Davao Bands: Kwatro Medya Wants You to Move

Let me tell you this, Kwatro Medya is one, or if not tops the list of the grooviest Davao bands that you will ever hear. I'm not sure if they intend to be that way but each time I watch them play on stage, they always make me want to dance. I mean just move my body along with their rhythm and not "dance" like in the Step Up movie. What I'm sure of though is that their songs should be a part of every young Davaoeños "On-the-go" playlist. Their upbeat guitar play, upbeat drum beats, upbeat vocals (also upbeat vocalist) will surely make anybody feel that intense desire to just let go and let their body move. Unlike a few other local bands, Kwatro Medya is obviously not interested in putting you in a " senti" mood. What they want to do is to take away all of that "senti" feelings in your body and put you in the mood to party. Yes sir! Yes ma'am.  The Kwatro Medya band, all four and a half of them, wants you to have some fun!

The Beginning 

The story of how this band was formed is quite long and complicated. But basically,  Kwatro Medya is the offspring of Long and Dansoy's effort to turn the undermanned Nude Marry (their former band) into a group that in essence can be called as a full-pledged band. The troubles which are commonplace to forming a band made the going not easy for them. The years 2009 and 2010 were spent finding people to fill in the voids in the lineup.Nude Marry has seen a number of musically talented walk in and then out of  it's door. There rare are times though that the band has enough man power to practice and make original compositions with their instruments, however they were only limited to that. The band has no front man yet and their chances of finding one was quite bleak. Orvil of the band Spasm became their vocalist at one point but after a few gigs he bade poor old Nude Marry goodbye.   The beginnings of this band was a mess actually no matter which angle you look at it. But just any mess in forming a rock group, it gets straightened out eventually, if the some characters are just so inclined.

The last quarter of year 2011 was a time filled with urgency and opportunity for the band which is still not solidly complete. During that time, the owner of Saless Diner and Moozika, Moshe Papica,  already had the plans for the first Excursion concert underway. And since Nude Marry ( now the groovy Kwatro Medya) have already played countless of times in Saless Diner they have earned the confidence of the venue's owner which led them to be chosen  to be one of the bands to share the stage with Pedicab and the other acts that are slated to perform in that large music event. You probably imagine the boys of Kwatro Medya jumping up and about with glee that time right? Well, not exactly. How would you feel if you are just  months away from having your big break in the local music scene but because of some unforeseen circumstances you end up being two men (a rhythm guitarist and a vocalist) short? Well, most definitely bad.

When the three remaining members of the band (Long, Paolo, and Dan) thought that things could still get worse, it didn't. In fact two amazing and totally unexpected things happened. The first one is that, Pepot, Long and Paolo's former elementary classmate agreed to play rhythm guitars for their band. And the second one is that, Dan's friend AG, who apparently has a good singing voice came in the picture and filled the spot as Kwatro Medya's front man. And by the time they got everything that they needed, the band went straight to work. The Excursion 1 served as their much needed kick start as what followed is their steady rise to prominence in the local music scene.

Good Friends Playing Music Together 

Music-wise this Kwatro Medya is an awesome band, but what makes them stand out is, if you watch them perform, you could almost feel the organic connection that bonds every one of them. Long, Paolo and Dan have been friends since they were youngsters ( probably have seen their first tits in a movie together), and they have known Pepot and AG for quite a long time too. Basically, they are just a bunch of good old friends playing and sharing the music that they love to the rest of the city. Each time they step onto the stage, they don't give out that stiff aura of super seriousness which makes you feel that they do that thing as a job. This may sound as a cliche but it seems that they are having a genuine good time each time they play music. And this may also sound as another cliche but, yeah, they do have that thing that they all call "Chemistry".

The Interview 

I went to Saless Tekanplor one Friday evening to   interview Kwatro Medya  after their practice session. The interview took longer than I expected since they were a talkative bunch. But  I was able to get some really good answers from them though.

Davaoist: When you started out what were your intentions as a band?

Long: Basically, what we really wanted to do that time was to form a band in order to play in the Excursion one. But behind that, we just really wanted to have fun. Just for the sake of playing music. Until now, were already made 12 songs even though we have not released them yet, we still do it for the sake of making music.

