Amidst rave reviews of their latest tracks “Siberia” and “Umaapaw,” and just days before their upcoming album release, Ang Bandang Shirley has dropped a bombshell: vocalist Selena Salang Davis will be taking an indefinite hiatus from the band.
Via tinyletter, Selena writes in part:
“I’m writing this after getting good news about my future, which I’m very happy about. But this good news is also the reason why I’m writing to you now, and I need to tell you: my last gig (for a long while) with Shirley is at the launch of Favorite this Saturday. This part is what’s making me sad.”
(Read the full post HERE.)
There are, of course, bands that survive major line-up changes. There’s Rivermaya, Moonstar88, Imago… and indeed, even Ang Bandang Shirley itself, who have seen members come and go in their decade-long existence. Although fans know in their hearts that the band will stay true to their sound, it seems impossible to imagine Shirley without Selena’s melodic vocals.
Thankfully, future collaborations aren’t out of the picture entirely. Speaking to One Music, Selena clarifies: “I won't be able to physically be there for live gigs as some life changes will require more of my focus henceforth. I liked that you used the word ‘hiatus’ because that more accurately describes what's happening. I'm taking an indefinite break, but I'm definitely game to perform or write with them again somewhere down the road if it's possible.”
But before we get ahead of ourselves with talk of the future, there IS still an album launch to be had. This Saturday, Ang Bandang Shirley is set to release “Favorite,” the much-awaited follow-up to 2012’s “Tama Na Ang Drama,” at the Blue Bay Walk Garden in Pasay.
“I'm looking forward to people finally hearing all the songs that we've worked so hard to write and produce,” says Ean Aguila of the upcoming launch. “Also, I hope we influence young musicians to make music without compromises.”
“[I’m] looking forward to the album itself! I want to see all the stickers being put everywhere,” adds Enzo Zulueta, speaking about the band’s unique idea to release a mostly-blank album cover. The album comes with a sticker pack while launch-exclusive stickers will be sold at the event, enabling fans to come up with their own “Favorite” album cover.
As the members of Ang Bandang Shirley are mostly unified in their answers of what they’re anticipating come the album launch, they also share the same dread: the last song of the set – their last song with Selena. Alas comes the wakeup call that things won’t be the same for a long while. In her post, Selena says she isn’t quite sure if she’ll cry when it comes to that last song, but “dala kayo ng tissue, please, in case wala akong mahanap when it happens.” (Bring tissue, please, in case I won't be able to find any when it happens)
Fans might want to take note and bring tissues for themselves, too.
So, is the band looking to add a new member in the meantime? Not so fast, they say.
“Nothing's finalized yet, but definitely the band will continue to play and tour the album,” says Enzo Zulueta. “We're hoping to bring it to as many places as we can!”
“We'll take our time,” says Ean. “Selena's voice and presence is irreplaceable.”
Zig Rabara adds: “We'll find out what the universe holds.”
And so it goes with bands that have come and gone, only time will tell what happens to Ang Bandang Shirley, but for now: tama na ang drama! See you at the album launch!