I meet a lot of rather awesome people in my line of job.
Technically speaking, this thing I do (interviewing people and getting published for it) isn’t really a job. To be honest, half the time I don’t know what I’m doing when they give me magazine assignments, which is why I am always grateful that my work is being screened and edited by awesome managing editors like Stef Juan or Jacs Sampayan. I started out as a blogger, and it escalated into being a contributing writer, and I have never stopped being grateful for it. I’ve had some of the most amazing conversations in my life, thanks to these posh-posh magazines.
Ask me what it’s like to sit in the living rooms of people like Charo Santos-Concio, having Mark Nelson make coffee for us while he introduced us to his turtles. Ask me what it was like to have a surprisingly intimate and gracious talk with Loida Lewis and my delight at Ricky Lee’s boyish wonder with the world of Filipino cinema despite all those years of being in it. Or that incredibly long interview that became a conversation and the start of a serendipitous friendship with boy wonder Raya Martin while we were sitting inside the UP Film Center. Or asking the CEO of HSBC to do a headstand in his backyard. Or… more. So much more.
I don’t get to interview people as often as I want these days (one of the drawbacks of having a 9-to-6 job), but whenever I have time to do it, I always say yes.
This time, Pindie Music asked me to have a conversation with Franco.
For the uninitiated, Franco is a Filipino rockstar. For Metro Manila citizens, he’s the guy with the kick-ass voice, intense rockstar presence, and the “superband,” and if you don’t know him then you’ve obviously missed his music video and never listened to his songs, because I’ve never met anyone who heard Franco and forgot about him afterwards. Even his haters know his songs.
But for Cebuanos, or for those who are a fan of the music scene in that city, Franco started out as Frank. And he’s kind of a mini demigod there. I myself have been a fan since 2006, when I was in Cebu for a week to work (and play). I met some kindred audiophiles while I was hanging out in Outpost and they hooked me up with MP3s of this Cebuano group called “Frank.”
Music, in a way, is almost as bad as having a drug addiction. If you’re a music junkie, you just know where to get your fix no matter which city you end up in. I’ve been hooked on Frank since 2006.
My conversation with Frank became a two hour session in Tinta 55 in Maginhawa Street, and Franco Reyes, who has always previously declined interviews, was unnaturally conversant. I ended up with 12 pages of raw conversation when I transcribed the interview.
What I appreciated was that he was consistently self-effacing. This man is a musician, but to him it’s a craft that deserves to have skill and dedication poured into it continuously because “this is the only thing I do now, and I don’t have any excuse not to be good at what I do.”
He was also consistently real. Here’s a man who doesn’t censor his words and his opinions.
I don’t know how I feel about the fact that he’s a person. That behind the man I was yelling over, drooling at, and singing along with is, well, a man.
I’m still reeling.
Meanwhile, the conversation’s all here. Click, damn you.
And if you’re still dubious about his musical abilities, well, here you go, and you’re welcome.