Sumabay sa himig ng musika, music was indeed an art and an escape from our harsh reality — a way to connect with other people.
HUKBO, established on April 2, 2021, is an HQRP cover band that consists of 8 members alongside their 2 managers. In a span of 3 months, they continue to grow, learn, and impress us. Tokyo stated in their interview as to why they named their band “Hukbo.”
“Hukbo means militar or army. In the eyes of the madla, it’s very contradicting to us kasi hindi naman kami nakakatakot in timeline but when it comes to music industry, we surely can be ferocious, keen, and intense like a literal “hukbo.” ”
The group has recently just wrapped up their Arc from June and has released 3 covers from the band “Queen,” namely; We Are The Champions, We Will Rock You, and Bohemian Rhapsody. It is said that a new arc is currently in the talks.
While preparing for their upcoming project, HUKBO recently performed at ALAB TAYO last June 26, with Gloc9’s “Sirena,” which has touched and wowed the audience. The band also performed at Chrysos, an event hosted by the base Aureus, but the night ended with dreadful news that resulted in the frustration and anger of the whole band.
It was a setback, yes, but that didn’t stop them from giving their all in their performances.
As they continue to render us speechless by their unremarkable talent, let’s dig in a little as to what HUKBO really is and how they became one of HQRP’s well-known bands.
What made you decide to form this band? Were you friends before this or one person just started recruiting the other?
Skob: May mga nakikita kasi akong banda sa tl, so, naisip kong sumali sa mga ganon. Wala akong mahanap na nagr-recruit, so, I made one instead. Actually, ‘di ko talaga sila kilala noon. Ang kilala ko lang, si Jiro. So, i made the forms tapos tinignan yung mga skills ng mga nag-apply. Pero the Hukbo we know today are not all the original members. MIA yung dalawang managers and drummer namin. Kaya ang tagal ng countdown. Siyempre, we needed to do something about it kasi ilang weeks na kaming naghihintay, hindi sila bumabalik. So, rinecruit namin si Levi (our drummer) by dming him, we thought kasi na babalik pa yung former drummer pero hindi na. Naglabas rin kami ng forms for manager and editors, ang napili namin sa nag apply, si Ru at Rizzo, they are both our managers. Tapos sa editor naman, we asked KJ (my husband) if pwede siyang maging temp editor namin while ‘di pa kami nakakahanap (which became his permanent position)”
Why “HUKBO”? Is there any meaning behind the name?
Tokyo: So, as I said, hukbo means militar or army. In the eyes of the madla, it’s very contradicting to us kasi hindi naman kami nakakatakot in timeline but when it comes to the music industry, we surely can be ferocious, keen, and intense like a literal “hukbo”.
That’s nice, the next question is for anyone. What first got you into music?
** They answered this question as both mundane and their muse.
SKOB: Honestly, I got into playing the electric guitar kasi tinatakbuhan ko reqs ko that time. naglalaro rin ng guitar yung dad ni mun, kaya na expose rin siya to genres like metal, and rock. sa keyboard naman, early in the year rin lang nahiligan ni mun mag laro non because of boredom. currently, nag aaral na rin siya on how to play the bass.
LEVI: Same as skob, I got bored of quarantine and I tried to explore different types of music genre. I specifically got interested in metal and rock music so I learned the drums and currently learning the e guitar and the bass guitar. #. drummer din kasi tatay ni mun kaya natuto ako mag-drums dahil sa kanya.
JIRO: Same lang kay skob, I was bored and wala masyadong hobbies na pwedeng tuunan during quarantine na pwedeng gawin sa bahay lang. mababaliw ata ako sa reqs ko so ng birthday ko last year, binilhan ako ng bass ng mom ko edi ayun, nabuo ang Jiro bassist ng Hukbo .
RILEY: Medyo mahirap maging musically-inclined sa pamilya namin kasi walang marunong kumanta nor tumugtog ng anything sa parents ko, so sa school and peers talaga ako mas kumakanta. Pinaka-support siguro nila ‘yung bumili sila mic at speaker para roon daw ako kumanta kaysa sa cr na ilang taon na nila pinagtitiisan. Add ko na rin na I never posted covers on my soc med accs kasi feel ko ‘di ako magaling or walang makikinig maya thanks sa hqrp and Hukbebots.
AV: Nahilig lang when I was four na-discover ng parents ko na kinakanta ko na buong album ni Sarah G hahaha and then I competed sa mga singing competitions before but I stopped because nagfocus sa studies and I want to boost my acad but thankfully I was able to get back on track when I had a lot of free time this pandemic
Tokyo: Kasi, in my family, the music world is very prominent and acknowledged, halos lahat ng members, may title as musikeros. Some are artists, some are soloists, and ‘yung iba naman ay nagbabanda. So at a very young age, namulat na rin ako sa iba’t ibang instruments pero first talagang natutunan ko is harp pero pakiramdam ko masyadong soft yung harp for my liking, kaya I tried to learn other instruments rin like piano, bass, drums and of course, my all-time fav, electric guitar. So, ngayon, I’m training to be a producer by making random beats and if you saw my fleet one time, sinusubukan ko na munang mag-remix ng kanta for starters.
