Last night Greyhoundz just celebrated their 18th Anniversary at B-Side. This band has lasted this long because their presence at the very beginning changed the sound of Pinoy Rock forever. In June 1998, a year old Greyhoundz composed of Allen Cudal, Audie Avenido, Niño Avenido, TJ Brillantes and Reg Rubio made history — One that would impact the lives of their contemporaries – Queso and Slapshock.
That fateful day was during NU107’s Independence Day sessions. Held at Club Dredd in EDSA, it was a show broadcast live on air. The line-up consisted of senior bands that defined the Pinoy Rock of the 90s such as Wolfgang and Color It Red.
Reg Rubio wanted Greyhoundz to play, but the line-up was full.
“It was going to be streamed live on air,” he told me. It was the best and only chance for an unknown band to be heard during that time. He wasn’t going to take NO for an answer.
Kat Tuazon, a former DJ of NU107 told Reg that there was no more space, but if he was willing to wait in case a slot opens up, (because apparently rockstars are such rockstars when it comes to call times) she will let him know.
So Reg waited outside the bar, hopeful that Kat would come calling with good news. Like an answered prayer, a band was late. Kat told Reg that if Greyhoundz wanted to play, they should come in with their gears blazing as soon as possible.
Reg immediately looked for a landline to call his bandmates who were mostly living in Quezon City. Traffic wasn’t a problem then, as TJ, Niño, Allen and Audie showed up shortly after.
The band, excited and full of hope that their rockstar dreams would finally come true rushed to get to the stage. The moment they entered the club, darting eyes from the crowd who were waiting for a different band was greeted by a group of guys who did not exactly look metal, yet weren’t entirely hip-hop either.
This was the time metal and hip-hop were mortal enemies. Club Dredd was a venue to discover new bands and earn your street cred. Inside were metal kids clad in black shirts, chains and Chuck Taylors.
Greyhoundz tried to bring their equipment on stage, but first had to tread this sea of self-proclaimed gatekeepers of rock and metal. The crowd stood ground, not letting any of the band members pass while they stared each one down. Greyhoundz looked like a fish out of water as they wore their basketball jerseys, oversized shirts and baggy pants to a rock concert.
This was no metal band, the crowd thought. As they passed through the small but densely packed club, the band tried not to hit anyone’s shoulders. Failing, they received hateful stares from those they inconvenienced.
Reg and Niño were the main targets. The crowd chanted, “Pugo, Pugo,” (Quail egg) addressing Reg Rubio’s small frame in an oversized shirt and round bald head. Others called Niño “Pigpen! Pigpen!” because he was an overweight highschool kid in a Scottie Pippen Jersey and baggy pants.
The insults were meant to psyche out the band, the crowd hoped they would perform miserably and the high and mighty scene be rid of the atrocities of a bunch of hip-hop looking dudes in an NU107 event.
The moment Greyhoundz stepped on stage, the entire room sat down. This was not to be taken as a sign of interest. Quite the contrary, it was the ultimate sign of disrespect. At the time, to watch a band sitting down in a standing room was an insulting gesture.
This only made the band’s resolve even stronger. Reg had willed this moment to occur as he waited outside earlier in the day, supremely positive and hell bent on Greyhoundz taking the stage, while the rest of the band waited by their phones trying to keep the landlines open.
The crowd that evening did not know that they would bear witness to an event that would change the course of Pinoy Rock.
Kami po ang Greyhoundz,” Reg said. The chants died down as Audie started the terrorizing intro riff to “Pigface”. Hearing the iconic “Hupaw” called on crowd’s primal instincts.
People looked at each other, unsure about what to feel. With their eyes they dared to ask their peers, “Are you hearing this?” What they would hear was the word that would define a massive subgenre: Kupaw
Then they played Fools, which was more hiphop sounding than most. Mixed reactions came from the crowd — the band that they were insulting had turned out to be unexpectedly good. A few started bobbing their heads.
By the last song “Mr. P.I.G” the glaring question “WHAT’S UP MR. P.I.G?!” literally hounded everyone. By this time whole bar was standing, and most importantly, they were engaged and moshing.
Friends of the band, Queso was hearing this live on air, so they rushed to support the band. Tuts Calinawan, bassist of Queso said that he went there as fast as he could, “Galing Sikatuna lang naman ako noon,” he said.
It was only three songs, but the crowd’s reaction was akin to a religious experience. As the band tried to exit the stage, like Moses and the Dead Sea, the crowd parted to give way to the band they initially would not let pass.
Pinoy rock existed before that evening, all right, but not like what the crowd at Club Dredd just witnessed. Greyhoundz was the vanguard of the scene, the first to preach and give birth to nu-metal in the Philippines.
Yesterday in a facebook post, Ocho Toleran, guitarist of Queso said, “Hindi magka utog-utog yung mga konyo sa record labels at radio stations nung winasak ng Houndz yung pinto para makapaasok kami lahat sa eksena… Sabi ng mga hibang dati, lilipas din yan… “Uso” lang daw. 18 years na kayong uso mga kapatid”.
Last night’s gig had a crowd that was bigger and crazier than previous years. A far cry from 1998 when people dared not to let them pass in Club Dredd. People knew the band was real because they’re unstoppable.
Ang bumangga, giba.
More photos of last night’s show below.
Salamat sa musika Greyhoundz!
More photos at instagram.com/rosarioko