As my family recently celebrated my son's birthday a week ago, I got down to thinking as to what kind of life lessons I could impart on him. Now that I have lost both of my parents, I could consider myself lucky as I can still recall a huge majority of the wisdom they shared with me even though their ways were very much unconventional. I guess one of the best things I've learned in life is resilience. In the music industry, especially in the Philippines, being talented is not enough to make it big. You also need a fair amount of luck, a well-spring of patience and a truly resilient heart - which brings me to one of the local bands that have the lion's share on resilience. People of the Earth, I present to you - Blackout Aurora.
I met these guys through working in the BPO industry and thru one of the production outfits I belong to - the Union of Sound. (More of them on the coming episodes) I have seen these guys play amidst injury, absence of a member or members, crowded venues, obscure gigs and even went as far changing their nom de guerre. And thru all it of it, one glaring fact remains - they are still playing. Together. I know it sounds like something out of a crappy, teenage drama that wants to make you want to slit your wrists but it is the butt-naked, honest truth. I was fortunate to have an actual sit-down with their vocalist after they played a benefit gig in Commonwealth Avenue who shared to me the colourful experiences he's had from forming bands, to submitting demos to record brokers and big-time producers, to living a starving artist's life in general and I have to say that I did not feel an ounce of pity; I was fascinated.
Most people would have thrown in the towel on the first uppercut of failure but these guys just keep and still keep on swinging. Honestly, I've seen a lot of great bands disintegrate over one lame reason over another but these guys ~ these guys still get up every morning, be a father or the supportive boyfriend, endure a day job and still manage to rock the stage at night! I am very very blessed to know these warriors of the art; their "no quit" attitude and professionalism is all but the icing on the cake.
Blackout Aurora's sound is crisp, clear and honest. They sound a lot like some-band-you-may-have-heard-of-but-not-really. Their sound is neither complicated nor simple. YOU could call it for a rudimentary pop but then they have a sick twisted habit of elevating their overall sound not just to highlight an emotion conveyed but also the essence of the song. As their name suggests, they suck you in the heart of darkness - only to show you the bright lights that wait in the end and leave you to your thoughts as you float in the emptiness space.
These gentlemen of the Queen City offer not only a reprieve from the usual but also a glimpse into the uncanny. You can be a rockstar all you want but only a truly resilient heart can stick it out with your bandmates with or without the glory, money and fame. Allen, Gboy and Ian are a cut far above the rest. I sure wish that up and coming bands or even the current ones take cues from these guys - that way, Filipinos would not be known only talented but also as true pros.
All photos from the band's fanpage. For more information on the band, please do check their fanpage on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackOutAurora/?ref=ts&fref=ts
As for me, I will still be lurking in the shadows of the local OPM scene. Showing support and seeking the answers to life while being as drunk as I could ever be. See you next time kids!