The Dawn has a new single titled “Earth” which in sound and spirit takes a detour from the band’s classic canon. One hears tones and staccatos that namecheck heavy rock icons of yore while its mood carries over to more somber climes.
The band itself has taken some makeover, being currently a mix of old hands and new faces with Jett Pangan on vocals, Sancho and Francis Brew Reyes on guitars, Bim Yance on bass and JB Leonor on drums.
In a private conversation with Soundstrip, Jett said, “‘Earth’ started out in one of the occasional online drinking sessions Francis and I would have during the (pandemic) lockdowns. I had a vocal melody and some scratch lyrics for verses and I asked Francis to shadow the melody. So, I sang the verse and he plugged in his guitar.”
Francis added, “We both agreed it should be an in-your-face unapologetically rocked-out heavy angry guitar tune so I dialed up an overdriven tone and played staccato double-stops akin to what Angus Young would occasionally do with AC/DC. Jett loved it right away, so we agreed on a tempo and I immediately made a Garageband work file. Once the structure was set with a basic drum loop, guide bass, and my guitar parts, we sent the file to the rest of the guys and they recorded their parts in their respective little home studios.”
Francis further mused, “‘Earth” came from a more somber place; Jett and I talked about how weirdly messed-up the world had become, politically and socially, even before the pandemic. Covid-19 obviously amplified paranoia and distrust further. The tune was born out of frustration and helplessness. crisis fatigue and apathy… recipes for disaster.”
‘Earth’ in Session
During the recording, it was Jett on all vocals, Sancho and Francis on guitars, JB on drums, and Mon Legaspi on bass. Sadly, it was Mon’s penultimate session with the band.
Francis recalled, “Mon added his own brilliant accents and ideas to the basslines I wrote on the demos. He played notes that changed the chordal harmony, but more importantly, gave that part of the song a lift that also emphasized the lyric. That is an important lesson for anybody in any band: you can play the most mind-boggling lick or the most ethereal atmospheric texture in the known universe but if it doesn’t support the lyric, who needs it?”
For all his chops, Mon was ultimately a songwriter’s bassist. As a songwriter himself, he had sensibility and sensitivity.
When Mon passed, The Dawn was derailed emotionally. It was the most unexpected and unpleasant thing and he always be dearly missed.
Is a new album in the offing?
Jett replied, “We were not planning on any new album when we were recording “Earth” although we talked about writing more. Seriously, we’ve been working on new music the past two years with no goals except to keep our wits together.
“Well, we unexpectedly have a new bassist in Bim Yance (ex-True Faith) who volunteered to help us out on a couple remaining gigs last year. His enthusiasm must have rubbed off on us. Now we’re seriously working on new ideas with the immediate goal of finishing them as proper songs. An album I think is possible.”