Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"The Making Of" - Part 1

Here's a video of Rodney and Richmond creating a track that will be the 'intro' of our new album. This was taken in our studio. Let us know what you think!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The First Song We Learned as a Group

We first got together back in 1997. Man.... that was 13 years ago! Wow, how time flies...
The first song we learned as a group was "Lean on Me" in a cappella. Here's a video of us performing the song with our band in the Philippines back in 2004! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

shows are shows

I can say we have been truly blessed to have performed in numerous cities and countless venues. We have done shows at the House of Blues, have had our own tours that included concerts in 19 different states across the United States, various university events, and even appeared on LA's CBS tv station. However, we also had performed in some of the less ideal circumstances. People may not always enjoy our show, or the event may not have been able to provide some of the best sound system setup. Regardless, it was these experiences that we truly have learned from throughout the years.

There was one performance where we had a noon show at a college. As soon as we got there, the event coordinator tells us that there were only two mics. They were corded. So we figured, we could work with that. Unfortunately, he also tells as that they had speakers, but they didn't have an audio system that can play our instrumental cd. They had a boombox that can play our cd, but it could not connect to the speakers. The only thing we could do was take one of the mics and put it in front of the boombox speakers. That way the music would be played into the mic and out to the speakers.That leaves us with only one mic. What can you do, right? Well, the show must go on. So we sang a 45 minute set, singing into one mic and music coming out of a mic'd boombox. Surprisingly, people were enjoying it. I have to admit though, our acappella songs helped a lot.

Another show we did was called Hollywood Showcase. Not one person in the audience had ever heard of our songs. Before we even came out to the middle of the stage, some lady yells out, "Are you guys Jerry's Kids?" Implying as if we had muscular dystrophy. Automatically, they counted us out. We still tried to come out with confidence, because at the end of the day, the music speaks for itself. We sang two songs that night. Original songs called, "Need You(By My Side)" and "Another Day." As soon as we ended, some people even gave us a standing ovation. (Perhaps it was the same person who called us Jerry's Kids?)

Oh by the way, our appearance on CBS was actually a funny story. We had an appearance in a live morning show and the hosts announced that we were coming up, right before the commercial break. Before we went on, there was "Breaking News!" They ended up covering a car chase. Give me a break! Fortunately, they asked us to come back the next morning, and we did get to sing on tv after all.

To make a long story short, we have learned that where we performed was really not that important. A show is a show. And it's actually the ones that weren't in the best of circumstances that we more so had given it our all. Don't get me wrong, we definitely enjoyed the awesome concerts we've had in San Diego, Chicago, Vancouver, or even at an all-girls university in the Philippines, just to name a few. But we'll save that for later.

- RA

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Half Life & Half Fiction by JP riturban

The greatest inspiration for any song is life itself, but sometimes its just good story telling. I've been fortunate enough to write some songs and it was a mix of half life and half fiction. People would asked me who "brenda" was and i would tell them it was never based on anyone and it was just a song I came up one day. But if you were to ask me about our new song "For now I'm loving you", I would tell you I wrote that song shortly after my breakup with my first girlfriend. Its a song about loving a person even after the relationship was over because that's all you knew how to do for so long. It was a song in the vault for a while and Rodney did his usual magic and made a great Acapella arrangement for that song. Be sure to stay tuned for the next album to see the maturity we went through for over the last decade!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Reuniting with comedian Jo Koy

