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Thursday, October 25, 2012

An Interview with Metallica's Lead Guitarist Filipina Mom

If you love metal, most probably you already know that Kirk Hammet (Metallica's lead guitarist) is half Filipino because his mother is Filipina. But most of us don't know more about his mother. Who really she is? Where she came from? And what she looks like? 

I've been a hardcore fan of Metallica for almost 15 years now and I'm proud that Kirk is a half Filipino. Although he doesn't talk more about being a Filipino unlike who is very passionate in promoting his Filipino origin. But deep inside, a Filipino blood is running through his veins and that fact is undeniable.

Kirk Hammett of Metallica with his mom Teofila Oyao
As a Filipino and a Tallica fan, I've always been interested to know more about Kirk Hammet. About his family background and his personal life when he is not with Metallica. But I just don't have free time to do it. Thankfully, last weekend I had a vacant time so I sat down and did a quick search about him. 

There's very limited information about Kirk’s family on the internet. If you look at his Wikipedia profile, they don't even have the name of his father. They just indicated "Irish Merchant Marine father." 

Good thing they have little information about his Filipina mother. Her name is Teofila Oyao but many people preferred calling her "Chefela". I searched further and I found this video on YouTube posted by Adobo Nation. ADOBO Nation is a weekly magazine talk program for Filipino-Americans living in the US. 

I found this video very inspiring. Chefela is a very supportive mom. He let Kirk's follow his dreams, gave her full support to his son since Exodus (1980–1983) up until Metallica (1983–present). She's been there since Kirk's first Guitar Lesson until the Grammy Awards.

We can get a little lesson from this video. For all of us, if you have a dream, work for it, fight for it and give your best shot. For parents, sometimes we need to listen to our sons and daughters dreams, not just our personal goals and dreams for them. May this video be an inspiration for all Filipinos around the world. How about you, what do think about this video?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Arcadia Philippines - Are They Just Another Copycat Metalcore Band?

Arcadia Philippines, many Filipino metalheads are saying that this band has no originality, just a copycat of Parkway Drive and other famous metalcore bands. Are they really imitator? 

Or Does people just hate them merely because their getting successful these days? I'm a fan of Arcadia but not an avid fan of metalcore and I'm not interested in the so called metalcore movement or anything like that. But I respect the genre and the people within the metalcore scene.

Arcadia Philippines
I hate seeing metalheads divided and debating each other of who’s the superior metal genre. That's only a complete waste of time.

However I do listen to metalcore bands like killswitch Engage, All That Remains, and Lamb of God. Yeah Lamb of God, I don’t know why people considered them as metalcore but for me they're just heavy Metal that plays heavy riffs good enough for a headbang.

When I first heard Arcadia, the first thing that came out from my head was killswitch Engage. And if you listen to their song "A Broken Portrait" then jump to 2:43, you will hear a riff that sounds very similar to the song "The End Of Heartache" by killswitch Engage. I cannot blame them, that riff is very cool and worth imitating for. It makes me raise my fist and stand my ground.

Here's the music video for "A Broken Portrait" by Arcadia. Jump to 2:43 and compare it to  "The End Of Heartache", then you will see what I mean.

Here's "The End Of Heartache" by killswitch Engage

Are we not all imitators?

Human beings are great imitators. This is a very vital skill throughout the human evolution and this skill bought as here on what we are now. When we were babies, we were trained to imitate. Imitate to speak, walk, eat, and other stuff that a full grown human normally do. Humans are wired to imitate since birth and you might disagree if I say that we are all imitators.

In business world, imitation is a very profitable strategy. Have you ever wondered how Samsung overtaken Apple in terms of smart phones sales, it's because of imitation. Once again, it proves that imitation works.

In music industry, there are also a lot of imitators. This is a common phenomenon among musicians and there are some artists who are really serious about copyrights. One example is the Joe Stariani plagiarism case against Coldplay, accusing the band of copying part of Satriani's song "If I could fly". Sometimes a riff or tune can be copied accidentally and the artist doesn’t even know if there's already an existing song with similar tune. However, there are also instances that a tune is being copied intentionally.

Bands of the same feather sound together

Most often bands or artists in the same genre would have similarity in sound and style. I have noticed this with blues which is one of the roots of metal by the way. Most blues songs are using the 12 bar pattern and they sound very Identical. You can also notice similarities amongst songs within certain genres like reggae, hip hop, pop, NU Metal, trash metal, death metal, Gay Metal(Oops!) :),...etc. And of course metalcore is not exempted.

In the case of Arcadia, to me it seems like they copied the riff intentionally and they added some notes on it to sound a bit different. Although they did not copied completely but you can clearly spot the similarities. We cannot really conclude that they are a complete copycat metalcore band. Maybe this is because those famous metalcore bands have a very strong influence to them in terms of musical structure, style, and how they write songs. 

I'm a fan of Arcadia and I respect them as artists, but to be honest I do admit that most of their songs have close similarities with some famous metalcore bands. However, I believe on this band and there is always a room for improvement. I just hope that they are also looking forward into that and they'll be injecting more creativity on their future albums. 

Few words to end this post "Imitation is good but once abused, it becomes annoying" 

BTW just a little info, there are two other bands called Arcadia. One is a pop group and the other is a metal band from Australia. So if you want to more about the Filipino Arcadia, be sure to Google these keywords "Arcadia Philippines" or "Arcadia Band Philippines".