Yael, Gosh, Erwin, Tedmark, and Chris just celebrated 20 years of their music

Alternative rock band Sponge Cola celebrated 20 years in music at PETA Plus Theatre last December 14 in a show called “Bottoms Up,” which fused a theatrical depiction of their band’s life stories.

“Bottoms Up” featured talents from the band’s members Yael Yuzon, Gosh Dilay, Erwin Armovit, and Tedmark Cruz. For a night, fans were also able to see the original lineup of Sponge Cola, featuring one of their founding members, Chris Cantada.

Sponge Cola played a total of three sets. One with Cantada playing drums and the other with Cruz, followed by an ensemble that featureed Cantada playing the guitar. Karylle, Yuzon’s wife, also jammed along with Sponge Cola.

FreebieMNL was also lucky enough to snag a backstage bottoms-up interview with the band.

Photo by Aram Lascano
Yael Yuzon singing with his wife Karylle | Photo by Aram Lascano

Two Decades of Music

Sponge Cola has been around for quite some time. In 2004, they released their debut album called “Palabas.” It included their anthems including “Crazy For You” and “Jeepney.” In our interview, FreebieMNL asks the band how far Sponge Cola has gone in terms of maturity.

READ: Vie: 17 Years of Striving for Supremacy

Yuzon answers, saying that Sponge Cola has embraced every chapter they’ve experienced as a band. In fact, they still play old songs at their gigs, stressing that these songs are still part of them.

A shower of confetti to celebrate two decades of creating music | Photo by Aram Lascano

Erwin Armovit recalls how the song “Jeepney” jumpstarted their carrers. The Sponge Cola guitarist says, “Yung ‘Jeepney’ lalo na kasi sinulat namin siya at the back of our classroom. Little did we know that that song is gonna take us around the world. Here we are.” Nevertheless, he reiterates that the band “is still not done with creating music.”

Yuzon annexes that in the present time, the band still feels the same as when they were starting, saying that Sponge Cola’s members still have the same excitement level as when they were just forming the band.

Yael Yuzon upon entering the center stage for their show "Bottoms Up" | Photo by Aram Lascano
Yael Yuzon upon entering the center stage for their show “Bottoms Up” | Photo by Aram Lascano

But when it comes to songwriting, Yuzon is honest in that he doesn’t know how the band has actually matured. He says, “Kapag inaaral ko yung maturity with songwriting, I don’t know if we’ve matured. Ang alam ko lang, we’re just as hungry as before.”

Armovit states that they just keep trying new things. Bassist Gosh Dilay adds that when they write songs these days, it becomes automatic and they just keep composing until they produce an output.

Bassist Gosh Dilay on a fractal of lights during their performance at PETA Theatre  | Photo by Aram Lascano
Bassist Gosh Dilay on a fractal of lights during their performance at PETA Theatre | Photo by Aram Lascano

Rather than being more mature, Ted Mark Cruz sees their writing process as being more efficient. For him, the listeners are the ones who can tell if the band’s releases have matured throughout the years. “Hindi dapat sa ‘tin galing ‘yun,” the drummer adds.

Yuzon chimes in, “Kasi may ibang tao, [sasabihin], ‘Grabe ang juvenile niyo pa rin.’ May iba naman na, ‘Ang mature niyo na.'”

Sponge Cola featuring their original drummer Chris. | Photo by Aram Lascano
Sponge Cola featuring their original drummer Chris. | Photo by Aram Lascano

Sponge Cola concludes that they just do what they do in a more efficient way, with Yuzon stressing that, these days, they are better in handling their emotions towards the band.


Photos Aram Lascano
Banner Image Paulo Correa
Special Thanks Kevin Pableo and GNN

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