Sponge Cola is one of the most successful and prolific bands in the Philippine music industry today as it has written, produced and recorded multiple OPM hits.
Composed of Yael Yuzon on guitars and lead vocals, Armo Armovit on guitars, Gosh Dilay on bass, and Tedmark Cruz on drums, the pop-rock band successfully launched its double EPs recently.
The two EPs, one titled Sinag and the other one Tala, were released through an intimate and fun show instead of a usual presscon, on Friday night, August 26, at Teatrino in Greenhills, San Juan.
It is the band’s fourth (and fifth), having released their self-titled Sponge Cola in 2003, Tambay in 2011 and District in 2012.
The band's EP Tambay has earned them the rare distinction of being the only other recording band (besides the Eraserheads) to reach Diamond Record status.
Sponge Cola dished out a 16-song set during the show, much to the delight of their loyal fans. The band performed their past and present hits such as “Pasubali,” “Pag-ibig,” “Weakness,” “Makapiling Ka,” “Bahaghari,” “Sa Bingit Ng Isang Paalam,” “Coda,” “Di Na Mababawi,” “Butterflies,” Bitiw,” “Gemini,” “Tuliro,” “Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay,” and “Jeepney.”
The band closed the show with their take on Madonna’s hit “Crazy For You,” and the crowd’s most requested song, “Una.”
“It was just a great night. Despite the weather situation and the killer traffic all over, we felt the intense love. Goosebumps man, goosebumps,” remarked the enigmatic frontman.
Yael added that the band deeply appreciated the support their fans have shown them since the band was formed about 15 years ago, and that Sponge Cola will continue to give their best to their fans. "Thank you for all your love and support," he said gratefully towards the end of the show.
EMOTIONALLY STREAMLINED. Taken as a single unit, the EPs are aptly titled Sinag Tala, a portmanteau of “sinag” or ray of sunshine and “tala” for stars.
In an interview, Yael explained why the group came up with a double EP instead of a full album. “It just so happened that when we looked at the list of tracks, we couldn’t decide on a proper flow for the track list."
Armo added: “There was an even split, half of the songs were upbeat and sobrang happy’ while the rest of the tracks were quite ‘somber.’ Doing mini-albums felt like the natural thing to do, so in the end we decided to make a double EP instead.”
According to Yael, the mood of each EP, is emotionally streamlined. “Sinag is really jovial. Tala, the darker of the two, is slightly more erratic. I guess that what happens when you toy with darkness, just ask Kylo Ren. Or look at his lightsaber,” he said enthusiastically about the villain of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
SHORT AND SWEET. When asked about his favorite song from the two EPs, Yael pondered for a while before answering, “From Sinag, I really like ‘Bisita’ and ‘Butterflies.’
"‘Bisita' is a short song that says everything it needs to say about life on the road. We’re treated very well by hosts everywhere we go, and it’s our way of saying thanks, short and sweet. With ‘Butterflies,’ we got really playful with it, dabbling with a little bit of a jazz. A little bit, don’t want to anger the purists out there.”
He continued, smiling: “From Tala, I like ‘Bahaghari,’ I wrote it in five minutes for the musical we did live on Showtime. It was originally sung by Jhong Hilario, who did a marvelous job. It’s on YouTube if you want to watch his performance. It’s a song from a criminal’s perspective, which is a new thing for me from a writing perspective.”
The band is also excited to release their new song. “Our next single is ‘Butterflies.’ The video will be directed by Mihk Vergara and will feature some of our friends. Fun light new video coming soon,” Yael concluded.
Sinag/Tala is released by Universal Records Philippines and is now available on iTunes as well as in local record stores.