t know what it does.
Cris99: Quick interjection, my main fuzz is a Hizumitas Clone from Moonlight Pedal Builds. It’s a gift from my fiancée, shout out. Thank you. I don’t know how it came to be, but it became my sound for Awkward Dancer.
JB: What the f**k, “I love you”?
Josh: Cheezy, Crisnins.
(00:46:24 – bring your own amps. yay or nay?)
Patrick: What is your stand on making it a common practice or making it a norm for people to bring their own amps at the gig? I’m asking you (JB) this because you are so particular with your amp.
JB: That should be the standard.
Patrick: Because I remember one of the gigs we played in Manila everyone was bringing their own amp. So that was something. Even drummers bring their own… At that time, Neb was even trying his best to find cymbals he could borrow because it turned out that they’re not even providing, I mean only the basic… So that should be a norm, bringing their own stuff, right?
JB: Because you’re going to be presenting your sound so you should perform with all your…
(00:47:24 – most memorable experience)
Patrick: Now let’s talk about the most memorable experience for this band.
Josh: Oh my God.
Cris99 and JB: There’s too many.
Patrick: If you have to pick one.
Josh: I have one, I have one.
Jeremy: I would definitely say that the most memorable would be like our first gig, which was the Idles night because in that night I had no idea what I was going into.
Josh: I enjoyed it.
Jeremy: That’s for me because it’s considered as our first gig. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into and I thought it was a one-time thing. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed playing Idles’ songs even though I don’t know them, I’m not familiar with the band. But I enjoyed it, that’s for me.
Cris99: You know what was memorable for me, for that gig? Because three weeks before that, that was the first when we had our real conversation. We talked about cigarettes for three hours.
Jeremy: That was a time when weeks before the gig where we played Zsh in Handuraw Mango and then…
Patrick: Yeah, R.I.P., Handuraw Mango.
Jeremy: JB introduced me to Cris99, who was a complete stranger at that time. He was asking for a lighter and I just gave him a matchbox.
Patrick: Rizal or Commando?
Jeremy and Cris99: Commando.
Josh: Good question.
Jeremy: That was a Commando matchbox and I explained to him that I lost my lighter. That was the first time I had a conversation with him. But still he was a complete stranger to me.
Patrick: How about you guys, was that it?
JB: For me it was Flew Over Kukuk’s. It was my first time that I saw people seeing singing our songs, random people.
Patrick: I don’t know if you guys noticed because when you’re playing you sometimes fail to see what’s going on, but I knew that people were signing your song. You guys might not see this but I heard people singing your song.
Josh: I was surprised.
Jeremy: We were surprised.
Patrick: How about you, do you agree, was it the first time you played, the Idles night, the Kukuk’s gig?
Josh: I agree, but for me, personally, it was when we started opening up with each other.
JB: What the f**k?
Josh: It sounds, listen, listen, it’s cornballs, it’s cornballs, it’s cornballs. That’s the timeline. I believe, for me, that was the most memorable because I still remember to this day when each of us started opening up with each other with whatever problems we had and we referenced it to the songwriting of the songs that we made. I believe that was very crucial with the songs, and the identity. Aside from just helping each other it kind of made more of a safe space. We saw the vulnerability with each other and we got comfortable with it. I don’t know, it’s so corny.
Patrick: Don’t cry, Josh. What about you Cris99?
Cris99: My most memorable experience was La Madera. La Madera was when everything went wrong. Everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong. My sixth string broke, most crucial string. The lowest string broke. My pedals weren’t working. I didn’t know what to do. It was a real eye-opener for me. Prepare for the worst.
JB: I still remember your strap went off, the guitar…
Cris99: It hit my head. The headstock hit my head.
Josh: Bonk. And everyone in the crowd felt it.
Cris99: And that’s when I knew that everybody needs to have a bad gig because you need to prepare. Because you could only play your best when you’re at your worst.
Patrick: Okay, back to you (JB), you were saying again. So you’re taking back Kukuk’s gig because you want to change your answer, what’s this?
JB: Yes. There was a time when we were going to play a gig in Tabs. Because we only met a few times during gigs, we don’t meet very often. We practiced and he was having problems, personal problems. He was crying in my house. And everyone was, “should we play the gig?”, “who should talk to Crisniño?” We were lining up, “you go first, you talk to him.” Then we go back. “Okay, let’s do it, I’ll talk to him.” And we’re lining again and then Godo was there.
Patrick: Shout out, Godo.
Josh: He is our friend.
