For almost a decade now, the alternative and indie band December Avenue, consisted of Zel Bautista, Jem Manuel, Don Gregorio and Jet Danao, has been serenading Filipino music fans with songs that simply touch hearts. And if you learn about the story behind the band’s name, it won’t be difficult to understand why their songs have such a feel.
“December Avenue represents our songs, the meaning of ours songs. Our songs mostly talk about life, moving on, and December is actually the last month of the year which is an avenue towards the new year which is a new life,” shared by the band’s lead vocals Bautista.
When One Music asked the band to describe their musicality, Bautista said that their music’s focus lies in their songs’ lyrics, and they always think about their listeners whenever they write songs. “The focus of our music is basically the lyrics itself, so we don’t really put that much effort with musicality. And probably siguro yung mga hugot lines namin we tend to, especially ako, ako yung songwriter, I write it na I’m putting myself into others’ shoes na kung ano ba ang mararamdaman ng taong ‘to in a situation like this (I write our songs in such a way that I’m putting myself into others’ shoes and what they would feel if placed in a particular situation). So our music is probably relatable to the listeners because of that.”
As for one of their most popular songs “Eroplanong Papel,” (Paper Airplane) the band said that it’s open for interpretation, but pointed out that it’s generally about prayer. “The message of the song talks about hope. The first party speaking in the song is hopeless. So Eroplanong Papel represents a prayer. If you throw a paper airplane, you’ll never know where it will land, so the same thing as when you’re praying, you’re meditating, you’re talking to someone, without even knowing it’s being heard. So the message of the song is like that,” Bautista said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Talking about being a part of this year’s Rakrakan Festival, the band said they felt their music is not suitable for the rock fest, and so they were afraid to join at first. But with this year’s edition having multiple stages and a clearly diverse crowd, December Avenue is more than willing to take on the challenge of providing quality Filipino music for different audiences. On top of this, they support the rock festival’s advocacy against illegal drugs.
And to young bands aspiring to do well and have longevity, the members of December Avenue have a piece of advice worth remembering. “Just keep it real. Respect one another.” For the men of December Avenue, they said that calling themselves as friends before a band is really the secret why they’ve stayed together all the while producing beautiful Filipino music they can be proud to play in front of anyone.
Watch December Avenue's One Music Live performance in the video below.
What do you think of December Avenue's performance and music? Tell us in the comments section!