Wednesday, December 8, 2010

‘I’m still the No. 1 Eraserheads fan’ – Rico B.

The supposed rivalry between local songwriting greats Rico Blanco and Ely Buendia boils down to one being a big fan of the other. This was the message implied by former Rivermaya frontman Rico Blanco who expressed he has none of that “top Ely” thinking and after all he is a mere fan of the defunct Eraserheads which Buendia led back in the 90s.

“I’m still the number one Eraserheads fan. And that’s the truth,” Blanco recently told the entertainment media during
 a night at Capones in Makati where he promoted his newest single “Ayuz Na.”
When asked if he is kind of monitoring Buendia’s progress as a tunesmith to somewhat measure his own output’s growth, he pointed out, “It’s not like that in music (referring to the unspoken competition). You just do your own stuff and be happy with it.” The two are no doubt the most prolific and successful rock songwriters of the current generation, having propelled their respective former groups to iconic status.

Blanco, now on his fourth single as a soloist, was chief songwriter for Rivermaya from the ealry 90s up until he decided to leave and go solo. Now Pupil frontman Buendia solely wrote most of the classic Eraserheads singles and album tracks.

During a recent guesting at a Channel V event, Blanco, alone and focused, was seen watching from a distance as Pupil performed. He recalled, though, that he was also similarly concentrated observing the other performers.

Most quarters have concluded that instead of backsliding, he remains a hitmaker minus Rivermaya, with his first three singles all certified chart-busters. “Yugto” reintroduced him to audiences in groundbreaking nature. Album title “Your Universe” proved he’s still capable of writing intelligent English ditties while “Antukin,” known for being that unheralded track pushed into a single, assured fans that his songwriting’s strong pop sense has not deserted him yet.

Initially not given much importance (far from that of “Yugto” which boasts complicated arrangement and employed numerous people in its recording), “Antukin” is actually a brilliant record with Rico doing everything: Guitars, bass, drums, piano and vocals. Another “just Rico” number “Para Hindi Ka Mawala” has likewise a similar potential if given enough airplay.

“Marami pang bala ‘yung ‘mama,’” Warner Music’s Jim Baluyut mused, surely noting the many heavyweight tracks in the 10-song all-Blanco original “Your Universe” album.

The new radio cut “Ayuz,” with a music video featuring a dancing Rico partnered with current “Crush Ng Bayan” Cristine Reyes, takes a connection (in a feel-good mood) from the piece “Bangon” which Blanco wrote as a contribution for hope in the midst of devastating typhoons that hit Luzon this year.

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