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Bamboo

Genre

Rock, Alternative rock, Jazz fusion

Members

Bamboo Manalac – vocals

Ira Cruz – guitars

Nathan Azarcon – bass

Vic Mercado – drums

How the Band Was Formed

The four musicians were veteran members of other bands before Bamboo was formed. Bamboo Manalac and Nathan Azarcon were from Rivermaya while Ira Cruz and Vic Mercado were from Passage. When Bamboo left Rivermaya, he stayed in the States for four years. He and Nathan caught up with each other after a long time, when he called up his former bandmate from the States. Bamboo learned that Nathan had also left the band. The two toyed with the idea of Bamboo going back to the music scene. Nathan then notified Ira and Vic of their possible plans. When Bamboo got back to Manila, he went to see Ira and Vic play with Makatha. The next day, they had a jam session in the small studio in the house of Ira’s father. From that moment, they knew that they are on to something special.

Their efforts to have a record deal were not easy. The music industry was on shaky financial ground, and the record labels wanted to have control over the type of music that they should put out. The band stood its ground and refused to compromise their principles. They approached producer Angee Rozul, who liked the band’s material, and got to work. They came out with the band’s debut album, As the Music Plays, with the carrier single, Noy-pi, which became a monster hit. Thus, Bamboo the band stormed into the music scene, the frontman a prodigal son who rose from the dead.

Discography

Albums

  • As The Music Plays (2004)
  • Light Peace Love (2005)
  • We Stand Alone Together
  • Tomorrow Becomes Yesterday (2008)

Compilations

  • Full Volume: The Best Of Pinoy Alternative (2005 EMI Philippines)
  • Rounin OST (2007 Star Records)
  • Astig…The Biggest OPM Hits (2008 Universal Records)

Trivia 

  • Contrary to popular belief, the band was not named after its frontman. The decided to adopt the name Bamboo because they can want to refer to the plant’s durability and strength, as well as the fact that bamboos are very Filipino and Asian at the same time.
  • They were thinking of naming the band Audio Barangay, but decided against it because it’s hard to pronounce. Also, the band Audioslave was becoming popular during that time, so they scrapped the idea to avoid confusion with the names.
  • Francisco is Bamboo’s real name

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