My, my, time flies. And just like that it would be at least six years since ouija bored was written. The single written on All Hallow’s Eve that would later become the band’s introduction to the indie music scene. Gather ’round as we celebrate another year of it’s inception with the band that continues to give us hauntingly melancholic songs, cradling us into a sense of dream and escape.
In this Halloween special, we get more acquainted with Jam, Isa, Aiko and Mikee, and talk about various topics, such as how they started, what makes them do the things they do, and the representation of women in the scene.
Full Interview Transcript:
Out of Tune Verse V
bedtime television – October 28, 2023
(Note: The following writing is based on a transcription of the interview conducted last 28 October 2023 at about 6 o’clock in the evening at St. Michael’s Road, Kasambagan, Banilad, Cebu City of bedtime television.)
(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)
Patrick: Hello. This is Out of Tune – Verse V, and we have a special guest for today, tonight. Special because, first, I am a big fan of this band, also Jig Gy behind the camera.
Isa: We’re also big fans of this interview.
Patrick: Second, because this is actually the first band that is represented by the fairer of the sex because everyone so far are all men. Third, because this is a Halloween episode which explains how we look like right now. And without further ado let us welcome our guests, bedtime television.
Isa: And dogs.
Patrick: And Sparky and Zero, dogs. Hi, hello, bedtime tv. How are you?
Jam: We’re okay.
Mikee: We’re exfoliated.
Isa: We’re relaxed, moisturized.
Patrick: Meanwhile, my pores are ****ed.
Isa: Do you also want one? (Hands a facial mask)
(00:06:07 – who makes up bedtime tv and what’s in the name?)
Patrick: bedtime television, can you introduce yourselves individually?
Jam: Hello, I’m Jam. I play guitars for the band.
Isa: I’m Isa. I am the vocalist and I also play guitars.
Aiko: I’m Aiko, I play the bass.
Mikee: I’m Mikee, I play the drums.
Patrick: And there you go, bedtime television.
Isa: We’re shy.
Patrick: Aren’t we all? That’s why I need liquid courage. Anyway, let’s start. Bedtime television, how did that name become the name for the group?
Isa: It was supposed to be bedroom television and then I think people get the name wrong all the time, the ‘bedroom’. But the name ‘bedroom’ was already taken, like the band. And we don’t like to be second in Spotify. So I have a special TV, when we were shooting the music video for Ouija Bored this was like the main focus for Ouija Bored. Like television aesthetic, so that’s why it’s called bedtime television.
Patrick: Cool. For those of you who do not know this television, aside from being in the music video is also in the album cover, correct?
Isa: Yeah, here. (Points to the poster of the album cover on the wall.)
Patrick: This bed is also the bed for the same cover.
Isa: The same bedsheets, guys.
(00:07:34 – the beginnings)
Patrick: So tell us how did bedtime tv start?
Isa: Before these guys joined in, it was supposed to be me and Luigi’s project. And then Luigi got really busy with his other bands, Sepia Times and Sundown. So eventually he left. But before he left, we had a live gig lined up. At that time we weren’t expecting that we will get a gig. So were like, “oh my god, we need to get band members.” And then the first person who joined was Jam. The first person who we asked to join was Jam. And then after Jam joined we needed bassist and a drummer. The first bassist we asked was Aiko. And then we were really happy because Aiko joined. And then at that time we did not know Mikee yet. So we had a couple of sessionists. And then our sessionist at that time was busy. And then, “oh no, we have a gig in Manila and we don’t have a drummer.” And then at that time Aiko also left for a while because she had a thing outside the country. And then Mikee was following Sparky at a gig because I brought sparky at the gig. And then what happened, Mike?
Mikee: Mr. Griddle.
Isa: Mr. Griddle.
Isa: R.I.P., Mr. Griddle.
Mikee: I was concerned for Sparky because he had no leash and he was running around. I was babysitting Sparky so I met Isa.
Isa: Yeah, and that’s when she (Mikee) mentioned, “oh, I’m the drummer for Connie Reyes on Camera.” And I was like, “oh my god, drummer.”
Isa: Lightbulb. Ching! (Turns on lightbulb hanging above her head.)
Isa: So after one week, I messaged Mikee like, “hey, you want to go to Manila.” And then Mikee was like, crazy, crazy bitch. You don’t know if we will kill your or not. But she just agreed. Okay. And that was our first ever gig when Mikee was in Manila.
Patrick: Again, thank you to Sparky the dog, Mikee got introduced to the band and became their drummer.
Mikee: Yes. I was a huge fan already because I heard their song Ouija Bored. So it was a no-brainer.
Patrick: You said you needed members for a gig. So before that, before being invited to the gig, there was already the songs for bedtime television?
Isa: At that time there was only Ouija Bored and a couple of demos only. We weren’t expecting that Ouija Bored would like, you know, people would like it. And then, like, we were so shocked that people were inviting us to gigs. We didn’t really have a plan. And the songs were not even arranged yet. So because of that we had to arrange the songs.
Patrick: But who tracked the music that existed at that time?
Isa: Me and Luigi.
Patrick: So it was just a duo, basically?
Patrick: And how come it was a Manila gig?
Isa: We don’t know.
Patrick: So this thru social media? The song was published online, is that it?
Isa: Yes. Wait, the first gig was in Cebu. The first and the second. And the third one was in Manila. And at that time our sessionist, Fro from HIYB, could not go to Manila. And then Aiko, what’s the deal, Aiko? Aiko was working in somewhere outside the country for a while. Abroad. So Aiko was not there for the Manila gig, but Mikee was there. And then we had backing tracks for the bass. So sad.
