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After more than 15 years on the music scene, pop-rock band Sponge Cola has not lost its fizz. Vocalist Yael Yuzon, guitarist Erwin Armovit, bassist Gosh Dilay, and drummer Ted Mark Cruz treat each other like family and their job, like advocacy.

Do they ever disagree with each other, we asked in an interview.

"Well, lahat naman ng pagsasamahan laging may mga conflict. Pero ang mas nagma-matter ay kung paano ba na re-resolve 'yung mga conflicts na 'yun. I guess magaling lang kaming mag-resolve and mag-deal sa mga conflicts namin," Erwin said.

Yael argued argument is not the right term to use, rather "discussion" or differences in opinions.

"May mutual respect kasi kami for each other dahil nga magkakakilala na kami alam na namin kung paano nag-o-operate ang isa't-isa. Kung may point of view at hindi kami nag-a-agree minsan pero alam mo na kung saan ang hangganan," the lead guitarist explained. "Lahat kami ina-appreciate lang namin ang isa't-isa or who we are 'cause at the end of the day we are all motivated for the same purpose."

As they go to the next phase in their lives so does the music.

"Dati 'yung subject matter parang love song tapos malungkot ka pero in a very high school--college kind kasi 'yun kami nu'n. Pero ngayon, parang mas adult 'yung pag-handle," the 34-year-old vocalist said. "Actually, parang na-o-open pa 'yung mundo habang tumatanda ka."

Right after launching the album "Sinag And Tala" in 2016, they immediately started recording another due out soon.

"Before we would always cram na parang we have a deadline but this time around, we started recording na rin," Yael shared.

All the songs in the next album are original. They've yet to decide on the album title and the cover design.

What's the concept of the album?

Erwin said, "We don't set out to make a certain kind of album. It just all comes together then we try to find a common thread with what we have. Du'n lumalabas 'yung theme."

The promotional song is "Tempura" with a music video featuring Gretchen Ho.

Food porn be like

According to Yael, the song started as a message from his friend which he turned into lyrics. Gosh penned the second verse and bridge.

Ted shared that since then, they've been more conscious whenever texting the lead vocalist-songwriter.

"Parang 'Hey Yael would you like some bagel'---baka kasi gamitin niya (as inspiration for a song)," he said, laughing.

Why did the call the song "Tempura," we asked.

"Some people say kaya 'Tempura' kasi it's a word play on temporary. Tapos on some level, when you read the lyrics it make sense," Yael said. "But I'm not saying anything. Ayoko ring sabihin exactly kung ano 'yung reason kasi ayokong i-limit kung ano 'yung pwedeng makuha ng tao."


"So it could very well be song about a fish. You'll never know," he smiled enigmatically. "Basta, audience na bahala mag-interpret."

Modern technology

Speaking of food, the band has been sharing videos of their food reviews, travel escapades and gigs more times than ever before.

"We're mad crazy in terms of content variation," Yael said. "We have food thing going like we go to restaurants and review them. Then we document travels, performances. Ang dami naming ginagawa online."

He thinks each one of them brings something to the table and "kung saang avenue kami pwede sumuot, ita-try talaga namin."

Asked why most of the videos featurefood, Yael said, everyone loves to eat and he loves to cook.

"Food unifies all of us," he noted. "Plus we feature different types of cuisine na art din itself. Art ng chef, ng culture, o grupo ng tao passed down to the next generation."

The band performed at Manila Bulletin recently for the pilot episode of the online segment "What's Up Wednesdays."


Sponge Cola members (from left): Erwin Armovit, Gosh Dilay, Yael Yuzon, and Ted Mark Cruz (Photo by Rio Leonelle Deluvio/Manila Bulletin)
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Title Annotation:Entertainment News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Mar 15, 2018
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