Rockin’ Robert



BASS players who happen to sing and write songs are few and far in be­tween. Count The Youth’s Robert Javi­er among them.

We caught up with Rob­ert recently and we found out he is now busy doing pro­duction work for popular noontime show “Eat Bulaga.”

He also teaches song­writing at the Meridian Inter­national.

Not that he has quit the group.

According to Robert, he is still very much part of The Youth.

“I’m actually looking for­ward to playing 30 more years with them,” he says.

In any case, The Youth will be releasing new music this year, just in time for the 25th anniversary of their ground­breaking debut “Album Na Walang Pamagat.”

Sadly, guitarist-vocalist Al­fredo “Dodong” Cruz will not be part of the ride.

Robert would rather not discuss the whys and hows of Dodong’s departure but he is happy to share they found a replacement in Marquel “Mac­mac” Martin.

Of course, Joseph “Erap” Carrasco, will still be hitting the skins for the band.

“Since I first heard of the Beatles, Velvet Underground, Joy Division and some punk/new wave classics, I never turned my back on music,” says Robert, a multi-instru­mentalist who also plays guitar, drums, and a little keyboard. He is entirely self-taught.

About their classic hits, he says, “’Yung ‘Multong Bakla’ is a very misunderstood song. It has nothing to do with homo­sexuality at all. Ang ‘Anak Ka Ng Ina Mo’ is basically about addiction in all its forms, shapes, and sizes, while ‘Lar­uan,’ ‘Kapag Nagunaw Ang Mundo,’ and ‘Tao Po’ deals with the obstacles and chal­lenges musicians encounter on their way.”

Robert credits The The and some obscure New Wave tune as inspirations in coming up with his memorable bass line in “Multong Bakla” as with “Takbo.”

Asked what he thinks of today’s music scene, Javier quoted the title of a popular Celine Dion, “It’s All Coming Back To Me.”

“Not taking anything from the new set of musicians, but I bet some of them will agree the most innovative elements in to­day’s music were already heard decades ago…Déjà vu.”

As for bass guitars, Javier prefers to play 4-string variants. “I use the 5 or 6 whenever I jam or borrow from others who are on the same bill as us,” he says.

“When it comes to bass ef­fects & stuff, I’ve done it all, tried them all. From having my bass wired with keychains to cellphone oscillation to having a doubleneck that nearly gave me scoliosis,” he adds.

According to Robert, The Youth has no practice routine. “May sumpa sa amin ang prac­tice. We always play worse than when we haven’t practice at all,” he says.

With today’s technology wide and open, Javier encourages as­piring musicians to try to exper­iment and absorb what’s around them but at the same time, avoid copying others. “Just be yourself,” Robert says. (WAKU SAUNAR)

What do you think?

Written by Tempo Desk

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