Jam: Backing tracks for the bass.
Isa: And at that time Luigi already left. So Jam was the one who did all the backing tracks for the bass because Aiko wasn’t there. And then we started recording already with Jam.
Patrick: So your first gigs were just you (Isa) playing the guitars and singing, along with a backing track recorded by Luigi, and then Jam also playing the guitars, is that it?
Isa: No. We were already a full band in the first gig. We needed to find a full band for the first gig.
Jam: I think the first gig was in Draft Punk. Correct me if I’m wrong, it was the launching of Ouija Bored.
Isa: Yeah, it was the launching of Ouija Bored.
Jam: So I think it was like a bunch of sessionists. So Isa, the drummer was Fro from HIYB, Hey It’s Your Birthday. I think the bassist was Aiko.
Isa: Yeah, Aiko. Luigi was still there.
Jam: Luigi was playing guitars, then I was also playing guitars. You weren’t playing guitars.
Isa: I wasn’t playing guitars yet.
Jam: You were just singing.
Isa: Yeah, I was just singing. That was our first gig. And then Mikee came during the third gig. Third or fourth.
Jam; Mr. Griddle?
Jam: Yeah, Manila. Mow’s.
Isa: Furiosa. The first Furiosa.
Patrick: The first Furiosa or the first Shoegaze Fest?
Isa: I think the second Shoegaze Fest.
Patrick: So when you first started it, you and Luigi, the idea was Luigi will track everything and you’ll be just singing?
Isa: The idea was for me to co-produce everything. I would write the songs, and then I would put my input. Like, okay, this part will have a guitar solo and then Luigi will just execute what I wanted him to produce. It was like a collaboration. He wanted to produce it and I was the one who would come up with the idea for the song.
Patrick: Oh, I see. So you were writing these songs, arranging them also?
(00:13:37 – introduction to the band life and influences)
Patrick: Okay, let us talk about how you got into the music. How did it start? Did your parents tell you to take lessons or anything. How did it start?
Isa: I was a Celine Dion fan. So in karaoke, I would sing Celine Dion. But I do not have Celine Dion’s range, unfortunately.
Patrick: Aiko is laughing at you.
Isa: I was also an Abba fan. So Abba and Celine Dion.
Patrick: So really powerful types.
Isa: Yeah. I could not do it.
Patrick: Maybe the viewers would want to hear a rendition.
Mikee: Take a chance, take a chance.
Patrick: My Heart Will Go On. Okay, so you are a fan of these artists, Abba and Celine Dion…
Isa: Yeah. After that I had an emo phase. That’s when I learned how to play the guitar. Then I wore all black for like eight years. And then I started writing songs. At that time, I was a really big fan already of the local scene. So I went to gigs of Honeydrop, of Loop, HIYB, and you guys, The Spirals, The Pervs. And I was underaged drinking. It’s our secret. And I was so inspired because of them. I want to make my own music also. I started demoing my own songs. And then Luigis was like, “hey, you have nice songs.” That is why we worked together because they saw my demos. Doms, Dominic Dosdos of Cebu scene posted my demos on YouTube from a live performance. And that’s how I met Jam. And then it was Halloween, we played in Bedtime. These guys joined in. That’s where we are now. It’s been us ever since.
Patrick: So before even bedtime television officially existed, you were already making your own songs, you were already singing then. And then, as you said, Dominic saw these songs of yours.
Isa: And then he took a video and posted it on YouTube.
Patrick: And how old were you then?
Isa: I was underaged. I was 17. Underaged drinking.
Patrick: If you guys, don’t mind, how about you, how did you get into music, the band life? Let’s start with…
Isa: You (Jam) go first.
Jam: How I got into the music?
Patrick: I find it interesting that different people get into the scene in different ways also. Some because they grow up with friends who are already there. But this is something brave to hear coming from you (Isa) like you saw acts that you like, you went and saw this scene, these acts, and also started doing your own thing. So I want also to know how everyone here got into this.
Jam: As for music, I grew up at the time I find it annoying that my dad always plays like loud music in the morning.
Patrick: By loud, what do you mean?
Jam: Blaring loud, like component. He plays, like, I think R.E.M., then he also plays Depeche Mode. At the time I didn’t find it cool. Now I find it cool. Thank you, dad. Then I think Led Zeppelin, like that. And I think my neighbors introduced me to, it’s really weird, punk ska. They gave me a punk ska collection. The famous players then were WinAmp. So we had that phase. Then I learned guitar because I just wanted to learn it because I just saw someone in my classroom playing the guitar. So I think he taught me how to play the bass by, I guess, learning the root notes. Then from there I got to learn Green Day songs. So I learned to play bar chords.
Patrick: I think there’s a lot of us like that.
Jam: Then I think I had a phase, I think we had an Urban Dub cover band before. I think the album Influence was more of our influence. That we always play in our barangay. And then when I got into the city for college, I never planned to be in a band. And then I met Karl Lucente of Mandaue Nights and Honeydrop. I think we just Jamed a lot of Urban Dub and Franco songs in our dormitory in San Carlos. Then I think we had this dream to be in a show before in NU 107, I forgot the name of the show. You just submit an original. But when Karl made that happen, the song, NU 107 shut down. I think from there I think Karl just went to play shows as Honeydrop. And then fast forward I’m already in the scene. Then I think Honeydrop at the time, when bedtime, when Isa came in, we were on hiatus. It was an opportunity for me to have another band. I guess that’s it. I hope that was short.
