Zach and the Action Pact
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Zach and the Action Pact

Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines | SELF

Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines | SELF
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"Beat Poet"

FEATURE : Beat Poet

By Ruel S. De Vera
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Posted date: June 27, 2009

APPARENTLY, Zach Lucero can do the impossible. He can, for example, establish détente between natural enemies: Zach lives with two dogs named Bopya and Buffy, as well as three cats named Pavarotti, Sarah Brightman and Phoebe Cat. Yes, he’s awesome with names.

Zach is also something of a miracle worker when it comes to music. He was at the right place at the right time for some of Philippine music’s significant births. “I started with piano when I was around 6 I think, then guitar, then drums,” says the 32-year-old who’s best known as the drummer for the band Imago.

The youngest of three children born to businessman Rudy Lucero and wife Linda, Zach was 13 when he began learning to play drums, getting serious in college when he took up fine arts at the University of Santo Tomas. He had always liked listening to everything. “I like the ’80s and ’90s stuff – you name it,” he says. “Even glam.”

That diverse musical background made him a natural. “Ever since I was a kid, I really wanted to perform and be in a band,” he recalls. He first signed up as the drummer for a band called Hungry Young Poets that boasted of, among others, a then-unknown vocalist named Barbie Almalbis. Almalbis would go on to front Barbie’s Cradle, while bassist Ricci Gurango would found Mojofly.

Zach found himself playing music in every way imaginable. For instance, that day in 1996 when radio station NU 107 interviewed him as a member of HYP. During a commercial break, he asked the DJ interviewing him, a dude named Francis, for a chance to audition as a DJ. This resulted in a stint at the station from 1998 to 2005, when he became half of “Zach and Joey in the Morning.”

But his big break was still to come. It was the 1997 founding of Imago that took Zach to his next assignment. Taking the Latin word for “image,” singer Aia de Leon, bassist Myrene Academia, guitarist Tim Cacho and Zach got together to make some music. “We started the band straight out of college and we’d make songs depending on our mood. For me it’s the best way to express yourself, feel what you feel, and let it out, no planning,” he explains. “So as the years passed, you could see what mood we were in during that particular time.”

The band would move from an experimental acoustic to a more mainstream stadium pop style. Zach points out that their first album, 1999’s “Probably Not But Most Definitely,” was produced by Bob Aves and Grace Nono. Imago’s second album, “Take 2,” produced by Sancho Sanchez and Raimund Marasigan, came out in 2003 after much delay. Buddy Zabala produced their third album, the 2006 smash “Blush.”

“There you can see the differences already,” Zach says.

The group has so far enjoyed over a decade of tuneful teamwork, identifying Imago’s performance at Singapore’s Mosaic Festival as its greatest hit, so to speak.

But music courses so thickly through Zach’s veins that he wanted to inject new rhythms into his blood. He began planning an album of his own work that would be distinct and original from what he plays with his band. The songs began congealing in his thoughts as he carved out time to breathe life into his tunes during his free time between Imago albums. Over eight months, he logged more than 100 hours at Sound Creation Studio in Quezon City.

“It was difficult, not because I was doing it amid our other Imago activities but because I’m so used to ping ponging ideas with my band mates,” he explains. “Then all of a sudden I’m in the studio alone. I’d end up ping ponging ideas to myself, talking to myself, arguing, fighting and laughing with myself.” The hardest part was making up his mind, since Imago made decisions by vote. “When you’re alone, you have to decide by yourself, and deal with figuring out if you made the right decision on the way home.”

That solo album is “Fall Crash Infect,” nine meticulously arranged songs brimming with intelligence and superbly blending styles and influences, such as New Wave (“Bob”) and alt rock (“Matina Town Square”), with nary a chord or effect out of place. Unlike most of Imago’s oeuvre, the songs are all in English. Aside from witty reflections on the zeitgeist (“Superpoke,” with its standout voiceover), the tracks, especially the infectious title track, seem to vibrate with personal resonance through sharp imagery and vibrant lyrics. Zach even gets sweet in one song (“My Blue, White and Red”).

He admits a lot of it is based on real life as well as the movies he’s seen. “It also shows that no matter what the story is, it’s essentially the same bananacue, with different sticks poking through it,” he says. Part of his goal was to create the album by himself, something he identified as being the best and worst part of the entire experience. “It’s not easy; if you’re gonna do something like this, you gotta relax and pace yourself,” Zach counsels. “Don’t be atat [impatient].”

