MANILA -- Filipino metal band Slapshock launched its ninth album "Atake" on Wednesday to coincide with their 20th anniversary.
During the launch, the band also presented the first two videos of the first two singles off the album, “Luha” and the title track.
The title of the album is apt and, despite the band’s longevity, says something about their collective mindset which is not slowing down.
“People tend to mellow down as they get older,” quipped lead singer Jamir Garcia. “Us? We got even louder and aggressive.”
“’Atake’ as a title 'yun ang mindset namin,” added bassist Lee Nadela. “Move kami forward. We’re not slowing down.”
The album is their first since the 2014 extended play album “Night Owls” that was recorded in the United States with System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian. The new album features 10 tracks, nine of which are in Tagalog.
“Yes, it was a conscious decision on our part to write the new songs in Tagalog,” clarified Garcia. “’Night Owls’ was all in English and we wanted a change of pace.”
More than a change of pace, Slapshock wanted to give back to its legion of fans. Despite being around for two decades now, the band’s shows remain packed to the rafters or as far as the eye can see with many in the audience of the younger generation.
“We’ve had fans who were young and are now professionals – pulis, doctor, abogado, negosyante, media man. Tapos now we have met their children who are also into our music,” revealed Garcia.
“Yung second to the last song sa ‘Atake’ is ‘Bandera,’” shared Nadela. “Sa dulo ng kanta, you will hear the fans singing along. Na-record namin 'yun ng live and Jamir gave them some lines to sing along. This is our way of saying thank you to them – nakasama sila sa bagong album.”
Garcia attributes their longevity to their intra-personal relationships. “You never hear that we have side projects or we want to take time off. Everything we want to do musically, it’s as a band. Nothing individual. We do everything together and when we need space we give each other space. But we do get along very very well.”
The band just concluded its 20-city tour for its 20th anniversary. They also performed this year in Malaysia, Dubai, Borneo, and the US. “I hear some bands get on each other’s nerves during tours. But kami? No. We actually enjoy them. We don’t take anything for granted,” revealed Garcia. “We’re grateful for the success that has come our way.”
In fact, the band is slated to tour Australia by February 2018. “That would be perfect time to get the new music to the fans,” said Garcia.
Curiously, “Atake” was released in a different format – via USB. “We’ve had compact disc releases, a vinyl release, and streaming. We even thought about this being a cassette release pero wala na yata gumagawa rito sa Pilipinas. But we want this to also be out in other formats. Vinyl is something we’re thinking of and a limited edition CD release because some prefer it that way.”
The band had a recent vinyl release titled “Twelve Point One” that was a picture disc as well. “We want to push the envelope. That keeps us motivated,” added Nadela.