Spell Saab

Before you go all grammar nazi on me about my title, here’s what I learned: nobody agrees on one thing about bands with plural names. But I will stick to this rule from erinwrightwriting.com because it makes the most sense to me.

ALRIGHT, now that we got that out of the way… I can start actually writing about my band, Cheats.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’d know that I’ve had a few short stints in the music scene.

US-2 EVIL-0 (2009)

Sorry, I couldn't find a better photo haha

Sorry, I couldn’t find a better photo haha

Covered for Mich Dulce for about 2.5 months when she went abroad. I was SOOO shy, I didn’t do Mich justice at all. But thanks to Quark, Nix, Wincy and Bogs for having me.

DUSTER (2012)

duster

Stepped in when Katwo Puertollano had to leave the country for work. She ended up not leaving, but they still made me stay on and it was fun. But Katwo finally had to leave for the States so Duster’s on hiatus for now.

BBYGRL (2012)

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A solo thing I tried out but I only made one song LOL. Music by my current Cheats bandmate Ernest Aguila.

How Cheats Came To Be

GRRRL SCOUT (2013)

GRRRL SCOUT (2013)

I just couldn’t find the right sound that I wanted to keep with me. I was dating my then-boyfriend Jim Bacarro who was in his own band, Ernville, and I had just started my gig prod with Candy called GRRRL SCOUT. The band wasn’t very happy with how they were doing so we said, “Quit your management and we’ll manage you instead.” Candy and I kept booking Ernville for gigs and we’d hang out at their drummer’s condo all the time. Their drummer, Cholo Hermosa, had just started his own band and said he wanted to focus on that first. Their guitarist Ernest was busy with law school so Jim and Manny Tanglao (bassist) decided to start something new. While they tried to make new songs, Candy and I were hanging around and Jim told us to sing a couple of high parts for a song that didn’t have any lyrics yet. It would later turn out to be our first single, Accidents. (Side note: Ern re-joined the band after a couple of months because he realized how much fun he was missing out on. HEHEHE.)

More beautifully put by music critic and our newest guitarist, Jason Caballa:

Cheats were born out of an idea in Jim Bacarro’s head, in the wake of his former band Ernville’s silent passing, to make upbeat, celebratory music in the vein of his heroes LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire. Longtime bassist and musical cohort Manny Tanglao was the first to enter the fold, and the pair began fiddling around with a drum machine and came up with some tunes. Their fledgling sound changed considerably when both Saab Magalona and Candy Gamos wanted in on the fun, adding lovely girl harmonies and Spice Girls-meets-riot grrl feistiness. Soon, other musician-friends got involved, and by May 2013, Cheats were ready to play their first show.

Making The Album

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It was very hard at first to be two writers in a relationship. Jim would make songs, I would criticize the lyrics, we’d end up fighting. I would sing a melody, he’d say I’m off-key, we’d fight again. We just weren’t used to being critical of each other but that’s what has to happen when you’re bandmates. In the end, we learned to be boyfriend and girlfriend first but when writing songs, we are strictly bandmates and we don’t take anything personally anymore.❤️

We arranged a couple of songs (Sleepist and Triple Horn) with Raymund Marasigan, and it took us over a year recording our first album at The Bunker with Ely Buendia as our producer. We had WAY TOO MUCH FUN, obviously. You can see a couple of clips of us recording at Ely’s in the music video I made for Accidents.

But we had serious moments, too.

hanging out elys

rec at elys

Pupil’s Dok Sergio and Jerome Velasco (not in photo) helped us out with mixing too!

recording

saab vocals booth

Then we decided to finally set a date so we wouldn’t keep putting it off. We started putting a little pressure on ourselves and delegated tasks. Candy and I had the most fun job of conceptualizing the album packaging. We figured we’d make our album our favorite thing: PIZZA. Our in-lay was full of our favorite junk food, too. Candy’s boyfriend, Miggy Abesamis of Ballast Photography took the photos!

Do you see a furry bear on the side?

Do you see a furry bear on the side?

IMG_8072

5 EYE

I also “helped out”

Candy said the cupcake needed to have a "bite" in it to look more authentic

Candy said the cupcake needed to have a “bite” in it to look more authentic

I happily obliged

I happily obliged

The "after-bite" shot was not used but I'm not complaining haha

The “after-bite” shot was not used but I’m not complaining haha

Shinji Tanaka of Soundcreation did the final mastering and we got GIGZILLA a.k.a. JP Cuison to make the awesome artwork for us. Et voila:

Photo by Myktography

Photo by Myktography

The Launch

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The launch at Saguijo was a huge success with record-breaking bar sales. I will never forget that night for as long as I live.