One has to be patient when building a dream project track by track. “I wrote the songs, lyrics and the melody lines,” Zach says. He played drums, guitars, bass, synthesizer and sang too, whew! He also invited friends like Radioactive Sago Project’s Lourd De Veyra, Taken by Cars’ Sarah Marco, Boldstar’s Marie Jamora, Cambio’s Kris Dancel, The Ronnies’ Ene Lagunzad, Outerhope’s Micaela Benedicto, The Dorques’ Aimee Marcos and Silent Sanctuary to appear in his album, forming a sort of Legion of Super-musicians. “I chose them according to what I felt was bagay [a good fit],” Zach notes. Additionally, he had a dependable system for figuring out when the album was done: he stopped when he “realized that wala na akong maisip [I couldn’t think of anything else].”

Deciding to produce the album himself instead of signing up with a big label was a natural direction for Zach. “I just figured if I were gonna do it indie, might as well go indie all the way, at para masabi ko na nagawa ko [so I can say I did it],” he says. He took seriously the tasks of organizing studio time, coordinating the schedule of his guests and talking to radio stations, something that proved a greater challenge than he expected. “I’m not used to that, I’m so burara [disorganized],” he admits, adding that the experience taught him how to budget.

Despite the difficulties, “Fall Crash Infect’s” launch last March 24 at Saguijo, has allowed Zach to savor being able to share his musical labor of love with a general audience. The album is now available at Music One and Fully Booked, but the best way to score one is to approach Zach himself. “If you see me, I’ll be lugging them around in my backpack and trunk,” he says. A music video and television appearances will follow.

So apparently, Zach also has the mutant ability to do a lot of different things at the same time. Aside from all the business surrounding “Fall Crash Infect,” he continues on as Imago’s percussionist. He hasn’t forgotten his personal passions, such as his devotion to the rhythmic Brazilian martial art Capoeira (he’s been taking it for four years at the Escola Brasileira de Capoeira) and his love for scooters (he rides a Yamaha Fino Sport and a Gilera VXR 200).

But he can’t escape the music. Imago is gearing up for its fourth album, currently recording demo tracks. Zach wants to do another album, an instrumental one this time. “Bahala na [We’ll see], let’s see what my mood is when the time comes,” he says. After all, Zach isn’t done innovating yet. He wants to find time to record another album, this time with his other band, Garlic, which he describes as being heavily instrumental and avant-garde. Garlic features Louie Talan, the Razorback bassist, and Francis Reyes, guitarist of the Dawn and, incidentally, the NU DJ who was interviewing Zach that day when he asked to audition.

There’s no telling where Zach Lucero’s musical wanderlust will lead him next. All that has come to pass is ample proof that his musical life has indeed come full circle, like a vinyl LP rotating on a turntable, a magnetic tape reel’s turning, and a beloved, bright CD spinning so fast it glints like a newly charted star.


URL: http://services.inquirer.net/print/print.php?article_id=20090627-212745 - The Philippine Daily Inquirer: Sunday Inquirer Magazine


"Zach Attack"

Luis Listens
Zach Attack

Zach Lucero, former NU 107 DJ and drummer of Imago, releases his first solo album

By LUIS KATIGBAK
April 8, 2009, 2:04pm

You may know Zach Lucero from his stint as a popular DJ for NU 107, or as the drummer of rock band Imago, or his startling resemblance to a certain shirtless Bench billboard underwear model. As of last March 24, however, you will know him for another major achievement: the launch of Fall Crash Infect, his solo album.

It’s an excellent independent release featuring nine tracks of guitar-pop goodness laced with electro-flourishes, that calls to mind the best bits of recent pop-rock history, from 90s Britpop to the fairly recent penchant for dance-punk. It also has a lot of guest vocalists, like Kris Dancel of Cambio, Sarah Marco of Taken By Cars, Micaela Benedicto of Outerhope, and Lourd de Veyra of Radioactive Sago Project. I interviewed Zach about his first full-length solo effort:

You’re in Imago, one of the country’s best known bands. Why come up with a solo album?

This is something I’ve always wanted to do, make an album where I get to play all the instruments, sing on it, and produce it. I thought, “Ah yesss... I get final say in everything... mwahahahaha...” But, as I discovered in the middle of recording, it can get difficult. With Imago, the dynamic is different. I have my bandmates to ping pong ideas with, to argue with, etcetera. When you’re alone, well kaka sira ulo din.