Cris99: Godo is our manager.
JB: Godo was saying in Cebuano, “Work or I’ll smack you!” (Trabaho, sagpaon tika run!) After the problem we talked like we will practice only one cycle. We would run this one time. If you commit a mistake, then we will not play the gig. We practiced and the practice was good, then we played the gig. Also, that time, Brah was so drunk, we left him in the car.
Cris99: We did, we did.
Patrick: That’s the general rule. Brah is drunk. The exception is when he is sober.
Cris99: It’s more manageable to count the times that Brah is sober than when he is drunk.
(00:56:22 – worst experience)
Patrick: I think I asked the wrong question because I asked most memorable experience because the next one would be the worst experience. I think some of your most memorable are also the worst. But, anyway, I’m going to ask you now, what’s the worst experience for this band? Maybe you’d agree that that’s your (Cris99) equipment breaking down, the gear?
JB: Me also, in La Madera.
Cris99: La Madera because it was really an eye-opener. Made me take the whole playing live thing seriously.
JB: After that gig, we tried to bring amps in gigs. We used fuzzes and it requires a lot of headroom. Small amps can’t accommodate.
Patrick: The sound you’re looking for doesn’t come out.
Jeremy: That’s the basic problem for us at that time because we wanted our sound to sound the same on the gig as what we practiced.
Patrick: So you’re all in agreement that that was the worst, the La Madera gig?
(00:57:48 – what’s next?)
Patrick: What’s next for Awkward Dancer, what are you working on right now?
Jeremy: We are working on an album.
Josh: We’re just getting started, actually.
Jeremy: We’re actually still working on it. We still have a few more songs.
Patrick: Do you have a target date to for this, the album? What’s this an album or an EP?
Jeremy: An album.
Patrick: How many tracks are we talking about?
Patrick: Eight-track album. How far are we?
JB: We recorded eight songs already, but we decided not to include the first two songs because it will not fit the album, the concept. The first two songs are not going to fit in the album.
Patrick: This one is the sins for sins and the sliver?
Josh: Sins of our sins.
JB: We Don’t Know Sliver. For the songs, we recorded six songs already, six songs out of eight.
Patrick: So you have to add two more and you’re good?
JB: Yeah, we’re good.
Patrick: Speaking of the album where do you work on this? Is everything self-produced, self-recorded?
JB: In my house.
Josh: I guess you could say it’s self-produced.
Patrick: How do you record your drums, Brah? Where do you do that, here in DLV?
Jeremy: No, we do it with… (points somewhere)
Patrick: Jig Gy? You pointed to Jig Gy. Anyway, to those who don’t know, Jig Gy is here. Shout out to Jig Gy.
Jeremy and Cris99: Tim Williams.
Jeremy: At Capital Dreams Records.
JB: First we write drums.
Jeremy: First, I draw the drums first. Then we get to the recording for the drums in Capital Dreams then that’s my guide. Basically, my guide because I was the one drawing it. I need to keep it as simple as possible because I am not as energetic as before.
JB: One way of saying it is you’re getting old.
Patrick: Can you tell everyone listening what happened to your hand? You are now wearing this. What happened to you?
Jeremy: What this is kind of like a sprain.
Patrick: Just a sprain. Nothing to worry about. Nothing that would keep you from playing drums for Awkward Dancer.
Patrick: Because that would be a b**ch.
(01:00:57 – whose words?)
Patrick: How about the lyrics, who makes the words for the songs?
Jeremy: Everybody contributes.
Josh: I think that’s the most, not the most but one of the components there in the process.
(01:01:14 – end goal)
Patrick: Do you, guys, have a common goal or objective or is it like we’re just going with the flow? Or is there something big being planned or envisioned?
JB: Go with the flow and make fun of it.
Jeremy: We’re going to dominate the world. Kidding, kidding.
Josh: We were making fun of it then it became serious.
Jeremy: Basically, our songs at first it would not make any sense and then we try to modify it, and then it somehow makes some sense, eventually.
Josh: I find it so funny because we were making fun of it, and then all of a sudden, because I love the genre…
Jeremy: Because our first song (XXX).
Cris 99: Brah!
JB: Don’t say it!
Jeremy: Cut that.
Jeremy: Our first song, Reel Fixer, it was basically nonsense at first. And then we had to sit down and make some sense of the song. We all collaborated with how the song should be, how the song should sound and then we have Reel Fixer.
