BLASTER on his solo project 'Disko Forever': "Na-miss kong gumawa ng music na ganito"

BLASTER on his solo project 'Disko Forever': "Na-miss kong gumawa ng music na ganito"

BLASTER was bored out of his mind.

Fresh from the rush of exploring Japan with his band, the IV Of Spades guitarist felt the world around him drop when the pandemic began and citywide lockdowns kept everyone indoors. It's a sentiment he shared with everyone across the globe. You know what it was like. Sitting at home, turning to Netflix for entertainment, and possibly even picking up a new hobby to pass the time. For BLASTER at least, he leveled up his cooking skills and did a bit of biking.

When asked what pushed him to pursue his solo material, BLASTER admits it was due to boredom and that erratic feeling of lacking purpose. "Parang sa sobrang wala akong ginagawa, na-miss ko rin. Kasi nagpahinga rin kami ng banda ko," he says. "December, naisip ko mag-record ng mga solo stuff, kasi medyo bored na nga ako. Nauubusan na ko ng mga recipe na iluluto!"

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BLASTER is fully aware of the privilege of boredom during these dire times. With a roof over his head and food to keep him full, he used his time in isolation to be productive.

"Nag-record lang din ako dito sa bahay," he revealed. "Medyo mahirap ngayon mag-record yung mga musicians kasi mahirap pumunta ng studio, mas magastos. Nag-invest rin ako sa ibang recording equipment at drums. Itong upcoming solo release ko, puro sa bahay lang ni-record."

Originally written in Filipino earlier this year, 'Disko Forever' came to BLASTER while in the car with songwriter and producer Dan Tañedo (who would eventually play a bigger part in the project as audio engineer and guitar player). Modjo's 'Lady Hear Me Tonight' came on the radio and that's when inspiration struck. 

"Ang tagal ko nang hindi nakarinig na medyo ganung dance-y na kanta," BLASTER shares. "Tapos galing din ako sa ganung background nung early days ng Spades. Parang na-miss kong gumawa ng music na ganito."

He confesses that he had a hard time at first, being used to working with a band and all. The biggest challenge BLASTER had to face was being more honest and at the same time critical with what he'd made. "Kailangan confident ka na fan ka ng work mo at confident ka rin na masaya ka talaga sa output," he says.

Why BLASTER decided to translate 'Disko Forever' to Japanese is simple—he loves Japan. Being a fan of city pop, J-Rock, and anime, it was only natural for him to want to experiment. He got help from G-Danny Gaius, an old churchmate who now lives in Japan, to help translate the song, and shared it with other friends to make sure it was just right.

The story of BLASTER's solo career goes back to Island Records Philippines reaching out to him for a project. They'd wanted him to produce a song titled 'Dream' for Filipina singer-songwriter dia maté. Everything just fell into place from there.

"Fan din ako ng [artists] nila," BLASTER says, adding how he constantly listens to the music of Ciudad. "Kaya medyo comfortable ako na makakasama ko sa roster nila, yung iba pinapakinggan ko rin yung music. Kaya natripan ko yung thought na mag-sign sa kanila."

His decision to sign with Island Records Philippines was also thanks to the label giving him creative freedom and free rein over his music. "Meron silang approach na i-rerespect nila yung mga creative decisions ko, kahit minsan questionable, katulad ng pag-release ng Japanese version ng 'Disko Forever'."

Overall, BLASTER is happy with the reception 'Disko Forever' has gotten. He'd reached his goal to make listeners curious, as it was after all his intention. He also admittedly checks the YouTube comments for 'Disko Forever'. He says, "Aminado ako na lagi akong nag-chcheck ng mga YouTube comments. Meron pa nga akong mga fake account para makisali. So far, parang trip naman ng mga tao."

"Parang music lang muna ako ngayon," BLASTER says about his plans for the rest of the year. "Nahiligan ko lang talaga ang mag-share na mag-share ng mga memes. Siguro ang plano ko for the rest of the year, ittry ko i-tame down (laughs) at mag-focus sa ginagawa ko, pero 'di ko ata mapopromise yun."


Stream the Filipino version of 'Disko Forever' below.