What do your bandmates think of the album and your solo career?

What did my bandmates think? Well, siyempre sa simula they were threatened, as in insecure and all, as in they wouldn’t talk to me. As in, to them, this was big time CONFLICT... Joke... hahaha! They were very supportive, they would give suggestions to me and all, and also I’d get the occasional “Uy... singer... nahks naman...” What few people know, is that before I was a drummer, I was a singer and a guitarist. I sang for a band called Fearless Freep, this was in the [Club] Dredd EDSA days noong mid ’90s when I was about 11 years old. [Luis’ note: Zach was probably older than that in the mid-90s.]

Where did you get the phrase “Fall Crash Infect?”

Fall Crash Infect... hmmm. Crab mentality without meaning to. One goes down, at may nadadamay na iba. “Oh ah... Lalim Zach ah!”

Will you be gigging to support the album? What will your live lineup be like?

Actually I was so nervous on launch night that I figured “Screw this gigging... I’ll just sell the album,” haha. Eh after the gig it went well naman, so mas palmuks na ako. Bring it on! Lez play! So yeah, I will be gigging. The band will be Eo Marcos (of the bands Salamin and Severo) on drums, Marie Jamora (Boldstar, Blast Ople) on synth, Nix Puno (Us-2 Evil-0) on bass, Jason Caballa (Pedicab) on guitars, and Kris Dancel (Duster, Fatal Posporos, Cambio) whenever they are free.

You have an amazing array of guests on the album. Why so many guests?

I felt that the songs could be further pushed with the additional talent of the guests I invited. The songs are pretty much different from each other, hence the variety. When I made the songs, a certain character would come to mind, like let’s say for “Bob,” Kris immediately came to my mind, or like Marie Jamora for “Fall Crash Infect.” I just figured it would be nice to have them on board... bagay eh.

The collaborating part was really fun. The guests’ ideas were amazing. Their contributions were invaluable and their talent very much appreciated. I would get really excited whenever I had a guest come in. I guess it’s akin to Tom Hanks seeing another human after so many years in Castaway. I never realized how atat I was to have someone else in the studio. Hahaha.

You always have a sense of where the local music scene is at and where it’s headed. What is the state of the music scene today and where do we go from here?

Everything is a cycle. Sorta like what Kim Atienza says in his weather report: “...ang buhay ay weder weder lang...” Music is like that, seasonal. Where is it headed at this point? Well, if we’re down now, then it can only go up... hehe. Seriously though, right now I believe it’s like limbo. Good stuff is coming out, but the people, I feel, are still sorta like taking a nap. What will wake ‘em up? That, I wanna see... ‘Coz when we talk about the scene, we should see it in its entirety, audience included. What is their state of mind at this point? Sometimes, good stuff can come up in the scene, brilliant songs and all, but with everybody else distracted, or “napping,” those songs can fall on deaf ears...

Will there be future solo Zach Lucero recordings?

Oh definitely yes. I wanna do another solo, I think next time, God willing, I’d like to do an instrumental album... I’ve been dying to do a Garlic album (my other band with Louie Talan and Francis Reyes), but their schedules are worse than mine. So yeah, maybe something in that direction.

Send questions and comments to Luis at thekingofnothingtodo@yahoo.com.

URL: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/201780/zach-attack - The Manila Bulletin


"Zach's Awards for Best Album, Best Radio Single, Best Song"

The Return of The QLE Awards

Posted by France at December 28th, 2009

“NO NOMINEES, JUST WINNERS”: THE 2ND QLE AWARDS WILL BE HELD ON DECEMBER 28, MONDAY, 10 PM, AT MAG:NET HIGH STREET

LUIS KATIGBAK: It all started last year, when three music-loving, media-saturated friends were disillusioned with the usual annual rock awards. They launched a new ‘awards show’ with articles in the three major dailies, culminating in a gig featuring Intolerant, Itchyworms, Up Dharma Down and others. Those three friends were myself, filmmaker Quark Henares and editor Erwin Romulo.

QUARK HENARES: A lot of really cool things happened after [last year's QLE articles] came out. Rock Ed put up an awards night that was really more of a get-together of music lovers than a hoity-toity awards show.

ERWIN ROMULO: I never imagined we’d do it this again this year, when so much has happened and there is very little to celebrate. Plus this year’s NU Rock Awards was the best in its history.

