Here is an interview with the members The Exsenadors, an Oi! band from Philippines, who don’t hesitate to mix music and politics. By reading this interview, you will learn more about the Philippines’ music scene and the actual struggles in this part of the world!
We highly recommend that you check their stuff!
First of all, can you introduce your band?
We are The Exsenadors from Quezon City, Philippines. The band was formed way back in April of 2003. Thomas along with fellow skinheads started the group as an Oi! band covering songs from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, 4 skins, Demob, The Business and Urban Bandits. As the band progressed and some lineup changes, the sound of The Exsenadors turned from Oi! into street punk and now hardcore punk.
Aside from Thomas, our main vocalist, the current lineup of the band is Rael on backup vocals, Kit on bass, Elaine and Px on guitars and Roman on drums.
The band have released a demo, a full length album and two EPs. We have also been part of 2 compilation albums. So far our discography is:
o Oi! We’re Skinheads (Demo), 2003
o Fuck The Scum (EP), 2011
o Tayo ang Bosses (V/A), 2015
o Kamatayan o Kalayaan 7″ (EP), Mutilated Noise Records, 2016
Our currrent release is a split album with Aninoko (San Francisco) in cassette tape format.
What are your influences?
We have too many influences when it comes to music. In the local punk scene, to name a few, are Wuds, Urban Bandits, Dead Ends, Biofeedback. When it comes to foreign bands, it’s the 4 Skins, The Business, Demob, Angelic Upstarts, Peter and the Test Tube Babies. We are also influenced by local Philippine revolutionary music as well.
Are your lyrics politically charged? What are subjects that you write about?
Yes, very much politically charged. It ranges from being anti fascist and anti racist to anti
Our lyrics are inspired by the everyday life of the workers, peasants and other oppressed people, the national democratic struggle of the Filipino people and the anti capitalist/ anti imperialist struggle of all the oppressed people of the world.
What are the current struggles in the Philippines?
The current struggle of the Filipino people is to achieve national democracy. In order to do that, the people must smash US imperialism, feaudalism and bureaucrat capitilasm. The workers must lead the struggle and forge an alliance with the largest class in the Philippines, the peasantry. The basic alliance of workers and peasants must also do united front work with the intellectuals and the lower and middle strata of the bourgeoisie to further isolate the ruling class, the landlords and bourgeois compradors.
We support the struggle for national democracy of the Filipino people.
Are the oi and punk scenes strong in your region?
Yes, there is a strong scene in the Philippines but somehow looks fragmented. There are provinces that has a very strong punk scene like Bulacan, Tarlac, Laguna, Bicol, Cebu and parts of Mindanao. There should be a lot of effort in uniting the whole punk scene in the Philippines.
The Oi! scene is not very active at the moment but the bands are just around the corner, waiting for the right time of resurgence.
Is there a revolutionary music scene?
There is a revolutionary music scene but not necessarily punk. We are one of the few bands in the punk scene that caters political/revolutionary lyrics or content.
What bands from the Philippines do you recommend we check out?
You guys should also checkout Pinkcow, One Last Meal, Tartars, Steady Movin’ Beat, Anti Suck System, New Fighting Tasks, Repugnant, Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang, Count Kutu and the Balmers, The Sneekers, The Boxers, Ass-souls, Goodleaf, Neighbors, The Axel Pinpin Propaganda Machine
You can also checkout Filipino-American bands in the US like Aninoko, Dog Breath, RHDP, Namatay sa Ingay, Material Support, Flattbush and Kadena.
Any last words for people discovering you in America?
We’d really love to play for the people of America and to show our solidarity with your struggles!