Music holds a significant place in Philippine culture. It's omnipresent, from everyday neighborhood karaoke to TV variety programs and underground performances.
Nothing beats the sound of homegrown Filipino music, whether it's in English, Tagalog, or another regional dialect. And nobody can forget Orange & Lemons, which is a legendary band in its own right.
Hanggang Kailan, Isang Gabi, and Pinoy Ako, the original theme song for the famous reality show Pinoy Big Brother, are just a few of Orange & Lemons' memorable hits.
“With Orange & Lemons we just lasted for four years as recording artists in the industry. We started in 1999 and disbanded in 2007,” vocalist-guitarist Clem Castro shared with OG. “Prior to that, we were using different names. When we started focusing on original music, we started with the names Irony, The Cranes, and then mayroon pa yatang Mushroom.”
When band members leave or the tone or direction of the band changes, Clem said that they would alter their name, until they finally settled for one that best fit the group: Orange & Lemons.
A previous member of the band suggested the name "Oranges & Lemons". The name was borrowed from a British nursery rhyme and the title of British band XTC's album.
“We have a very British-pop influence. And we later on found out that Oranges and Lemons is also a British nursery rhyme, so parang bagay na bagay. The funny thing is, ‘yung British nursery rhyme na iyon starts with 'Oranges and lemons says the bells of St. Clement.’ For me, it’s a perfect name for the band and our music,” said Clem.
The group's musical genre has been described as a blend of alternative rock, indie pop, and experimental music, and it has been highly influenced by a number of well-known bands from various eras, including The Smiths, The Beatles, and the Eraserheads.
Sadly, on October 10, 2007, the band disbanded. Differences between band members and their management were cited as the primary reason.
10 years later, however, the band stated on its official Facebook page in July 2017 that they will rejoin as a trio, with Clem Castro on vocals and lead guitars, JM del Mundo on bass guitar, and Ace del Mundo on drums.
Last year, Lilystars Records, the band's label, stated through Twitter on February 10 that the band will be recording and releasing a new album in 2021, their first in fourteen years. “As working musicians it’s really hard for us. We are just living off of our savings, until things get better, tapos gusto pa naming maglabas ng album so it's coming out from our own pockets,” he added of their forthcoming record.
“One thing you can expect from Orange & Lemons is we will keep on making music, regardless of any challenges we will uphold the quality of our releases,” Clem said in a heartfelt statement to their fans. “I hope that you will be there to appreciate it, we hope that it will connect with you as a listener or affect your life as a music fan as well.”
Do you want to learn more about Orange & Lemons' musical journey? Watch OG’s newest video below:
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