QUARK: Instead of semi-protesting the Rock Awards, QLE has a new mission, and that is to turn you on to good music that’s mostly overlooked by the pop charts. [...] 2009 in general may have been the most horrible year in the history of the known universe, so I thank the following musicians with all my heart for keeping me company and being that glimmer of hope in the midst of all this chaos…

*

BEST SONG I’VE HEARD THIS YEAR

“Matina Town Square” by Zach Lucero feat. Sarah Marco [Quark]
“Matina Town Square” is a masterpiece that will win you over with its 90s alt rock earnestness.

“The Story So Far” by Outerhope [Luis]
Written with honesty, performed with skill and love, this song is one of the most beautiful stories I’ve heard in a long time.

“Superpoke is Nothing Compared to True Love” by Us-2 Evil-0 [Erwin]
An affecting anthem, heartfelt and impassioned but deeply introspective. When Dulce sings, “We just fade away,” it’s already happened?only the song remains.

BEST SONG I’VE HEARD THIS YEAR THAT WAS NOT RELEASED THIS YEAR

“Mmm” by Arigato Hato [Quark]
“Mmm” is a slow-burn delight that results in LSS for weeks to come.

“Clarity (N:ua Remix)” by Bagetsafonik [Luis]
While the song was good to start with, the N:ua reworking?from the 2008 Travel Agents remix album?takes it to a mesmerizing new place.

“Line Drawings” by Sandwich [Erwin]
Cruelly overlooked even by its makers, this is the one song from Sandwich’s < S > Marks The Spot that sounds more alive than any of the popular singles released from the album.

BEST SONG I’VE HEARD LIVE THIS YEAR

Ang Huling El Bimbo by the Eraserheads [Quark]
Cheating, I know, but someone has to acknowledge the sheer drama and power with which the Eheads performed “Ang Huling El Bimbo” for the “Final Set (yeah, right)” last February.

“Medicine” by Waya [Luis]
“Medicine” may have been written based on the lead singer’s experiences with asthma, but it will leave you breathless for other reasons entirely.

“Juggernaut” by Greyhoundz [Erwin]
“Juggernaut” is the song that I wish they made during the band’s heyday in the 90s. If anything, it might’ve prolonged the period so that we could’ve bypassed all the “acoustic” acts that followed them.

BEST SINGLE THAT I HEARD ON THE RADIO

“Matina Town Square” by Zach Lucero feat. Sarah Marco [Quark]

“Twenty Years From Now” by Outerhope [Luis]
Outerhope handed over their new album to radio stations without specifying a single, so it’s interesting to see which tracks individual stations choose to air. This one seemed a natural…

“Let’s Make Babies” by The Bernadettes [Erwin]
This is what all pop should aspire to. It’s music drunk on its own exuberance.

BEST LIVE ACT

Eraserheads [Quark]
Again, it seems totally pointless for me to even give props to the greatest band ever, but the second reunion concert felt like a sort of homecoming to me.

Corporate Lo-Fi [Luis]
Hip-hop with a full band setup is not a new concept, but as you can imagine, it’s not an easy thing to pull off…

Turbo Goth [Erwin]
It’s the shoulders. They make music.

BEST SECOND ALBUM

A Day for the Absent by Outerhope [Quark]
It’s the perfect Sunday afternoon record, a steady listen that showcases Outerhope’s Peanuts-score sound crisper and clearer than the first. [...] Well worth the four-year wait.

Back to the Nut House by Hilera [Erwin]
With their second effort, they’ve grown in ambition as well as skill, delivering a modern rockabilly experience that’s angrier but more focused than its predecessor.

BEST GUITAR PLAYING ON AN ALBUM

Kris Gorra-Dancel [Erwin]
Many of our so-called guitar heroes could learn a thing from listening to Gorra-Dancel, who doesn’t need to resort to a single solo to show that she plays with balls.

BEST FRONTPERSON

Katwo Librando-Puertollano, Duster [Luis]
With undeniable style, spirit, and occasionally slightly off-kilter spiels, she charms and confronts and conquers.

BEST ALBUM COVER

Peryodiko [Quark]
19-year old Paulina Ortega made this brilliant album cover by pouring and shaping real wax. She is genius waiting to happen.

The Dingdong Dantes Experience [Erwin]
Self-explanatory.

