Some 22 years in the music scene, Slapshock continues to release songs that capture the hearts of rap metal fans.
In the beginning, the group was known for works deemed to be about “hate and anger.” Then in 2017, they released a “different and positive” opus titled “Atake” all for pushing forward no matter what. It was the first time they came up with an all-Tagalog tracklist and released via USB in “keeping pace with technology.”
At a recent gig, Slapshock unveiled the music video of the album’s third single “Bandera.”
Frontman Jamir Garcia said in an interview that it is anthemic, performed well with Lee Nadela (bass guitar), Lean Ansing (lead guitar), Chi Evora (drums) and Jerry Basco (rhytm guitar/backup vocals).
“Di Kayang harangin/Lahat hahamakin/Susugod sa gera/Iwagayway ang bandera/Ano mang tahakin/Lahat kakayanin/Lalaban sag era/Itaas ang bandera,” the lyrics go.
“It’s for those who come to our show wearing our flag,” he said. “We can’t think of a better way to thank them.”
The launched also marked the start of the band’s “Bandera” tour this year (see schedule on their Facebook account).
Talking more about the song, Jamir described it as “melodic” and not “heavy,” far from their usual outputs.
What’s with the change?
“Before kasi, it’s like, ‘masyado kaming galit sa mundo’ when we were young, but we’ve already matured,” he noted. “We’re in a different time now so it’s a way of reinventing our music.”
Still, Jamir reiterated it adheres to the signature Slapshock sound.
On how they keep their fan base intact, he said it’s all about “connection” through social media. The group call their supporters “Slap Armies.”
“They grow stronger through social media. They talk about our gigs online, they promote our album, singles and upcoming concerts. We’re thankful that our armies come from different age bracket. It’s the third generation na ngayon,” he said.
Two decades and counting, Jamir said he is still “amazed” with the band’s success.
“That’s what important eh. I think if you still get surprised that makes you progress because you’re still up for challenges. We’re still hungry, we’re on fire, we feel like a new band. Our success wasn’t even calculated and we were never particular of anything,” he explained.
“It’s really a musical journey,” he added.
What makes him even prouder is it’s the same band member lineup since day one.
“It’s magical,” was how he put it.
Jamir dismissed the idea of the rock scene being “soft” these days, especially with the popularity of “hugot” songs. He’s also not “affected” that some artists choose to strengthen their online presence than do live concerts.
“Well, more avenues, that’s better,” he said. “We don’t really give a hoot because we have our own thing. We know where we are. We’re not trying to invade other artists’ territories. Simply like us or don’t – that works pretty well for us.”
Competition is not a thing anymore for Slapshock.
“We compete with ourselves. ”
With Filipinos commemorating Holy Week, Jamir suggested an artist we should listen to: the late Chris Cornell of American bands Soundgarden and Audioslave.
“His songs are powerful and he sounds like an angel,” Jamir said.