It’s a rare feat for any band to pass the 20-year mark while remaining true to their core sound and aesthetic, and still consistently manage to come up with fresh-sounding material.
Typecast is one such band, and although it’s been a while since their last release (the 2019 single “Mulat Na Mata”), the Laguna-bred post-hardcore quartet remains to be one of the most consistent and reliable live acts around. In fact, they’ve just completed a tour of the US and Canada with Greyhoundz and Chocolate Factory this August and September.
Hailing mainly from the province of Laguna, Typecast was formed in 1999, among bands and peers who were tuned in to a melodic post-hardcore sound that was popular in the US underground at the time. This sound and subculture would be characterized as “emo” and explode nationwide in the next decade, but the Laguna scene embraced it first. “I didn’t really notice that [emo] was blowing up,” says Typecast singer/guitarist Steve Badiola of the band’s formative years. “I just wanted to listen to as much as I could get my hands on that style of music — the more obscure, the better.”
It was an exciting time. Badiola recalls that when he finished writing the first ever Typecast song (“Forget”), he even mocked up an album cover with other titles of songs that didn’t exist yet. “[My friends] at that time said to me, ‘Bilis niyo ah! Andami niyo nang songs agad! (You have so many songs so quickly!)’ I told them that we haven’t recorded anything, but we will soon.”
Since then, Typecast have released three full-length studio albums and one EP, plus a live album and an assortment of singles, all well received by fans and critics. With Badiola as the band’s remaining original member (currently the band also includes Chi Resurreccion on bass, Pakoy Fletchero on guitar, and Sep Roño on drums), Billboard Philippines asked him to look back on their major studio releases and share something about each one:
The Infatuation is Always There (album, 2004)
Badiola: My favorite Typecast album, produced by Raymund Marasigan and Diego Castillo (of Sandwich). It took me two months to write the album in Nueva Ecija, under a tree.
Every Moss and Cobweb (album, 2006)
Badiola: [We] recorded [it] in Malaysia. Chi needed to undergo surgery, so he had to record all his parts in one day then fly back to the Philippines the next day. Same with drums — all songs [were recorded in] one day.
How Your Influence Betrays You (album, 2011)
Badiola: This is an angry album; [it’s] darker and hardest to play live. I had to relearn “Reverend’s Daughter” because I recorded vocals last, and it was challenging to sing it and play guitar at the same time.
Word Sits Heavy (EP, 2014)
Badiola: Produced, recorded, and mixed by yours truly. “Word Sits Heavy” and “Gasoline” are my favorite songs on the EP. I remember that we first recorded bass and guitars straight to my laptop with free amp simulators and it was so awful.
According to the singer, the band is in the process of recording new songs. “[It] took us a bit longer than anticipated, but it’s coming real soon,” he assures. Despite not having released anything new in the last four years, Typecast are a veteran rock act with nothing to prove. Their always-packed gigging and touring schedule constantly reminds their fans that they’re still very much active and relevant, and listeners will always have the band’s consistently excellent discography to enjoy.
However, Badiola remains modest about the band’s success thus far, 24 years down the line. “Up until now, we’re still learning,” he says. “You just gotta put yourself out there [and] focus on improving your craft. If you get noticed, just repeat and keep on keeping on.”