Whoring Around: Our Favorite Wingman, Paolo Segura, Talks About Being a “Band Slut” And Some Other Feels

It was not our usual Tambay Tuesdays sesh at Route 196. Because it happened to be a birthday gig on a Thursday night at Yakal Street located in a city where I’ve grown a love-hate relationship with – Makati. Nor our frenemies banter between my love for bands/music and Daniel Padilla (whenever we had an opportunity to talk before or after their set).

We’ve finally got a catch to this pokemon, Paolo Segura, guitarist of the bands Eevee, Maryzark, Letter Day Story, Urie’s Attack, etc. He’s celebrating his birthday today, June 29. Yay! Happy birthday, Pao! And he talks about band whoring and some other feels.

 

Pao:

For the record my name is Paolo Segura. Char!

 

Insomnia PH:

[laughs]

 

Pao:

I’m 28! Ba’t ko ‘yon sinabi? ‘Di ko alam kung bakit!

 

Insomnia PH:

So, ‘yon nga sabi ko kanina, ‘di ba ang dami mong ginagawa…

 

Pao:

Yeah!

 

Insomnia PH:

Iba’t iba yung banda mo… and may day job ka, nakakatulog ka pa ba?

 

Pao:

Halos konti na lang. Konti na lang rin talaga kasi if you look at my calendar, char!

 

Insomnia PH:

[laughs]

 

Pao:

Seryoso! I have a calendar [points at phone]. Nando’n lahat ng gigs ko, lahat ng plans ko. Recording, band rehearsal, gigs itself. Even band meetings, nandito din eh. Halos dalawa or 4 hours lang [of sleep]. Kasi whenever we are recording especially with Maryzark, we rehearse from 9 to 11 in the evening. Tapos it’s in Makati pa, I live in Pasig. So, travel time talaga. Since I work in a call center din, 7 a.m. ang pasok ko, ang gising ko around 5 a.m. Tapos kung wala naman akong gigs, luma-lovelife, you know. So wala ring tulog kasi kausap sa phone, katext gano’n. Char! Pero I’m getting used to it naman. [smiles]

 

Insomnia PH:

Eevee, the band, were originally from Davao, your first official band…

 

Pao:

Yeah.

 

Insomnia PH:

So far, for almost seven years now, kamusta ang buhay banda/musician here in Manila?

 

paolo 2

 

Pao:

Eevee wise… We’ve been slow for the last few years even though we released a full length album in 2010. And nung 2011, we almost released an EP na na-push through rin. Since then, medyo lay low kami eh. Indie kami no’n. We had a manager pero kami pa rin naghahanap ng mga gigs namin that time. Well, it’s really hard. ‘Di nga kami busy no’n e, nung time na ‘yon. It was just recently na we have a new line up, we have a new single coming out din. It will be released on Spotify in the next couple of months. Either this month or next month. Totoo ‘yon, totoo ‘yon. We’re under Ivory music.

 

Insomnia PH:

Anong feeling na gano’n na ‘yong progress?

 

Pao:

It’s different eh. Kasi back then when we were part of Sony Music, everything was given to us in a silver platter. Sobrang binibigay lang talaga samin. Unlike the time na when we went indie, it was really difficult. Kasi we had to look for our own gigs and they were all unpaid. And then there was a time we had challenges with getting a drummer kasi ‘yong drummer namin that time also had other bands he’d also prioritize so I’d also go out and look for other drummers to play for us and stuff. It was a little challenging for us kasi we need to practice all the time na rin para hindi kami mangalawang. We were playing the same old songs pero ganun pa rin. Ngayon, we’re just really lucky na Ivory picked us up and we’re going to release something new finally after… five years, or more? 5 or 6 years na yata. And we’re more matured plus we already knew how the music business works. Nando’n ‘yong challenge eh. Parang ano magpaka “showbiz” ba tayo kasi major label tayo? Or will we stick to our “indie-ness” kasi nag-indie na rin tayo? We’re looking for that middle ground all the time.

 

Insomnia PH:

‘Di naman secret ‘yon sa music followers n’yo…

 

Pao:

No.

