Filipino classic rock band, The Pub Forties, just launched their first-ever EP, ‘DocumentAries (Demos and Outtakes)’ — a 6-track record compilation of each member’s musical compositions showcasing their varying musical styles while simultaneously exhibiting their sound as a group.
In an interview with the four-piece ensemble composed of Aries Espinosa (lead vocals), Yugel Losorota (bass guitar), Vince Borromeo (acoustic guitar), and James Casas (drums), the band shared the inspiration behind each track in this EP, how the pandemic challenged their group, what collaborative measures they brought into play to produce the EP, and more.
TNH: How do you guys feel about the release of ‘DocumentAries’? What can the audience expect from your newest record?
Yugel Losorata: This release proves that we’re still together despite how the health crisis is keeping us apart. You can hear three different voices here as each composer sings his song. Vince Borromeo contributed two of his compositions; one is a Bebop jazz (I Will Be True) and the other a blues-rock (Tigas Ng Ulo). I chose to include a hugot ballad song I wrote called Sakaling Di Dumating. Some listeners might find this one current and melodically very OPM. Then Aries Espinosa provided us with his David Bowie-inspired song The Story Of Life.
The outtake tracks showcase our voices together, including an acapella version of our late 2020 single Last Time I Saw You for the finale.
TNH: In terms of the whole EP, how did it come about? What was the inspiration behind ‘DocumentAries’?
Yugel Losorata: Because of the pandemic, the group has not gathered in person since March 6, 2020. Our last two releases were songs we recorded prior to the pandemic. We could have called it quits. But I realized we’re making some demos at home, so why not just gather them as it is, warts and all, along with a couple of outtakes of our previous OC-released tracks. The idea may have been inspired by the Beatles Anthology series wherein some of the great band’s demos and outtakes were compiled because the group was no longer active as a recording band, apart from two reunion recordings.
TNH: Each track in this EP offers a remarkable story to the overall structure of the record. Is there one track that you guys consider to be the highlight of the whole EP?
Aries Espinosa: I would rather not single out one track to serve as the EP’s highlight. Each song represents a facet of the writer/composer’s creativity, sentiment, and worldview. The differing styles of the songs also make each track stand out.
TNH: What message/narrative do you wish to impart to your listeners through this EP?
Aries Espinosa: Music and musicality find a way to be expressed, no matter the circumstances. The present social setup that prioritizes the health and safety of citizens might suggest that the collaborative pursuits of a musical group such as our band would most likely be halted. But, here we are, through the magic of technology, our band was still able to put out an EP. In Tagalog, we phrase it, “Kapag gusto, may paraan. Kapag ayaw, may dahilan.” In this case, the “gusto” part wins it.
TNH: How about the production journey of ‘DocumentAries’? How would you describe it, and what do you think is the highlight of the whole experience?
Aries Espinosa: A couple of tracks on this EP certainly weren't created only during the pandemic. The Story of Life had been written and composed a year before, in 2019, and was just “gathering momentum on paper.” Vince played a demo of his I Will Be True during one of our jamming sessions I think in late 2018 or early 2019. So, overall, the EP was really many years in the making. It just so happened that when Yugel hatched this idea of making a “quarantine EP” in late 2020, well, tadaaa! We had some ready (but raw) material to populate the space. In two words, I’d call the production a “slow burn.” I guess the highlight of this experience is yet to come. Ask me that again by launch day on January 31, heehee.
TNH: The Pub Forties has always been providing the OPM industry with music that serves as a reminder of the beauty of classics. How would you describe the impact of this EP on the OPM scene today?
Yugel Losorata: Our message to young listeners is this: We can’t offer you any extra dosage of youth, but we can provide some shots of wisdom. That wisdom is where the beauty of the classics resides.
DocumentAries (Demos and Outtakes) features six tracks, namely: The Story Of Life, a David Bowie-inspired track that talks about the mystical nature of life; I Will Be True, a Bebop jazz song that sings about the pledge of true love; Sakaling Di Dumating a ballad track that depicts the narrative of a fleeting or forbidden love; Tigas Ng Ulo, a blues-rock song giving voice to pandemic frustrations where people tend to break protocols.
The EP includes previously released tracks such as Next Big Thing, a pop-rock song inspired by sports anthems and is Yugel Losorata’s song for his basketball aspirant-son, and Last Time I Saw You, a three-part harmony among Yugel Losorata, Aries Espinosa, and Vince Borromeo — an elegy song that pays tribute to someone who passed and is inspired by The Beatles’ Eleanor Rugby — remembering a beloved in his happy times.
You can keep streaming DocumentAries (Demos and Outtakes) on all leading digital music platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.