Cebu City’s Pointblank Brings Back Nu Metal with “Fear”

Words by Joey Dizon

Carrying the torch and holding it down for modern rock and nu-metal in Cebu since 1999, the multi-membered veterans POINTBLANK recently announced via their Facebook page that they are eager to release an all-new track called “Fear,” and are polishing the final touches to the single’s accompanying music video this May 18th.


The single, which will be the band’s first in quite a while, is an amazing concoction of blistering dissonant riffs, pummeling rhythms, brutal vocals, and an undeniable bounce and groove that harkens back to the best elements of hard rock coupled with characteristic nu-metal sensibilities. In short, there’s a little something for everyone—old and new.


Featuring vocalist and guitarist Miguel Calina, vocalists Mark Bao and Adam Joshua Garillos, guitarist Steven Michael Sadaya, bassist Arnold Buot, and drummer Herbert Herrera, the band has been together since 1999 and throughout the decades has kept it all together with their trademark combination of detuned riffs, manic vocals, pummeling grooves, and lyricism that is unafraid to explore the dark recesses of the human psyche.


But PULP actually let the band do the talking, and we were fortunate enough to throw a few questions their way.


PULP: Tell us about the new single “Fear.”

Bao: When the time came for us to put our heads together and come up with a song, we focused on highlighting battling mental health struggles and inner demons. “Fear” may seem like a song about supernatural occurrences, but it’s really putting the spotlight on and addressing the reality of how entertaining negative thoughts will consume and paralyze you. Contrary to the seemingly anxiety-filled lyricism, the process of creating this music was actually fun for the whole band. We brainstormed together, including elements of grunge music, hair metal, and even grindcore. Initially, we targeted the song to be played during the latter part of our live sets because, at that time, we wanted it to be our energy usurper: we intentionally made the vocal parts difficult, so our first singers were gasping for air. Truly, our process and mindset during that time were filled with both a carefree attitude and, of course, a driving passion—so we always pushed the envelope.


PULP: How has the band’s sound changed compared to the past?

Steven: Creating the single has been a big departure from how the band traditionally writes songs. It was our first time writing a song without a lead songwriter. Previous songs had the distinct mark of the songwriter’s individual style. But “Fear” was arranged while the band was rehearsing for a gig in the studio spontaneously: the riffs were already there, and we were planning on using them for a future song; but the arrangement was done by the band members contributing ideas for how the song will be structured collectively.


PULP: After the release of “Fear,” what are your immediate plans?

Miguel: I just finished the demos for one of our new songs, and it’s actually an old song from 2007, but I’ve made a few changes here and there. Admittedly, it’s kind of unusual for us to last this long because the old Pointblank vibe is still there. We can’t wait to release it since it’s next in line. And with the unwavering support from our stellar manager, Jem Echevarria-Junco, Pointblank is ready to shoot down the to-do list, so keep an eye out! PULP


For more information, follow Pointblank on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.