The Distinktive Sounds of Pasta Groove [Luis]
The cover accurately?and attractively?represents the glorious mashup of elements inside. You know, much like the Dingdong Dantes album cover does.

BEST NEW ARTIST

Waya [Luis]
This is a band that can do seemingly anything, from revelatory covers of Roison Murphy and The Gossip and Talking Heads to instant-favorite originals like “When” and “Medicine.”

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT

Ciudad [Erwin]
Our favorite band is still at it and now they’re playing in Manhattan!

Nine Inch Nails [Quark]
I don’t think Manila’s rocked this hard since Rage Against The Machine back in ‘97.

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Up Dharma Down’s “Taya” directed by Nic Reyes [Quark]
Nic Reyes and Up dharma Down have always been the perfect pair-up, and it’s great watching this young director grow with the band.

Pasta Groove’s “Give Bearth” directed by Paolo Garcia [Luis]
Flickering and unfolding like a dream, splicing in vintage film clips with new footage made to look archaeological, the video enhances rather than detracts from the Pasta Groove experience.

Us-2 Evil-0’s “Mighty Heart Attack” directed by J.A. Tadena [Erwin]
Standing as an antithesis to all the rest of the videos gaining airplay today, J.A. Tadena’s video for Us-2 Evil-0’s first single is not a patchwork of pegs strung together from the director’s favorite videos but rather a sincere piece of filmmaking.

BEST LIVE ALBUM

Shuffle Union [Erwin]
Recorded at a tribute gig to the late Luis ‘Weslu’ Guiang in Cubao, this is certainly a testament to the spirit of the statement of its producer, Betrayed’s Je Bautista, that “ska is reggae on beer.”

BEST COLLABORATION

“Matina Town Square” by Zach Lucero feat. Sarah Marco [Luis + Quark]
Not only would it appeal to fans of Zach and Sarah’s bands?Imago and Taken By Cars, respectively?its catchy headlong quality would win over people who were fans of neither.

“Giving Bearth” by Pasta Groove (featuring Up Dharma Down’s Armi Millare, Rubber Inc’s Malek Lopez and Third World Project’s Allen Umali among others) [Erwin]
This track is a demonstration of how adept afro-Filipino stalwart Pasta Groove is in making diverse elements work to his advantage producing music that’s uniquely his own.

BEST PROTEST SONG

“Wala” by Kamikazee [Erwin]
“Wala” is what’s it all about now; and where it’s at—a defiant album saying that for all the bluster our pop stars and Illac Diaz have promoted themselves with: what does it really amount to? WALA.

BEST ALBUM

A Day for the Absent by Outerhope [Luis]
…the songs, from the childlike yet brilliant “Lost in Numbers” to the jaunty “Anna Gabrielle” to the drum-machine driven “Twenty Years From Now” and the deeply affecting “The Man With The Pipes,” are just the best songs I heard this year.

Travel Advisory by Archipelago [Erwin]
…the music sits well with itself, so assured of its own strength that it needn’t try to do anything else.

Fall Crash Infect by Zach Lucero [Quark]
Fall Crash Infect is the best thing that an album could be considering who Lucero is and where he’s been—it’s cathartic.

The full explanations by Quark, Luis and Erwin will come out in the three major daily broadsheets. Stay tuned for links. see you at the awards show!

URL: http://www.unomagazine.com.ph/2009/12/the-return-of-the-qle-awards/ - Uno Magazine


"Fall Crash Infect Album Review"

Friday, March 27th, 2009

MR. DJ SPINS HIS OWN: ZACH LUCERO DEBUTS WITH FALL CRASH INFECT
by Aldus Santos

When they’re not out doing lengthy, facetious solos, drummers assume the most unassuming post in a band. They count a song off, and, after that, keep time to hold the disentangled pieces together. They also serve as boosts, as virtual accents. Without drummers, rock music will probably be a muddle of distorted gibberish. Without drummers, “Whole Lotta Love,” “Hound Dog,” or, damn, “Balong Malalim” would teeter on the brink of being “mere noise.” Lousy rock drummers are, therefore, inexcusable. Imagine an off-time moron pounding skins for The Clash or Aerosmith. Done? How did that feel? Yet the rewards are few and far between, and the acknowledgement tangential at best. In live rock photography, for instance, the skinsman is eternally obscured by the imposing drumkit: cymbal against cheek, tom against nose. But, from time to time, drummers emerge out of the woodwork to prove themselves as consummate musicians. Phil Collins’s reign in the post-Peter Gabriel incarnation of Genesis proved to be musically adventurous, for one. Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, on the other hand, rivaled his deceased singer’s [radio-friendly] vitriol with his work in the Foo Fighters. And who can shrug off Raymund Marasigan’s meteoric rise to full frontmanhood post-‘Heads? Throw in Joey “Pepe” Smith in there as well. Man!

