How the hell am I supposed to contain this mighty heart attack knowing that local indiepop supergroup Us-2 Evil-0, after an 11-year absence, is releasing a new single?
Launching under Island Records Philippines, the song “Karaoke Machine” is described to be an upbeat ditty with their signature boy-girl harmonies that, while exudes joy and celebration, hold a deeper, darker meaning in its lyrics.
“’Karaoke Machine‘ is actually inspired by the My Way murders,” says songwriter/instrumentalist Wincy Ong. “There’s a phenomenon in the Philippines where people get shot over who gets to sing [Frank Sinatra’s] ‘My Way‘ during drunken karaoke sessions. We wanted to do a song that everyone could sing and dance along to, and maybe if they eventually researched about the song, they’d go ‘OMG what?!’”
On the subject of why it took the band so long to release a follow-up to their cult 2009 album Dirty Debutantes, co-vocalist Quark Henares shares, “Some of us left to study abroad, then when we got home others left to work abroad, people got married, designed clothes, painted paintings, made movies, put up solo albums. In other words, life.”
And the 2010s has indeed been a busy decade for Us-2 Evil-0’s band members. Co-vocalist Mich Dulce is a fashion designer and milliner with her namesake label who also founded the feminist collective Grrrl Gang Manila and sings for punk band The Male Gaze. Quark is a film director who has released two movies since their first album and now heads Globe Studios. Wincy also made a movie and released a few solo albums. Bassist Nix Puno regularly fills in for bands like Imago and Pedicab and has done numerous shows as a visual artist. Drummer Bogs Jugo became a musical engineer for a major post-production studio and recently moved to California.
Bogs also took on a bigger role as the engineer for “Karaoke Machine,” which was produced by Ciudad and Hannah+Gabi frontman Mikey Amistoso.
So why reunite after all this time? “To be honest we really just missed each other and didn’t want Dirty Debutantes to be a one-time thing. We never stopped being friends, and we just wanted another document of that,” Quark shares. On whether they’ll ever see the light of the stage again, Mich is optimistic: “For sure! We miss playing shows a lot. Though we do have a hurdle of being spread out on three continents at the moment! Not to mention being in the middle of a pandemic.”
As for the new single, surely we won’t have to wait another 11 years for the next one. “No, you won’t. We made sure of that,” Bogs enthusiastically says. “Expect more music from us very soon!”
“Karaoke Machine” will be available in all streaming music services on October 23rd, with the music video releasing on YouTube the week after.
What’s your favorite memory of Us-2 Evil-0? Share them in the comments!
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