RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE was an all-lawyer rock band active in the Philippine underground music scene from 2005 to 2009. Being the bassist thereof, I consider myself very fortunate to have been part of this group. The band was composed not only of great lawyers and musicians but also of wonderful human beings.
This is part 2 of our story.
For part 1 of this story please see: Remembering Reckless Imprudence (Part 1)
THE NEW RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE
In the first quarter of 2006, three important events transpired that greatly affected the band. The first two were rather sad events. The third was a positive occurrence. All three, however, changed the future of the band.
Early that year, Den Plofino, our keyboardist, realized that he wanted to enter the seminary. Yes, he wanted to become a priest rather than a lawyer or a rock star. He packed up his keyboards and said goodbye to Reckless Imprudence.
The second event was yet another goodbye to one of our band mates. Coocoo Basallo, our female vocalist, who was a mother to a growing young boy, decided to concentrate on her motherhood as well as her legal profession. She likewise packed up her microphone and left the band.
From then on, Reckless Imprudence became a five-man band.
The third event would forever change the way Reckless Imprudence played as a group. On February 2006, during one of our rehearsals, Ken Bucu, our original lead guitarist, made us listen to a guitar riff that he was working on. Using a drum machine, he played this upbeat, glam-oriented guitar line. It was so catchy that it stirred our creative side. After hearing the riff, Karl Castillo, our vocalist, immediately began to write lyrics. Bayan Quiniones, our rhythm guitarist, and I started to play riffs of our own. Jeri Banta, our drummer, improved on the drum line that Ken played on his drum machine. We put them all together.
After about three hours, Reckless Imprudence had its very first original composition.
SEX, DRUGS AT RAKENROL
Being an all-lawyer band, most people thought that when we finally wrote our own songs, we would be talking about the law or anything related to it. It turned out, however, that Reckless Imprudence’s first song was about sex, drugs and rock and roll.
We played this song for the very first time on stage on February 2006 at Freedom Bar Café in Quezon City. From then on, this song became Reckless Imprudence’s most requested song. It later on received airtime in RJ Underground Radio 105.9. In 2008, Sex Drugs at Rakenrol was awarded as RJUR’s 4th most requested song.
The full story behind this song shall be told in a separate article.
THE ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS
After writing our first original composition, we realized that it was more fun and fulfilling to play our own songs. We started to write more. In fact, we became obsessed with writing. Each one of us tried to create new melodies, tunes, beats and riffs. We totally stopped trying to learn cover songs.
It was then that Reckless Impudence stopped becoming a cover band.
We are often asked how we write songs. All it took was a single spark. One of the band members would come up with a riff. For our first song, that person was Ken. But most of the time, it would be Bayan. However, I myself had a few creative moments. After that initial spark, everything would fall into place. Karl would suddenly come up with words and the rest of us would add additional riffs, beats and melodies. It usually took us two to three hours to finish an original composition.
In our four years of being together as a group, Reckless Imprudence was able to write seven original compositions. Aside from “Sex, Drugs at Rakenrol”, we also wrote the following songs:
- Askal, the Suicide Dog
- Disco Impyerno
- The Ending
We were able to record five out of these seven songs. As can be gleamed from the titles themselves, none of the songs were about the law or anything law-related. They were all about death, sex and drugs.
THE NEW GUY
On October 2006, another member of Reckless Imprudence left the band. Ken, had to migrate to the States. For a while, we thought it would be the end of the band as Ken was one of the pillars of Reckless Imprudence. But with his exit came a great new addition to the band.
He was Jeri’s classmate in law school. At that time, he was working as a lawyer for the Department of Finance. Jeri and Marco used to play in a band together. Our drummer highly recommended Marco as our new lead guitarist.
The first time I saw Marco play, my mind was blown away. He was so fast but at the same time, very melodic. His guitar playing was definitely blues oriented but with a slight mix of 70s rock and roll. He reminded me of Eric Johnson. And his guitar tone was one of a kind. He used a U.S. made Fender Stratocaster hooked into an Ibanez Tube Screamer. He set up his tone to be only slightly distorted yet heavy enough to rock and roll.
