We sat down with Urbandub’s Gabby Alipe (vocalist / guitarist) and John Dinopol (guitarist) for an exclusive interview during the Endless DVD launch tour to talk about life after Urbandub, their future plans, the current state of the OPM scene, and their advice to young musicians.
Cables & Space
Me: Congratulations to your new band, Cables & Space. Great performance! It’s another band to watch out for in the OPM rock scene. Anyway, what’s life after Urbandub?
John Dinopol: Mahirap ‘skin… Ahhh less gigs… I guess. I missed the road, I missed travelling, I missed my bandmates.
Gabby Alipe: Naks! hahaha
Me: Do you see each other (band mates) often?
JD: Not with Janjan and Lalay. Si Lalay, andito lang – full-time mom.
GA: Si Janjan, nasa Australia. He’s been based there since last week of May.
Me: Does he still work there as a musician or does he have other jobs?
GA: He actually left for his wife who is a nurse there and then he works as a restorer/mechanic of classic cars.
Me: Aside from Cables & Space, will you see yourself joining other bands, as well?
JD: Di muna.
GA: I’m not closing my doors in terms of joining other bands but for now… me personally after ‘Dub I’m more focus on business and managing bands.
Me: What type of business, sir?
GA: Iba-iba eh… family business din namin na we’re launching a company that helps public high school students around Cebu na they get free tutorials in Math and English then we tapped Math and English students from different big universities in Cebu to be the tutors. Mga future educators helping the high school students.
Me: I’ve heard you own Skills & Bones clothing company?
GA: I sold my shares there and now I’m more focused on my new company called Dark Matter. We produce tattoo after-care products, anti-bacterial soaps and lotions to speed up the healing process of the tattoo.
JD: Ako naman, aside from Cables & Space, I also own a clothing company called Pinnacle. My partner there is my brother.
Me: Any future plans with the band or yourselves?
GA: Focus ako mainly with business at the same time, Nemesis Music Group. We manage bands. It’s also a production company, but more on managing bands. We managed Autotelic, Fastpitch, Faintlight, Sirens and hopefully, Cables & Space. Also, in the last year, of Urbandub, it was Nemesis who is handling the band.
Josh Alipe, front man for the band, Sirens and also Urbandub Gabby Alipe’s younger brother.
Me: Your brother is also in a band (Sirens). What piece of advice did you give to him since you have more experience in terms of musicality, touring, etc.?
GA: Yung advice naman namin lagi is to always be mindful and passionate about what you are doing. If music is really what you feel like doing for a living or a career, you have to put a 110% “as cliche it may sound“ in anything. Because a lot of people buy to the lifestyle a lot. The look, the image, and they already forget that there’s already work involved. That’s why yun din yung biggest message namin in the DVD. The gist in the documentary on how we started out and it was not really about the lifestyle na we are trying to accomplish. It wasn’t fame na we are after. It was more of being how to express ourselves in music and represent when we are coming from. Na it’s much bigger than just being famous or the money.
To be honest with you, there’s no such thing as a “rockstar“ sa Pilipinas. Kasi walang pera alam mo yun. Kung iisipin mo talaga dapat bands like Parokya ni Edgar who are considered top bands sa Pilipinas should be driving Lamborghini’s the same sa States. Wala talagang rockstar. It’s more of loving the craft that you’re in. Loving the music, being immersed in it and having a message. Yun yung main gist nung documentary and hope for younger bands.
Hopefully, more provincial bands will get to see our story. It can be Davao, especially Mindanao area, andaming magagaling na artists. Not just bands but artists na are always overlooked because of geographical constraint. Pero for us, during that time, hindi naman talaga pinapansin ang Cebu. We really pushed ourselves to represent where we come from and come to Manila and show what Cebu has to offer. Yun yung mindset that we have from day one. It wasn’t to be famous, but to represent. We are fortunate enough to last this long on a national level.
Me: Any advice to the kids who are just starting out forming their own bands?
GA: Be passionate about your craft kung gusto nyo talaga yung music or whatever you guys are viewing na pwede nyo maging career.
JD: Don’t wait for the people to do the work for you, you have to work for it. To put up your songs out there, you have to record it as good as you can get it.
GA: Like we said in the documentary in the DVD, we may not be the greatest band in the Philippines nor we ever considered or we ever dream to be the greatest band or wanted to be the greatest band – though we’re not. Pero sa amin yung goal namin is to be able to express ourselves through music – yun yung na achieve namin. Yun yung goal that we set for ourselves. They’ll be able to reach it naman as long as they’re clear on what they want.
Me: What can you see in the current OPM scene right now?
GA: Kulang sa push. Kumbaga there are a lot of really great artists. Just go to the bars. Like Route 196 right now has an amazing scene. Amazing set of artists that play around in that bar. Saguijo has the same thing. Also production outfits like Paps. Those production outfits are run by real music fans. Music fans lang sila ng mga banda and then all of a sudden, “sige gawa na lang ng tayo ng event” then the bands come along and they develop artists that are really, really good. Sobrang dami. If you go to Route 196, I can named… Autotelic comes from there… from that scene, Reese Lansangan, Tom’s Story. Sino pa ba? Faintlight, Sirens, 18th City, Diachroma. I’m not mouthing off band names and nobody really knows who they are. Pero if you watch them and see their performance level and how they work on their music – it’s crazy! Di lang nabibigyan ng spotlight nowadays and it’s weird.
Me: Parting question, sir: any message to your fans?
JD & GA: Thank you for sticking with us for the past 15 years. Kung di dahil sa inyo, we wouldn’t last this long. Kayo din yung parang driving force for Urbandub to keep on moving and keep on going. Thank you for validating our talents and our hard work through music.
Special thanks to Mr. Aaron Tom Silvestre of MCA Music for that awesome accommodation and arranging this interview with the band.
Photos by: Jeffrey Carlo “JC” Deocares
Grab a copy of Urbandub’s Endless DVD available at all record bars and leading department stores nationwide.
Catch Urbandub again on their third leg of the Endless DVD launch tour on March 31, 2016 at 19 East, Sucat, Paranaque.