Isa: Welcome to bedtime.
Patrick: I learned a lot. Aiko…
Aiko: Maybe thanks to MTV. MTV was really there. Very accessible. Of course, you can see all genres and you can see bands that can inspire you. And being in Christian school also helps. Because it exposes you to bands. You get to play in a school band and there are instruments. If you are in a Christian school, you can join activities. The instruments are accessible. And then we are encouraged to learn. I started with guitar.
Patrick: Yeah, because most bass players start with the guitar.
Aiko: I thought guitar was hard so I gave up and thought bass was easy. My dad got me a bass, a very old one. Like 80’s Fender. Very heavy.
Patrick: Wow. First instrument and already a Fender.
Aiko: And that’s when I realized bass was also very difficult. But that’s it, I just loved it.
Patrick: Bass players deserve more respect.
Aiko: And that’s it, you just get connected to people. When they know I’m a bassist they say, “want to join?”.
Patrick: Growing up, what music were you into, when you were learning the instrument?
Aiko: It’s very varied. I started with Britney Spears. Anything you find in MTV. But when I started with rock, I think I went through…
Patrick: Nu Metal, Korn, like that?
Aiko: Yeah, like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Korn, like that generation. Actually, my music preference is mixed. It just depends on the feels. I can’t say that there is a favorite. It’s really hard to say that there is a single influence.
Patrick: Most musicians that I know that there are fixed direction are those that are from musician parents, but for us, I am not sure if I am included in this generation, but the MTV generation, we are picking things, right? We have punk, we have rap metal, we have hip hop.
Jam and Isa: Mixed.
Isa: Myx Daily Top 10.
Patrick: We have N’Sync.
Isa: I used to vote in Myx, I sent text messages. Lady Gaga, Bad Romance.
Mikee: Did you send a letter?
Isa: It was just a text, I can’t afford a letter.
Patrick: Is that effective, the voting?
Isa: I don’t know.
Patrick: How about Mikee. How did you get into all of this? Drums of all instruments.
Mikee: When I was in prep, my parents enrolled me to piano lessons. While I had piano lessons, I think it was either the first or second lesson, the next room was, it was still in Salonga.
Patrick: SM or the one in…
Mikee: It was still in Raintree. The next room was drums. The teacher told my parents that I am distracted by the drums. And I really don’t like to play the piano and my sister was also on piano and they liked us to be the same. So then they said, “okay, let’s try her on the drums.” Then I really liked the drums. So I took a lesson. In high school, me and my sister formed a band, we played like Paramore kind of songs. After a while, she went to college so there was no more band and I stopped playing for many years. Until we became workmates with Bobbi.
Patrick: Hi, Bob.
Jam: Kubra Commander.
Mikee: There wasn’t any Kubra Commander, yet. I was helping him a bit to form the inspiration for Kubra Commander, helped him record the drum parts. Just little things. Then he exploded. Kubra! After that he thought he wanted to form a band like DIIV, what do you call that genre? Like that. So we formed Connie Reyes. Then I chased Sparky around and I got into bedtime television.
Isa: Now you’re wearing a facemask.
Mikee: And that’s it.
Patrick: I remember a conversation I had with Ernest, you also played with The Pervs.
Mikee: Oh yeah. Oh my god, I forgot.
Patrick: When was this? When did you play with The Pervs?
Mikee: Before, I think I was first year college at that time. I forgot about it. I don’t know how that happened. I think Dama De Noche in UP before were looking for a girl drummer. I don’t know, maybe there were common friends, and they let me joined. And then I ghosted them. I’m sorry. After that, Ernest and the group were looking for a drummer, I think The Pervs was just starting at the time. So that’s it. They asked me and I said ‘yes’ because I also loved punk rock.
Patrick: How about influences what did you grow up listening to?
Mikee: Same (with Aiko). I also listened to Britney. The same, MTV. I remember the videos playing on repeat of Crazy by Britney, Evil by Interpol, what was that song by Rasmus, it was playing on repeat in MTV.
Patrick: They made an impression…
Mikee: Yeah, they made an impression. It was real rock music. I started listening to Arctic Monkeys, the first one that is not really a mainstream band. I felt really cool at the time.
Patrick: Their drum lines are really good.
Mikee: Very. In general, Arctic was really different. So it was because of Arctic that I started searching for other bands to listen to. All genres are nice.
Patrick: Okay, since the sound of bedtime television when it started came from Isa, what’s the influence there? What were you thinking when you made these songs?
Isa: I don’t know, I was just thinking that the sound of bedtime is the sound I wished existed. That there will be a band that will make these kinds of songs. It’s dream pop but like sad, melancholic, and that market is not that prevalent. Like female, like Flatsound, very niche bands. But I realized that there was not that specific sound that is our sound. So what if I will make this sound so I can fulfill the itch on my brain? I can’t find a band that sounds like this. I’ll make that band.
Patrick: But aside from Celine Dion and Abba, let’s go to the closer to the music you are doing now, what have you been listening to?
Isa: So my recent listens are also dream pop bands. Also very new and very internet-centric and most of them are formulations from the internet. There was a trend in the early 2015, 2016, there would be YouTube channels that would upload dream pop compilations and from there I found bands like No Vacation, what I said earlier, Flatsound, up to presently, Megumi Acorda. Yes, love you, guys! What else? There’s this band called Eerie Summer, I love them also. The band called Varsity. They’re one of the biggest influences for me. Mars Argo. And who else am I forgetting. But those are it. That era of the internet, like that was what heavily shaped me. I also still listen to Alvvays. They released new music. Fazerdaze, also. Those are them. Day Wave. Also inspired Connie Reyes.
