ISOTONES: Passions and Priorities

Isotones is a Tacloban band lined with OPM rock elements.  They’re filled with lots of passion and hopes to inspire people through their music. They’re originally from various bands but they started the idea to form a project around April 2014; like sort of a trial run. Their first gig was in Calbiga, Samar. Obviously, they liked their performance and that’s when everything clicked together.

Gerald Sam Bandilla (Vocals, Guitar) came up with the name for their troupe. Sam is the main composer. Having had enough experience from other groups and writing down all his ideas on a simple notebook, he sometimes combines his experiences with fictional ones and creates songs out of the mixture. The band does pitch in when it comes to writing new material. Like when Cesar Agnes (Bass, Vocals) writes a melody, or when Michelangelo Palacio (Lead Guitar) plays out a soulful tune, Sam provides the lyrics to the initial idea and offers some slight tweaks and arrangement. All in all, their song-writing process can be attributed to whatever it is they’re feeling; making it easier to put them down on paper and turn it into a song, regardless of whether it’s based on real experiences or not.

Coming from different bands, there is a tendency for influences, priorities, and creativity, to clash and collide. Not with this group, however. They mesh well and they perform well. For example: Juan Miguel ‘Myx’ Enage (Drums) has a lot of bands in his belt. Either you feel sorry for him, or you’re just plain amazed at how he can never seem to get confused with all those songs in each and every one of those bands. Myx doesn’t even get his priorities mixed up, either. With all 5 (or more) groups he’s currently playing for, he prioritizes each one according to whoever called him up first for a gig; although with instances like that, he does admit that it can sometimes get confusing, but not much.

Michelangelo also belongs to a few bands apart from this one. Like with the drummer, he’s comfortable with the switch of genres and knows his priorities very well. His guitar lines, especially coupled with some awesome delay effects, are quite good. Cesar Agnes started playing guitar in high school and was even in a band with Myx. When he joined the group, he confidently took up the bass even though he was already good at guitar.

When Isotones finally came around to visit KBOX Studios for an interview, they performed two of their songs with gusto and precision. The song, Pwede Ba (composed by Sam), is a catchy OPM rock song that almost feels like a tribute to the 90s. It’s mainly a love song about a person with confused feelings towards another person. Kahit Na is a song composed by Cesar Agnes. Saturated with emotion, it’s basically about a relationship that’s almost drowning and you’re still trying your best to keep the whole thing afloat.

For Isotones, it’s all about passion; that’s probably one of the reasons why they keep getting some good gigs and other serious bookings. With that being said, they’re still striving for their songs to be heard on the mainstream. The future looks bright for them, however. It’s probably because they draw a lot from their experiences and learn from them. They acknowledge those emotions and move forward for the sake of music.