This time, we get to know Velvet Blitz, a Filipino-Canadian band that we have seen and heard on NAS for a while now. They participated in the first-ever NASapalooza with their catchy track, Do That Thing, and have been long-term members of the community. It's great to get to hear a little more from them finally! The band, composed of Mish - Vocal, Nelson - Guitar/Vocal, Dri - Bass/Vocal, and Norm - Drums/Vocal, have a fun sound with hard rocking and punk flavors. Their latest track, "Dugong Bayani (Heroes Blood)" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists and hits hard!
Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:
So let's get stuck in!
"Ooh, I like it!"
1 Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.
We are a Filipino-Canadian Band; Nelson, Mish, and I (Dri) were born in the Philippines and now living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (sometimes called Winterpeg), and Norm was born and bred here in Canada. We have our own day jobs, Nelson is a Materials Supervisor in a Construction Company, Mish is a Fast Food Store Manager, Dri is a Receiving Manager, and Norm is an Amusement Park manager. Right now, we are trying to finish our 2nd album, but we will be releasing our new single in our native tongue called Dugong Bayani (Heroes Blood) on July 1st Canada Day, supposedly on June 12th, which is the Philippine Independence Day, but we cannot make it.
2 What inspired you to start playing and making music?
As kids growing up in the '80s and 90's where all these great bands, great genres, lots of first this and first that in terms of music and performances were, We were inspired by them like how did they do that. Why do we listen to them over and over and over again? What was their secret? At that time, everybody just grabbed a guitar and tried to play the songs they love. Eventually, it led them to their own instruments that they really liked, Nelson stayed on guitar, while Norm switched to drums, and Dri fell in love with the sound of the bass guitar.
𝟯 Who are your biggest influences?
Even though we were 80's kids, we were listening to the music of the '60s and the 70's, especially Rock like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Doors, Kiss, Beatles, and many more, and then came the Hard Rock/Glam Rock style of GnR, Def Leppard, Skid Row We started to cover their songs, copy them every single note and played it with our bandmates at our own respected schools.
4. What are your goals in the music industry?
When Nelson and I (Dri) started this band in 2018, We said to ourselves; we will make our music in Velvet Blitz style, We want to have our own distinct sound (not genre), that's why we like to experiment, not afraid of trying different things, not afraid of people not liking our songs, coz making our own sound that we love is like giving/sharing ourselves to them, to the people. Achieving that Blitz sound is one of our goals. We want it like when listeners hear a song, they will say, "Wait, that song, it's Blitz, Velvet Blitz". and of course the other goal is for them to enjoy our music just like we enjoy playing it for them. Our thinking is if there is at least one person who loves our songs then that person makes our day!
5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.
Our creative process is simple sharing and listening. Nelson records his guitar riffs for verse, chorus, solo, bridge, etc, sends it to me (Dri), arranging it in sequence, to make it a song, record the bass line, writing lyrics for it and melodies, sends a sample to Norm who will record the drums for it. Once everybody has done their work, we will play it together. then the hard work begins, coz its time for brainstorming, We rehearse at Norm's and Nelson's place and we only have a couple of hours to go through each section of the song.
once everybody is happy we start recording it. Because of very tight schedules, it takes us 4 to 6 meetups to finish one song.
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
We have a lot of favorite songs from different bands. But our comfort bands (you know when you want to de-stress yourself after work) are any songs from Guns and Roses, U2, Blondie The Cardigans, Kiss and Led Zeppelin. Listening to our favorite songs from our favorite bands calm us in a way that we are being released by the pressure and stress of our day jobs. Sometimes, before we start to rehearse our song, Nelson will play any song from GnR and then we will play along with him. Warm-up? yes, to de-stress? Definitely!
7. What is the best advice or council you have either given or received in terms of music?
Our advice is simple if someone asks us, Be yourself, make music that you like to play or sing. Because Music is a gateway to the soul. Music connects us to people. What better way to connect to them is to show them who you truly are through music. Music is not business (well, not for artists but the "company" technically). Music is an expression, an emotion you give to people. When people see you play your music wholeheartedly, they will wholeheartedly love your music. Our dear friend Julius of Humous gave us the best advice:
"Don't be afraid to ask. If you want it, go for it. If they say no, ask them again, and again and again, Don't take no for an answer."
8. Proudest accomplishment?
Our proudest accomplishment is that we finally have our own Blitz sound (you will hear it on our 2nd album that we haven't finished yet), but we will not stop doing experiments, creating different music, different genres... But having that Blitz sound makes us very proud.
9. What is something about you that might surprise someone who knows you the best?
Most people think that what you listen to is what you are. Well, it's not. We listen to Hard Rock, Death Metal, Heavy Metal, Goth Rock, Thrash Metal, all music that they were referring to as devil's music (during those times), but we are not like that. You will see us on the streets with our families, driving our kids to their swimming, basketball, or soccer clinics, doing the groceries, going to the mall, buying milk formula, diapers for our baby, etc., just a normal person would. Our thinking is Family First.
𝟭0. Tell us about your highest and lowest points in music so far.
The lowest point was when our first vocalist and drummer decided to leave the band; one was pursuing her studies while the other focused more on his family. Nelson and I (Dri) talked about it for a few months on what to do; that was the time I started writing songs which are the songs in Blitzkrieg! album. We decided to continue the band but make original music. so we posted some drummer and vocal openings on Kijiji (Canadians know this, it's like FB Marketplace). Fortunately, Norm responded, and he was also a perfect fit. Many answered for the vocal spot but weren't a perfect fit.
The highest point was when we are being recognized here in Winnipeg and as well as around the world with the help of, of course, the NUMBER 1 Indie Music Artist Authority, NAS New Artist Spotlight headed by Mr. Ed Eagle with the help of our awesome moderators! Thank you very much.
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