Rising from the ashes of one of the Philippines’ most legendary and commercially successful nu-metal acts Slapshock (which dominated both the local and worldwide scenes of the genre…), eager longtime fans and even younger audiences finally got first-crack at what is seemingly the newest incarnation of the much-celebrated band, now known as Chelsea Alley. The group’s debut single “Heneral” debuted last December 25th – yep, you read that right: on Christmas Day – on worldwide video streaming platform youtube.com to much acclaim and rejoicing from followers who had been eagerly waiting for new music after months of teasing from the band, through social media posts and an online four-part mini docu-series dubbed Right Up Your Alley.
A direct reference and homage to the late Jamir Garcia – who was the frontman, chief architect, and de-facto leader of Slapshock – who tragically passed last November 2020 and who was known by many to be the “general” of the rabid fanbase Slapshock had built through the years (aka the “Slap Armies”), the single retains the undeniable bounce, groove and chunky riffage guitarist/songwriter Lean Ansing and drummer/songwriter Chi Evora have been known to churn-out seamlessly through the years. Both Ansing and Evora are joined by guitarist Ariel Lumanlan (of Arcadia fame and formerly of local Pinoy band Chicosci…) and Jon Borja, who is a veteran of the independent band circuit who rose to prominence a few years ago as one of the top contenders considered to take the spot left vacant by the late Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland. The group officially made its presence felt online during the third quarter of 2021.
Rest in Power Jamir Garcia.
When asked about the group’s formation and basic history, guitarist Ariel shared a few bits: “It all started last year when Slapshock needed someone to fill in on guitar duties for an online performance/commitment for their brand partner. Prior to that, we were all already good friends and had history together – seeing each other at gigs and playing basketball – but that sort of sealed the deal of us actually creating and performing music as a unit…[then Jamir passed] so it made sense to continue on, and that’s when Lean and Chi reached-out to John and asked him to be part of Chelsea Alley…and since then, we’ve just been writing new music and basically, have been hanging out and planning a lot of stuff for the coming new year.”
When asked for more details about the immediate future, drummer Evora had this to say: “we’re very busy and in time, we will be revealing a lot of projects we already have in the can.” And when asked about the experience so far, he also revealed: “I was grieving for the longest time over the loss of my – OUR – brother Jamir, and I still am…but this band really gives me so much hope and brought back that excitement in creating and performing music, and when we started, all my worries came to an end: I knew immediately that this was the right group of people; we were writing music so quickly and everything has been so fun and they’re awesome to be-around… I am so proud of them, and to be in their company is just an amazing thing.”
“Heneral” was recorded and produced by Lean Ansing, and mixed and mastered by JD Wong of Studio 21:05 in Malaysia.
Submitted by Joey Dizon