Note: Interview written/conducted roughly or exactly 2 years ago from my failed online mutation(read: webzine) called Eksena.net during their second anniversary. So incase you wanna exercise some math, add that up...these guys are already four years old. Incidentally, this month is also their anniversary. (Woah, I haven't thought of that, Einstein!) So, as our way of paying tribute to one of the most hardworking production this side of southside, we're bringing this interview back to you rabid music fans. Also, I'm gravedigging online the interviews, reviews, articles and whathaveyous that have been written by yours truly from yore and yonder incase i am planning to work for a magazine. so take that bite magazine! No, really, take this...
It Takes by Hari Skwatir • October 24th, 2007
Two To Mosh
Face it, people. Not everyone, being a spectator, has that first hand knowledge of what really happens behind – the after and before of a production. Everyone reaps the good reward and partying of a mind-blowing gig, sure. But not everyone is acquainted with the dreaded ordeal of finding venues, of wooing bar managers, of keeping up with drunken patrons and even of being amicable without being impolite to gatecrashers disguised as “friends”. Or in other words, organizing a gig means, pardon my french, getting their hands dipped in a public urinal. It means getting down and dirty. That’s why they call it a “no walk in the park”. Unless of course, after strolling you suddenly feel the urge to dip your hands in piss. But that’s another story.
Hypothetical potty humors aside, as our little way of paying back to the bunch of people who made their hands “dirty” for the sake of the kids on the scene, we’re bringing you a lowdown feature Q & A on one of the most hardworking outfit on the Cebu music scene – HarakiriMosh Productions. At the same time, this is also our idea of saying “hands down, you’re the man!” to this bunch of people who snobbed “The Man” and decided to do it their way. Besides, around this season marks the second anniversary of this production, so why the hell not?
Truth be told, this email interview was done roughly two months ago and originally intended for the “other site“. However, a series of inexplicable adversities had driven us to postpone the posting of this text. After much thoughts, lest the scriptures would not see the light of day, we’ve finally decided to bring it back and lay it here.
Represented by the two ladies(or “the twins” as they associate themselves) mainly responsible for the production(and at the same time a godmother to my tot), know more about their incidental conception, their favorite gigs, their thoughts on the male-dominated scene and anything else.
Eksena: How are you guys? How’s the first half of the year been treatin’ you?
MIRZA: Well were still up and kickin hahah, though the start of the year was tough for me since I had to move here in Manila but everything’s a okay with the production..and yes alot has changed that’s true but change is constant so I know this all happens for a reason padayonon gihapon ta ni!
Shak: I have to say a lot has happened to HarakiriMosh other than gigs. Mirza left for Manila, handuraw closed down (in a tragic sort of way), everything felt pretty much abrupt even though i knew, beforehand, that it was going to happen. There’s a time when all we do was sit silently together figuring out ‘what else?’ and ‘what now?’ and wondering if we are going to live through it. But i guess we’re put here to put up with it.
For us uninformed, could you please tell us a short background about Harakiri Mosh?
Shak: HarakiriMosh was never planned. That’s all we ever tell people. ‘Harakiri’ was meant to be a clothing line name (by cheryl and i) and ‘mosh’ was an earlier production (by mirza’s brother). One night, we went out with some friends in earlier bands that used to play for mosh and so we tried putting up a gig at handuraw.
MIRZA: hehehe shak said it already.. we never planned this in the first place. twas out of boredom when we saw old flyers and posters from our well kept treasure box(hahaha) and so we wanted to relive it all again for just one night.. but it turned out to be a lot more than what we have expected
How long have you been doing this?
MIRZA: Gahd. like, were turning 2 this september heheh but I’ve been helping my brother manage the MOSH Production back in the day that was 2001 so I guess I’ve been around
How long have you been doing this and how’s the scene now compared to when you first started?
SHAK: Roughly 2 years. Nothing dramatic. Though now, the audience and even the bands got a lot younger. I see 13, 14, 15 year-olds at shows . Plus they appreciate original material by the local bands now. And yeah, kids’ musical tastes went up a notch.
MIRZA: Wow it’s different. Well there’s More young talented bands, all with different styles and of course with their original stuff. More supporters which really is a big help for the band and the scene
Aside from organizing gigs, what other activities/undertaking do you guys partake?
MIRZA: I’m still a call girl at heart hahaha so I’m still working my ass off to earn money for myself and for my familia
SHAK: I’m in vocational school and i play music too.
Your favorite Harakiri gig.
Shak: Oh gosh… If I have to pick one. I guess it would have to be twinkle dudu’s “no place feels like home” album launch. The first mosh pit in handuraw. There’s gotta be a first. Haha.
