Dee Cruz just had one of the most exciting months of her life so far.
The Run Dorothy singer had her entire life changed after Twitter brought her together with one of her favorite bands, American Football. With a tweet and a "demo", she managed to land the extremely coveted spot of sharing the stage with the 'The Summer Ends' act in not just one, but four numbers—'Every Wave to Ever Rise,' 'Uncomfortably Numb,' 'I Can't Feel You,' and 'Never Meant'—at their Manila and Singapore shows last August 2 and 4.
Bandwagon caught up with Cruz following her Manila performance with American Football to talk about her love for the band, how she connected with them, and meeting her heroes.
Tell us about how you first got into American Football.
I first got into American Football when one of my bandmates asked me to listen to them. Next thing I remember, I had the whole album on my laptop. Winamp pa ‘yon (laughs). Hindi pa uso iTunes sa’kin.
(I first got into American Football when one of my bandmates asked me to listen to them. Next thing I remember, I had the whole album on my laptop. I didn't even have iTunes yet, I still used Winamp.)
What's your favorite song and why?
From LP1, it’s 'I’ll See You When We’re Both Not So Emotional,' 'Never Meant,' and 'The Summer Ends.' From LP3 it’s 'Heir Apparent' and, OF COURSE, 'Uncomfortably Numb.'
What I loved about them is that I felt all the words and notes to every song. It just found its way to me. To the point that I worry about Mike and ask myself, “How can he write songs like that? Is he okay?” (laughs)
Tell us how Twitter got you connected with the band.
Okay, so the past few days before everything happened, I’ve been hoping for someone to bring them here to Manila. Then I thought “Sino kayang kakanta ng parts ni Hayley [Williams] sa 'Uncomfortably Numb'?” At, bilang millennial ako, I tweeted and hoped [for] Mike Kinsella to pick me to sing 'Uncomfortably Numb.'
(Okay, so the past few days before everything happened, I’ve been hoping for someone to bring them here to Manila. I wondered who was going to sing Hayley's parts in 'Uncomfortably Numb'. Being my millenial self, I tweeted and hoped [for] Mike Kinsella to pick me to sing 'Uncomfortably Numb'.)
And then a friend pushed me to tweet again and tag Mike Kinsella. So, I did! I tweeted, “Hi, @mybandowen please pick me to sing Uncomfortably Numb with you in Manila. PLEASE, @americfootball" I was nervous, but did not really expect anything after that. The next day, I woke up to a dozen of notifications and saw that Mike replied to my tweet saying, “Lemme hear you sing it.”
Hi, @mybandowen please pick me to sing Uncomfortably Numb with you in Manila. PLEASE, @americfootball ✨— Dorothy (@dammitdorothy) June 24, 2019
Friends, pls support me. 🙏🏻
At first, I wasn’t sure if I should really send a video singing to their song, but after ilang pilit sakin ng mga tao, ginawa ko din and replied it to him. Then he messaged me directly (on Twitter), saying it was so good and would ask the band what they think and get back to me.
(At first, I wasn’t sure if I should really send a video singing to their song, but my friends convinced me to make one and I replied to him. Then he messaged me directly (on Twitter), saying it was so good and would ask the band what they think and get back to me.)
Next thing I know, I was invited to sing three songs for both shows in Manila and Singapore!
What was it like sharing the stage with American Football in Manila and Singapore?
Watching and singing for them the first time was definitely nerve-racking, but doing it the second time around was life-changing. Never in my entire life did I imagine myself singing for or with them! They were so nice and made it so easy for me by making sure I was comfortable with my monitors during soundcheck and assuring me that I’ll do great. They were all just smiling at me while I was singing on stage.
All in all, I am really grateful for the experience. I don’t think I will ever recover from this! It hasn’t even sunk in yet!
Some people say that you shouldn't meet your heroes. What was the case for you with American Football?
Screw that! I’m all for meeting my heroes! Meeting them and being able to talk to them closely backstage motivated and inspired me even more to write and make music! Plus, I was able to hand them a copy of our EP!
What's next for you?
Well, back to work (laughs)! Run Dorothy just came back from a hiatus and is now writing new songs! Also, waiting for American Football to invite us to a gig (laughs)! Well, that’s one thing I learned—dreams can come true.
American Football Live in Manila was presented by Bandwagon, in partnership with Independent Play.