‘Hopeless romantics’ open up on making music
IT was their hit song “The Existence” that brought the spotlight on them. Arguably their most popular material to date, the song, which speaks of the grueling phase of moving on from a breakup, has become somewhat an anthem to many Cebuanos everywhere — essentially making these five guys among the most sought after bands in Cebu.
Over the years, power-pop rock act Shuffled has captured the attention and cheers of a huge following through their catchy melodies, energy-filled performances, and lyrics that hit home. Their other notable song is “No Diversion,” which alongside “The Existence,” was part of their first studio album launched in 2011.
Shuffled is composed of Ezra Casul on vocals, Perci Mansueto on bass, Ken Cuizon and Nino Book on guitars, and Job Penalosa on drums (Edric Jimenez from The Line Divides currently sits in as session drummer). They’ll be releasing their new single “Chasing Dreams” in February.
A little history of the band?
Shuffled was formed by Ezra Casul in 2002. The lineup has changed several times since then because some of the original members left for abroad while some left for personal reasons. By 2008, we already had a stable lineup with Ezra on vocals, Podz Mangubat and Ken on guitars, Perci on bass and Job on drums. We wrote and recorded our debut album and released it in October 2011.
Who came up with the name?
Ezra came up with the name “Shuffled” and it’s inspired by the different musical influences of the members. Our influences range from metal to jazz, from rock to hip-hop. Our old material is really different from our sound right now. Our songs were more aggressive with lots of screaming then, but right now it’s more toned down.
As songwriters, what fuels your creativity?
Personal experiences usually, especially with the lyrics. Sometimes we get our inspiration from movies, from different kinds of artists and genres, and also things that happen around us. Just recently we wrote a song after Typhoon Yolanda, and it kind of has an inspiring and positive feel. Our songs generally are about life, love and heartaches. We’re a bunch of hopeless romantics, especially Ezra.
Most memorable gig?
One of our most memorable gigs was when we launched our debut album, and when we launched our music video. We’ve also had a lot of great gigs here in Cebu such as Sinulog Blastoff and Univercity. Our out-of-town gigs are also really fun, and last year was the first time we toured all over the Philippines.
Aside from the band, what else are you guys into?
Ezra is in the BPO industry, Perci is a graphic designer, Ken, who’s also a graphic designer, co-owns the clothing line Swamp Monster, and Nino works for Nick Automatic.
Who do you look up to?
International bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, A Day to Remember, Funeral for a Friend, Fightstar, Glassjaw, Deftones, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Locally, there are a lot of great bands here. Each has their own distinct sound like Drop Decay, Maria Campbell, Honeydrop, Pain in the Neck, The Line Divides, Curbside and Sirens. We’re honored and proud to have played and worked with these guys. The passion and hard work they give to their music is inspiring. Cebu has a lot of great talents and it’s about time that Cebuanos, and the entire country, should recognize their potential.
Upcoming projects for 2014?
We’ve collaborated with Nick Automatic for our band merch, which we will be releasing this February together with our new single “Chasing Dreams.” We also have a summer tour in Manila lined up, and hopefully we will also release a brand new EP this year.
Find them online!