Interview: SIMILAR//INTENTS [Philippines] Share Time Travel Choices, Filipino Metal Vocabulary, and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA & VOLUMES Influence for “Relapse”

With hometowns ranging from the Filipino urban city Pasig to the province of Rizal, a metalcore act rises out of the Southeast Asian scene. We spoke to band members Enrique Mangila, Raymond, Bok Alhumedian, and Nikko.

Your new single “Relapse” deals much with existentialism and time. If you had a time travel machine, when and where would you go, and why?

Nikko (drums): This song tells about how we really want to be with our loved ones who passed and how we really missed them. I would go to the time where my mom is still with us. I would tell her how much I love her and I’ll thank her for who I am now. She’s my music hero and she supported me in every way.

Raymund (vocals): Nowhere, really. I truly appreciate my current situation. Everything that has happened has contributed to who I am today. While there may have been mistakes along the way, I have no regrets whatsoever.

Enrique (vocals): I’d go where my late father would be, to spend more time. That is basically the meaning of “Relapse,” to relive those moments.

Bok (guitars): If I had a time travel machine, the possibilities would be endless, but one specific era that I would love to visit is the 80’s – 90’s.

Based on the new single, I hear influence potentially from Volumes, Silent Planet, Veil of Maya, The Devil Wears Prada, or Make Them Suffer. Which of the aforementioned bands do you feel most connected with, and why?

Nikko: As the drummer, I was most influenced by the original drummer of The Devil Wears Prada (Daniel Williams). Fun fact: one of the first songs that I practiced with a double bass pedals was “Modeify the Pronounciation” from Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord. Then, as time went by and as I discovered different bands on the scene, I adapted different techniques and styles like Volumes, Structures, Silent Planet, In Hearts Wake, and the likes.

Raymund: I recall listening to a lot of The Devil Wears Prada when I was writing “Relapse,” especially their new album Color Decay. That album incorporates numerous significant elements. The production is exceptional, and, evidently, their songwriting is remarkable.

Enrique: We listened to a lot of the new material from The Devil Wears Prada and Volumes.

Bok: Volumes; they have been a great influence ever since I started writing songs for metal. 

Pulp Summer Slam 2018 ft. Behemoth [Poland], At the Gates [Sweden], Cradle of Filth [UK], Death Angel [US], Crown the Empire [US], Nervecell [UAE], Secrets [US], Flesh Juicer [Taiwan], Burning Island [Taiwan], Bloody Tyrant [Taiwan], Skychurch {Philippines], Typecast [Philippines], Valley of Chrome [Philippines]

It’s not too often that international metal bands travel to the Philippines to tour. Have you had the opportunity to see any American or European metal bands perform in your homeland?

Nikko: One of the best privileges that we have now is being under Finite Fam, which is one of the best promoters / management here in the Philippines metal scene. In regards to that, we are also able to meet and watch different foreign bands since Finite Fam facilitates bringing them here in the Philippines, like Alpha Wolf, Of Virtue, etc., and our manager Karen Gonzalez also has a connection with lots of different foreign artists so she’s also introducing them to us. Huge thanks to our Divine Mom, Karen Gonzalez.

Raymund: Yes, I recall attending concerts featuring Architects and Counterparts. Both are tight and heavy; both are formidable bands.

Enrique: I got the chance to watch a lot of foreign bands coming here. Counterparts, Stray from the Path, END, Alphawolf, Of Virtue, Volumes, Crystal Lake, and some other foreign acts were featured in our annual metal festivals, Pulp SummerSlam and Wacken Metal Battle Philippines.

Bok: I’ve had the chance to see Periphery, Counterparts, Alphawolf, and Stray from the Path play live. 

What’s a Filipino phrase you might often hear in the crowd at a metal show?

Nikko: “Ang Tigas” / “Ang Tapang” means “being tight.”

Raymund: “Bigat” means “heavy,” and “kagat na kagat” means “tight.”

Enrique: “Lagkit” (“tight”), “swabehans” (“smooth”), and “nakakasimangot ng mukha” (“face melting”)

Since 2020, all your singles have had fairly similar artwork. Can we expect them to accumulate to form an album in the near future? What’s next for Similar//Intents?

Raymund: We have numerous unreleased songs and ideas. I wouldn’t say we’ll be releasing an album anytime soon, but we do have plenty of groovy and heavy tracks in our pockets at the moment. Additionally, we’re not particularly inclined to share teasers. Someday, you might wake up to discover a new song from us.

Enrique: We are also currently writing and recording new singles at the moment; let’s see where that leads us.

Similar//Intents: Thank you for the feature, Metal Has No Borders! Sending so much love all the way from the Philippines.

Leave a Reply