Back in 2003, we had our farewell show in Fullerton before leaving to the Philippines to continue our music career. One of the opening acts in our farewell show was Jo Koy, a well-known comedian now, who can be seen all over the world and even appearing regularly on the Chelsey Lately show. Even though I didn't get to hear his stand up that night as I was getting ready for our own act, all I could hear was people just saying how hilarious he was and how this guy was going to make it big! I was like, "who is this guy"?
Last year, I was sitting on the couch just switching the channels finding something to watch and I see this special on Comedy Central "Don't Make Him Angry" with Jo Koy (now on DVD). I was blown away, not only was he on tv, but HIS OWN one-hour special. How crazy was that. So of course I had to watch it and all I got to say is THIS GUY IS HILARIOUS! If you haven't seen it yet, BUY IT HERE!
Since then, I've been waiting for an opportunity to watch him live as soon as he gets in the area and that date finally arrived on Feb 13th at the Irvine Improv. Again, he blew me away, making my stomach hurt with every single joke! Towards the end of his show, he decided he wanted to do a talent show. Crazy, right? So he started asking the crowd if there's anyone who can sing to come up on stage. I was like, great here we go... I know all our friends are going to call out "Devotion" even though we haven't performed together in years and only 4 of us were there, (sorry Ian, wish you were there!). Fortunately we were dodging the bullets after a few people went up to sing, including our good friend Kei from 3rd Avenue. (Good job Kei! You did great!)
Just as I thought we almost got away from singing on stage, our friends started hollering "DEVOTION"! And that's when my heart started beating faster and faster hoping Jo Koy doesn't really hear or understand who they're calling out. Jo Koy replied to the crowd "Devotion is here??? Well get the HELL UP HERE!" . I was like, "DAMN.. Here we go". So we all went up on stage and before we sang our usual chorus of "Girl it's You" when someone asks us to sing, Jo Koy went on the mic "This is a good way to end the night..." Those words made my night.
It felt good to get back on stage, bringing back old memories. Maybe we'll be able to do it again someday with our album in the works. But for now, go check out Jo Koy any chance you get. He's truly an amazing comedian.
Jo Koy keep doing what you do and we're here to support you!
- EC

Friday, February 5, 2010

long nights at the studio and dirty motels

It's that time again... recording a new album. It feels so new all over again. Maybe because this time around, we are doing it all by ourselves. But one thing hasn't changed. The long nights of being at the studio.

When we recorded our Image of Devotion album, our label owner Roy Doeve would take us to Jeeve's Place in Hollywood. Jeeve's Place was a hidden studio owned by Jeeve. He produced for Eden's Crush(Nicole Scherzinger's pre-Pussycat Dolls group), just to name one of the many artists he has worked with. We would sometimes spend 12 hours a day recording. At times, there would be nothing to do while waiting your turn. We would sit in the front to watch people walk by. Now that I think about it, I don't remember if there was a even tv there. Oh and sometimes if you're lucky, there would be some tamale vendors upfront.

I remember during the last stretch of that album, there was only one last song to record: "Girl It's You." Ironically, it was the very first song we had ever written. It was already 3am and we had to come back at 11am the next morning. Naturally, there was no point in going home, only to drive back up in a few hours. We decided to stay somewhere nearby. So we pulled up to a motel. Eric and I went up to the window, but the attendant was sleeping. He was behind one of those bullet-proof glass windows, the ones you find at a bank. We knocked to wake him up and asked how much it was for a room. Then he asked, "One hour? Two hours? Or the whole night?" What kind of a question was that? I was young and clueless at the time. Before I could figure it out, I turned around and Eric was already back in the van. We found another motel down the street. It was pretty ghetto too. All I could remember was Ian staring at the ceiling fan and saying, "I can't sleep cause I think that fan is seriously gonna fall on me." Man was that night a nightmare. But it sure paid off. The next day, we finished recording our first album.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Studio Session...

Hello all! Wanted to update you all on what's going on with Devotion. Today, i went in for a session at the good old "The Pad" recording studio. When i got there, an old friend of ours (wattup Roij!) was doing some work of his own with Rodney. We chatted for a bit then it was my turn to work. When i go in, I always have a cup of tea and a shot of crown. To me, the tea loosens up the voice and the shot calms the nerves. Did some run throughs then recorded my parts on a few songs. After went over some other songs i have to record for the next session. When i finished, we had an impromptu jam session. We jammed on some songs that we might add to the album. The album is looking good. We have over 20 songs we are working on. We cant wait for you all to hear them! Maybe next time we will post some video of us playing some new songs. Bye for now!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

September 11, 2001 - Richmond

Everyone has their story of when and where they were during the tragic event that shocked the world--September 11, 2001. Well, I just thought I would share with you our story, or at least from my perspective.

However, let me backtrack a little further. We were actually in New York City that Labor Day Weekend, which landed on September 1st and 2nd. We were in town because we were performing at a club in Times Squares. It was called The World at the time, but it's no longer there. It's been replaced by the Hard Rock Cafe. Anyway, it was the first time seeing the "Big Apple" for all of us, if I'm not mistaken. So naturally, it was exciting!

