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Jesse Valenzuela of Gin Blossoms

<p>Vocalist Jesse Valenzuela on "No Chocolate Cake", not taking it further and finally rocking Manila</p>
by Ronjay Eduvas | Nov 18, 2010
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So what made you finally head to this side of the planet?
Actually, we’ve been aware of our fan base in Manila. In fact, we received a lot of fan mail from the Philippines even way back in the day. The opportunity to visit the country just never came up. Good thing Bluedream Entertainment finally got in touch with us and hooked us up.

Talk to a 20-something about Gin Blossoms and the movie Empire Records immediately comes to mind.
That was a good movie and I love the song (“Till I Hear It From You”) we specifically wrote that for the film. Someone called us up and asked us to write a track for the movie and we were more than happy to do so.

The name of your recent release, No Chocolate Cake, has an appetizing ring to it. How does the album sound?
Well, the name of the album is rock ‘n’ roll gibberish. It has a lot to do with not getting everything you want. But yeah, the album name is up for interpretation. Sound-wise, it’s still very traditional Gin Blossoms and I’m kind of disappointed in that because we kind of wanted to take it further but when I read the reactions over the Internet, one of our super fans claimed that the sound is so different from what he’s used to, the guy was kind of angry that we were moving away from our original sound even though I think the tracks in the album are still very much of the same quality.

So what stopped the band from “taking it further”
Well, time. It’s difficult being in a band and growing up. Everyone still has to take care of their personal concerns aside from dealing with their families and the band. When work isn’t on my mind, I stay home, work around stuff in the house, cook and spend time with my family. I don’t really go out and when I’m not at home, I’m at my recording studio and I play my guitar a lot.

You mentioned the Internet. Is it an ally or an enemy?
I like the Internet. You can do so many things there. Kids nowadays have grown accustomed to downloading music for free. That sort of advance technology is very surprising for a dinosaur such as myself. A lot has really changed in terms of getting music out there but it’s more accessible now.

Are there particular stories attached to the songs in this album?
No. The songs should be able to speak for themselves.
The music scene has evolved so much since the ‘90s. How has the band kept up with its fast pace?
I like what’s going on now in the music scene. The kids playing nowadays are experimenting more and the sound seems to be constantly changing. I don’t listen to any of the artists nowadays, though.

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