A diamond for Sponge Cola
Sponge Cola stands out as one of the most compelling Pinoy bands to emerge from the post-Eraserheads era. Its lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter, Yael Yuzon, takes pains to create music that captures the sentiments of his generation.
The band has successfully crossed over from its early alternative rock audience to a wider pop market that apparently loves its songs, a number of which (“KLSP,” “Bitiw,” “Tuliro,” “Puso,” “Tambay,” “Makapiling Ka”) were big hits and helped sell a lot of albums.
Its record label, Universal, recently reported that Sponge Cola’s 2010 EP, “Tambay” had gone diamond (150,000 copies sold).
Yuzon, representing his band mates Erwin Armovit (lead guitar), Gosh Dilay (bass) and Tedmark Cruz (drums), took time to chat with the Inquirer via e-mail:
The band has been in the music scene for quite some time. Did you imagine it would live this long, and why so?
I always believed it would. That’s really how I operate. I don’t enter an arena thinking I’m going to lose. I dream, I set goals and I work hard to make things happen. That’s why I’m very thankful for all the support from everyone. I envisioned all this before and everyone paved the way for the vision to be realized. It was a team effort by friends, supporters and even haters.
Looking back, how would you describe the progress of your songwriting?
I tend to think too much these days, so there is a constant struggle between being a bit formalistic or makata and being plain and direct from song to song.
Pick three songs that reflect this songwriting progress.
In the song “She Weeps,” which I wrote when I was 12, there’s vagueness and ambiguity, as opposed to “Ok Dito” which is very straightforward. Not much metaphor there, just wordplay. Similarly, “Tambay” is also very direct. It’s about people developing feelings within the context of a barkada. Very light and… yes, direct.
Which album best captures the essence of why the band exists?
It would have to be the most recent one, “Araw Oras Tagpuan.” The band exists because we love what we do, and since our concept of love changes over time, it’s safe to assume the most recent one will have to be the winner.
How do you deal with the challenges of a changing music industry, even as your “Tambay” EP has reportedly gone diamond?
It has gone diamond, thanks to our supporters old and new. I think that our main ally in this ever-changing industry is still songwriting and versatility. That— and we’ve always been very hands-on and very active online. We have our own YouTube channel and Facebook page to help us deal with the changes in the industry.
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