Flying Ipis

Back in 1996, there weren’t that many all-female rock bands in the country. Only a handful, like Tribal Fish, Keltscross, and Fatal Posporos, would reach a considerable level of productivity and fandom. At the same time, a group of high school friends from Poveda Learning Center formed a band for kicks and covered songs by Weezer, Oasis, P.O.T., Wolfgang, and the other prominent acts of the day. One day, they were rehearsing, and an airborne roach made its presence felt in the room. After freaking out, the band chose a name – Flying Ipis. The name was hardly commercial (more than anything, it made people cringe), and all they played were covers at school events. But they didn’t give a shit. They just wanted to play. College saw the band members go their separate ways, until they got back together to perform at a high school reunion in 2009. The ladies had so much fun that they decided to get serious with their music. They jammed more regularly, gradually building up a repertoire of original songs. However, other priorities got in the way of some members’ lives, leading to a number of lineup changes, but singer Deng Garcia, drummer Gaki Azurin, and bassist Iris Jumao-as soldiered on, eventually finding young guitarist Ymi Castel, whose garage rock and punk leanings proved to be the perfect match for the band’s emerging riotous sound and attitude. They started gigging and recording, steadily building up a loyal following, and even getting substantial radio airplay on NU107 with the infectious “SSSikreto,” off their self-released Flying EP. To top off the band’s fruitful relapse, Flying Ipis was deservedly given the In The Raw Award at the final NU107 Rock Awards in November 2010, an event that was more symbolic than Deng, Gaki, Iris, and Ymi probably realized at the time, as the award’s first recipient in 1998 was the all-female trio Fatal Posporos. Now they were formally recognized for their efforts. They had credibility. They were good, but it was time to get better. And gotten much better they have, thanks to the experience they’ve gained from incessant gigging all over and outside the metro. Offstage, their unassuming and easygoing attitude has earned them many older friends in the Pinoy rock scene, who have since considered the ladies as full-fledged musical peers, and from whom they continue to learn. In fact, Raymund Marasigan (Eraserheads, Sandwich, Pedicab, Gaijin, and more) and Jesse Grinter (Gaijin, Dong Abay and the Tanods) wholeheartedly went on board to produce Flying Ipis’ first full-length record, the cheekily-titled Give Ipis A Chance, which is ardently anticipated by the band’s growing fanbase. This full-length debut shall feature recorded and rearranged versions of live favorites like “Past Is Past, Bitch,” “This Song Is About You,” and “SSSikreto,” as well as infectious new tunes like “LDR” and “Over And Over Again,” all of which capture Flying Ipis’ high energy and improved musical tightness onstage. Nowadays, it can be argued that women in rock are no longer a novelty, but at the rate Flying Ipis is, well, flying, this band is set to rise above the swarm, so to speak. These ladies have proven that they can rock as well, if not better, than their peers, regardless of gender. And while their don’t-give-a-shit attitude hasn’t changed, they still relish in being female and the amazement it gives their consistently-impressed audiences. “It's empowering for us and female audiences alike without being really conscious about it,” says Deng. “We don't go out there proclaiming or representing any political or gender issues, but it does feel awesome being a girl and surprise people with how energetic, loud, and rocking we could play. It's always nice to break the mold.”

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