Ember Keeps the Fire of Alternative Ilonggo Music Burning

By marc belloni

Ember - Project IloiloEDM may be a thing in many “hip” circles today, but if there is one thing that Filipinos cannot get enough of, it’s live music. You know, the one where you can hum along with the tune, sing along with the lyrics, and trying to strum it with nothing more than but a few major chords on your guitar. People here still appreciate music in a “traditional” way here, and for one rooted with its past like Iloilo is, it hardly surprised me. One such band continuing that tradition of alternative rock from the past is Ember.

My discovery of local bands started with Ember. I first saw them a few months ago during the Battle of the Bands organized by Four Elements Band at Space H Bar in San Rafael, and I enjoyed their alternative rock sound and nice lyrics; the opportunity to interview them came a bit later, though.

The band is fronted by Miss Cylle with Bob (lead guitar), Cloud (drums), Keith (guitar) and July (bass) at the instruments. The band all started by being a group of friends playing cover songs sometime in 2011, as it often happens here in the city. But the muse being what she is, creativity was strong in these ones, and they then started to compose their very own songs.

Even if they may enjoy various genres, alt-rock seems to be a common denominator for Ember. Cylle comes from an alternative background then widened her taste to indie, Bob is a metal man who also opened himself up to other genres, Cloud named Kings of Leon and Incubus as his influences (from Tennessee to California alt-rock all the way), Keith is dubbed the “Paramore guy” by the rest of the band and is heavily in alternative too, and July named Dream Theater as his.

Ember - Project Iloilo

In the creative process, Cylle seems to be the hand writing the poetic lyrics while the guys sweat on composing the music. There is no defined structure and as Cloud put it: “A good song is not planned, it comes naturally”. Some lyrics were written a few years ago out of Cylle’s personal experiences, but now she says imagination drives her quill. “I’m trying to be into other shoes as well,” said she.

From what I caught in their answers, music drives them in a rather fusional way. Their common concept is a long and strong friendship, a passion for music and, as Bob put it, “the best way to express (themselves)”.

They already have three original compositions and are planning to work on more. Recording will go on this coming June and throughout this year. Ember, I’m curious to see what you have in store. To have a glimpse of their style just go here, where you can listen to their songs and some sounds from their Electricloud parallel project.

Photos by Xtian Lozañes

Marc Belloni is a writer for Project Iloilo.