Rizzo: Okay, I got into music dati pa, nung f2f pa. Na-influence ako ng dad ko kasi naggigitara siya and I would often sing along to whatever he’s playing. Sa old school ko, I got into musical theater which not only encouraged my singing, but helped me with my people skills and being a public speaker. Then quarantine happened tas na-miss ko siya gawin. so I decided to sign up as manager for Hukbo.
Ru: Marunong din ako in some instruments pero tinatamad kasi ako mag-aral kaya nag-sign up nalang ako as Ru for the managerial position nila kasi mas magaling ako mangulit ng deadlines.
How do you manage your time in making these covers? Are there any other challenges you have faced back then and are currently facing right now? How did you go through them?
Rizzo and Skob: Sa pag rerecord, may tracker kami, and ilalagay namin doon if pending or done na kami mag record. We made use of excel and meron doon timeline and progress tracker na ginawa ni co-manager Ru.
Tokyo: Yes, there are hindrances at some instance kasi of course, our mun’s life must be our top priority pa rin. So one of the impediment of mine is my mun’s band hahaha at some point, talagang nakakadrain pagsabayin kasi full-time and hectic yung sched ni mun when it comes to her band kaya dapat mabilis matutunan agad yung chords para maraming slot time. nonetheless, madadaan ko naman ‘yan sa time management and duh, ako si Tokyo, kakayanin ko ‘yan.
Riley: Ako sobra kasi bukod sa heartbreaks ko dito sa HQRP na ewan ko ba, medyo malas yata ako (char), si mun ay nasa dulo dulo na ng semester kaya ang hectic na magrecord habang mamaya gagawa ng papers. Hahahaha. hirap din pero kasi kung ‘di ako member ng Hukbo, matagal na ‘ko nag-close kasi dumating talaga time na Hukbo lang kinapitan ko para mag-stay sa HQRP kasi gusto ko makapag-release kami kahit ilan man lang bago ako umalis kaso habang tumatagal, gusto ko mag-stay.
Kasama na rin dito yung recent issue. I feel bad for that kasi we’re close na rin pero, ayon, we’ll try to be more mindful next time. Dagdag ko na rin na naiyak ako noon talaga noong nalaman ko kasi ako pa kumausap sa kanya tapos muntik pa kami mag mun meetup tapos ang dami niya chika, dapat din may collab/subunit kami, kaso ayon.
ISSUE REGARDING PLAGIARISM [ The context: https://twitter.com/HUKB0/status/1408792330493054976 ]
RIZZO: I got the dm from a close friend of mine. They shared a link of a cover on youtube that sounded all too familiar. Yup, nadamay pati cover namin ng DDU- DU DDU-DU which was pretty heartbreaking kasi efforts naming lahat were all in vain, just to have it erased like that and it was mortifying din na that very cover got played in a public event pa.
RU: Ang ano pa nung recent issue kasi day ng AlabTAYO dumating sa amin na may plagiarism palang nagaganap with one of our former members. Nevertheless, we settled it and deleted the cover na he took part of. We’ll be more careful next time.
TOKYO: Yes, isa siya sa mga naging malaking problema talaga namin. Siya yung bagong recruit na lead guitarist namin na kaka-remove lang recently. Pero yung cover namin sa AlabTAYO was not involving the said member, since naka-record na kami weeks before he was recruited.
KJ: What happened was very frustrating. Nasayang ‘yung efforts ng bawat member tapos siyempre, as one of the band’s editor nakakalungkot din kasi mahirap mag-isip ng concept for a video. It really takes a certain amount of time to brainstorm tapos all of that was put to waste dahil nga roon.
SKOB: Adding to what Tokyo said, nag h-heal rin kami as a band kasi nadamay ‘yung pangalan namin (Hukbo), so we have to regain the audience’s trust again.
RIZZO: Abot hanggang kay mun yung stress kasi that one incident can make people question our credibility as a band and individually when I know deep in my heart how much blood and tears we put into this. Pero thankful pa rin ako kasi even though we got that setback, nakita namin yung support ng ibang tao sa amin and how they cheered us up and still believed in us despite what happened. I remember being so mad but at the same time I didn’t want to believe it kasi ewan… Ang ayos kasi ng pakikisama namin sa kan’ya.
RILEY: Hirap din talaga kasi yung efforts na nilaan ng bawat isa, sa audio lahat in-adjust para lang tumugma sa “guitar” track niya. ayon, saka naging close talaga kami.
RU: Hopefully, he learned his lesson na rin.
