We remember the night was cold – colder than usual. It was December, after all. The cold was comforting what with the head-bangingly warm music of Oh, Flamingo!
When we first heard about Oh, Flamingo!, their name had us hooked. Immediately, we went on Spotify to discover their sound. Seeing them perform on the 18 B.C. stage was a whole different story. We were pulled from the present to what seemed like incarnation of the past. Immediately, it was the 60s with the bright and colorful lights dancing on stage. But what gave the concert even more life was the vibrant energy and groovy atmosphere set by the members of the band.
Get to know Oh Flamingo, composed of Howard on lead vocals and guitar, Pappu on guitar, Billie on bass, and Pat on drums.
1. What is the story of your humble beginnings as a band? How did you start?
Howard: What’s interesting about the band is that our individual musical leanings cross-pollinate, so it produces music that’s difficult to describe in one label. There’s definitely an element of pop in there, it’s just that it’s dressed in different garments every time.
Billie: We met at our college org, UP Music Circle. We originally planned to perform covers of our favorite bands, but the opportunity to write and perform original music came and we grabbed it. With the right timing, everything just fell into place.
2. How would you describe your musical style?
Howard: We don’t really have a deliberate message to send out, but we promote the values that the band has in the things that we do, which is to have fun, to be passionate about your craft, to be curious, and to explore! Music is such an elastic artform and you can mold it into however you see fit.
Billie: I think it’s genre-bending. I could never really pinpoint what genre we play because it has always been a “chopsuey” of each of our diverse musical backgrounds.
3. What message do you want to send through your songs and image as an indie band?
Billie: Don’t be afraid to be different.
4. What’s your creatives process when you make music?
Billie: Each of us comes up with a “seed”. That could be a guitar riff, a drum line, or a verse of a song, etc. Then we collect all of those seeds and develop them together in the studio until it becomes a complete song.
5. Who are your major musical influences? How do they influence you?
Howard: I enjoy music as a Thing in itself so I really have a wide spectrum of interests, but my major influences are 60s-70s bands like The Beatles, The Zombies, The Kinks, & Led Zeppelin, songwriters/multi-instrumentalists like Jason Falkner, Sondre Lerche, & Todd Rundgren, weird bands like Dirty Projectors, XTC, Deerhoof, & Talking Heads.
Pat: I like all sorts of music, as long as there’s depth to it and carries a good message. Influences are too many mention. A big chunk of them are my actual friends.
Billie: I grew up listening to a lot of pop music, but eventually diversified to more genres. I can’t really pinpoint my major musical influences but right now I’m listening to a whole lot of Backstreet Boys, motown, and yacht rock.
6. What do you want the audience to feel when you’re playing?
Howard: I want them to have as much fun as we have onstage! The best thing about watching a band play is that you’re free to enjoy the experience the way you want it to, be it dancing, singing along, or even just the raw pleasure of watching people onstage do their thing being weird and crazy.
Billie: I just want everyone to let go of their inhibitions and have pure fun.
7. What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a band?
Billie: The biggest challenge would probably be the alignment of our goals as a band. We started out just wanting to play music, but our goals developed as opportunities came. We’re all in this band for our personal reasons, but we always need to find and align our common goals so we can be productive as one unit.
8. How was your experience performing in Baguio? How is it different from performing in Manila?
Howard: Playing Baguio was really unique! I enjoyed performing in the weather because breathing was easier and perspiration was a whole lot less haha. I love playing in picturesque places that I know I wouldn’t normally play in! But most of all, the crowd bounced back a lot of energy so that made it really memorable.
Pat: I enjoyed the cooler weather because I sweat less haha.
Billie: It was definitely a challenge performing in really cold weather but we definitely felt the warm welcome of our audience. We’re grateful.
9. Could you tell us a little something about your next album coming next year?
Howard: We’re definitely gonna explore a lot of uncharted territory on our newer stuff. We have a new drummer and we’ve grown tighter as a band so it’s gonna be exciting!
Billie: Having our new drummer, Pat, on board will definitely add something different our music. We’ve also been more exploratory with our sound, and we want to push the limits of what we can do. It’s very exciting.
We can’t wait for what Oh, Flamingo! has in store for their next album. And we really hope to catch them in Baguio again soon. Follow them on Instagram (@ohflamingomusic
) and Spotify!