Color It Red, 25 years later
“We were free of someone else producing us based on how he believed our songs should sound,” Color It Red (CIR) vocalist Cooky Chua said in a recent e-mail interview about creating new music.
The local pop-rock band has been around since 1989. With the help of service-funding platform Artiste Connect and fans who extended financial support, CIR was able to record its fifth studio album “Silver,” commemorating its 25th anniversary.
The band released the debut album “Hand-Painted Sky” in 1994, well-received for its eclectic-sounding ditties, including the moving ballad “Paglisan.” This was followed by the more experimental “Fool’s Circle” (1997). A tighter sound and more personal songs characterized “Pop Fiction” (2000), while “Color it Red” (2006) was mostly a departure from established material, musically and lyrically.
CIR—composed of Chua, Barbi Cristi-Paraguya (rhythm guitar), Bopip Paraguya (bass), Ariel Policarpio (lead guitar), Kwachi Vergara (lead guitar) and Jayvee Torres (drums)—
continues to evolve in “Silver.” Funding by backers reached P264,000, allowing the band to record 10 new original songs. The album was launched in May.
Chua is hands-on with marketing, packing each ordered CD for delivery. (Visit facebook.com/cookychua for details.)
How did you secure fan support/pledges?
CC: Mark Laccay, the pioneer of crowdfunding here in the Philippines, asked if we wanted to do another album in a nontraditional way. He told us the story of Kickstarter (a funding platform for creative projects) and his new company inspired by that. We grabbed the opportunity. The [game plan] was to directly involve, and interact with, our market. We were very happy when pledges started coming in.
BP: It was overwhelming to see that people believed in an album that we had yet to record.
How would you describe your mindset while creating this new set of songs?
BP: CIR already had a process as far back as the third album—we either work on an already complete song or we collaborate on riffs and lyrics, throw ideas around, and then we build on that, jamming until it feels right. Going indie now, we were totally in control of the songs.
What made Gloc-9 ideal for that rap part in “Move On”?
BP: It’s one of the most personal songs I have ever written. We picked Gloc because I believed he would get the message and add flavor to the song.
What inspired the Manila Sound-ish “Disk-O,” and how did you feel about that type of music, growing up?
CC: I really like the disco era—Bee Gees, Donna Summer… it was my secret dream to be a disco queen though I couldn’t dance!
BP: “Disk-O” came about during practice or songwriting/drinking jams… This is just us paying homage to that era since we all got to experience the age of vinyl, 8-track, etc.
Cooky, how do you divide time between CIR and Tres Marias?
CC: I’m very lucky to be ingroups with members who are great, musically, and who are good people—no jealousy or any type of insecurity in their bones. They allow me to grow. First come, first served… most of the time, it’s [back-to-back bookings].
How would you describe the current music scene, compared to when you started?
CC: We used to have to put aside a part of our school allowance just so we could rehearse in a studio and record a demo. Now we can download very good programs for free.
What are your fondest memories of the 1990s band scene and what did you learn from it?
CC: In the ’90s, the alternative scene became mainstream. We were lucky; everything fell into place. Radio, TV, print media—they all cooperated to create a bigger following for bands. We even found our way to noontime shows. Our best takeaways from that period are the friendships that have endured, until now.
BP: I have a lot of stories that are not fit for printing. One thing I learned, though, is that you should never believe your own hype. Don’t let fame go to your head and always stick to the essentials, like friends and your family.
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