Pop rock trio BennyBunnyBand has been enriching the local music scene for a few years now. With their witty lyrics, colorful costumes, and energetic performances, it was not farfetched for the band to gain significant following. The band consists of Benny Giron on vocals and electric ukelele, Ess Bobadilla on bass, and Jhenico dela Cruz on drums.
In an interview with BillboardPH, the band shared stories about their tenderfoot beginnings, their struggles, and the “forbidden” future of their musicality.
How did BennyBunnyBand start out?
Ess: “Nagstart ang BBB way back 2008. Five pa kami sa banda at si Alfdor (Benny’s Brother) ang main vocalist. May mga composition kasi si Benny at gusto nya sanang magbanda para cute. At dumaan ang madaming taon, nagkaroon ng kanya kanyang buhay ang bawat member ng banda. Nalulong naman si Benny sa ukulele. Around 2013 nabuhay uli ang kanyang dugo para tumugtog at para uli cute. Kinontak nya si Ess para magbass. Two-piece band lang sana pero parang wala kasing sipa so nag hanap kami ng pwedeng magdrums sa Philmusic. Meron namang nag-auditiong isa. At yun na si Jhenico!”
Jhenico: “Yung line-up now ng BBB is nagstart nung december 2014/first gig jan 8 2015. Wala ako nun magawa sa bahay and naisipan kong i-browse yung wanted drummer section ng philmusic and nakita ko yung thread ni Burn na naghahanap sila ng drummer. Pinakinggan and nagustuhan ko yung tugtugan kaya ayun, nagaudition ako and jarannnn! ”
What were the struggles that the band experienced throughout the years and how did it affect the development of the band’s musicality?
Benny: “Isa na yung paghahanap ng prod na tatanggap sa amin para tumugtog. Lapit kami ng lapit kung kani-kaninong tao. Kahit yung prod eh metal ang genre eh sige lang! At syempre yung mga tugtog namin na pinakauna kang dumating sa venue at first come first to choose your set time na di naman totoo kasi may nakasulat na na name ng ibang band sa list ng prod. Tapos mauusog yung time slot nyo sa dulo. Wala na din halos tao sa bar. Kayo-kayo na lang ng mga waiter at sound tech dun. Dahil sa mga ‘to natuto kaming lalong magpush. Ganun talaga sa umpisa. Lalo naming dinalasan ang practice at pagbuo ng musika namin. Pag di kayo nahirapan, walang kayong patutunguhan. It didn’t affect our musicality. Yung style ganun pa rin. Di kami napilitang magpalit ng music at iayon sa uso. Nagpapakatotoo pa rin kami sa aming mga sarili. Dahil sa struggles, mas naging honest kami musically.”
Ess: “Struggles are important, it builds character and camaraderie between us. Necessary evil. When we we’re starting way back then in 2014 we barely played in gigs – usually once a month or so in the first year- and mostly done a lot of band rehearsals, which totally paid off. Nowadays we get more gigs that sometimes we overbook ourselves than what we planned. It’s a learning experience. The internal ones are what I think is far more crucial before dealing with the external struggles, although both are important. This built the foundation for our work ethic towards our band. We’ve all experienced playing while sick. We had fights, well Benny and I, since I was more of the trouble maker in the band which almost lead to a break up. We got to patch things up and get going with the band. Development wise, we have a hashtag #AngBennyBunnyBandAyDiNalalate because a lot of gigs in the past years we get early on time. We know the importance of other people’s time and also ours. Even though there were times that we got late we make it a point to be professional and be on the event on or before the call time, sometimes even earlier than the organizers. Also even though the audience is not our “crowd” we still give what we can, it’s already a known rule that you can’t make everybody happy. Not every gig or band related endeavor is fun, sometimes it’s horrible, but it’s part of the struggle. We don’t really mind that much as a group. It helps us grow, not just as a band but as human being – that’s one of the best things I’ve personally gained out of being in our band which I think also’s the same with Jhen, Benny and Burn.”
It has been some time since the release of the (Nag)mamahal BennyBunnyBand EP. Tell us how the band would treat the full-length album in terms of song-writing and the sound as a whole?
Benny: “Yung niluluto naming next album… para sa amin, ay maganda! Love your own! Ahahahaha… Pero solid talaga yung mga nakaline-up na songs. Kahit kami excited na eh. Yun yung mga kanta na nangingiliti, nakangingisi at nakalalaki ng mata! Mga kantang ipinagbabawal.”
Ess: “The next album will be about fun. love and some of the things that comes with it and also food, which is important because if there is no food we will die and if we’re dead we can’t love and share the fun.”
Jhenico: “Yung mga songs sa second album is tungkol sa iba’t ibang klaseng pagmamahal.”
According to band manager Burn Mercado, the band’s debut album’s theme is about forbidden things. Mercado stated that the album contains a unique theme that tells different situations based on common stories that people would easily relate to.
Today, who are the local bands/musicians you listen to and how do they affect your sound?
Benny: “Ako paborito kong pakinggan ngayon ay ang Nanay Mo. Hindi po yung nanay mo mismo ah. Yung band. Hehehehe… Solid din sa akin ang Oh, Flamingo! Idol! At ang fave namin ng aking Labidabs na bagong album ng Tanya Markova! Gusto ko silang gayahin! Ahahahaha… yung mga songs nila nanakawin ko!”
Ess: “Tanya Markova, Milesexperience, Riot Act, Autotelic, Nanay Mo, The Oemons, Shadow Moses, and a lot more because there are really a lot of musicians in today’s scene. Personally speaking, they affect us in a way that we have to work harder and we do. Passion, or maybe insanity, towards music is contagious.”
Jhenico: “Tanya Markova, Autotelic, Ang Bandang Shirley, MilesExperience and December Avenue. Siguro kung may nakaapekto man sa pagtugtog ko eh MilesExperience, December Avenue and Jensen and the Flips na yun. Malulupit sila eh.”
Are there any plans in the future you would like to share with us?
Benny: “Abangan sana nila yung MVs! Yan ah me letter “s”! Ang cool kasi ng mga concepts! Brillant mga direktor!”
Ess: “Secret. Probably more insane gigs.”
Jhenico: “MVs, album and mga sikretong malupit.”
Burn: “May new album kaming nirerecord sa La Balls produced by Nick Lazaro. Ready na rin yung songs ni Benny for 3rd and 4th album.”
What would you tell your followers who never stopped supporting you from day one?
Benny: “We truly love you all! Sagad! At sana di kayo maumay sa amin. Mawawala kami pag nawala kayo. Mahal na mahal namin kayo, EveryBunny! May free gig for everybunny sa June 10 sa Aloha Bar. Punta kayo. Libre namin. May free ukulele din, Spam Musubi at free hugs.”
Ess: “Thank You EveryBunny for being part of our lives and for letting us be part of your lives, for supporting us kahit ganito lang kami and enjoying our music. That means so much to us. BunnyHug!”
Jhenico: “Maraming thank you, everybunny! Kung wala kayo eh baka tinamad na kami. Haha.”
Catch BennyBunnyBand this coming Saturday (June 10) at Aloha Bar & Grill, The Collective, Makati for their event called “Free Gig For EveryBunny”.
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/396283874104131/
Photos courtesy of BennyBunnyBand except noted.