(00:30:46 – what’s with the sound and the creative process)
Patrick: Listening to bedtime television, there’s this trend, like there’s a vocal processor in some songs, there’s also effects on the drums, whose idea was this, was this already yours (Isa) when you started this?
Isa: It was by accident.
Jam: You mean live?
Patrick: On live, I mean.
Jam: I think it was an accident because we were like what if we put the microphone in a guitar effects pedal chain. And we were like, “oh, this sounds cool.” And I guess we were, we are broke so we know vocal processors are like 20k. And we were like what if we run it into the guitar effects. Because we have a spare analog guitar delay pedal. So run it there. I think we have iterations of like, versions of our rigs, right? I think at first it was just the guitar pedal going to the mixer until we have our…
Isa: Yeah, we upgraded slowly. It was a delay and now we have an EQ pedal, then a booster. And now we have our own mixer. But it still kind of sounds the same.
Jam: Yeah, it’s just for our own benefit, so we can be effective.
Isa: And for the drums, we had a toy keyboard. At the time we didn’t have a drum set so all our drums are fake drums, so just MIDI. And then our MIDI broke for a while. So we used the toy keyboard. We plugged the toy keyboard into the delay and it sounded so good. So we recorded it. And then now when we play it live we play it through a backing track. And then Mikee plays along the backing track. That’s how we get the delay effect.
Jam: For context, the toy keyboard has a drum part, you can just press kick and snare.
Isa: It’s still alive.
Patrick: And the new songs that are soon to be recorded does this carry the same pattern of the effects?
Isa: We’ll find out when we record them. We have not recorded yet.
Patrick: But the songs are already there?
Isa: Yeah, they’re all there. We have a track list already for the album.
Jam: We played most of them live.
Isa: When we record, we just end up talking. And then it takes us three hours to order food and our drinks. And we’re like, “uh, it’s already more than three hours, let’s just not do anything. Let’s just watch a movie” and then, “uh, so tired, let’s just go home.”
Patrick: Talk us through how are the songs for bedtime television made? How does it start? Is it free for all, anyone can do this?
Isa: It starts with me. I just write it with the guitar, the melodies, and vocals. And I would like, “hey, guys, I think this one is nice.” Then I try adding effects – the delay, the reverb. And then I bring it to them, and we meet up. Mostly, it’s me, Mikee, and Jam. And then we start arranging the drums and the guitar. And since Aiko is very busy, we send the recording to Aiko.
Isa: So that’s it. We arrange it and put the voice memos, and make the lines.
Patrick: So you don’t necessarily have to meet. You just send each other recordings, like that?
Isa: Just for the first demo. But after like we put the arrangement, we always meet.
Patrick: And where do you do this?
Isa: At Mikee’s house.
Mikee: It’s the only play with a drum set.
Isa: She finally bought one.
Mikee: No. Sorry, neighbors.
Patrick: How are the neighbors?
Mikee: I think they’re okay.
Isa: Our time limit is 7 p.m.
Jam: They have a louder neighbor so…
Mikee: There is a furniture manufacturing. Shout out to the furniture manufacturer, you are so noisy every day.
Isa: We call it dentistcore, it’s like a drill.
Patrick: So there’s no reason for you to be ashamed of going beyond 7 p.m.
Mikee: There are boarders.
Patrick: How about the recording, do you just do it there at home?
Isa: My bedroom in the other apartment. We have an apartment just near here. That’s where we do it because I also have strict family. We always fight. Hi, family.
Patrick: So many shout outs. I’m still waiting for Aiko to make a shout out.
Isa: Please stop fighting, guys. Yeah, we record there.
Patrick: The families are fighting because there is a rockstar…
Isa: The family is under attack.
Patrick: Is it thru an audio interface when you record?
Jam and Isa: Yeah.
Patrick: You said that you already have songs written, how do you plan to record this? The same way, DIY? No plan on going to a studio?
Isa: We can’t afford.
Patrick: How about the drum tracks, how do you do that?
Isa: For now, we are going to try the same, the MIDI way.
Jam: The same process.
Isa: And if we find that we’ll need real drums, that’s when we’ll make the decision to book a studio or go to Mikee’s house and fix her drum set.
Mikee: Before seven.
Isa: Yeah, before seven.
Patrick: Before seven, so it’s okay 4 a.m., 3 a.m.
Mikee: We aren’t asleep yet at that time.
Patrick: How often do you guys meet for band-related matters?
Isa: Before it used to be more often, but they work so everyone is so busy. Before it used to be like once or twice a month. Now it’s like…
Mikee: We’re going to do better.
Patrick: On record.
Isa: Before the gig.
Jam: Mostly we’re after if there’s a gig invite.
Isa: Then we enter into panic mode. “Oh my god, there’s a gig. We’ll have to learn the new song.”
(00:37:58 – how much you’ve changed)
Patrick: How do you compare the current songs that you’re making now as to when you started bedtime television?
Isa: There’s a difference like skill-wise. The layers are more prominent. We know how to bring something out. When we started, like in Hair Die when we recorded it, it isn’t the same song that we’re playing already. We have added layers already so I think there’s a big difference. But the signature sound is still there. It’s still very melody-driven. Like voice and guitar-driven. And there’s the atmosphere, the synths and the bass.