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We got some of our favorite bands to play

Oh Flamingo / Photo by Myktography

Oh Flamingo / Photo by Myktography

The Ransom Collective / Photo by Myktography

The Ransom Collective / Photo by Myktography

Sandwich / Photo by Myktography

Sandwich / Photo by Myktography

Pupil / Photo by Myktography

Pupil / Photo by Myktography

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The energy of the crowd turned Saguijo into a sauna, we barely had any space to move but it was okay because we didn’t want to move. Any sort of movement caused us to heavily perspire and it was getting hard to breathe. The number of people inside Saguijo was definitely beyond the allowed capacity. People were standing on chairs and on tables, jumping and singing their hearts out along to almost all the songs. Songs we hadn’t even released online! We didn’t expect it at all. It was a fire hazard but that’s rock & roll for you. Just another night in Saguijo.

What Now?

The best part about being in Cheats, aside from getting to make music with my husband, is that I am always with my best friends.

zamba outside

zamba

pacquaio match

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We’re used to being overlooked by local music festivals, maybe they have never heard of us. I don’t know for sure but it’s never been a problem for us. All the Saguijo and Route 196 gigs have been our own little festivals — we give each and every performance our all even if only 10 people show up. We always say, out of those 10 people, we might make at least one person dance.

You can just imagine our surprise when we got an e-mail last month from Laneway Festival Singapore. I’ve been keeping it a secret for so long. Partly because the organizers had asked us not to reveal anything and also because we weren’t sure if these “organizers” were just pranksters pulling our leg. Now I’m finally happy to say, it’s legit.

Singapore-Laneway-2016-poster-900x2

I guess you could say this was all a beautiful ~*accident*~.

♥,
Saab

September 23, 2015

Saab

48 Comments

  1. Reply

    Janine

    September 22, 2015

    I’m so happy for Cheats!!! I’m definitely going! I’ll see you thereee!!

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 22, 2015

      Yayyyy thank you!! See you!

  2. Reply

    Chic

    September 22, 2015

    Congratulations on getting to be part of Laneway! Should be awesome! :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 22, 2015

      Yayy!

  3. Reply

    Monica

    September 22, 2015

    I know its alphabetical order. Pero shet nakakakilig na katabi niyo ang CHVRCHES!!!!!! So proud of Cheats!!

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      Hehehe truelles!!

  4. Reply

    Danica

    September 22, 2015

    Grabe congratulations sa Laneway!!! Deserve na deserve niyo yan!

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      xx

  5. Reply

    zooey

    September 22, 2015

    OHMYGOSHHH!!!! plus, youre going to perform with chvrches!!! hope i can be there. lol!

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      I’m excited for Beach House and The Internet, too ☺️

  6. Reply

    Jamie

    September 22, 2015

    Awww so happy for Cheats!!! ??

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      Thank you!:)

  7. Reply

    Tricia

    September 22, 2015

    Nakaka-proud naman ito!! Congrats sa Cheats! :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      Thank you :)

  8. Reply

    frisk

    September 22, 2015

    Looks like a domino pizza box lol

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      Inspired ;)

  9. Reply

    April

    September 23, 2015

    Yayyy Cheats! Congratulations! Sending love for you guys! Have fun! :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      Thank you :)

  10. Reply

    Krem

    September 23, 2015

    WOW! Hello sa CHVRCHES! Congrats Cheats! Online supporter muna ako ngayon kasi #studentduties. ? So happy for you guuuys!

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      Thank youuu

  11. Reply

    kaye

    September 23, 2015

    Congratulations!! ♥♥♫♪♫♪

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      Thanks!!

  12. Reply

    ladyjune

    September 23, 2015

    YOU’RE RIGHT NEXT TO CHVRCHES huhuhu

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      Well, it’s in alphabetical order hehe :)

  13. Reply

    Pau

    September 23, 2015

    OMG! I hope I can really meet and greet you there! I have been wanting to add you on steam and play with you, and now this happened!! I wanna hang out with you in person, you’re such a cool girl.
    Congratulations!! See you there!

