An interview with Filipino band

Bad Ramen

Bad Ramen band

Photography by Neil Kenneth Sael

How did Bad Ramen start? 
Bad Ramen started around July 2017 with bassist Chris Mercado posting an ad on local musician forum, PhilMusic, for a drummer for a duo project similar to Royal Blood and Death From Above 1979. Bradley Jon Hill replied to the ad and the duo got along well. Soon after, Chris’ former bandmate Paulo Rodriguez from now-defunct alt-rock band, Masha, was brought in for guitar. Then, Chris’ classmate in graduate school recommended his cousin, Pam Pastor, who also sings for another band called Mozzie, to do vocals, rounding up the band.
Apart from our accidental common love for ramen, Chris likes a band called Bad Rabbits, so that’s where the “Bad” came from. Chris also had a short-lived project called Hey Ramen! before.
Please introduce yourselves 
Chris Mercado on bass, Bradley Jon Hill on drums, Paulo Rodriguez on guitar and Pam Pastor on vocals.
If you could be a song, what would that song be and why?
Chris: Four Out of Five by Arctic Monkeys. It’s my current jam and that’s how I would rate myself now.
Bradley: By The Way by Red Hot Chili Peppers because it’s both heavy and light, and the lyrics don’t make any sense.
Pam: Paula Cole’s Me because it really is me.
Paulo: Hmm for me I’ll be “Meant to Live” by Switchfoot because we’re meant to live for so much more.
Bad Ramen band
Is music your full-time job?
Chris: I help manage a local company that distributes veterinary products for cockfighting. I also dabble in digital marketing on the side.
Bradley: Physics teacher.
Paulo: I work in IT software development.
Pam: Journalist.
Who are your favorite musicians?
Chris: My bass heroes are Juan Alderete (Racer X/The Mars Volta), Chris Wolstenholme (Muse), Timmy Commerford (Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave), Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs/The Dead Weather), Jeremy Velardi (Envy On The Coast) and James Jamerson. Recently, I’ve been into a lot of hip-hop and R&B like Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, Stickfiggas and Shadow Moses.
Bradley: Interesting and progressive bands—Everything Everything, And So I Watch You From Afar and Yes. UK drum and bass was formative for me at university and I love bands like Tom’s Story in the wonderful Manila indie scene.
Paulo: I’m a big fan of John Mayer and Slash. As a kid, I listened to a lot of glam rock bands like Bon Jovi, Mr. Big and White Lion. As I grew up, I added Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Bush, Oasis and a lot of 90s alternative bands to my playlist. Nowadays, I mostly listen to instrumental music and blues/rock guys like BB King, SRV, Hendrix, Clapton.
Pam: Rachael Yamagata, Amy Winehouse, Regina Spektor, Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple, Liz Phair, Alisha’s Attic, Moonpools & Caterpillars, Deap Vally, Aerosmith and, strangely, a lot of show tunes.
If you could describe your sound using Filipino food, what would it be and why?

Chicharon bulaklak because it’s so bad and yet so good! Like our music: dirty rock!

Do you have any advocacies that you support whether personal or through your music?
Pam: Mental health awareness!
Chris: Ending discrimination towards people with tattoos. I never hide my scars. I wear my ink loud and proud!
Bradley: I advocate for The Collective. Craft beer and awesomeness since 2017.
What does Bad Ramen have in store this year?
After the release of our first single, “Done”, last April 2018, we’re now busy working on more songs before we start gigging later in the year. The local music scene is so competitive and amazing now that’s why we want to focus on making quality music first.
Follow Bad Ramen online:
philippine indie pinoy music scene

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About the author

Izzy launched Days in Wonderland as an avenue for avid music fans and travel bugs to find inspiration. Days in Wonderland features concert photos and write-ups, song suggestions, interviews and travel guides.
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