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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Indephums, by request!

This one goes out to the memory of the late Rolando de Guzman whose gift of music inspired the direction of a local independent band on the upsurge, and to texter Dianne Amores who over and over again requested to have her friend Nantoy, who is celebrating his birthday today, be featured along with his bandmates at Indephums - another pod of indie Bisrock (Bisaya rock) musicians.
Nantoy is Renan Cuizon (gitarista), brother to Ryan (tambolista) and along with Ronan de Guzman (bahista, of whom the late Rolando rubbed off his being a music lover) with Ray Arsenal (vokalista) are collectively called Indephums, a compound proper name taken from “Independent Humans.”
In a late night interview at the Cuizon residence in Sunrise Village, barangay Pardo, Cebu City, I was somewhat given the ambiance of a knights-in-round-table discussion as I was throwing questions at the group’s efforts to be recognized as a potential prime mover in giving Sugbuano lyrics not only a tune, a melody, a twang, a hum, a whistle, or a yodel, but the respect and the dignity that the Sugbuano tongue so long deserves.
According to them, Indephums is derived from the words “Indep” for independent and “hums” for humans.
“We have chosen this name because the four of us are independent humans. But mao ra ni independent nga manawag gihapon og mama ug papa,” Ray says with a grin.
Behind the lyrics, which is a potpourri of subjects from matters of the heart written by incurable romantics, to plain silly-goofiness, down to the subliminal look at socio-political issues, are the beautiful minds of four men passionate about their music and whose diverse methods of upbringing and musical influences collide to produce songs that I bet would jolt and bolt, audio-wise, even the dissensitized critics of Bisrock music.

What I admire most about Indephums, aside from the thundering roll of their drumplays, is the fact that the quartet already veered away from a past age of excesses in the trappings of being rockers, a subculture that worshipped drugs, sex and fleeting fame. For Indephums, real high comes when your decision to run on the right track and to be responsible for your actions pays off with the way you are respected and well remembered.

“Negatibo”, the carrier track of their 2005 Extended Play album, opens up with “kinsa katong magpa-ubos bulahan, kung ikaw tawo palabi ra kaayo, tan-aw nimo ikaw ang gamhanan, sige padayon sa imong pagtoo kay ikaw mahulog sa kayo.” And then Indephums underlines the message how negativism corrupts man’s innate goodness in “ikaw ang bulahan, ikaw ang gitagaan ikaw untay makahupay pero imahe sa kaayo gipatay, imong gihatag ang kalipay pero gibawi kay nagmahay.”
Meanwhile “Limitasyon” sometimes mistaken as “Maayo Kang Sunogon” for its somewhat pyromaniacal chorus line razes with the message for man to move around and about in his sphere, lest be burned for going overboard or for messing up in somebody else’s waters. “Milapas ka sa imong limitasyon mas maayo nga ikaw mamalandong; kay tan-aw mo sa imong kaugalingon way molabaw maayo kang sunogon. Mas daghan og amigo kung ikaw maayo, mas daghan ang mutabang og dili ka hikalimtan…”
I find “Insakto” a perfect modifier for how this very song was arranged, making it my favorite pick. “Dungga, akong pangandoy paminawa kay kini intawn panagsa ra, dili mahimong kaduha, dungga ayaw intawn deadmaha, kay ang sakit di na makaya, insakto na…”
“Hukom (Suya)” is a creative approach on delving into the psychology of suya (envy). “Ngano man jud ang tao masuya, kung masuya ka ikaw ang ala-ot, kalmahi ug atimana imoha, ngano man makatabang ba na?…Magkahi-usa kitang mga igsoon, pag-inamigo palamboon…Sakto ang giingon dili ka makabasa sa huna-huna sa isig katawo mao nga ayaw dali-dali ug hukom…”
Other tracks are “Hulmigas” which is about an ant of course and how it has made its way to the lyrics of the song based on the emotions of birthday boy Nantoy, and “Angay Na Ba?,” taking on the theme of love found and love lost.
The 2005 EP Album which costs a minimal P50 comes with a thought-pondering flasher against the illegal copying and distribution of songs: “Sa mga mopirata aning CD maayo unta kuhaon namo ni Lord. Kamo ang hinungdan nganong di na mi makabuhat ug album,” writes Ray who produced the album and designed the CD jacket through his Rayhoundz Archives endeavor.
Down memory lane, Ronan recalled he was standing along the road near where he lives in Pardo, when brothers Renan and Ryan approached him and asked him if they could pool their musical creativity and form an alternative yet heavy rock band.
So it went to pass that the band was formed with a certain Thomas as vocalist that time. Later, he left the band and a certain Brylle stepped into the rocking picture. The band decided to record compositions around August of last year.
In September, there happened to be a band competition at a mall here in the city. In there, the original Indephums met Ray who performed for his band Hunchbox. Later, Indephums decided to let go of Brylle for reasons that are off record. After that, Ronan called up Ray and asked if he knows someone who could be vox to Indephums. Ray did audition for the band. After their so-called first jamming session, he was received well into Indephums. Now, the band is concentrating on Bisrock compositions.
All songs at the EP album were recorded at Backyard Project Studio with special thanks to Hanz Nator of Econo140 and Micmic Demetrio, this was learned from their www.myspace.com/indephums site that you Bisrockers should check out as four of their songs, including the heart-melting “Path of Silence” which will be part of the next album, are posted to serve as your sampler to Indephums’ “mugna”.
Before closing the interview, Indephums made this appeal to the local music market, “People of Cebu, you can request our song Negatibo sa 93.1 Smash FM through DJ Ram and DJ Bré Ambungan. And you can buy copies from Manu Ent. at E-Mall and also from Handuraw. Suportahi ang local og Bisaya nga musika. If you guys don’t like Bisrock, ayaw lang sawaya. Let’s respect our individuality.”
For your comments, write
indephums_theband@yahoo.com. For gigs contact 0926-3346472.