“Plagiarism is not something to be tolerated, kaya don’t steal someone else’s cover because it’s not your time and effort used to begin with.”
What does it feel like now that people are starting to recognize you?
KJ: It’s really rewarding kasi through the recognition the band’s covers get, parang ‘yun na ‘yung validation na our efforts weren’t put to waste.
SKOB: It feels really good, honestly. Kung naranasan niyo lang ‘yung pinagdaanan namin before, it’s very rewarding talaga. Lahat ng setbacks, na-overcome namin. Parang nga hindi trabaho ginagawa namin, eh. We all have one thing in common, and that is our love for music, kaya it feels like we’re just doing our hobbies for the people to see.
RILEY: Ako medyo nahihiya pa rin saka minsan ‘di ko pa alam paano magreact kapag may pumupuri kasi feel ko hindi ako kasing galing ng iba. Siguro more on pride for Hukbo nararamdaman ko, proud ako sa aming lahat. Si mun sanay at hasa na rin siya sa public engagements pero never that confident with music-related activities. Basta, for Hukbo, baka languyin ko dagat.
TOKYO: It’s fulfilling and very enriching kasi knowing na pinaghirapan ng mga bebot ko yung bawat covers. The talents and creativity of my Hukbabies deserve that recognition and I’m sure na we deserve more kaya we’re working harder than usual to achieve that.
AV: I started as a solo artist and meeting these wonderful people really taught me to love music even more. The praises and attention that I receive from people is what I owe to hukbo for representing me the other side of music and the way I move out of my comfort zone to express myself as a vocalist and not just a solo artist na because I’m officially a part of a band.
RU: Hindi man ako isa sa mga tumutugtog dito, of course I feel happy and proud. These people do their best in playing and meeting their deadlines so seeing people praise and recognize HUKBO makes me even prouder. I’m sure that these kids will surprise you even more in the future so look out nalang kayo.
RIZZO: Having people recognize Hukbo as a rising band is rewarding in and of itself but at the same time it’s really good to know that our efforts are not in vain and that everything we put our hearts and minds to is really going somewhere. Nakaka-proud din to see these guys blossom in their own way and evolve with their talent. Feeling ko parang akong mother bird tapos natutunan ng mga anak kong lumipad HAHAHA nakaka-overwhelm in a good way gan’on.
How do you describe music to people?
SKOB: Music is an escape for many, you know? Escape siya kasi kahit ilang oras kang gumawa ng music, mag-play, or makinig lang, it brings you to another place. para kang na t-teleport somewhere. one minute, nasa stage ka, then biglang mapupunta ka sa playground, you know what I mean?
RILEY: I feel like music should be an avenue to empower people and let their own talents/voices shine. Coming from me na nagsisimula pa lang din sa pag engage sa musika fully, music should be inspiring to people. Dapat no boundaries, dapat inclusive. Dapat, mapapasabay sila sa himig ng musika nang walang alinlangan.
RIZZO: Music is a way of life. To be honest, I can’t even imagine my life without it. It became my outlet, a way to channel my inner thoughts, even the thoughts I’m afraid of expressing. Music is more than an art, it’s more than something appealing to the ears. It sparks emotions in people and it has the power to inspire others.
AV: Music is my form of expression. It’s how I simply express myself whenever I’m happy, sad, awful or in fear and how I personally cope up with anxiety for the past years.
“Music is a language that transcends all barriers. It’s a form of expressing what you want to convey without the need to engage in an in-depth conversation. “
What future do you see for this band? Do you plan on having another arc once you’ve wrapped up your Queen Arc?
RIZZO: Planning for the next arc is already in the works. As well as other events, we have been invited to perform in some so make sure to keep your eyes and ears open for any further announcements
RU: Bohemian Rhapsody was the last song of our Queen Arc. We hope that you liked every cover we released this month and our next arc is currently being planned na. Stay tuned nalang.
RIZZO: We still have a lot in store for you, guys .
The current members of Hukbo are as follows;
Rizzo — @rizzoshimz (Manager)
Ru — @nagsetter (Manager)
Jiro — @_E1T4SEMI (Bassist)
Tokyo — @R4KISTA (Guitarist)
Skob — @kotaroboku2 (Rhythm Guitarist/Keyboardist)
AV — @bukod_tangii (Vocalist)
Leviathan — @rpwsinner (Drummer/Editor)
Riley — @thetsukishima_k (Rapper/Producer)
KJ — @fluffkeiji (Editor/Producer)
** A new member of Hukbo will have his debut soon, stay tuned!
“Get ready for our next arc. If you think queen is our limit, abangan niyo kami next month.” — HUKBO
Special thanks to Hukbo (@HUKB0) for the interview.
Toru “Ru” Oikawa (@nagsetter) and Kotaro “Ice” Bokuto (@kotarofleet) are both feature writers for Lagablab. They can be contacted with their usernames on Twitter.