INTERVIEW: Joey Dizon of Intolerant fame

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If you’ve read through the “About Us” section you will have noticed that I mentioned the immense honor it has been for myself, through my band, to have gotten to know and befriend stellar Asian bands, promoters and people all over this continent. Some of the people I proudly call friends were just people who came out to check us out at shows, stayed in touch with me, started their own bands, booked our shows, sold our records, helped spread the word about my band, and went on to release explosive music.

Some of them already came with a history worthy of legendary status. In Hong Kong some of my closest friends are in a local band called Shepherds the Weak of whom the majority are Filipino. They are proud Filipinos. As they should be. A country full of incredibly warm and hospitable people and music/musicianship that’s basically second to none. They do well promoting their country/culture here in Hong Kong and especially do well promoting heavy music from their country…of which they turned me onto a band called Skychurch and Intolerant.

Fast forward a few years and the relationship that I have built with their guitarist and all around amazing dude – Joey Dizon – is deeper than blood. Many in the Filipino heavy music scene are familiar with this name as he has made a mark for himself involved with many music-related activities. He was heavily involved with Pulp Magazine and Pulp’s annual music event Summer Slam, his own band Intolerant, and as a solid representative of ESP Guitars in the Philippines.

So…as the idea of this website started being kicked around – I had him on my Facebook chat one day and said “Dude – let’s just do a quick interview now!” Joey’s response, as is the case with any ideas I throw at him, “Sure!”

Here you go…amazing dude, great guitarist, and someone that lives life with respect and integrity…Joey Dizon.

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Joey Dizon

Interview

FROM: Philippines
March 2015

Give us the update on what’s going on with Intolerant. Your Facebook page still states that the band has disbanded but I’ve heard through the grapevine (more like me stalking your Facebook page) that Intolerant is back playing!

Haha! Well yeah, Intolerant is temporarily back and we all feel great playing those old songs. It was a very big decision the four of us had to make, but obviously, we got over the hurdle and decided to get together (after five years of each of us doing our own thing and attending to our personal lives…) for a few special gigs.

Basically what happened was, the folks over at Draven had been talking to us separately, and had been pursuing this “reunion” as a special, one-off show for their tenth year anniversary, and as a band, we all agreed that we owed it to them for the years of support they had given us, even as separate individuals. So we figured it’d be fun. Though the show is yet to happen in May, as soon as we made the announcement, a lot of musician-friends contacted us and we decided to road-test the band by playing unannounced, un-promoted shows. So far, we’ve been happy with the results, but right now, we’ve been saving our energy for that one last, proper farewell show with Draven. So it’s going to be an interesting summer!

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If you’re at the liberty to say, can you tell us what happened in 2012 because to most Intolerant fans around Asia, that initial announcement on the Intolerant site was quite a shocker.

Well, not to get into too much details, it was pretty simple: the four of us had pretty different and conflicting ideas with how we wanted to steer the band, and because everything happened so fast and we all were feeling that it wasn’t just about fun anymore, it was a better decision not to continue as a band…

It was a very emotionally rough time for all four of us, and at the time, the friendship had suffered. So we weren’t good with half-assing anything and pretending to make it work for anything else, so we made a decision that was shocking even for us. So we called it a day and tried to make the announcement in the most respectful way because so many friends believed in us and supported us. It was the right thing to do… And since intolerant was already our second chance at attempting the band-thing, we knew it was time to fold it.

Doing a proper send off for a band that wrote some KILLER metal that the world should hear properly, is the best way to honor what this band was about for sure. What are the plans for these final shows? How is this beautiful beast that was Intolerant closing up shop?

Thank you very much for the kind words!! Well, the “proper” gig for us would simply be to play all the songs in one long set for one last time for all our friends, and mainly, the people who have been supportive since day one. We don’t really mind when, where or how- we don’t really want a big, fancy show. What really matters is that it’s at a time and place where most of the people who matter can be there. We appreciate the fact that so many people have been cheering us on to do it, and personally, for me – it’s all i ever really wanted to be able to do since the band called it quits. Say goodbye properly.

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What’s lined up for the future for you guys? You’re still sponsored by ESP so I assume you’ll still be getting on stage?

The future? Hmmm who knows? Well, Russell is still doing Skychurch and I know he has a new band called I Against Evil, and Pepo’s been married for a year now and I know he’s been wanting to start a family and is busy with work, and so is Mic, who’s also been enjoying the adult-domestic thing and has been very active with the whole jujitsu thing. So it’s a lot of normal life, really… As for myself, I’ve just been doing the stuff I love – I’m still involved behind-the-scenes in local music – writing, putting up small shows, working with musicians and trying to make small contributions in whatever way I can. I’m pretty proud of the studio work I’ve done, and hopefully can release it this year under the moniker “Joey D. ????” which is basically my first solo album wherein I work with a lot of musician-heroes, including Marben of Badburn, the guys from Loads of Motherhood, and a LOT of other local musicians who have inspired me to become who I am today.

As for the ESP situation, I really don’t know what’s up, to be completely honest… it was help that I appreciated and was grateful for in the past, but whether or not there’s a sponsorship/endorsement deal set, by now, it really doesn’t affect any of my musical plans for the future. Like all good things, it all has to end some point and moving forward is what’s most important.

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Any last words for metal dudes in and around Asia?

Last words? Hmm… more power, I guess? I mean with the way the entire music scene is structured (and falling apart…)  these days, it’s easy to say that it’s extra challenging to be heard. But I don’t think this is a “new” problem for metal/hardcore/punk music – we’ve always been the underdogs and I am so proud to say that whatever happens, artists involved in our style of music will always be at the forefront and leading the charge worldwide! It’s awesome how music trends come and go, but metal/hardcore is consistent and thriving in ANY part of the world because we know how to make it work. Because of my job, I get a first-hand glimpse of how radical and fast music is evolving and how trends come and go, but the heavy music scene has always been consistent in supporting each other and finding ways to thrive in any environment, so I am sincerely proud of how we – especially Asian bands – are keeping it at a world-class level, and it’s awesome that bands from the western part of the world are starting to acknowledge that we kick serious ass. Me, I’m glad we were able to represent our country, albeit briefly… and playing in countries like Singapore and Hong Kong and making new friends will always be great memories for us as a band. Cheers!

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Check out Intolerant:

UniteAsia.org is an underground Asian music news website created for the sole purpose of supporting our own world. We support all bands and genres HOWEVER we do not support nor have any sympathy for homophobic, racist, sexist rhetoric in lyrical content or band material. UNITE ASIA!

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