ENCORE FEATURE: Where’s Ramona?
October 30, 2018 Feather Casilan
We bet you’re wondering, who is this rising OPM band called Where’s Ramona? and how did they get where they are now? Well, ask no more! ‘Cause we’ve got the scoop straight from the band members themselves!
After their successful ‘The Reckless Romantic‘ EP Launch last October 19 at Route 196, Where’s Ramona? has been causing quite a stir in the OPM scene. And we bet those who haven’t had the chance to get to know this talented (and crazy-silly!) band are wondering: who’s Ramona? — We mean! Who’s Where’s Ramona?
Fret no more, because we got the answers straight from the horse’s mouth about this hot new band in town. And we must say, these answers from Where’s Ramona? either touched our hearts or made us laugh out loud!
Get to know the hottest deets on Where’s Ramona? right here!
So first of all, we want to know, who is Ramona? And why are you guys looking for her? (Basically, why is your band called Where’s Ramona?)
Mic: Ramona is a fictional character from the comic/movie called “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.” To put it simply, [I] loved the movies ‘SPVTW’, and ‘Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist’ And decided to combine ‘Where’s Fluffy’ and Ramona Flowers. Metaphorically, the band name means searching for something/someone worth fighting for.
Who are the members of Where’s Ramona?. We would love to get to know you more individually.
Mic: We have [me] on the Vocals, Koko on the rhythm guitars, Tep on the Bass, Moti on the Drums, and Ivan on the lead guitar.
Moti is the most energetic member we have. He’s always on the go and he somehow never gets tired. We have no idea where he gets his energy.
Koko is somewhat a kuya to the whole group. He’s the one making big decisions and the one doing technical stuff inside the band.
Tep is this sweet ball of energy that you can always share your thoughts to. He’s always there when you need someone and make sure you feel okay.
Ivan likes memes.
We love how you described Ivan. We see you guys are really close. So, are you guys still in college? Where do you guys go, and what courses are you currently taking?
Mic Comia – UST Conservatory of Music ME Guitar
Ivan Castro – UST Conservatory of Music BM Music Technology
Stephen Fortes – UST AB Journalism (Graduate)
Timothy Bernardino – UST AB Behavioral Science (Graduate)
Conrad Capule – UST EDUC (Graduate); Currently taking his Master of Science in Teaching major in Chemistry at DLSU
The band’s journey
How did you guys meet, and eventually form your band?
Ivan: We met in an org at UST called Musikang Sikat Ng Mga Tomasino (MUSIKAT), [and Mic and I] were classmates. Then one time in the org room we were jamming, and we met Moti. And our attitudes clicked! Like we all had the same taste in music.
From that point [on], we decided to look for a bass player. Then we remembered that we have a mutual friend, Stephen (Tep), who was currently in a band (Oido). It was a long shot at first ’cause we thought that he was busy, and all then surprisingly he accepted our invite.
Ivan: From that point, we practiced our songs. Then down the line, Koko joined and the band’s sound got bigger from that point on.
From this story, it looks like the band really just met coincidentally but inevitably. And we’re just really happy that these guys crossed paths! In any case, onto more of our questions for the boys.
We adore your photoshoots and overall concept! But why flowers? How did you decide to use them as the theme for your band/shoot?
Mic: I have scoured everywhere to look for pegs and themes for the band. I wanted something a little extra, actually. Till I came across this idea that I wanted the idea of ‘Ramona Flowers’ in our concept so there’s no way flowers wouldn’t be included.
How did you guys start performing?
Mic: We started from getting small gigs from our friends. Testing the waters and such. Tunog Tomasino is actually the one who brought us out there. [That’s] where we finally got some buzz going, and I think it kept going after that. We can’t thank them enough.
Musikat and TOMCAT have been a huge part of your journey. How did these university-wide organizations help your band reach where it is now?
Mic: Like we said, TOMCAT and MUSIKAT are our roots. These university orgs gave us a chance to be heard and play our music in front of a crowd. There would be no Where’s Ramona? without the support they gave us.
How is your music different from other rising bands in the Philippine music scene?
