Going through life with no expectations can sometimes be all right. You don’t get disappointed. But when it’s good, it brings more than a smile to one’s face. The sacrifices and hardships, they are all worth it.
“There were only pre-sales of 17 CDs,” said the Thai promoter to Filipino instrumental rock band Tide/Edit not soon after they touched down at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. “So don’t expect much.”
The four members of the band looked at each other. “No matter,” the members thought to themselves. “We’re going still going to perform all out.”
Privately, the band wondered if they’d have the energy to perform. The previous night, was the launch of their latest album, “All My Friends,” at Route 196 along Katipunan Avenue. Tide/Edit didn’t expect a lot of people, but Route 196 was packed. And it was great.
The show ended late leaving the band enough time to pack their clothes and gear before heading for the airport. They were to play their first ever overseas gig in Bangkok. It wasn’t that they were nervous. They were just bone tired. The preparations for the album launch, the show itself, the never-ending and patience-testing metro traffic, the not-so-long-but-seemingly-long-flight to Thailand, and the sound check and performance.
Just like Route 196 the night before, De Commune, the venue of their show in Bangkok, had a lot of people. “Certainly not 17 people,” noted drummer Jaw Pagaduan. “There were a lot.”
While some of the members of the band grabbed some much-needed shuteye, guitarist Clarence Garcia stayed up to watch the opening acts. By show time, he immediately regretted not getting any rest. Yet like the rest of his bandmates, he still gave it his all. At some point, his legs began to give way and his bandmates had to prop him up. The band played on. But Garcia didn’t have the energy for an encore.
The crowd understood and yet post-show, still mobbed the band and shared their thoughts about the music and the show. One Thai music fan told Garcia after the show, “I was very happy seeing you guys have fun on the stage. I didn’t know the songs and I don’t know the band, but seeing you have fun, I had fun too.”
Welcome to the life of Tide/Edit. The anti-heroes of the alternative rock set. “We make happy music,” their Facebook page proclaims. And true enough, their music is exhilarating and joyous. To borrow a song title from the new album, it’s like going to the zoo. Be prepared for wonder.
Despite being a lauded and acclaimed outfit, Tide/Edit prefer to stay anonymous. Their album covers are all abstract or feature landscape shots. No band pictures. They want it to be about the music. Nothing more, nothing less.
Tide/Edit have been around since 2011. They initially were a duo intent on simply jamming, fulfilling a boyhood fantasy about being in a band. Then came the complex rhythms and they became a full band — guitarist Nelson Villamayor and bassist Noe Rubio round out the crew — to perform their songs.
During their first ever gig as a four-piece at the Amos Bar in Quezon City, it was a fairly good-sized crowd composed of the performing bands and some friends. “The reception, on the other hand, was better than good,” noted Rubio, whose classmates also came to watch the show, but mostly hang out and have some beers.
Cut forward to the launch of “All My Friends,” there was a different ambiance to the crowd. “This time you can sense the anticipation,” described Garcia.
Why not? The fourth album’s title — “All My Friends” — is after all, for their fans.
“If you go to our shows, you are our friend. And every chance we get, we strive to get to know those who attend,” bared Garcia. “It is always good to have that connection with people who take the time to buy your cds and go to the shows.”
“It’s hard to call these people fans,” chimed in Pagaduan. “Let that come from themselves. Parang pretentious if we say, ‘We’re with our fans.’ I’d rather say, ‘We’re with our friends.’”
And for Tide/Edit, that circle of friends is going to grow once more. They are once more out of the country to perform in Malaysia and then Singapore.
Are they expecting anything?
“No,” closed Garcia. “Wala kaming illusions about making money. If we do, good. If we don’t, basta hindi kami lugi. We all have day jobs anyway. We started this band for the love of music. That’s all there is — the music.”