This feature is all about our Rockband Challenge winner, TEAM KISSING SCARLET.
Since being formed in May 2014, experimental alternative rock band Kissing Scarlet have enjoyed new heights and are now making a name for themselves. Fronted by rocker chick Angela Paculdar, with Markus Tanig (bass), Rhodel Tayag (rhythm), and Michael David (lead) on guitars, the band has a clear-cut idea of what they are, or what they want to become : a powerful ensemble balanced by soothing vocals. It was this strong identity and an impressive track titled "Alaala" that clinched their slot as one of the bands to be featured in Focus Bulacan's Rockband Challenge. Maybe it was destiny that they were paired with Focus photographers Brian Santos and Glenn "Jehutz" Santiago as their Challenge teammates. When you win the whole thing, it's hard to argue against fate.
Let's now take a closer approach to what happened behind the scenes during their shoot for Rockband Challenge, with a series of questions for Team Kissing Scarlet.
Q : First of all… Brian and Jehutz, anong naging reaction n’yo nang malaman n’yong Kissing Scarlet ang band na ka-team n’yo?
Brian : Although hindi pa namin sila kilala medyo excited na ako dahil sa isang post na nakita ko, maganda daw 'yung lead vocalist ng group! But seriously, my reaction was to search for them in Facebook and Google, wala kasi ako idea kung ano ang music genre nila at ano 'yung mga personality ng bawat member ng band. I just wished they are not into heavy metal stuff because that's the only music I really can't dig and fortunately they are not.
Jehutz : To be honest, I’ve never really heard about Kissing Scarlet before the Rockband Challenge so I didn’t know what to feel about it. Until we finally met them, I grew interested upon knowing their vocalist is the lone girl in their band which makes conceptualizing the shoot easier.
Q : On your part, Angela, anong reaction ng band noong mapili kayo for Rockband Challenge and noong ma-meet n’yo sila Brian and Jehutz?
Angela : We were really excited to meet them, and honored as well that they were the photographers assigned to us. The first time we met Sir Brian umuulan pa nun, tapos bumyahe pa siya mula Manila. Imagine na lang 'yung effort.
Q : So what was the plan? What was the concept for the shoot? And why that?
Angela : One of the concepts for the photoshoot was the band portraying to be the famous Mafia group. Actually, it was Markus who first thought of that theme. And when we were brainstorming of what to wear and what we will be doing, we eventually agreed with Markus. Also, one of the concepts was to portray a bad-ass band. We really had fun doing the photoshoots because at one point in our lives we had the chance to be someone we are dreaming to be.
Brian : We had an initial meeting with the band in McDo-BSU and from there we planned everything, the shoot dates, venue, costumes, and needed props. We based the concepts and pegs according to what impression they want for their audience and themselves. They wanted this certain aura that can be remembered and that's what we aimed for.
Q : Na-execute ba according to plan o may changes along the way?
Angela : Everything went according to plan. It's just that with regards to the venue of the shoot, there were changes and it was really challenging looking for an alternate venue.
Brian : Not everything was executed accordingly. But we had contingency plans. Like when we arrived in a certain location, an abandoned building within the capitol compound, we were shocked that it was already being demolished and we could not shoot with heavy machinery working on site. Our plan B to shoot in Calumpit saved us. But then again another drawback, we needed to shoot a sunset peg in Robinsons Malolos and since we moved to Calumpit we didn't arrive on time for the golden hour due to rush-hour traffic. We needed a second day to shoot for the sunset peg.
Q : What was the most fun part of doing the Rockband Challenge?
Jehutz : Personally, I found our shoot in the gasoline station wreckage to be the most fun part of the challenge because that was the part wherein we loosened up and got comfortable with one another.
Brian : The actual shooting day. We had 2 days of photoshoot actually due to some changes along the way. It was fun because of the time we spent together bonded the whole team. As they say, it's not the destination but the people in your journey that makes the travel worthwhile.
Angela : The band had most fun during the shoot at Calumpit. Dangdang even had to climb the ruins so that the photos would look great. Meeting the make up artists that eventually became our friends. Traveling was also fun, because it served as a bonding for the team, and we had to get to know each other along the way.
Q : And – pardon the pun – what was the most challenging aspect of the Challenge?
Brian : Dealing with unexpected changes along the way as explained earlier.
Jehutz : The most challenging part would be finding the right angle to best portray the image of Kissing Scarlet as a band.
Angela : The most challenging would be facing the Philippine's unpredictable weather. For our last shoot it was raining cats and dogs and waiting for the rain to stop took up too much of our time. Since not all of us were in the same vehicle, some had to battle with the rain just to get to the venue for the shoot.
Q : Ano yung instance or situation na hindi nyo makalimutan in doing the Rockband Challenge?