Patrick: I really liked your set in the Dream Sequence. I still find myself singing shamelessly.
Isa: Thank you Three Zero. I think it’s a big part for that gig, the sound system. The engineering of Three Zero, sir Uke.
Jam and Isa: Thank you, sir Uke, and the rest of Three Zero.
Isa: They brought out the best in all of the bands. I think that’s why we found our true form because of the help of…
Jam: I think all the bands.
Mikee: All the bands found their true form.
(00:39:38 – gear talk)
Patrick: Speaking of which, how particular are you in the gear, the equipment that’s being used?
Isa: We are not.
Jam: We’re not very particular. But the better, the better.
Patrick: Is there any specific sine qua non? Like it has to be there, like your guitar has to be setup in such a way that it will produce the sound that you’re, the effects that you’re using?
Jam: I think the most vital is to have a P.A. because we need it for the backing tracks. We just need, well, our rig is basically expecting two microphones on stage because we can just get the XLR’s from the stage and then just plug it in our rig. So it shouldn’t be a problem.
Isa: So what’s in your rig?
Jam: Oh, in my rig?
Patrick: If it’s a secret, you don’t have to. Because other bands don’t want to reveal their…
Jam: Well, as for me, I can make do with a small amp, I think. Because in my chain I have a booster, followed by an Overdrive – the Boss SD-1. Then I have a, I guess, a doubler. I think it’s a, how do you say it? A hack doubler? Because it’s actually a reverb pedal but there’s a program that you can alter it. So I made it from reverb into a delay, but just one Slap back. So doubler. Just one repeat. Then I think I mimicked; I forgot the pedal that was released. Basically, it was just a Slap back delay pedal. Then after that is a Flashback mini. I just put most of my delays. Then that Flashback is also three effects in one box. So it’s basically a reverse delay but also a modulated delay. The modulation is vibrato. So it’s modulated reverse delay.
Patrick: What’s this, a DIY pedal?
Jam: Yeah, the Flashback you can program it through an app.
Patrick: So in this band, Jam is the tech guy who does everything?
Isa: Yes, every time we need a new, for example like when eventually we decided we needed in-ear monitors, wireless, Jam was the one who…
Patrick: You’re the only one I see using in-ear in the gigs.
Isa: Mikee also.
Mikee: Because I need it.
Jam: The first iteration, actually, Mikee wears in-ears. It was wired before. And I think we had, in every gig, it was kind of learning experience because we tried to improve on it. I forgot what were the problems before. I remember I think in Mow’s before, I think there was a power something, the power went out. Then when the power went out, our backing tracks jumped. So we had to kill it because we were off the backing track. I think I remember it was an IPad setup so we upgraded to a laptop situation. Then after that, I didn’t like the laptop situation because it was so heavy.
Isa: So we upgraded to a portable a sampler pad.
Isa: No, we had a sampler.
Jam: The Avatar. If you are familiar with the Roland SPD-SX sampler, the expensive one, Mikee found a cheap version of that.
Mikee: The Avatar.
Jam: Basically, Mikee just hits a pad. For example, everyone knows that Ouija Bored has backing tracks, so if you hit the Ouija Bored pad…
Patrick: It triggers the backing track?
Jam: Yes, it blares into the P.A. and that plays also in the in-ears. But the problem was that the storage was so small. We cannot add more songs. Sorry, Mikee.
Patrick: So Mikee has to upgrade for the next album?
Mikee: We changed it.
Isa: So from that we’re using an app from IPhone. Then just use that. So we just tap on the phone. We connected the phone to our own mixer. We connect the mixer to the house mixer. And the house mixer will…
Jam: That was in Saguijo when we upgraded to the mixer. Because back then we had an in-ear setup where the transmitter should be on the mixing desk, the one who mixes us. In Saguijo, we were having trouble because we can’t hear ourselves still. So we were like we should have our own mixer on stage that we don’t have to rely on the sound guy. So yeah, that’s why both of them have in-ears now. Which is not really expensive, guys.
Isa: Just 900 on Shopee.
Jam: Yeah, 900 per piece.
Patrick: Eventually, everyone will have in-ears, is this the trajectory?
Jam: It will be expensive because we have to plug it into our system. Because in the system Isa goes into the rig, the whole chain – the microphone, the pedals, goes on her chain then the mixing desk. And Mikee’s, the phone goes in the mixer with the in-ears. We should have brought the rig.
Isa: Show and tell.
Patrick: We could do a Ted talk.
Isa: But, basically, Jam and Aiko shouldn’t be hearing the same thing that me and Mikee hear.
Jam: I mean, we could, but it would be more expensive. So we’re just focusing on Mikee and Isa to be able to hear. So…
Patrick: How about Isa’s guitar, anything in particular?
Isa: Very special, shout out to Ernest from Retaso guitars because he was the one who modded my guitar. My guitar was all white and then Ernest just messaged us one day like, “hey, if you want, I can do something for your guitar.” And it was so pretty when it came out. He was like, “hey, what if we try this millennial pink color.” And I was like, “oh, sure.” And ever since then, I think I cannot change my guitar anymore because I am so attached to it, the mod that Ernest did. He also cleaned up my guitar. It turns out that the volume knobs on my guitar are hanging on to thin air. Like it was about to give up. So Ernest like placed some mods inside, fixed the wiring. And then Jam was the one who leveled it.
Jam: She wanted relief. She wants a really lowered action so she can play easily. So I tried my best to make it happen. Isa just goes direct to amp. No effect pedals.