    *before you switch on the stalker alert, I am also a girl gamer*

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      YES! See you in SG, hopefully!:)

  14. Reply

    Jae

    September 23, 2015

    OH MY GOSH, SAAB!!! YOU’RE GOING TO BE WITH CHVRCHES!!! LAUREN MAYBERRY!!! <3 <3 <3
    We're going to watch them in LA in less than a month from today, and I can hardly wait!!! Naiihi na ako, naiisip ko pa lang. Huhuhu!!!

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      Hahaha have fun!!

  15. Reply

    Karly

    September 23, 2015

    Congrats Saab! Cheats deserve it! :D

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 23, 2015

      *u* thanks!!

  16. Reply

    Grems

    September 23, 2015

    Congratulations to you guyssss!!!! You guys deserve it so much! <3

    I would like to thank Cheats, by the way, because when my crush heard that I was listening to "Triple Horn" (naka-headphones ako pero OA levelzzz siguro yung volume), that was the first time that we had a conversation and we never stopped talking to each other since. THANKS YOU GUYS!!! Hahaha

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 27, 2015

      Hahahaha wonderful story!! I love it!!!

  17. Reply

    Cha

    September 23, 2015

    Yaaay! Proud to say I’m inlove with your band. I watch you whenever I get the chance to go. Your Route 196 and Saguijo gigs developed the fanatic in me. Well-deserved CHEATS!!! <3

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 27, 2015

      YAY! Thanks, Cha!:)

  18. Reply

    Trisha

    September 23, 2015

    Uber happy for cheats!! I think when I saw Jim (?) posted a link where we can download the first three tracks of cheats that were out, (Accidents, Newspaper GIrl, Headfoam) I immediately downloaded it!! And now I can already find you in Spotify!! HOW COOL IS THAT. THAT I GET TO BRAG ABOUT MY FRIENDS HOW YOUR MUSIC CAN MAKE ME FEEL. IT CAN MAKE ME FEEL, ~FEELINGS~ I swear, cheats!! Don’t ever stop doing what you guys do. You changed my lives. And one way to pay back, is to promote you guys to my friends and keep on playing you tracks whenever I’m around them.

    I LOVE YOU CHEATS!!! Hoping to see you perform live, soon. I hope my time permits!! I WOULD REALLY LOVE TO SEE YOU GUYS LIVE. :(

    STAY GOLDEN!!

    • Reply

      Saab

      September 27, 2015

      Awww yayyy!!

  19. Reply

    Candy Z

    September 26, 2015

    CONGRATULATIONSSSSS! <3 <3 <3 Kilig! :3

  20. Reply

    Tin

    September 27, 2015

    Hi Saab! I’m a fan! Got teary eyed with this post! Anyway, me and my friends went to your album launch in Saguijo, my first time there btw. Got excited when I found out about Laneway! Planning on going to Laneway Festival to watch you guys and visit my sister there too! Can’t wait! :) Ciao

    • Reply

      Saab

      October 7, 2015

      Thank you so much for going to the album launch!!! Woohoo!!! See you at Laneway!! Hope I see you there!!:D

  21. Reply

    mars

    September 27, 2015

    Wow Saab! This is the first Cheats song I’ve heard and I loved it! I listen to really good foreign, indie songs and I must say, I can listen to this over and over along with a lot of my favorites!! I should see Cheats perform live!

    • Reply

      Saab

      October 7, 2015

      You really should!! Thank you :)

  22. Reply

    Raei

    October 3, 2015

    I am so happy about this blog! Because
    > It answered this question I had since I knew Yolanda Moon: how do you know Cholo Hermosa.
    > I just recently fell in love with the album. Thank you so much for putting it on Spotify! I am now in love with Cheats!!!
    > And, you guys deserve that SG gig!!!

    Looking forward to watch a gig when I can. :D

    • Reply

      Saab

      October 7, 2015

      Awww thank you very much!!!<3<3

  23. Reply

    Aby

    October 18, 2015

    Im so happy for you and cheats! Feels like my sister got to laneway kind of thing! (Feeling sister haahahah) Sobrang proud of you guys ? I may not comment as often but im always reading your blog. Napacomment ako sobrang excited para sa inyo. Hahaha I hope i have the chance to support you guys on laneway. Good luck! Go cheats!

    • Reply

      Saab

      October 29, 2015

      AWWWW thank you!!<3 You are very sweet to see me as your sister. I love it!!

  24. Reply

    Karen

    February 1, 2016

    Hi Saab!
    Where can I buy your album? Tia! <3

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