(01:02:57 – stupid questions in a box)
Patrick: We are now near at the end of the interview but first we got to do this. JB knows this. It’s called stupid questions in a box. You, guys, will pick random questions here and just answer it. JB, do the honors because you’ve been through this.
Patrick: JB, what did you get?
JB: If you’ll be reincarnated as an animal what animal would that be? So if I’m going to be reincarnated, I would be a cat.
(Sheena the dog barks loudly)
Patrick: We got an objection from the dog. Why you want to be a cat, JB?
JB: I just want to have nine lives.
Patrick: Brah, what did you get?
Jeremy: Oh my god. Yeah, I just said it. If god had a name, what would it be? Oh my goodness.
Patrick: Brah, if you’re not comfortable with the question because you’re afraid of the implications, the persona non grata, you can say ‘pass’.
Jeremy: I’m not afraid. If god had a name it would be Flabio.
Patrick: You heard that big man, your name is Flabio.
Josh: On the seventh day, his name was Flabio.
Cris99: Very dangerous question. You are given the chance to be invisible but can only do or perform one act while invisible what would you do? I need to drink.
JB: If this guy is going to be invisible, we need to protect our a**.
Patrick: Alright, Crisniño’s got the chance to be invisible but could do one thing while being invisible, what are you going to do?
Patrick: You’re going to f**k?
Cris99: No, that’s not the answer.
Josh: No, of course you will.
Patrick: If your answer is not going to be safe for public consumption we are going to bleep this out, it’s okay.
Cris99: I have the comfort of censorship.
Patrick: I’m not going to censor you if you’re going to say that you’re good for us to put this out.
Cris99: If I’m going to be real honest about it, If I was invisible I would like to listen in on what people have to say about the band and stuff.
Patrick: Wow. You’re not like JB. You know JB got that same question in the Folding Bed interview? At first he said he was going to rob a bank. But then Ian got a question that said he’s going to get a million dollars, so he (JB) is going to rob Ian. You’re really being nice, man, compared to what he’s going to do.
Jeremy: Dude, if I got that question, I would definitely say I would go to…
Cris99: No, Brah!
Patrick: Jiraiya-sama. Alright, Josh, what did you get?
Josh: The world is ending in an hour how would you spend your last moments? I’d f**k. No. It’s just so boring, dude. You know what I’d do? I’d jam with these guys.
JB: F**k you!
Josh: F**k you!
Cris99: F**k you!
Jeremy: F**k you!
Patrick: How emo are the answers of these (Cris99 and Josh) two.
(01:07:54 – near the end)
Patrick: Guys, we are now near the end, let us tell our viewers, our listeners, who want to listen to Awkward Dancer, where can they check your work, your music, whatever it is you are doing.
Cris99: If you want to check out Awkward Dancer, the best place to check us out is at Bandcamp. If you want to support your artists, want to give them the most of their hard life’s work, go to Bandcamp. But if you want to be convenient about it, I’d respect that, you can check us out at Spotify, we’re at Spotify. And if you want to listen in to your local radio, if you’re in States, you can check out Ken’s Fm.
Josh: You could check us on Facebook, on Youtube, for music videos and updates on gigs and whatever future projects we have.
Patrick: Any upcoming gigs?
JB: September 30.
Patrick: What’s on September 30 and where’s this happening?
JB: No details yet but I think it’s going to be with, I think with Kubra Commander. We also had an agreement as a band since we respect everyone’s time, we should have only one gig per month.
Patrick: That’s reasonable. All of us are working here, man. Anyway, again this is Awkward Dancer. They’re previously called Awkward Dancer and the Harmless Devil, but now they’re the Awkard Dancer. They’re no longer the harmless devils, just awkward dancers.
Jeremy: We are awkward people.Patrick: But aren’t we all? Anwyay, thank you, Awkard Dancer, JB, Brah Jeremy, Cris99, Josh, Luke, he introduced himself as Luke, I have to respect that. Thank you, guys, for being the second band to grace us. This is OUT OF TUNE. This is Clai Clai. F**k you, Clai!
Josh: Face reveal.
Patrick: Anyway, this is Out of Tune, we are out of time, we are out of questions. Thank you everyone. Jig Gy! Guys, I s**t you not, follow this guy, neo vignette – digizine, Jig Gy, did I pronounce that right? He takes f***ing good photographs.
Cris99: Yeah. Instagram, Facebook.
Patrick: Anyway, thank you, even without the consent of Paolo, thank you for letting us use DLV. Thank you, guys, thank you, everyone, and we’re going to get pissed drunk right now.