MANILA -- "It’s Showtime" host Jugs Jugueta can finally say that he has risen above the doldrums of the pandemic lockdown.
Jugueta, along with this Itchyworms bandmates Jazz Nicolas, Chino Singson and Kelvin Yu, had long bad days in the course of the five months lockdown. But rather than sink in the quagmire, the band propped themselves up and produced new music from their respective homes.
The result is a compelling new collection of songs for their fifth album, “Waiting for the End to Start,” highlighting the grit and rawness of such pandemic themed songs like "Silence" and "Armageddon Blues."
“My state of mind in the beginning was sometimes, it’s a good day, sometimes bad. Minsan nga nakakalimutan mo nang maligo! But eventually i chose to be happy. Puwede mo kasing tingnan ang glass as half full or half empty,” Jugueta told ABS-CBN News at the first Zoom media conference of Itchyworms.
“Parang naglu-loop ang mga araw, mami-mix up mo na kasi pare-pareho, walang marker sa weekday or weekend,” recalled Singson.
The band snapped out of the groundhog day syndrome and stopped bingeing on digital streaming shows. “We decided to get creative again. Medyo mahirap because we were homebound, making music from our own bedrooms but eventually nabuo siya into 9 songs, parang happy accident! Feeling namin parang apat kaming solo artists and we had each other as solo artists,” said Nicolas.
They are also proud of their latest music video highlighting the carrier track “Silence,” directed by indie filmmaker King Palisoc. Featuring people with gagged mouths amid the pandemic, its brooding lyrics about raging silence is a metaphor of tensions in the current situation.
“The footage was crowdsourced," Jugueta said. “Nakakaiyak siya!”
One lesson they learned from the pandemic is the triumph of creativity amid hardship. The new album which also features “Armageddon Blues” is arguably their most productive recording. Nicolas said: “Kaya pala natin! Puwede naman palang maka-create even in this setting. Wow kaya pala nating gawin from our bedrooms. Isip ko nga let’s move forward to the next album!”
On their new self-discoveries, Singson, Yu, Nicolas and Jugueta have learned how to edit videos, cook, jump rope and do gardening!
On their 24th year, Itchyworms is also riding on the TikTok trend and production of virtual shows.
“We are open to have our songs remixed even for TIkTok with various interpretations," said Nicolas.
The band, which is best known for the top hits “Di Na Muli,” “Beer,” “Akin Ka Na Lang,” “ Ayokong Tumanda" and others, is also looking forward to new collaborations with Gary Valenciano, Randy Santiago, Ogie Alcasid and Yeng Constantino.