Davaoist: What's the story behind the name Kwatro Medya?

Dan: It was Paolo who suggested to change our name (from Nude Marry). It was Pepot's idea really, the name Kwatro Medya. Actually the name has different meanings. The formal meaning was, because most of us are working, most of us have day routines, during 4:30 we prepare individually to for a practice in Saless.

Long: 4:30 is actually our meeting time. But at 4:30 everyone of us is still preparing, so we always meet up at 5:30. That is the other meaning.

Dan: The real meaning of Kwatro Medya, you need to see the band in order to figure it out ( looks at Pepot)

Davaoist: Pepot is the Medya?

Kwatro Medya: (Laughs)

Davaoist: As a band, what is your main musical influence?

Long: As individual musicians, we have very different genres, approaches, and very different influences. When it came to Kwatro Medya, we were more on fusion of music and it was evident on our first three songs. Those first songs were basically the only output that we can create out of mixing our different influences.

Dan: Because it was a mix, at the first stage of Kwatro Medya, it was quite difficult. It was really hard to achieve chemistry musically. Getting the output that we want was a struggle because every single one of us have were into totally different genres. We spent a lot of time to find the right combination just to make it sound right.

Long: We were all about fusion of music. It was hard, but in the long run, we were able to hit it because of composer and song writer, Paolo. He actually serves as the back bone of band right now. He creates a bass line and every and from that everyone else just follows to create a collective flow.

Davaoist: So, Paolo is the one into Dance Rock? You're a Dance Rock band right?

Long: Not really. We can't really say that. We just mix things up and try to create something good not minding which genre it falls to.

Dan:  The truth is there is only one artist that we like in common.

Davaoist: Who?

Dan: Daniel Padilla!

Davaoist: As a band, how do you prepare before a gig?

Pepot: Our most essential ritual before a gig is absolutely "SPAKOL".

Davaoist: SPAKOL?

( Preparing Before a Gig 101: "Spakol" means Spa dala *bleeeep)

Long: We also try to dress up formally in order to compensate to our very ordinary faces.

Davaoist: Do you still get nervous before a gig?

Long: Yes!
Dan: Especially when we played in Manila.
Pepot: I don't get nervous. I get nervous about my band mates.
Dan: "HAMBUGERO KA"! (laughs)

Davaoist: Best Gig?

Pepot, Dan, Long: at Saguijo! ( a bar  in Manila)
Pepot: I almost had 8 girlfriends when we played there.
Dan: It was the best because the audience interacted with us.

Davaoist: Worst gig?

Dan: Here at Saless. We didn't practice for two weeks and we played at an open mic night. There was only one person watching us and we totally messed everything up so after two songs Long just packed up and we followed.

Davaoist: What separates you from other Davao Bands?

Long: As a band, I could say it's the friendship that we have. When it comes to music, ahmmm, we are not the best band out here. There are a lot of really really talented bands in the city. But the problem with those bands is that they tend to focus too much on getting famous. Everything they do seems planned. It's not that we don't want to get famous, but our main focus is just to have fun making music together.

Davaoist: You just came from Manila, that was a really big event. How did you feel after that?

Dan: It was really awesome. It's like this. We left here as a band. We arrived there as a band. We experienced the whole thing as friends. And it doesn't get better than that.

Davaoist: What's the difference between the Davao crowd to the Manila crowd?

Long: It's totally different. In Manila, even if they don't know the band, they still listen to them and even applaud them. But here Davao, if they don't know the band they don't care.

Dan: No offense, but the crowd here is really hard to please.

Davaoist: Yeah. They are quite lousy and really hard to please.

                                                     Here are the members of Kwatro Medya:
                                               (ALSO CHECK OUT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE)

Agustin Gabriel "AG" Aldave-Vocals

Paolo"Pao" Papica-Bass


Louie "Long"Saceda-Drums

Jose Mar"Pepot" Camia-Guitar

Carlo Dante "Dansoy" Villas-Guitar


LABYU TOO! (Click this Link

Disclaimer: We don't own any of the photos in this post. We don't have the funds to buy a camera.