When we think of girl groups, the Spice Girls, cute Korean pop outfits, and Eurasia usually come to mind. [firstpara] But this one is different. General Luna is a legit band who knows how to rock.
While all the other girls were learning how to put on make-up, these girls were spending time with the guitars, the drums, and the mic.
We recently sat down with these musical ladies and chatted about how they write their songs, and their misadventures with overcharging taxi drivers.
Would you say that your first single, "Red Heaven," captures what General Luna's sound is about?
Audry Dionisio (guitarist) : Oo, puwede!
Caren Mangaran (guitarist) : Yeah!
Nicole Asencio (vocalist) : If you add all the ingredients from all our influences, you can hear metal in there, you can hear the blues, definitely. It's all there.
How does each of you contribute to the process of writing songs?
Nicole: I think every song's writing process turns out to be different. Songs, at least the ones we decided to keep for the album, are usually not planned. Kasi when you plan a song, iba yung approach—may formula, alam mo na yung market mo but there are songs in the album that just came out. "Red Heaven" was actually a series of five songs that we did over and over.
Audry: Maraming version yan. It started out as an acoustic number, then we jammed it at a friend's place and then he threw in his ideas. And then it changed, up until recording day when Steve of Typecast rearranged it. So, maraming pinagdaanan'yung “Red Heaven.”
Nicole: With "Blind Man" naman, it was the lyrics that came first. I saw a blind musician on the street and so I wrote lyrics. But I wasn't meaning for it to be a song. I sat with Bea, we were both quiet, and the whole song just came into place in five minutes. And there are times when that happens and there are times when there’s a long, dry spell. We’d have to work, like "Red Heaven."
Which do you enjoy more: playing live or recording?
Nicole: They're both good, you know! Well, I can only speak for myself. Kasi kapag live, iba eh—the sweat, the audience...
Alex Montemayor (bassist): ...the beer!
Nicole: …the energy, the mistakes that you can't take back, the learning curve and, you know, having to deal with more people other than your band. It's a different experience, but recording is also nice and challenging in its own way kasi it's intimate that it scares the hell out of me, kasi you hear every crack...
Caren: I enjoy both. With recording, though, you have to be precise about everything, because once you record, it's there. When live, you can do some changes and experiment with the songs.
Bea Lao (drummer) : Pareho kong na-e-enjoy. For me, recording mas kelangan maging meticulous kasi yun yung stamp mo. Doon mai-immortalize kung sino ka. Sa live naman, may magic. Hindi na madu-duplicate yung moment na yun.
INTERVIEW BY CLARISSA CONCHO-TIGLAO