Hey Moonshine breaks the war

Hey Moonshine breaks the war

How nice to be able to welcome something that sounds different nowadays from a Filipino band. Admit it, we have been inundated by one mellow hugot song after another these past months that my ears are almost literally screaming for something new. And I am happy to say that that something did come up last week and it is We’ll Break This War, an original by the band Hey Moonshine.

Nice name Hey Moonshine. Makes one think of looking up at that perfect red moon we had the pleasure of only recently and then waving, “Hi, Moon,” before turning in and saying “Goodnight, Moon.” But no, that is not the way the guys who make up the band chose their name.

The members of Hey Moonshine are all adults who share a love for the drink. Now moonshine is the term used to call the homemade alcoholic drink that Americans took to producing during the time of prohibition. Which is just as well for the band.  A lot of moonshine was made in the US South and Hey Moonshine plays rock music that is heavily influenced by southern rock.

Southern rock grew out of country music, the blues and good old rock and roll. Famous examples of the genre are The Doobie Brothers, What a Fool Believes; Alabama, Touch Me When We’re Dancing; Creedence Clearwater Revival, Proud Mary; The Allman Brothers Band, Blue Sky; the Black Crowes, Hard to Handle; and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Don’t Do Me Like That.  This sort of music is what Hey Moonshine plays in its gigs and given that, it definitely follows that the music they create rocks as hard, is also fun and comes with a message for the good of all.

Hey Moonshine is a band of veteran rockers who are also professionals in other careers or something else. Founder Bryan Gatmaitan, songwriter and guitarist, who was in rocker Cynthia Alexander’s band, is an engineer. So, too, is the other guitarist Aris Sison. Gian Sison, lead vocalist and harmonica player, is a chef. Ton Gregorio, also on guitar, is a graphic designer. The bassist Carlo Ybanez is a lawyer. Drummer Shaun Hilario, who formerly played with Karl Roy, is a teacher. Girl vocalists are Athena Mae, who is a writer and guitarist, and Angela Rivera, who is a doctor. 

Hey Moonshine has been recording and performing gigs together for nearly four years. Last week marked the nationwide release of its latest effort, We’ll Break This War, which came with a very special video that was launched at El Chante MNL in Poblacion Makati. It is a powerful and affecting film that tries to put across the horrors of war and the message that peace is not impossible and that learning to live in harmony is the only way. You can now stream it on YouTube and check out the tune in various music platforms.

The creative mind behind the video is Arvin “Kadiboy” Belarmino, a multi-awarded and internationally acclaimed independent film director. Among his works are Nakaw which won him Best Director at the Short and Sweet Film Festival 2017 in Hollywood, Best Fiction Film at the third Minikino Film Festival in Jakarta, Best Short Film at the Gawad Urian Awards and the Feather of Excellence at the Festival de Cine Paz in Mindanao. He also did Kyel, winner of Best Director and Best Film at the Pelikultura Film Festival, plus Pablo, Kadena and the MYX nominee for Best Music Video, Against the Ropes for Typecast.

The award-winning film and music video of director Sigfreid Barros Sanchez, who megged Magtanggol and Huling Biyahe and who did videos Hari ng Sablay for Sugarfree, The Day You Said Goodnight by Hale, Okey Lang by Shamrock and Anghel by Stonefree, is the assistant director.

The video features award-winning actors from film like Raul Morit of Tubero and Mea Culp; Erlinda Villalobos of Ang Laswa ni Lola Mame and Manang Biring; Coleen Perez of Dapithapon and 1st Ko si 3rd; Bodson Lefroi Reyes of the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and New Yorker in Tondo and child performers Florianne Jessiepink Besa and Matthew Pineda. 

Lots of award winners in the video credits. Here is hoping that Hey Moonshine will be harvesting its own share of trophies soon.

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