Though most genres under the rock umbrella remain timeless and have solidified their place in the books, there are certain styles that can be trickier to navigate through – like rap metal.
In truth, no other subgenre has had such a polarizing effect on fans than the hybrid of hip-hop and heavy metal, and countless of bands here and abroad have either had major success or were dismissed as copycats of those that came before them. And though local innovators from the early 90s until the early millenium were able to not only hold their own but basically establish that Filipinos were best at it, there have been countless of other names that were easily forgotten or well, faded into obscurity.
Which is why Valenzuela City’s Krayola – composed of vocalist Evlis Bonife, guitarists Chachie Acebuche and Pao Rondilla, bassist Victo Gabriel Gabuya and drummer Rex Angelo Salvador – are admirably holding their ground and embracing their musical roots and carrying the torch for similar minds.
Starting 2022 with the release of their politically charged debut single “Sino,” Krayola actually made its presence felt years before, playing anywhere and everywhere and by joining a popular alcohol brand’s annual amateur band competition back in 2019. Towards the end of last year, the band was able to release their debut 6-song EP called Antipara, which featured a sonically raw production which matched their scathing, no-holds-barred commentary on the many socio-political issues plaguing the country.
And by this June, they are gearing-up to release another single and plan to get even busier in the coming months. So PULP decided to reach-out and chat with the band.
PULP: So feel free to give us a refresher on how and when Krayola was formed…
Elvis: All of us are originally from Valenzuela, and we all came from different bands; at first , the band went through the whole showband/variety route and we were actually called “Raprock Band” for some time… until our bassist Gabo and their then-singer Apol renamed it to “Krayola,” which sort of signalled that it was time to write our own material.
PULP: How were the early years of the band? Was there a strong scene in Valenzuela?
Chachie: Though there were – and still are – a lot of musicians from Valenzuela, it was challenging to play our own songs especially when we first came out: both independent music and rock music weren’t peaking during that time yet
PULP: It’s pretty refreshing, I admit, to hear a band fusing rap and hard rock and metal these days since we haven’t really had any new artists emerge with the same sound…
Rex: Well the band did try to play it safe as first by playing alternative music, but I think when we did that, we simply slipped through the cracks and didn’t really get anywhere with it; so we decided not to second-guess ourselves and thought outside the box and risk it all… we just decided to be ourselves.
Our common influences were bands like Korn, Rage Against The Machine, Limp Bizkit, Greyhoundz, Queso, Slapshock and Sandwich: bands who were unafraid to put-together a sound that combined styles on opposite sides of the spectrum.
PULP: Antipara and Sino were both released post-pandemic, so it seems the band is on a consistent push forward. Is that the plan – to keep releasing music?
Elvis: Yep, that’s exactly it… we have so much to offer and release this year.
We are planning to release new singles gradually, which will then be collected into an all-new EP. Since Chachie and Pao joined recently, the sound will definitely be different compared to Antipara, since they both came from different bands playing a different, more-punk style of music… so it’ll definitely add new flavor to our sound.
As far as the lyrics are concerned, it’ll probably have a more personal direction compared to before: some of the songs we’ve written are actually based on events that actually happened to us.
PULP: Where can people watch you perform? And for the uninitiated, describe the live performances of Krayola.
Chachie: We maximize our free time by playing anywhere and everywhere we can, so we can promote our music in the process. We play in Makati at least once or twice a week, and play places outside of Metro Manila like Bulacan and Cavite whenever we can…
PULP: So what’s the ultimatte goal for Krayola?
Pao: We aim for our music to be heard and hopefully it will awaken the minds of our Bayan ng Sinilangan. We want to be the voice of the people whose truths are unspoken. Of course, we want to makew our own little contribution to OPM… Mabuhay ang OPM!! PULP