Ivan: It’s hard to explain. The safest siguro is that our music is “The music we grew up listening to.” Like Mayday Parade, All Time Low, Sum 41, etc.
“The Reckless Romantic” EP Launch
You recently released your EP––tell us the journey and the obstacles you had to go through before “The Reckless Romantic.”
Mic: To be honest, it wasn’t really that easy. We had so much on our plate before we even started recording, so balancing everything was really difficult for each member. We managed though. And we pushed through.
We wanted our music to be heard and that really kept us going. I can’t really be more proud of the boys. They have matured into really talented artists.
Why “The Reckless Romantic?” Is this title based on your personal experiences? What was the overall inspiration for this EP?
Mic: Basically, ’cause I was a reckless romantic. I jumped [into] one relationship after another, just looking for the love I think I deserve. All of the songs that I wrote for this EP is about how I felt the past few years while falling in love. So, yes. It is based on my personal love experience.
Oh wow! Vocalist Mic certainly is the reckless romantic, huh? That’s quite a revelation.
How does it feel that you finally released your EP, and have such amazing support from your friends, families, and fans?
Mic: It’s incredible! We didn’t realize how much support we have from everyone till we actually saw it during The Reckless Romantic EP Launch. We can’t thank everyone enough for the love they keep sending us. All we can say is that we have the best people that has our backs 24/7.
And based on the crowd we witnessed at their EP launch, everyone who came to support are certainly proud of these talented boys!
From “Worst” Ramona! to Where’s Ramona?
How different was the EP launch from you first ever bar gig?
Mic: The difference is worlds away from each other. Our first ever gig was so far the worst we have ever had. You might even call it “Worst Ramona”. Lol!
We were last in queue. We played 4am in the morning in-front of not more than 10 people including the staff of the bar; we were so tired. To be honest, that was a crossroad—if we really wanted to keep going or just drop it from there. I’m just so happy that the band believed in my songs and chose to kept going for the music.
The rising OPM band you should definitely watch out for!
What’s next now for “Where’s Ramona?”
Mic: We’re going to keep playing the songs from ‘TRR’ (The Reckless Romantic) for our shows to promote it, and at the same time start recording new songs for you guys. Maybe expect some material online, too! We have a lot of stuff for you guys so follow our social media [pages] to keep yourself updated!
Any advice for aspiring solo musicians or bands out there who are struggling to be known in the OPM scene?
Mic: Keep believing on your craft. You can’t convince anybody to like what you made if you don’t believe on the potential of what you’ve created.
Where can people listen to your music and contact your band?
Mic: You can check out our videos on Youtube! And listen to our songs on Spotify! Book us by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And after all that, of course we have here for you a live video performance of ‘Kiss Me’ by Where’s Ramona?!
Ooohhh, now this has got to be our favorite from this entire interview!
Tell us one crazy or silly trivia about each member. Any secret talents or weird habits? (Laglagan time, guys. When else can you really do this? U do u!)
Mic: Oops! Haha! Well, we did lotsa stuff when we were starting out, but the most notable stuff always happened to Moti.
We don’t know why but he’s always in a pickle when we find him. It’s either he rips his pants, getting mistakenly arrested, trips on the floor, etc.
But, of course we can’t leave out Tep. We’re not sure, but I think he’s some kind of pigeon. I don’t think he can see glass cause last time he ran into a huge glass window forehead first. It was so strong the whole window shook!
Speaking of birds, I think Mic’s one of those, too. He always somehow manages to make his voice squeak on gigs!
Meanwhile Ivan and Koko are the biggest trolls inside the band. They always manage to pull a prank on everybody for some reason. There was this one time when the two of them made fun of Tep so much that Tep got so angry. Lol! Love you, Tep!
Damn, this was such an interview with the band! Where’s Ramona? That’s a band with quite the personality! And we certainly couldn’t wait to see them climb their way up in the Philippine music scene.
Loving this band just as much as we are? Check them out on their Where’s Ramona? Youtube page, or add their songs to your Spotify playlist now!
So are you loving Where’s Ramona? as much as we are? Tell us what you think of this talented rising OPM band in the comment section below. Or better yet, message us on out Facebook page. or tweet us at @UDoUPh. We’d love to hear from you guys!