Isa: Not yet, we don’t know in the future. If the right pedal comes.
Patrick: How about for the bass, for Aiko?
Aiko: Sans Amp. I’ve been using the same thing since, Sans Amp only. And my bass, Schechter. I just adjust the settings depending on the genre. That’s just it.
Patrick: Okay, since we’re still on Aiko, you’re playing with really heavy bands. You’re in Nervine Turbine. You also sessioned for Tiger Pussy. So how does this fit, you’re also in bedtime tv? Are you okay genre-wise? Or is it a relief, like “thank you, I have a calmer side.”
Aiko: Actually, I don’t think about it. It depends. I listen to their music and I like it. Nothing about genre.
Patrick: Given that you stuck to bedtime television, it’s safe to assume that you love the music in this band.
Aiko: Yes, of course.
Patrick: Pagtarong ug tubag ha girecord baya ni. (Answer properly, this is recorded.) On the spot na pud.
Isa: When the camera is off, pass. “I’m leaving now.”
Patrick: How about you, Mikee? Your setup sa drums, anything in particular that you really need or want to be there?
Mikee: Not really.
Patrick: If there’s a gig and there’s a given setup, you’re good to go?
Mikee: Yeah, just the basic. As long as I am connected to the in-ears.
Patrick: You just need the in-ear monitors?
Mikee: Yes, just the basic set-up.
(00:49:43 – talking about Ouija Bored and what they sing about)
Patrick: Since the other songs are still, we cannot talk about it, because we have to wait for the release, let’s talk about Ouija Bored, how was that song created?
Isa: It’s currently the sixth or seventh anniversary from when I wrote Ouija Bored. It was written on Halloween.
Patrick: Oh, what timing. Toast to Ouija Bored. So this is an anniversary for Ouija Bored? What is going on with your mind when you wrote this song?
Isa: It was Halloween of 2016 or 2017. And then I just came back from a Halloween gig at Handuraw and it was my third day of not sleeping because I had so many school projects. I was so tired. And then I said I need a break, I need to write a song. And that’s when I like wrote a three-page essay of unhinged, I can’t remember what I wrote, but it was three pages long. And then I sent it to Luigi because we were at that time thinking of what to do for our first song that we will be doing together. Luigis was like, “I think this could be something. Try this.” So the next day I sent a very short version with the demo of the guitar. And from three pages it became one verse only and one chorus. So that’s how it became Ouija Bored. I took out so many words and then chose the best lines. So that’s the story of how Ouija Bored came about. At that time I was so stressed. And then one of the things that came out from I was so stressed, very mentally ill, I used to love horror movies. And then that was like the things that I do for comfort. Eventually I thought horror movies are, “oh, it’s kind of boring now.” It doesn’t make me feel things anymore. I can’t really enjoy, I can’t have my comfort thing now that I am so stressed because they aren’t that good anymore. And then I made an analogy that life is like that too.
Patrick: How about the themes, what are you writing about right now?
Isa: My dogs.
Patrick: Okay, you’ve already gotten through your love for horror and how it doesn’t work anymore. Then your love for your dogs. What else do you write about?
Isa: It’s also about mental illness, having really hard nights. A lot of it is from my coping mechanisms. Like ‘Hair Die’, I can’t deal with my stress. So I have to do something, dye my hair.
Patrick: But your ‘Hair Die’ is spelled D-I-E. So I was thinking falling hair because of the stress.
Isa: Yes, it can be. Mostly our songs are about that. I think most of our songs are about struggling, trying to get past the stress of life and going through depression, and also mundane things. We have a lot of songs about staying inside, “I really don’t want to go out today. Let’s just stay inside.” We also have other songs about Sparky, specifically. We have a song called Sparky, It’s about I want to go home to Sparky.
Patrick: If I’m Zero, I’d be depressed.
Isa: He also has a song. It’s a soundcheck.
Jam: But it was a soundcheck.
Patrick: If I’m Zero, I’d still be depressed.
Isa: Zero used to be not so affectionate before.
Patrick: You need to make a full song for Zero.
Isa: We’re trying but Zero is just so hard to Rhyme.
Patrick: How many songs are we expecting for the coming album?
Isa: We already made a mock track list and I think it was thirteen. And I think we have already played all of them live.
(00:55:20 – worst experience)
Patrick: Is there a general worst experience for the band?
Isa: When our backing tracks died. Also on Saguijo.
Patrick: This was when you said you cannot hear.
Mikee: Personally, it was when the backing tracks jumped because it was my first gig with them.
Isa: Mine is different. It was funny, actually. When we went to Manila we almost missed our flight twice. It was really scary. Aiko wasn’t there because Aiko was in her job out of the country. When we were about to board the plane, we didn’t know that Cebu Pac will board earlier. Because Cebu Pac used to board thirty minutes before the flight. They were boarding an hour before the flight. So at that time we were still in Jollibee and then they were already calling our names and then Jam was in the bathroom and thankfully there are speakers in the bathroom.
Jam: I heard our flight from there. I was like (motioning a phone call), “guys, I’m okay.” I just told them be ready because our flight number is being announced.
Isa: Then Mikee’s order wasn’t done yet. So we were waiting for Mikee’s order while our flight was boarding. And I was carrying three people’s worth of bags. But we made our flight. But on our way home we almost missed our flight again because we didn’t get the e-mail from Cebu Pac that they changed our terminals so we went to the wrong terminal. And at the terminal we couldn’t get a ride anymore because the Grab app was so busy so we couldn’t get a ride, so we had to wait for a taxi and then Mikee was also in the bathroom. Eventually, we found a taxi. So we made it. It was so clutch. Just a few minutes before boarding. But then our flight was delayed. So in the end it was alright.