We immediately welcomed him as our new lead guitarist. He was never meant as a replacement for Ken as that would be like replacing a round screw with a square one. Marco was a new and fresh addition to the band. He inserted his very own style to our original compositions. And, he made our songs more melodic and guitar-oriented.
THE RECKLESS GIGS
It was in 2007 to 2008 that Reckless Imprudence’s musical career peaked. It was then that we were invited to play in bars all over Metro Manila. We were able to get gigs at the hottest rock clubs in town like Saguijo, Club Dredd, 6 Underground, RJ Bar and Capones.
We were also asked to join Sunshine Productions, a musical production that organized some of the best gigs around Metro Manila. The proprietor thereof, Sunshine, also became one of our closest friends.
We played with some of the biggest rock bands at that time, including Bamboo, Wolfgang, Quezo, Razorback, Erectus and Up Dharma Down.
We went on stage at least two times a week. In fact, there were times that we had more than one gig a night and we to run across town to make it to both.
We had a good following, with a few regular fans going at our gigs.
RADIO AND TV APPEARANCES
I guess most bands dreamt about playing live on TV. We were able to do so three times. The first one was a live performance in RJ TV as we fronted for RJ Jacinto himself. The other two performances were for the TV show “Jojo A. All the Way” with Jojo Alejar. In that show, we did not just play as a band; we were even given lines to say on air. We likewise participated in the live discussions. This video is the Ash Wednesday episode where were shared our “ash” jokes:
Thereafter, we hunted for a recording studio. We found a perfect one at BF Homes in Paranaque called Heartfire. There, we met our song producer Mark “Batas” Rodriguez. He was a fellow bassist and a tattoo artist. Mark was the one who worked on the recordings of all of our songs.
We then submitted our songs to RJ Underground Radio. Our song Sex, Drugs at Rakenrol received some airtime. As I mentioned, on August 2008, that song was awarded as the 4th most requested Pinoy Alternative song. Because of this, we were invited to join the RJUR Tour around Metro Manila.
THE FINAL GIG
It was the time of our lives. We were living the rock and roll lifestyle.
But all good things must come to an end.
Early 2009, Karl decided to leave the band. The Reckless lifestyle was taking a toll on his legal practice. At that time, he was already a Partner in his law firm. He was also a father to two children. He had to concentrate on his family and his legal career.
We knew that we could not continue without Karl. Not only was he the face and the voice of Reckless Imprudence, he was also one of the foundations thereof. Thus, we agreed to call it quits.
But not until we had our last hurrah.
Coincidentally, we had an upcoming on February 12, 2009 in Mag.net Cafe. The same bar where we had our first gig was also were we performed our last one. At that time, however, the bar already transferred to a bigger location in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. This concert was organized by the Junior Chamber International (“JCI”) – Noveleta “Asin” Chapter. It was a benefit concert and the funds therefrom were to be used for various community development projects.
We announced that this was going to be our last gig.
The place was jam-packed. We were on stage for more than an hour. We played all our original compositions plus some covers from the Doors, Pink Floyd and the Beatles. After the gig was done, we stayed in the club until it closed. Knowing that this was our last gig, we spent our time drinking and reminiscing on our memorable moments with Reckless Imprudence.
From then on, I still saw the guys often enough. We were, after all, more than band mates. We were colleagues in the legal profession. And more importantly, we were good friends. Since then, however, I had never shared a stage with any of the guys from Reckless Imprudence.
We had always been talking about a reunion. It never happened. But we all loved the band. And a lot of people had been requesting for a reunion. And I know that before we are too old to lift our respective instruments, the Reckless Reunion reunion concert will happen.
A FINAL NOTE
Although, musically speaking, we are probably not at par with some of the other bands out there. In fact, I could say that Lucille, my present band, has way more musicality than Reckless Imprudence.
However, I shared a bond with the members of Reckless Imprudence. We were like-minded individuals who shared not only a passion for music but also an attitude towards it. As lawyers, we viewed the band simply as a getaway from the stress of our legal profession. Because of that, we made sure that every gig and every rehearsal was fun and memorable.
I had been in at least five bands in my entire life but none would compare to my experience with Reckless Imprudence.
For part 1 of this story please see: Remembering Reckless Imprudence (Part 1)