Joining that hallowed party is Imago’s Zach Lucero, who is turning out to be a totally different animal from his Imago drumming self with his debut solo record, Fall Crash Infect. Lucero is no writing newbie, and, whereas his compositional contributions to said band tend to approximate a more OPM vein, the new record in question is exploring sing-song indie territory, comparable perhaps to Broken Social Scene or an Into the Sun-era Sean Lennon. The drummer in him takes a backseat to accommodate songcraft, and his choices of subject matter—lost loves, courtships, flirtations; you know, Facebook-y stuff like that—will tickle the best of us pink. The most pleasant of surprises, however, would have to be the musicianship. Lucero on guitar, for instance, displays a daring sort of simplicity, a zigzagging thoroughfare of playful melodies and novel rhythmic patterns. His voice, meanwhile, is reminiscent of the best of the “non-singer” singers. In other words, he’s that buddy of yours who’ll floor you at videoke with his endearing pipes, though he may not necessarily bag the grand prize at American Idol. And, in all of this, a cool and certain sense of rhythm. Naturally. Zach is reborn with Fall Crash Infect, to say the least, and you definitely should take a whiff. Here is a brief chat of ours:


Aldus Santos: How are things—the album and all?


Zach Lucero: Indie all the way; ako lahat. The album is called Fall Crash Infect. I was holed up in Shinji [Tanaka]’s place for a while [to do it].


A.S.: Like you lived there?


Z.L.: ‘Di naman lived there, pero I spent a lot of time there. Ang hirap kasi mag-isa, [and] I didn’t have a band to talk to [for this project]. So, it was just me and Shinji, and my occasional guest singers who did backup in the album.


A.S.: Okay, great.


Z.L.: I’ve always wanted to do something like this—do an album and play all the instruments. It can be hard, pero fun din naman.


A.S.: So, you sang in all the songs?


Z.L.: I sang in all. [I had] guest singers who did backup, [like] Kris Dancel, Marie Jamora, Micaela Benedicto of Outerhope, Sarah Marco of Taken by Cars, Aimee Marcos, Lourd de Veyra, [and] Ene Lagunzad.


A.S.: Why didn’t you do it earlier? I mean, form a band with you as central creative force (or go solo)?


Z.L.: Why not earlier? Time. Last year, I had more [time], plus, I dunno, it felt like the right time. Ang dami kong stuff na hindi bagay sa Imago.


A.S.: Okay, like what kind of musical tendencies of yours do you think are not in synch with Imago?


Z.L.: Hmm, more on the melody line. The music naman—iba, eh, I can’t explain, [dahil] absent na rin ‘yung tatlo [Imago]. If I arranged it with them, ‘yun, magkakaro’n ng Imago-ish tinge to it. Iba-iba ‘yung songs, eh, pero still under the umbrella of rock.


A.S.: How involved are you in Imago composition-wise? I mean I know everybody arranges.


Z.L.: With Imago, more on the music. I did, or started, the riff for “Sundo,” “Anino,” “Rainsong,” “Alay,” “Highway,” et cetera.


A.S.: How do your bandmates feel about the solo record? I mean wala bang kantyawan na, “Uuy, bakit hindi dito sa ‘tin?”


Z.L.: Meron, pero not about giving the songs [to the band]; more on, “Uuy, singer!” [laughs]


A.S.: I haven’t heard you sing! [laughs] And it’s prob’ly because you do a lot of difficult [stuff] on the drums, and you can’t do backup vox anymore, no?


Z.L.: Most haven’t, except for those “Bok Boj the Chicken” songs I’d sing in NU, and “Black ang Birdie ni Jordan.” Kaya when I did this, ang dami na-curious. They’re, like, “Serious ba ‘to? Or comedy?” They were expecting puro patawa, eh there’s another side to Zach pala—nakanaman! [laughs]


A.S.: [laughs] Oo nga, pare; I mean, your DJ-ing established your personality, eh.


Z.L.: I know. [laughs]


A.S.: I mean your “character” is more popular than say, Aia [de Leon]’s—who only sing—because you talk, talk, talk.