Patrick: Okay, since we are already talking about going to Manila to play a gig, let us discuss this. Why is that we go to gigs in Manila, we spend for tickets to go there to play? I mean I have my own answer for that because I also, we are in the same boat, but hearing it from you, why do you guys do this?
Patrick: That’s the short of it, passion. There’s so much expense when we do this.
Isa: For me, it’s so rewarding when get to play there. The scene there, they are so appreciative of our music. In Cebu, of course, they are appreciative, but the scene is so small compared to theirs. In Cebu, they always get to hear us live, so when we go there, it’s something new for the crowd there. They’re so warm and welcoming. I just love like we get to meet this new crowd. It’s so nice to get to play new venues also.
Jam: I think it’s the same. I think there’s a dream pop scene there. I guess we’re more at home there, genre-wise. Aside from that, we get to do non-Cebu stuff there.
Isa: So the real answer is the food trip.
Mikee: Like Tagalog.
Jam: Like there’s food stop here.
Patrick: From the last interview with Kubra Commander, we touched upon this issue also. So it’s basically that. It’s just different with them because they said the support in Manila scene, the audience is different. Anyway, hope we’ll get there someday. Cebu will catch up. But regardless of the reward, whatever we get, we’ll always expect that bands like bedtime television will still keep on keeping on. We’ll still do it. Because we slave away in our jobs even though we don’t love it, so why not this.
(01:00:38 – best experience)
Patrick: Since we already covered the worst, let’s be more positive. What’s the best experience for bedtime tv as a band? You could have different things to say also.
Everyone: Dream Sequence.
Isa: But we are really thankful also that there are many special gigs. We got to play Kukuk’s. There was also a lineup with you guys. Like playing with our friends, with you guys. That was special. And then everyone also wanted to play Fete, but Aiko couldn’t make it. That was also very nice.
Patrick: Strike three na ka, Aik, ha. Face the wall.
Isa: Fete was so nice. The crowd there was so big. Getting to play in Manila, their shoegaze scene every year in Furiosa. That is very nice.
Isa: How about you, Aiko?
Isa: I know Aiko really likes the HIYB set.
Patrick: So it’s either the Dream Sequence or the Hey It’s Your Birthday reunion gig?
Mikee: All in From Here.
Patrick: From Here is the magic recipe for this band.
Isa: Thank you, From Here and the staff of From Here.
(1:02:32 – anything you can change)
Patrick: If there is anything that you can change in the band right now, what do you want?
Isa: I want them to have better jobs that do not have crazy bosses. We have a joke that our bosses are crazy.
Patrick: If you don’t mind, what do you guys outside of the band life? What are your jobs?
Mikee: Corporate slaves.
Isa and Jam: Yeah, corporate slaves.
Patrick: So that’s it for you. That the jobs of the members of this band… I think that’s a common, for everyone. It’s true for everyone
Mikee: I wish we had more time.
(01:03:12 – dream collab)
Patrick: If there is any act, band, artist; local, national, dead or alive, that you guys could work with who would you guys want to work with?
Mikee: Celine Dion.
Isa: They’re still alive. Maybe there is still a chance. Celine, if you’re watching this.
Patrick: That would be cool. Imagine bedtime television featuring Celine Dion.
Isa: I don’t know, for now I can’t imagine doing a collab.
Mikee: Maybe play with in a gig.
Patrick: In a way we could know who are your heroes.
Jam: I really like Diiv.
Mikee: Beabadoobee. Fazerdaze.
Jam: Ringo Deathstarr.
Patrick: No Japanese Breakfast here?
Isa: Let me flex, I have a signed Japanese Breakfast shirt.
Patrick: How did you get it?
Jam: They played here in Manila.
Isa: And there was if you get a VIP ticket, you’ll get to meet one of the bands. So that’s how we met them.
Patrick: I cried a lot reading Crying in H Mart.
Isa: Oh, you read it?
Isa: How about you, Aiko. Tiger Pussy and Nervine Turbine in one day.
Patrick: How would you make that work?
Isa: The gig will be Aiko day.
Aiko: Or we can do Mikee’s.
Isa: Yeah, Mikee band.
Jam: Pink Floyd.
Isa: Ourselves the Elves, come back.
Patrick: Same. They’re my favorite actually. When I’m working in the office, Ourselves the Elves is in loop.
Isa: Also, Loop. HIYB, come back. Honeydrop, come back.
(01:06:12 – stupid questions in a box)
Patrick: Okay, we are now down to our last questions, but first, I think you guys know what this is. We are back to the stupid questions in a box. You get to pick random questions in this box and if you’re not comfortable answering because you might get in trouble or whatever, just say pass.
Isa: We won’t pass, guys.
Patrick: Okay, let’s start. Jam.
Jam: If you were born the opposite sex, what would you do differently?
Patrick: Aside from peeing, what else would you do differently?
Jam: I don’t know. What is unique to the opposite sex? I don’t know how to answer this. I think because you can do all things right now that the opposite sex can do.
Patrick: So that’s basically it. There’s nothing to be changed.
Jam: Yeah. I guess being clean. Being tidy.
Mikee: You can also do that.
Isa: Are you saying that you don’t exfoliate daily like this?
Patrick: I’m ashamed I don’t do that. Jiggy, do you exfoliate?
