The Itchyworms is a Filipino rock band whose music is primarily guitar-driven rock with pronounced 1960s and 1980s pop sensibilities and embellished with two or three-part vocal harmonies. The group made their name in the OPM (Original Pilipino Music) scene in 2006 with their sophomore effort Noontime Show with songs such as "Akin Ka Na Lang" and "Beer".
Formed in 1996, the band had been composed of Jazz Nicolas, Jugs Jugueta, Kelvin Yu (on lead guitar) and Hadrian "Haji" Cruz (on bass). The band performed at various school-based events and competitions with a handful of original songs and Beatles covers. Unfortunately, communication and scheduling issues forced Cruz to leave the group. This predicament forced Yu to take up the bass guitar vacancy, effectively making the band a trio.
The group continued as a trio until the middle of 1997, when a common friend in the Ateneo Musicians' Pool recruited Chino Singson to play guitar with the group at a school event. Singson eventually went on to become a permanent member, which solidified the group's current lineup.
In 1998 the band put together Revenge of the Unsigned, their first official CD. They did this with the help of their manager Earnest Mangulabnan-Zabala, Eraserheads, Ely Buendia, Buddy Zabala and Romel "Sancho" Sanchez (Loquy, Cynthia Alexander). The band intended for Revenge to be their independently released debut album in the event that no major record label would sign them.
As luck would have it, then-A&R manager at Viva/Neo Records Mike Dizon (Teeth, Sandwich) got hold of Revenge. He helped push for Viva executives to sign the band and eventually release Little Monsters Under Your Bed.
Little Monsters, the band's first major-label album, was released in 2001 and contained songs from Revenge plus new compositions by Nicolas and Jugueta. The song "Antipara" was probably the most well-known song on the album. The release of the album was somewhat ill-timed as its glossy pop-rock sound was an aberration in the Korn-influenced OPM Rock landscape of the late 1990s to early 2000s.
In 2005, the itchyworms released Noontime Show, which gave them modest national success and industry recognition. Buddy Zabala and Raimund Marasigan, by this time both former Eraserheads, co-produced the album with the group.
Most notably, the album went on to become Album of the Year at the 2006 NU Rock Awards, with Nicolas winning Drummer of the Year and the group winning Producer of the Year jointly with Marasigan and Zabala. Also in 2006, Itchyworms covered a song Awit Ng Barkada originally by the APO Hiking Society.
In 2007, the band covered Princesa which was also sung originally by the APO Hiking Society.
In late 2008, they released their new album entitled "Self-Titled".
In 2011, the band covered Gaano Kita Kamahal which originally by Celeste Legaspi.
In 2012, the band covered Maling Akala which was also originally by The Eraserheads.
The popularity and radio-friendliness of the band's songs have gained the attention of several well-known commercial brands in the Philippines. The song "Akin Ka Na Lang" has been used by both KFC and Close-Up in separate television advertisements. In 2008, Pringles used "Salapi" for a nationwide campaign/songwriting contest. In addition Enervon, Close-Up and San Miguel Beer have also commissioned the band to write original songs for their advertising campaigns.
The band also wrote and performed "Kabataang Pinoy", the theme song for the first season of ABS-CBN's Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition. This is arguably the band's most widely publicized song because of the series' popularity and media exposure. They also performed the station ID "Para Sa 'yo Kapatid" of TV5.
Although the individual members of the band draw on distinct influences, their common affection for The Beatles and The Eraserheads heavily defines the quartet's musical sound.
Jazz Nicolas - drums, lead vocals (1996-present),
Jugs Jugueta - rhythm guitars, co-lead vocals (1996-present),
Kelvin Yu - bass guitar, backing vocals (1996-present),
Chino Singson - lead guitars, backing vocals (1997-present),
Hadrian "Haji" Cruz - bass guitar (1996)
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