STREET Band Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steven Van Zandt famously said in a tribute to Clarence Clemons on his syndicated radio show: “Band members have a special bond. A great band is more than just some people working together. It’s like a highly specialized army unit, or a winning sports team. A unique combination of elements that becomes stronger together than apart.”
This quote would somehow describe the band Gap 69 has for each other, for their music, they are like joint in the hip, they work as a team, they love like siblings.
I had a chance of seeing their performances in some weddings and corporate events and I would definitely tell you they can capture your attention. Members include Kenneth and Cassie (vocals), RJ (Guitar) Robert (Bass), and Yoyong (Beatbox/Drums).
The band was formed in December of 2011, originally known as “Musifier.”
But Cassie said: “We had to replace the original guitarist who claimed that he created the name so we had to replace it too. The name was created October 4, 2012 when we had a gig at Abreeza Resto Row and we had to be introduced. We were facing GAP (Retail Company) store’s logo that says GAP 1969. Ken and I immediately asked the rhythm section if we can be named GAP69 and the rest is history.”
And although these vocalists Ken and Cassie are composers in their own right, they do mostly covers for their gigs. But what I like about them is that they put their own stamp on every song, inject some of their own personality into it, but without totally re-inventing either the song or themselves just for that purpose.
In fact Gap 69 members do have different tastes in music, guitarist RJ and Drummer/Beat box Yoyong both play for metal bands, Robert (bass player) loves to do tricks with reggae and pop band while Cassie and Ken loves R&B. Perhaps, that’s what makes this group unique because they can play almost everything, besides getting good raves from the Philippines Soul Siren Nina.
“We just follow what we feel and what’s in our crazy brains and create a sick song. We just mainly follow what’s in our hearts, cliche but true,” Ken said.
When asked what’s different in the music industry today compared to when they first started, and as to what are the highs and lows of their musical career, Cassie added: “Nothing really. We don’t think that we are that popular yet to be having highs and lows in our careers already. The thing about GAP69 is we are just not musicians who work together but we are all close friends too. We have misunderstandings here and there but we talk about it and brush it off.”
Gap69 enumerates their top five bands which include “No doubt”, “Black Eyed Peas”, “Side A”, “Boys II Men” and “The Rolling Stones.”
“They all have one thing in common – still together after so many years even if some pursued single careers, they didn’t leave the band. That’s one thing that we value a lot,” said Ken.
Despite having their own personal careers, acoustic band Gap 69 makes sure they devote to practice to perfect and hone their craft, seriously for an hour in a month or an hour before gig or when they do have a lot of free time.
Heartwarming and passionate is how I describe Gap69, their musicality do not just impress they impart it to people, and for them reaching their goals means not stepping on anyone’s foot and without ass kissing anyone to get to where they want to be.
“We would like to believe that we are very good live performers. We are all perfectionists and are our own critic. We do our best to satisfy the ears of our clients/listeners. Some would say it’s like listening to a recording or to a radio,” Ken said.
Plans of recording their own album is still in the works. However, Gap69 is part of an album that is soon to be released by Muzic’skool.
Currently, all members have other careers other than being musicians, Ken is an HR, in a famous Call Center in Davao, Cassie is an Executive Assistant to an American businessman and has her own businesses, RJ the guitarist and Yoyong the drummer/beatbox are both teachers in Muzic’skool. Robert the bass player is currently on his last year for an engineering course.
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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 04, 2014.