A year after bagging the top plum in the band category of the IKON Asean tilt held at the Putrajaya Convention Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Kjwan is now working overtime inside the recording studio to finish the band's follow-up to their 2006 album 2-Step Marv.
Guitarist Jorel Corpuz excitedly told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) that the nearly two-year lull allowed the band to write more than a handful of new materials, giving the band the luxury of carefully choosing the songs they want to include in the album.
"Well, songs have been like medyo marami. Pero ngayon namimili kami talaga ng gusto naming mga kanta. May mga kanta naman kami pero pinipili namin ‘yong pinakamaganda para doon sa album or ‘yong pinaka-tingin namin na okay ilabas," shared Jorel in an interview last August 20 at the Mag:net Café in Bonifacio High Street.
Although known as a unit that prefers rock, the quintet of Marc Abaya, J-Hoon Balbuena, Kelley Mangahas, Boogie Romero, and Jorel Corpus never denied their fascination for melodic pop tunes.
The band's previous singles like "Daliri" and "Pintura" best represents Kjwan's fondness for mixing melody with heavy metal riffs. Fans, however, were surprised when the band released the band's unabashed pop take, "One Look"—a straightforward confession of one's admiration for a loved one set in an almost sunny vibe.
REACHING OUT. True to their eclectic taste when it comes to music, Jorel shared that their varied interests have found its way into the band's current lineup of new materials.
And if "One Look" was any indication of Kjwan's direction, the amiable guitarist candidly said that they're now focused to come up with songs that would be commercially appealing without losing substance.
Said Jorel: "Sinusubukan namin ngayon na gawing mas compelling ‘yong mga kanta. Kumbaga sinusubukan naming mag-take ng cue sa mga songwriters na idolo namin, mga banda na idolo namin na parang tinitingnan naming ‘yong mga career path and we just want to reach the audience better.
"Kasi naisip namin na ang hirap din na nagsusulat ka ng kanta tapos hindi naiintindihan ng audience mo. Pero agree naman ako na tingin ko we can do better as songwriters so ‘yon ‘yong ini-improve namin."
Speaking in behalf of his bandmates, Jorel frankly owed up that they're more comfortable writing songs in the English language—this despite the fact that some of the band's most memorable singles were written in the vernacular.
"May mga Tagalog kaming kanta pero it's one thing that we really need to learn kasi we really write by default in English," confessed Jorel, who, along with his bandmates, studied at the Ateneo de Manila University during their college years.
"Kasi sanay kami magsulat ng English. Totoo lang mahirap talagang magsulat ng Tagalog. Pero ako that's one thing, I would really love to learn kasi iba talaga ‘pag siyempre sarili mong wika."
Aside from working on the still-untitled album, Kjwan is also planning to embark on a tour to promote the record. As for the itinerary, drummer J-Hoon excitedly mentioned places as far as Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau, among other places.
Wearing a grin, J-Hoon proudly enthused, "They're waiting for us to come back."