Z.L.: I know people who’d say “Ha? Drummer ka ng Imago? ‘Kala ko nag-d-DJ ka lang.” [laughs]


A.S.: [laughs] Anyway, would you say it’s glum and totally “un-DJ-Zach”? The material, I mean.


Z.L.: Yeah, malayo; “un-DJ-Zach” talaga. Parang ‘pag nasa Garlic ako: “un-Imago-drummer-Zach.”


A.S.: Ah, yes, yes.


Z.L.: Well, actually, I do have one patawa song. It’s called “Super Poke.” [laughs] As in, Facebook-poke. I just wanted to write about that whole Facebook thing. Lourd and Ene and Mick [Micaela Benedicto] guested in that song.


A.S.: Astig. Otherwise, besides this, what themes do you think you explore in the record?


Z.L.: Themes in terms of what? Chords? Beats?


A.S.: Nope, lyrical.


Z.L.: Ah, love tayo d’yan. Even “Super Poke” na medyo patawa, tungkol sa talamak na landian sa Facebook.


A.S.: Autobiographical ba? [laughs]


Z.L.: This album is mostly that.


A.S.: Talamak ang landian sa Facebook? I didn’t know! [laughs]


Z.L.: [laughs]


A.S.: Hmm, regarding “autobiographical,” what do you talk about? [Oh, and also]: you were in a semi-public relationship; does it worry you everything you say in a song will be read sometimes as being about that? We can skip this, Zach, ‘pag di okay for you.


Z.L.: Autobiographical? Yeah, just sharing and pointing out that no matter how different our experiences are from [one] another, there’s always a common thread—even if you haven’t experienced it, you’ll get there. Do I worry? Nope, because it’s not the case. In the entire album, there’s only one song-song about the semi-public relationship. I have no problem naman with that. Eh, I released the album nga for all, eh, so why keep anything.


A.S.: Right, right.


Z.L.: Correction: eh, I released nga an album for those who have 280 bucks to burn, eh! [laughs]


A.S.: [laughs] Music naman! What non-percussive, non-rhythmic instruments have you always wanted to play or go crazy on?


Z.L.: Strings. That’s what I failed to play in the album. I tapped the Silent Sanctuary boys to help me out on that one.


A.S.: Ah, but what strings do you play? Why didn’t you do it yourself?


Z.L.: Strings? Wala, frustration ko ‘yun. When I try to play the violin, it sounds like a fart. [laughs]


A.S.: [laughs] Anyway, why do you think we don’t have enough solo guys doing rock? There’s a stigma with solo guys being pop—here in the country at least—pop or old-people standards.


Z.L.: Hmm, good point. Maybe because ‘pag rock, group or banda kasi ang dating. If you think about it…


A.S.: I mean it’s still odd to see Rico [Blanco]’s name billed alongside, say, Greyhoundz’s.


Z.L.: …even in the States, konti lang—I mean compared to rock bands.


A.S.: Yeah even if it’s someone like J. Mascis or Frank Black, parang “Ay…” So how will Zach break that stigma? What’s “new” in the solo material?


Z.L.: I don’t think I’ll break anything. [laughs]


A.S.: Not even…hearts? Sorry, corny! [laughs]


Z.L.: Hearts?! [laughs] Nah, I just wanted to do my songs, and do something “un-DJ-Zach”-like.


A.S.: Are these old? Or did you write them with this project in mind?


Z.L.: Some are old riffs; some I did in a day; some never even made it to the album.


A.S.: Naiinggit ako! Gust ko mag-solo! [laughs]


Z.L.: You should try it, pare. It’s crazy! You will end up talking with yourself a lot—debate with yourself, argue with yourself, and laugh with yourself. Kaka-sira din ng ulo. Buti si Shinji okay ‘pag nagkakaganu’n ako.


A.S.: So what did Zach tell Zach most of the time? [laughs]


Z.L.: Mostly “Zach, okay ba ‘to?,” “Zach, ‘di ko alam, eh,” “Eh, Zach, pa’no na?,” “Ewan,” and here is where Shinji comes in, “Shinji?”


A.S.: [laughs] Ano’ng reaction ni Shinji ‘pag kinakausap mo sarili mo? Or was that all in your head, the talking?


Z.L.: Ah, no—I would really talk aloud.


A.S.: Ah, wow. I can imagine.