The day after the performance, we finally had some time to do tourist stuff. We roamed the streets. What did we do? Eat, walk, eat, buy some thing, and eat. Oh and we saw the Naked Cowboy. If you're not familiar with who he is, he is literally a naked cowboy. And apparently, he's some mainstay local attraction. At one point, we decided to split up on two's and three's. Eric and Rodney walked around, while Ian, JP, and I chose to go sightseeing towards MTV TRL. And guess who we saw this time? We met Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park/Fort Minor. He was in town for the VMA's. His girlfriend was so nice, she even offered to take our picture with him. And of course, we took her up on her offer right away. I can go on and on about the many different places we went to in NYC, such as the Empire State Building or Central Park. hehe. However, there was too many things to name. We definitely experienced the beauty of New York City. But little did we know that it would be the first and last time we would see the World Trade Center, even if it were from a distance. We loved New York and met some great friends of whom I still keep in touch with from time to time. Hi Annie! Hi Elaine. (If you're reading this, I hope you don't mind that Annie received an "!" LOL)

Then we had to fly back to Chicago. We ended up staying at our friend Glenn's house for a few days.

Early in the morning of the 11th, my dad kept calling to ask whether we were still in New York. Did I pick up? No. I was knocked out (yes, I admit... out of the five of us, I'm the one that's always sleeping). I kept hearing the other guys saying something about two planes crashing into a building. That definitely woke me up. I woke up and saw it on tv, thinking to myself, "We were just there." I called my dad back to let my family know we were already in Chicago. My family sure was relieved. We were also concerned for the friends we made, but they were okay as well.

The next day, we went with our friend Charles to watch WWE live in Milwaukee, cause we were flying out of Milwaukee and to head home to Orange County. When we arrived at the airport, we find out that no flights were going out because of heightened security. What?! So we had to get a hotel... err... I lied. It was more of a motel. Hehe. The next day, we were ready to head home and went back to the airport. All flights were still cancelled. We had to spend the night at the airport that evening. It was crazy, because so many people were sleeping on the chairs. There were reporters walking around to interview people. A local journalist asked us a few questions. We got to have our five minutes of fame. LOL.

The next day, we waited. And then we waited some more. Eric and I ended up going to the airport bookstore to get something to read. He decided to pick up Catcher in the Rye, 'cause it was supposedly his favorite book, I ended up getting the first Harry Potter just to see what the fuss was about. I'm real sorry to any Harry Potter fans, but I didn't see what was so great about it. We wanted to go home already! And guess what? Our prayers were answered. We had a flight, but it was even better. It was going to John Wayne Airport instead of LAX. What that meant was that it was only a 10 minute drive home, rather than the 45 min drive from LAX.

September 11, 2001 was something that we can never forget. It had taught me a lesson to go and see the world. Cherish the people you meet. They may not be there tomorrow. Oh and before I go, I'm not sure if you knew this, but our song "So Wonderful" was originally released as part of a benefit cd called "Operation Ground Hero." It was an album that featured "So Wonderful," along with other songs by different Asian-American recording artists. Some of its proceeds went to help rebuild and heal the city of New York.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Myspace has been Updated!

I know it's been long time since we've done much of anything these past few years. But I assure you we are starting to get that 'itch' to get back on the horse and make some music and share it with all of you. And that's why we've updated our myspace page! Finally, right!!! Check it out if you can at www.myspace.com/devotion and let us know what you think.
And yes, it's official, we will be coming out with one more album. We've been talking about this album for quite some time now and actually been recording songs over the past few years. We'll probably show you guys some samples here and there, but be patient with us, we want this album to be the best work we've ever done. We'll be sharing some samples, video clips, and more over the course of this album so stay tuned as we want to share this journey with all of you!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Eric Does the Mud Run

Last year, we decided to do the mud run. The day finally came and this is a short video of what happened. Enjoy!

Mud Run 2009 from Eric Cruz on Vimeo.

Singing at Eric's wedding on Sept 27, 2008

Almost a year ago, Eric and Valerie tied the knot! Devotion of course had to make an appearance. And what an appropriate song to do with the first song they ever learned as a group - "Lean on Me"! Maybe in the future we'll be able to show the video clip!

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Cover of the Week" - A Most recent cover of one of our songs on youtube

I decided to see if there were any current videos of people covering any of our songs. And this was the newest video someone did a few days ago. Who knew that people are still doing our songs with this song, So Wonderful, being seven years old! That's pretty awesome!

The Beginning

Devotion blogging has officially started!