April 27, 2018, 5:28 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07067 UAE Dirham
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1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
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Slapshock shows no signs of slowing down

They’re mellower, but the fire continues to blaze. 

Slaphock, twenty years since its inception, remains as passionate with their music and as creative with their craft as ever. If there is a marked difference from their earlier years, the five members have learned to steer their followers to become less rowdy.

Frontman Jamir Garcia said Slapshock gigs have become venues for him to educate their audience. 

 “I can pacify the crowd. I think I teach the younger crowds to behave and love each other. Hindi na away. Before, uso ‘yun, but now it’s so uncool. I think I’ve changed that former notion,” he explained.  

“I tell them this is a rock show. I think that’s the power I have. Parang sinasabi ko, I educate them about rock. Rock is passion and love, you pick somebody up. Parang we’ve come to a point, it’s became a trend, a persona, kasi very deceiving how we look, but in the end hindi mo alam kung ano ang ugali. We’ve changed that,” he reiterated. 

Still, some things remain the same. The heavy metal band’s core line-up has remain intact since it was founded 20 years ago, thanks to the firm resolve of frontman Jamir, bassist Lee Nadela, drummer Chi Evora and guitarists Lean Ansing and Jerry Basco.

“We still feel like a new band, still hungry and still ready to prove what we can do as a band,” Jamir declared. 

“There were some changes, of course. We did cut down on our partying. We have more tattoos now and we now get to sleep a little more,” he added.

And after 20 years, Slapshock shows no sign of slowing down as evidenced by the release of “Atake,” their first studio release of original songs since their 2014 EP “Night Owls” and their first full length album since 2011’s “Kinse Kalibre.” 

In describing their new album, Jamir says “Atake” is a “heavier” lineup. It is all “about pushing forward no matter what happens in life.” 

“The album as a whole matches the aggression that we bring when we perform onstage. The title comes from the phrase, ‘Atake Na’ which we use when we invite our fans that we call the Slap Armies to our shows,” he further explained. 

Jamir added “Atake” also refers to the state of the band after 20 years. “We are still very much in attack mode and not compromising our sound which is even heavier than before.” 

Although the members consider Slapshock as an “old school band,” they did not just want a fresh release, they want an album on a different kind of media, something they have not tried before. So rather than releasing “Atake” in CD, vinyl, cassette and digital which they have done before, the new album is marketed as a USB only release accompanied by a free bandana (Jamir’s trademark head gear and a popular Slapshock fan item). 

“We want to show that we can continue to innovate by embracing technology and doing things first and that’s what we did with this album,” Jamir further pointed out. 

As with every new release, the band subsequently embarks on a tour to support the album. Since Slapshock is also celebrating 20 years of being together, they have just concluded their 20th anniversary tour with 20 concerts nationwide. 

Last year, the band successfully performed in many parts of the world, including Miri in Malaysia, Sarawak in Borneo, Dubai and several East Coast cities in the United States. 

“Touring is something we still enjoy up to now. I guess it’s what keeps us bonded even while we’re away from our respective families. We know each other’s hangups so we know how to adjust to each other. But we also have a lot of fun on tour,” Jamir confessed. “We get to meet new friends when we’re overseas and we’re also able to see our fellow Filipinos especially the OFWs. Just to get our kababayans out of their normal routines and make them feel at home for even for a little bit when they’re watching our shows inspire us and give us a lot of fulfillment.” 

The band will continue their tour with Dickies as part of their 20th anniversary this first quarter of 2018. 

“Dickies support to Slapshock is unconditional. We’ve been with them for 18 years. It’s the style they bring, and we also get to make our own stuff. We get to decide what to wear. They’re very open with suggestions,” said Jamir.

“Rock kasi ang concept ng Dickies, so we jive.”
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