Indie rock-turned-city pop band ALYSON join Billboard Philippines on the maiden episode of Billboard Philippines Scenes, a new show that documents the people, places, and communities that make up Filipino music culture.

The band is hot on the heels of the release of their debut album, DEFINITELY LOVE! which was released in July of this year. Since then, the band were signed under the Ely Buendia-led Offshore Music, and have recently played at the last Rakrakan Festival last November 25 to 26.

The debut episode is in partnership with 100% malt whisky brand Monkey Shoulder, where the band and Billboard Philippines team hopped on the Monkey Mixer Van to stop over at OTO Makati, The Attic Bar, and Salt and Ice to try Monkey Shoulder drinks and talk about the local music scene, each other, and their favorite drinks of the night.

Kara Angan

The band, originally composed of members Pio Ligot (vocals and rhythm guitar), Luis Uy (lead guitar), Miguel Erfe (bass), and Marcus Mababangloob (drums), first came together in 2012. As the band started performing in high school and college, they started making rounds in the local indie circuit, playing at iconic venues like Route 196, 70’s Bistro, and more.

With a band that’s as tight-knit as theirs, Billboard Philippines jokingly asked the group that if they had to kick out one member of the band, who would it be and why.

Siguro sipain ko si Erfe, kasi abot siya sa paa ko” (I’d kick out Erfe, because he reaches my leg), Ligot jokes. “In all honesty though, I can’t really kick out anyone because ALYSON [wouldn’t] be the same.”

As one of the bands that was present during the indie boom of the mid-2010s, they were able to witness the growth of the scene and various local acts perform live.

“For me personally, lagi naming kasabay ang (we always perform with) Pinkmen. Gustong-gusto ko sila (I really like them) live, especially yung (the) harmonies ng (of the) two vocalists, Matt [Madrano] and Giro [Alva],” shares the band’s newest member and keyboardist Easel Manes when talking about his personal favorite to watch live. “Iba talaga (It’s really different) from streaming their songs versus watching them live.”

alyson pinas philippines

Uy, Erfe, Ligot, Manes: Kara Angan

Uy continues by saying that his favorite act to watch live is Lions And Acrobats. “Rakrakan eh!” (They really rock out).

“I really [loved] watching Radioactive Sago Project live back in the day,” says Mababangloob. “This was pre-pandemic when they were gigging a lot in Route [196]…the sheer scale of what they do — like 11 people with bongos, the DJ part of it, of course the Lourd de Veyra part of it, there’s just so much going on. It captivates me every single time.”

The night capped off at the final stop in Salt and Ice, with the band commenting on their favorite drinks of the night. “I think everyone can enjoy these drinks, it’s palatable and easy for anyone to drink,” says Erfe to close.

Watch the debut episode of Scenes on Facebook and Instagram.

Listen to ALYSON’s debut album, DEFINITELY LOVE! below.

This episode of Scenes was created in partnership with Monkey Shoulder. Find out more details about the Monkey Mixer Van here.