 

Insomnia PH:

After the Sony Philippines incident, not just Eevee, sa iba ring mga banda under them, maraming naging twist sa mga plan. At some point, did you consider to go back to Davao and continue your music there? During that time, do you have back up plans?

 

Pao:

Well of course, when Sony Philippines pulled out, our drummer that time went home right away. We were definitely affected because we had to look for another drummer who was as good him. Dumaan kami ng 6 or 7 drummers during that time, the transition we had before we went with MJ [Dantes]. But kami ni Enzo, tiwala talaga eh. Kasi ako, I knew that he’s really a good songwriter. He can really do something. I play for a lot of bands. Ang importante sa’kin maganda ang songs, maganda ang songwriting. I really believe in Enzo’s songwriting that’s why I’m still around. Pero thoughts of going home [Davao] not really, kasi I found a job here. Even though I don’t graduate, I found a job –BPO, call center, yeah sure it pay the bills so I’m still here. [smiles]

 

Insomnia PH:

When did you realize that you wanted to pursue your music career? ‘Di ba Engineering student ka before?

 

Pao:

Wow! Nagresearch! [smiles]

 

Insomnia PH:

Meron kang promising future as an engineer…

 

Pao:

Yeah.

 

Insomnia PH:

But why did you let it go? Was it hard?

 

Pao:

Back in Davao, honestly okay naman buhay ko do’n [smiles]. If I stayed in Davao, I might already be married nga right now, successful or whatever. But it’s passion. It’s what I want to do. Parang dati kasi, when I was asked, “so what do you wanna study in college?” Uh, I don’t know, so that means kung anong i-study ko that’s what I’m going to be after college, ‘di ba? Sa’kin naman, I’ve always found my passion in music simply in church or whatever. I played in different bands din back in Davao. And I know that it’s music that makes me happy. So if I could find the profession in music, not necessarily show bands kasi that’s not really my thing, pero I just really, really want music. If you want to love your job, look for a job that you’re in love with talaga. A lot of people will tell you “You’re not really supposed to love your job you just need to find a hobby!”. Pero if I could just make something out of my music here, why not? And I’m really lucky this time around kasi 2 of my 4 bands are currently signed with major labels so I’m hoping this year would be finally worth it for all my waiting here in Manila. So, ‘yon!

 

Insomnia PH:

We’ve been seeing you play for other indie bands. Could you tell us how did it start?

 

Pao:

For the record, when I broke up with my ex girlfriend last year, syempre kailangan mong maging busy if you want to move on, right? Tapos at that time tahimik ang Eevee. And then Enzo went to the States after graduating. So, tengga ako. I already had other bands pero mga tengga rin sila. I had Urie’s Attack and Letter Day Story at that time, we didn’t have much gigs. I was lucky enough kasi even if I didn’t have any gigs, I’d go out and watch gigs of other people. Most of it was because of Urie’s Attack talaga. So when I was with Urie’s Attack, it’s pretty old band din– pretty old indie band, they were friends with Dhruva Tara. There was a time that the drummer of Dhruva Tara was with Urie’s Attack, so no’ng nagkulang sila ng gitarista, kinuha ako do’n. And then ‘yong gitarista ng Dhruva Tara, was also the guitar player of Maryzark. Nagkulang ang Maryzark, kinuha rin ako do’n.

And then, bassist ng Dhruva Tara si Gi, who’s the bassist of Eevee now, nagkulang sila sa Hotsi Patootsi, pinatugtog ako sa Hotsi Patootsi. So do’n nagikot. And then, there was CHNDTR. I also played for Kiss Jane. It was that eh. Connections lang. It started with Urie’s Attack and Dhruva Tara, do’n nagbranch-out. So whenever they miss a guitar player during that time, do’n ako.

There was this one weekend nga, I played for like three different bands in one weekend. So I had to learn like 12 songs in 1 sitting. It was fun pero it was challenging. It was what I wanted to do. Syempre kailangan mong magpaka-busy if you wanna move on, right?

 

Insomnia PH:

Pero bakit Urie and LDS ‘yong parang naging main stay? Also Maryzark?