Angela : Nung nag-audition kami sa Red Horse Muziklaban, sobrang saya namin nun. Sobrang enjoy kasi tapos looking back sa mga araw na nag-shoot kami parang on that day nag-relax na lang kami and focused on what we believe we do best, which is performing. Kahit na pagod na, sulit naman 'yung pagod, makita mo pang excited sila JP, Amos, tsaka Sir Brian manood. 'Yung tiyaga na binuhos nila para lang mapanood at matuloy din 'yung gig shoot. 'Yun ung pinaka-hindi makakalimutan.
Brian : Dalawa ang nasa listahan ko. Una, 'yung stress sa paghahanap ng alternative shoot location. Pangalawa, 'yung tanghalian namin kina Marcus dahil sa masarap na luto ng tatay ni Dang na Bicol Express at sa al fresco setting kung saan kami kumain na magkakasama.
Jehutz : I wouldn’t forget the experience of having around ten police officers around as we did the photoshoot in the wreckage. 'Yung feeling na nasa restricted area kayo tapos maraming pulis sa paligid. Hehehehe. Astig.
Q : Angela, how was posing for the camera feel for you and your bandmates?
Angela : For me, I had challenges posing, kasi hindi naman ako mahilig magpo-pose, at hindi rin sanay, pero thankful ako na si JP nandoon para turuan ako ng gagawin. Sa part nila Markus, Rhodel at Dangdang, sure ako na sobrang nag-enjoy sila being in front of the camera, lalo na si Markus, hehe. FYI, si Markus ang pinaka-excited mag-pose in front of the camera.
Q : Brian and Jehutz, how is shooting a rockband different from other shoots?
Brian : I think we exercised more patience and effort than usual shoots. Since we are not dealing with a single model but four different individuals which we need to bring out the best in them as a group, with several locations involved. It's like Love Shoot to the second power.
Jehutz : Shooting a rockband requires an artistic approach that would capture the personalities of the subjects as a whole.
Q : Just for the record… what’s your favorite Kissing Scarlet song?
Brian : Alaala.
Jehutz : To be honest wala akong maalala sa kanta nila, hehehe. Joke lang. Alaala.
Angela : For me, Alaala. For the guys, it's Baliw.
Q : And also to set the record straight, anong favorite rock song n’yo personally?
Jehutz : Wish You Were Here of Incubus.
Brian : I Don't Want To Miss A Thing, Aerosmith.
Angela : For me, Born For This by Paramore. I know the guys also like Incubus and Franco.
Q : When it was announced that you won the Rockband Challenge…. Anong feeling?
Brian : It felt good that all our efforts paid off. Personally, it's a vindication for me.
Jehutz : I was surprised but very thankful that our hard work paid off.
Angela : Actually we didn't expect that we'd win because there are other bands that sound better than us. There are other bands that have enough funds to make it to the top. But we know that our final photo entries were awesome and more kick-ass! And we believe that even though they sound better, we have the confidence and attitude. So when they announced that we are the winners, we felt so greatful and blessed. Our sacrifices paid off.
Q : What’s next for Kissing Scarlet?
Angela : Right now we are baking some delicious music in the recording studio for our album. Medyo nahinto lang dahil nga wala naman kaming permanent na drummer and 'yung bassist namin nagpunta ng Davao, tapos nagwo-work ang vocalist at ang guitarist tapos 'yung lead guitarist nag-aaral naman. Pero we manage to have some gigs naman every now and then kahit na busy kami. Pero kapag nakahanap na kami ng drummer at nakabalik na 'yung bassist namin magfo-focus na ulit kami sa pagbuo ng album.
Q : Your parting words about Rockband Challenge.
Brian : It's a great avenue for Focus Bulacan members and local bands to work together in promoting homegrown talents in music and photography.
Jehutz : Rak na itu!
Angela : First of all we would like to thank God for guiding us throughout the process and up to the final event, we also like to thank Focus Bulacan for accepting our entries and believing in our music and passion and for making this kind of event. We also like to thank Sir Brian Santos and Sir Jehutz Santiago for all the effort and sacrifices. Kahit na tirik na tirik ang araw, go lang nang go! Hahaha. Thank you din sa daddy ni Dangdang para sa masarap na Bicol Express for our lunch that day. Thank you sa management and staff ng Resiklo Bar para sa ilang venue namin. At sa mga pulis na nagbantay ng photoshoot namin sa Calumpit, hahaha. This rockband challenge gets to know who you really are and also your bandmates even better. With all the bonding and experience that we had, we won't forget this experience until we can't play instruments anymore. Support OPM bands! Support Bulakeño photographers!
Final question. Maraming nagre-request ng Rockband Challenge 2. Anong masasabi n’yo?
Angela : Kung magkakaroon man, kami ang unang unang susuporta dito. Dahil isa 'tong magandang experience at event na naganap sa Bulacan. I highly recommend all Bulacan bands to join the challenge kung magkakaroon man uli.
Jehutz : Looking forward to it!
Brian : Orayt! Rock and roll to the world, woohhh!
Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Team Kissing Scarlet!
Every month, we have a feature on our members, our photography idols, and other photography issues we feel deserve a heads-up.