A “foc you” attitude.

That seems an apt description of the music of Foc Fashion; in your face, fast, frenetic and good old fashioned fun. This attitude best describes their music. They do what they want and they don’t care. How many bands can honestly say that? Most worry about what others think or are in it for the fashion. These guys quite literally Foc Fashion.

We were able to exchange emails with Foc Fashion frontman, Mark Sy. Here are his thoughts on music, the now defunct Outpost and Manila.

PS – You can listen to their music while you read the interview. Click here. Enjoy!

032: The first time I remember seeing Foc Fashion play was in a Harakirimosh gig called, “You Don’t Get It.” The premise was to showcase bands that presumably sounded different. You guys have a very distinct sound? Do you agree with that?

MS: Yes. I totally agree. Though we all have different influences which somehow link Foc Fashion’s music, we believe that it takes a common “interest of self- expression” to define original sound. We believe we’ve got loads of that. (Hehehe)

032: When did you guys start? Did you always have that fast frenzy punk ska sound?

MS: We started out in 2007, 1st Semester of my 3rd year in college. It must’ve been June. Initially, we wanted to revolve around a negative ska sound. We believed that a “minor” sounding ska tune was more bad-ass than a jolly “major” key sound, so we inherently stuck to that, and unknowingly added a streak of  new-wave/post punk since majority of us were into that genre. Putting together ska rhythms and 16-beat drum beats paved the way for the rest of the music.

032: What’s with all the changes in the lineup?

MS: We had to do it. We didn’t want to die and there was a goal to fulfil in the music scene…

032: What was the goal?

MS: Our goal was to let everyone know that being yourself is the key to a meaningful existence, a celebration of individuality. This was especially true for making music or being in a band. But this can be applied to other aspects in life as well.

032: You guys seems to have a “foc you” attitude. This shows in your performances and even in the music. What’s that about? Do you hate the world?!?!

MS: In reference to the first question, wherein it takes a common “interest of self-expression” to define original sound, we believe that this may be one of the formulas of our and anyone else’s sound. Our belief in a common goal (rule the world a.k.a. pure unpretentious individuality saves music) drives the music’s power and uniqueness channelled from our own selves on stage. We don’t hate the world. We just want to tell everyone to be themselves and champion their own individuality.

032: Who does the song writing? What’s the song writing process? Lyrics first? Music first? Melody?

MS: I do most of the song writing. Ricochet was made by me, Rhui, and Miguel (former drummer). My style of writing would be: melody first, lyrics later, presented and produced together with members equals an epic foc song! I believe in good hooks and prioritize it. Lyrics come cleaner to me as the song is made beforehand because of its structure.

032: Ah that’s interesting! So since you start with the melody, the song melodies initially sound like weird gibberish sounds that make no sense? 

MS: Not necessarily. Here’s an example. Lie in bed and feel the comfort come in as you let your thoughts wander, I’m sure you might have that feeling of relief mixed with an appropriate emotion made subliminally. As this happens, picture yourself in a scenario of doing an awesome “wheelie jam” (bike jump) on your BMX, and without you knowing it, a soundtrack comes in fitting the scene which kicks so much ass. This OST in your thoughts comes fairly produced and professionally done. Then it hits you that this could be the next song your band can make. BOOM! You got a piece of a working song.

032: So you literally imagine the soundtrack of something awesome? Haha! You guys released an EP called Up Urs! Where did you record it? What was the recording process like?

MS: Yes, Up Urs! is a compilation of 4 songs we recorded at Zzubu Recording Studio and 1318 Recording & Mixing Studio under the sound engineer and producer, Brian Sacro. It started out as a goal fuelled by the need to record our music (it’s an essential step for a band to record after all). It took us time to record these with gaps of months in between since we weren’t in a rush.

032: The Up Urs! EP has a handful of songs. Can we expect new songs in the future? Is a full length album in the works?

MS: There will definitely be new songs in the future as we are working on some now. A concept for a full length album (or something better) is in the works.

032: Something better? That sounds like top secret band plans. Any hints on what “something better” is?

MS: Something people can afford easily.

032: In a musician’s life, there always seems to be a particular incident or moment that inspired them to pick up an isntrument and start a band. What was that for you? What made you want to be a musician?

MS: I decided to rock when I stumbled into this craft back at 2nd year High School. I tried it and felt amazed that I could actually play a guitar.  Jamming to my favourite songs brought pure satisfaction. It got better when I found others who were into it as well. It brought me better friends and it was then I decided that I just had to be a musician and play in a band.

032: With Outpost gone, what’s next? Is this the death of local indie music and art? Or is that an exaggeration?

MS: What I lost was a great hangout with a great community of people (Musicians and a whole lot of appreciators being the majority). Though this hub was a stage which artists and musicians came to perform and appreciators came to watch, it isn’t everything for a musician. Indie Music will live especially now that we live in the 21st century.

032: What about the 21st century? What’s different?

MS: Reach is easier.  Our world is getting smaller through the internet and social media. It’s something that half of the 20th century didn’t have. There is equal opportunity for artists now. People may take it for granted, but the viral hits we have streaming all over our FB pages came from individuals who started out posting their wares online. They weren’t signed to any label or whatnot. This is what the 21st century has for indie music and the opportunity is always there.

032: How was the Manila trip? What happened? Will you guys be heading back? What was the crowd like?

MS: Manila was a three day marathon of “adventure time” which turned out to be a great achievement as well as a tome of lessons for me and Foc Fashion. As for how the crowd was like, we were warmly greeted and appreciated at all our gigs. One thing I realized is that that cheers drive an artist to be better. I hope people Cebu will keep that at heart. We will definitely be heading back!

032: Where can we check out your gig scheds etc?

MS: You may check out  our gig scheds on our FB page. Add us up at http://www.facebook.com/focers.

You can get a copy of the Up Urs! EP at the Assembly.

Click here to get a copy.

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