MIRZA: Huwat?!?! SHud I need to mention it again coz shak did already hahah, it twas no doubt one of the best ones we had, another fave of mine was the far from Silent 1&2 coz twas also our first time at Club Vudu and after that Jaja Chiongbian one of the owners of the said club gave us an opportunity to be a part of their thursday night underground since then
Your favorite non- Harakiri gig.
Shak: A real sweaty S.R.A. Gig.
MIRZA: I should say w/ no bias whatsoever, SRA gigs indeed.. gotta work out all that fat and do some moshin hahahahah lol
Who are your favorite newcomers(bands) on the scene?
MIRZA: ooohhh, there are a lot of them and I’m amused that each one of them has their own style and tase of music and of course identity
Shak: Hmmm. I admit i have not listened to all the newcomers but a lot of who i’ve seen live are pretty skilled for their age. I see a bright future.
How does a band get on the bill or your playlist?
MIRZA: you need to dance the pole for us and please us.. NOT! hahaha well actually if ur fit to play then ur good to go.. no descriminations.. newbies are always welcome, u don’t have to be a “rockstarr” to play for us.. we don’t have standards really, slong as u do ur thing. We support mostly indie bands..indie is love remember? u just have to show us ur passion for the music and we’re down with that hehehe
What is your biggest challenge in organizing gigs?
MIRZA: Oh damn, the venues that’s numero uno, coz from time to time venues do close down or change management etc. but nevertheless were still blessed coz we never had that kind of problems .. most of them are happy to have us
Shak: For me, venues. I can say we have been blessed coz they keep landing on our laps. But the fear of running out of places to play in is always there. Not many people know that harakirimosh is mostly a d.i.y. Production. We have no sponsors other than our own piggy banks and the venues’ ‘break even’ way of handling ticket sales. D.i.y. Usually means zero moolah. Zero moolah=struggle.
Do you consider the “male dominated” scene a problem or a challenge?
Shak: What about the “male dominated” world? Haha. Being female all our lives, we’re pretty much used to it. In the scene though, there’s this stigma of being a groupie or being in it just to hook up with guys in bands (which, unfortunately for some, is true). It’s unusual to see girls put up rock shows and such just to support local talents. It’s even unheard of, in other places, but we did it here and it’s because of music and not of any underlying motive or whatnot.
MIRZA: HAH! I never got to think about that.. not evarr!!! hahaha, is there a need for me to worry? The male species in the scene look after me and my partner shak alot, and I thank each and everyone of them for respecting us so much. We don’t have much of a problem with them since were also one of the boys hahaha right twin? But then maybe we’re a challenge for some of them out there.. they can’t seem to handle ladies like us hahaha :p or maybe coz they’re too gay? Maybe? hahah
For those about to rock and then start their own production, what 3 main advises you can share to them?
MIRZA: Just be REAL.. learn how to respect others and you’ll have it back
Know your role. Putting up a production is not all roses. It takes a lot of dedication and sacrifice too.
Be responsible and level-headed. Always think about the actions you are going to take and the words you are going to say. Respect=give it and gain it.
Have fun. Bands will be late, you will run short of money, people will be a-holes, venue owners/managers will be bigger a-holes, your parents will hate you (yea, it happens a lot) but at the end of the day, a positive attitude will get you through all of that bad vibe.
In the tradition of Boy Abunda, here is your imaginary stage and imaginary microphone - what can you say to yourself as an audience?
Shak: Hey kid. One day you’ll look back to all the shows you’ve danced in, all the booze your body has consumed, all the rules you’ve broken, all the friends you’ve made, the haters you’ve proved wrong. All these will be just a memory. But the music lives and the music will make you remember.
MIRZA: OMG! Can i have your autograph?!?! hahahahaa j/k on the realz, what can i say to myself as an audience?
“waaaaaaaaaahhh indie is love!!!!”
Top 5 foreign acts you wish to feature/showcase in your production?
Shak: Oh gosh. David blaine to teach borat some magic tricks haha. And yeah who else, i wanna see sigur ros and radiohead and air together live.. That’d kill.
MIRZA: I hearts MAE!!! that’s all I can say hahaha
Lastly, what is the best part of being an organizer, aside from getting in your own gig for free?
Shak: Everytime we let a new band play. Some are very new and young and they turn out to be very good songwriters and musicians that they blow my brains out. Knowing that we gave them a chance, a stage to rock in and an audience to awe, it’s very fulfilling. It’s like every hard work you’ve ever done is paid off.
MIRZA: Gaining new friends and sharing the love of MUSIC
Happy 2nd Anniversary and congrats to the crew behind HarakiriMosh. May you have many more gigs to organize and more bands to showcase. Cheers!