Z.L.: Pero hindi ‘yung parang Me, Myself, and Irene na schizo talaga. I’m so used to butting heads and arguing with Tim [Cacho] and the rest of my bandmates na I can’t help but just squeeze myself silly making sure about what I’m doing.


A.S.: Tapos pagsabat ni Shinji, “‘Di ka kasali sa usapan! Nag-uusap kame ng sarili ko!” [laughs]


Z.L.: [laughs] Shinji just patiently waits until okay na ako. It’s better for him actually—the clock drips moolah when I do that. [laughs]


A.S.: Anyway, seriously: what pluses does the solo thing have?


Z.L.: Pluses. Well, ‘pag nag-aaway kami ng sarili ko, walang personalan. We resolve things relatively fast. Walang samaan ng loob. [laughs]


A.S.: Tipong pagkatapos ng session, nagbibiruan pa rin kayo na parang walang nangyari. That’s always good. [laughs]


Z.L.: Yes, yes, tapos inuman kami. What a guy, that Zach! [laughs]


A.S.: So you and Shinji mixed and mastered, siyempre? And you produced, I suppose?


Z.L.: Nope, Shinji mixed and mastered. If I mastered my own album, that would mean more arguing between me and Zach—and I was running out of time.


A.S.: [laughs] What are your general production ideas this time for this record? What did you want to sound like, or not sound like?


Z.L.: I just wanted everything to sound cohesive. I based what chord and instruments I used on the principle that it would all sound cohesive. I used a lot of open chords, synths.


A.S.: Okay. How did it feel to keep overdubbing over yourself? Does Imago track live in the studio? O overdubs din?


Z.L.: When you’re doing everything, aliw! Because you see the song being built from [the] ground up. And, since you’re doing everything, ideas pop up. It can be draining, though. Imagine tutok ka for five hours.


A.S.: I can imagine. [‘Pag] may kasama ka nga, nade-drain ka pa rin, eh.


Z.L.: Yeah, true. Iba rin dynamic ‘pag grupo.


A.S.: Will you do this again?


Z.L.: Yes! Pero next time, I want to do instrumentals, more progressive stuff.


A.S.: Ah, wow, intriguing. I’d wanna hear that.


Z.L.: Pero ipon muna ako.


A.S.: Zach, last. Why the title?


Z.L.: Fall Crash Infect. Seriously, wala lang, it sounds good to me.


URL: http://www.pulse.ph/posts/mr-dj-spins-his-own-zach-lucero-debuts-with-fall-crash-infect/ - www.Pulse.ph


Discography

Album Release:
March 2009 - Fall Crash Infect

Radio Singles:
March 2009 - Fall Crash Infect
June 2009 - Bob
August 2009 - Matina Town Square
June 2010 - Matina Town Square music video

* Fall Crash Infect was nominated for Album of the Year, Zach Lucero was nominated for Best New Artist and for Producer of the Year at the NU107 Rock Awards
http://www.nu107fm.com/news/46/official-list-of-nominees

* All radio singles charted to #1 on NU107's Stairway To Seven Countdown.

* Fall Crash Infect was named Best Album, with "Matina Town Square" named as Best Song, Best Radio Single, and Best Collaboration at the QLE Awards
http://www.unomagazine.com.ph/2009/12/the-return-of-the-qle-awards/

We have streaming tracks on:
http://www.myspace.com/zachlucero

Photos

Bio

One day in 2008, Zach Lucero, the drummer of one of the most popular bands in the Philippines (Imago), decided to make a record for a girl he had fallen in love with.

Like Dave Grohl's first Foo Fighters album, Zach wrote all the songs and played ALL the instruments on the album. He only asked for help when he got different female vocalists from other bands to sing with him -- a different girl for each song.

After a year of recording, it was when he was going to release the album when he realized that he needed to perform the songs LIVE. And that's how The Action Pact came into the picture. Zach got members from different bands, as well as two of the guest female vocalists off the record, to play at the Album Release gig. The rehearsal sessions were so fun and energetic that they all decided to make it a REAL band.

Watching the band live, the songs off the album become 3-dimensional, but have also mutated into something new, since Zach encourages everyone not to stick with the album version of the instrumentations.

Influences are as varied as the different female voices on the record: The Cure, The Spinanes, Bjork, New Order, and Broken Social Scene.

Here is a video of a live performance of "Fall Crash Infect":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0wbwfS8RNI&feature=related