Isa: Try on a bra.
Mikee: And a napkin.
Patrick: Is what did you get?
Isa: If you are given the chance to become a tyrant or dictator, would you take it? No.
Patrick: No? Too much power? You don’t trust yourself?
Isa: Yes. I can’t even dictate myself. I can’t even command myself to wake up. So how much more if other people. And I don’t want to.
Patrick: So Isa will pass upon the opportunity to be a tyrant or a dictator.
Isa: Yes, I will pass.
Patrick: Aik, what did you get?
Aiko: If you can choose your nationality, what would it be? Filipino, joke. Maybe, Japanese. Because I’ll have a passport. They have the most powerful passport. So I can travel.
Isa: Yeah, and you are also one step ahead because your name is Japanese.
Patrick: Is that your nickname or real name?
Aiko: Real name.
Patrick: Same, if it was me, I’d also choose to be Japanese. Mikee, what did you get?
Mikee: If god had a name, what would it be?
Patrick: You’ll be persona non grata after this.
Mikee: Ama namin. I don’t know. G.O.A.T. because he is the greatest of all time.
(01:10:58 – the female factor)
Patrick: I don’t want to throw this next question just because you are girls, but do you want to discuss about the representation or the lack of it, the female, in the indie music scene? I am happy because I’ve been seeing lately, last week Novocrane with Karl, then Pat the Pig, Pepang. I’m happy that I am seeing this, but for me it’s not yet enough. When you go into a gig, testosterone-filled still. Do you guys have something to say about this?
Jam: Actually, I’m happy.
Isa: We are happy that there are also a lot of upcoming.
Mikee: But needs more.
Isa: Needs more.
Jam: Because most of the female-fronted, it’s more on the Manila scene. Then for Cebu, from what we experienced, it’s just us, and form what you mentioned, Novocrane. We lost Snubear, Hey It’s Your Birthday, Tiny.
Jam: Tiger Pussy.
Patrick: Tiger Pussy is still there but Manila. How do we ascribe this to? Is it because women are afraid to enter the scene or is it just lack of interest? How do you think it goes?
Isa: There are people who approach me after a gig, especially when we play to a new crowd. And there are younger girls who would say that they are so intimidated because I don’t know how to play the guitar yet, I don’t have bandmates. I think it’s that. They still don’t have connection to the scene yet, like other women. There are so few women yet, like they don’t have friends to connect them. So I really encourage them to start learning, it’s never too late. We are just here; you can always approach us if you need help. Also, a lot of them expect that it’s really hard to go into the scene and get noticed. But if you, for example, Bobbi is always there to help them. I think they don’t know that, that there are people who are really willing to help them. This is my message to you, guys, that there are always people who are willing to support you. You just have to reach out, make yourselves known. Because we are just here.
Patrick: That is why earlier I asked you how you got into the band scene also because from a female perspective, is it scary to join this band, this act? Is there every any situation in your part, reservations? Or did it just come naturally, like it was not a big deal?
Mikee: The scene here is very welcoming.
Isa: Yeah. We are lucky that we found the right people so fast. But I think there are always bad people if you are unlucky to meet them.
Patrick: I agree. There are dangerous people. Anyway, for the record, if there is anyone listening, what’s your message?
Patrick: Celine Dion!
Isa: Don’t be afraid to start your band, guys.
Mikee: Your gender won’t matter.
Isa: Yeah, gender doesn’t matter.
Mikee: Especially now. People are so open.
Isa: Internet is your best friend.
(01:14:48 – what to expect from bedtime tv?)
Patrick: Okay, what can the people expect from bedtime television anytime soon?
Isa: Hopefully, we can start recording and release the album. And then we have two very special upcoming gigs that we can’t announce yet.
Patrick: Not yet?
Isa and Jam: No, not yet.
Isa: Not in Cebu. We are excited.
Jam: See you in Japan.
Patrick: Fujirock 2024!
Patrick: Reading Festival, Glastonbury. Let’s respect the secrecy if they don’t want to announce anything yet, let’s respect that. We’ll wait.
Jam: Just follow us on social media.
Patrick: Yeah, let’s go there. To anyone interested in bedtime television, how can they follow whatever it is that you’re doing.
Isa: We are on Instagram, Twitter. We have a Tumblr and it just celebrated its tenth anniversary because this used to be my account and I got a notification that “ten years of bedtime television.” We also have a website, bedtimetele.vision.
Patrick: You don’t have a Facebook handle, right?
Isa: We are on all streaming platforms. YouTube, Spotify, Bandcamp.
Jam: You can hear more on Bandcamp than Spotify.
Patrick: But you’re not releasing your songs this time for the album. It’s not on a singles basis, right? You’re holding it for an album?
Isa: We might have like a traditional roll-out, like music videos and then singles that are in the album, maybe three or four.
Isa: Maybe, maybe.
Isa: We’ll maybe release those only on the album.
Patrick: Wishbus or BEEP. And that ringing signals the end of our interview of bedtime television. Guys, thank you very much, Jam, Isa, Aiko and Mikee.
Isa: Yey, we can eat the donuts now.
Patrick: For giving us the time for doing this. This is Out of Tune – Verse V, and this is the Halloween episode. Please support your local acts. Follow, bedtime television and let’s see you on the next one. Thank you, guys. Thank you everyone. Thank you, bedtime. Jig Gy, thank you.
Isa: We love you, Jig Gy, that’s my cousin.
Patrick: We’re gonna eat the donuts now.