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ERASERHEADS REBORN. Adoro, Gorra-Dancel, Zabala and Marasigan

Eraserheads adjusts
to life after Ely Buendia

Posted: 10:10 PM (Manila Time) | Aug. 06, 2002
By Maui V. Reyes
Inquirer News Service


"SIYEMPRE fan ako ng E-heads. Sila talaga yung nag-inspire sa Fatal Posporos na gumawa ng original songs," Kris Gorra-Dancel says, grinning. "Back then, Fatal Posporos was playing covers, stuff from Poison and the Ramones."

At the other end of the table, Raimund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala and Marcus Adoro laugh.

"Poison and the Ramones? Ang layo naman no'n!" Marcus exclaims, as Kris struggles to finish her story. They are taking a break from rehearsals, preparing for their soft EP launch the next day.

Kris continues, "When we heard the Eraserheads, we thought: 'Why should we stick to singing covers when it's so hard?' We weren't that good at playing our instruments back then. So we wrote originals. It's more sincere that way."

Kris has gone a long way from cranking up heavy metal and punk tunes with her high school band, Fatal Posporos, which (contrary to nasty rumors) has not broken up, and listening to Eraserheads hits in Top 40 radio programs. She has now become the lead singer of one of the most influential bands of the '90s.

Nothing is permanent

Anyone who heard the news that Ely Buendia had left his band was either surprised, shocked, or simply didn't believe the report.

"Kumakain ako sa Megamall," Raimund says. "First reaction ko, 'A, okay...alam kaya nina Buddy?' I was surprised. Actually, semi-surprised."

"Nag-text siya sa amin na 'graduate' na daw siya e," Marcus adds. He pauses, then smiles. "E naisip ko, '87 yung batch niya, '88 kami, so talagang nauna siyang mag-graduate sa amin."

"It was going to happen sooner or later," Buddy says. "Medyo nararamdaman na namin."

People came up with their own versions of why Ely left the band: To pursue a solo career. Jealousy of his band mates' side projects (although his solo album was a big success). Personal reasons.

The truth is, no one knows, not even the other members of the band. "We haven't spoken to him since he sent us that text message," Raimund says.

Looking back, the band recalls signs indicating his imminent departure. Buddy says, "I was surprised, but not a lot. You know, when you're half-expecting and you're half not."

Marcus points out that during the 2001 NU 107 Rock Awards, Ely was telling the band that they should look for a new vocalist, hold auditions. He thought it was another one of Ely's many jokes. "Akala ko parang gimik lang; hindi ko pinansin. Kasi minsan magte-text siya: 'Gawa tayo ng bagong set list, ayaw mo ba ng set list natin?' Tapos ako, 'anong set list?' So malabo lang talaga ang usapan namin palagi. Malabo'ng signal namin. Tapos narinig namin yung demo niya, 'I'm Closing In.' Parang, ano yon?"

The remaining members had to think of a quick solution. They had three gigs in the coming weeks. To fulfill the contract, Raimund took over the guitar and vocals and they got a session drummer and guitarists. After the gigs, the band finally sat down to talk.