Bands Local Artists

Sewage — The sound of Grunge and Punk

Sewage is a post-grunge rock band from Tacloban. Their members include Joseph ‘Jocquer’ Pensotes (Vocals), Jan Arvin Lledo (Drums), Mark Angelo Bato (Bass), and Paul Weslie Estur (Guitars). They hail from different bands but they decided to form together because of the shared common interest in music; as well as other forms of creativity. The influences they draw from does have an extensive range — but their artistry is mutual, aside from the fact they’re all very good friends. The band’s name came about due to their preferred genre of music, apart from envisioning their songs had ‘a grimy and dirty sound’ to it.

A long time ago, Jocquer Pensotes (who, by the way, is from Catbalogan) wrote a letter to Kurt Cobain. Granted, Kurt never got around to reading it but Jocquer’s father did, and was immediately filled with concern. However, this only highlighted the fact that Jocquer was (and still is) a creative person. Writing came naturally to him. Penning lyrics was like writing a poem. His influences span a wide array of genres. Indeed, his first group was a reggae band, Youth Rebellion. A far cry from their current sound.

Paul helps Jocquer with the songwriting process. With a tandem like this, it transforms into a gratifying mechanism of give and give (as opposed to give and take). Paul’s arrangement completes the whole tone of the song, and thus, he is ultimately responsible for the band’s overall sound. Paul was in a band called Strawberry Fields along with Jan Arvin Lledo, to which the latter describes that band’s genre as having a ‘screamo sound’. We can guess that the grime and dirty feel of their current band has its roots from there. With Mark Angelo’s smooth gliding bass lines emanating heavy ambience, his Punk Rock and Funk roots balances out everything especially when it’s coupled with Jan Arvin’s flashy drum rolls.

About 8 years ago, most of them took a break from performing for a while. When that passed, they decided to come back to the music and scratch the itches that needed scratching. Jocquer describes it as a ‘feeling’. Every time he practices with his bandmates or goes up onstage to perform, the excitement is ever-present. Paul describes it as a thing to look forward to after every long and hard workweek. A feeling.

In an interview with KBOXTV, they performed two of their compositions. TRAGIC is a song about a person wanting another person but ultimately never achieves that which he wants. STEREOSYCHOSOMATIC is basically a celebration of what music is. It makes you crazy, but in a good way.

The SEWAGE sound isn’t really dirty as they make it out to be. It has Grunge and Punk elements, but the grime and grind of Paul’s guitars and Mark’s wafting bass lifts every melody of Jocquer’s vocals into the fore of every song, converting it all into a very catchy tune. Complemented with Jan Arvin’s drums, the SEWAGE sound is definitely a powerful and melodic one.