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.