 

Pao:

With Letter Day Story (LDS) kasi kasama namin sila since Sony so sila ‘yong talagang tropa ko. And when they needed another guitar player to cover for the sound of Not Not, that’s when I came in with Letter Day Story. With Urie’s Attack, tropa rin! Kasi Urie’s Attack, Letter Day Story… sila laging kasama ng Eevee dati for the longest time. With Maryzark, fanboy na talaga ako! [smiles cheerfully] Tapos at that time, there were 2 guitar players – Julius and Arko, so whenever Julius was out, ako maggigitara in behalf of Julius. If Arko was out, ako maggigitara in behalf of Arko. That was the same for Dhruva Tara. So ‘yon! Uhm, why? Once again, I’m a big fan of great songwriters. Ice [Mayzark] is one of them. Definitely, one of the best songwriters I’ve ever met.

 

Insomnia PH:

Based on one of your social media posts, you coined yourself as “pokpok ng banda”, what does it feel to whore around?

 

paolo 4

 

Pao:

Well it’s just for humour lang naman eh. Kasi ginagamit nila ko, parang gano’n.

 

Insomnia PH:

[laughs]

 

Pao:

At that time, I wasn’t even getting paid. So ‘di nga ko “pokpok” eh, ano lang talaga ko…

 

Insomnia PH:

So anong tawag do’n? ‘Di pala pokpok tawag do’n! [laughs]

 

Pao:

‘Di nga ‘ko whore, eh! ‘Di ako “band whore”, “band slut” ako no’n eh. Papagamit kahit walang bayad.

 

Insomnia PH:

[laughs]

 

Insomnia PH:

‘Yon na ‘yong caption, “band slut”.

 

Pao:

We’ll of course there are gigs that pay, ‘yon lang! [laughs]

 

Insomnia PH:

You whoring around, how does it even affect, positively or not, your long-time bromanceship with Enzo [Eevee]?

 

paolo 3

 

Pao:

Enzo was very ano, I’ll coin him “proud of me”. ‘Di naman naapektuhan ‘yong “bromance” namin. If anything, yeah, he was proud of me. Kasi hindi ako nagrely sa kanya kasi I branched out talaga. And which helped din talaga sa maturity of the band kasi when Eevee came back together na naman, I knew a lot about the indie scene na rin, how things work in indie scene. Si Enzo, will always and always have his touch for the mainstream talaga. At least ako ‘yong sa indie connection ng Eevee.

 

Insomnia PH:

I remember a line – drunken thoughts speak sober mind. What was the most drunken thought you ever had at night so far? And the worst?

 

Pao:

The best was when I drunk dialled my mom [smiling]. I drunk dialled my mom, 6, 7 years ago. It was the peak of Eevee. Eevee was hot at that time. I called her up and said, “Ma, anong gagawin nyo, di ako uuwi ng Davao? Gustung-gusto ko ‘tong ginagawa ko so thank you for supporting me. I know that music’s not really the ideal whatever of parents but… gusto ko talagang magbanda ma, eh. I love you. Bye.” Gano’n. That’s the best!

 

Insomnia PH:

And the worst?

 

Pao:

The worst? Not really sure. I wouldn’t say na I had the worst idea, wala naman ako ni-reregret. Drunken, drunk or whatever. If anything, if there’s any message I wanna pass on, don’t be an alcoholic. I have been, for a couple of times na, every now and then. It doesn’t really help. Nanggugulo ka lang ng mga tao when you’re drunk. And when you’re drunk alone at home, “O anong trip mo? Wala, umiinom ako mag-isa. Anong trip ‘yan?” Gano’n. Seryoso, nanggugulo ka lang ng mga tao even if they know if you’re drunk or not. So, don’t do it. Don’t drunk text. As much as possible when you’re drunk, turn off your phone, just don’t text people when you’re drunk. Kasi ako, I’ve lost friends because of that. Kasi ginugulo ko sila habang lasing ako. If you wanna be drunk, if you want to drunk dial anyone, and if you want to drunk text anyone; people that you trust na lang. They would understand you why you’re going through this, why you’re going through that.

 

[interview by: Tricia Turla / photo by: Dima]

 

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