Yano is a folk/punk rock band in the Philippines formed in 1993. The band members were originally composed of vocalist Dong Abay and Eric Gancio on guitar. Onie Badiang later joined them as bassist; Nowie Favila was the usual drummer but declined to join the group due to commitments with Ang Grupong Pendong. Other drummers of the band included Nonong Timbalopez, Harley Alarcon and Jun Nogoy. The band got their name when Abay looked through an entry in "Talahulugang Pilipino", an old Tagalog dictionary. "Yano" in Tagalog means "simple", a term often used by Tagalog speakers in Quezon. The group disbanded in 1997 after Dong Abay left the band.
In 2007, Gancio revived Yano as a one-man band, although he continued to use sidemen as backing musicians for live performances. In later years, Gancio while performing vocals and lead guitars is accompanied by JR Madarang on bass and Ronald Madarang on drums. In 2013, Yano released a 4th album titled Talâ (Star).
In 1992, Dong Abay, Eric Gancio and Larry Mapolon met in Patatag, a progressive vocal ensemble. That year sometime in October, Eric Gancio was chosen to represent 'Patatag' to a composite chorale group for a concert tour in Japan for a whole month. There he met Manji Ikuta who would be the front act in all their shows, with his band called 'Soso'. In the middle of their tour, Manji invited Eric to his flat in Tokyo and gave him a vintage semi-acoustic electric Yamaha, which Eric later named 'Kai', in what was a pseudo samurai sort of ritual. Going back to the group's quarters at the train, Eric thought that his dream of writing his own songs could finally come to reality. In December 1992, Eric Gancio invited Dong Abay to the former's desire to journey into the adventure of writing his own songs. It was only after a month the following year in January when Dong Abay finally arrived at Eric Gancio's place and decided that he was in.
Later on, Eric met percussionist Renmin Nadela who was later became the founder of 'Agaw Agimat'. Eventually, after writing many songs, and while in the course of writing a song, the word Yano came up while browsing the Filipino dictionary for words. It was a Bisaya (Visayan) word (meaning 'simple'), Eric Gancio then decided that the name appropriately symbolizes the songs that have already been written, as well as the style of songwriting, which was satirical, using wit and humor to describe the realities of everyday life.
They recorded their demo at the home studio of alternative artist Joey Ayala in June 1993. They brought two of the tracks, "Kumusta Na?," ("How Are You?") a song about the "EDSA Revolution", and "Kaka," a song about the 12-hour brownout during that time, to a local radio station L.A. 105.9 where the group was first heard. This paved the way for Yano to become active in the local club circuit. Mayrics, Club Dredd, 70s Bistro were among the first clubs that Yano performed in. Drummers for the band included Nowie Favila (Ang Grupong Pendong), Nonong Timbalopez (Put3Ska, Ex President's Combo), Jun Nogoy (Coffeebreak Island) and Harley Alarcon (Rizal Underground and POT).
In 1994, the band's self-titled debut album came out and spawned classic Filipino rock songs such as "Banal Na Aso, Santong Kabayo" ("Holy Dog, Saintly Horse"), "Tsinelas" ("Slippers") and "Esem" (wordplay for SM or Shoemart mall). This was followed by a string of successful concerts around the Philippine archipelago. Their first album from Alpha records (re-issued by BMG) reached quadruple platinum in 1994. After producing three studio albums, Abay quit during the late 1990s because of fame-induced pressure. The group later disbanded after Abay's absence.
In the middle of the recording of their 3rd album 'Tara', Abay struggled with clinical depression and stayed only in his bedroom for about three years. Gancio finished the album alone, singing the vocal tracks to have of the album's songs. He then migrated back to his hometown Davao City and continued Yano, performing mostly throughout Mindanao to date.
He came out of depression while writing new songs set into poetry. He later called Badiang to borrow a guitar and jam. Eventually they formed another band, Pan with bassist Milo Duane Cruz and drummer Melvin Leyson. Abay got the term "Pan" after reading Tom Robbins' novel Jitterbug Perfume. They released their debut album entitled Parnaso ng Payaso in 2003. Pan was later disbanded because Abay went back to school in University of the Philippines Diliman. He released "Sampol", an EP in 2005, which was later reborn into Flipino and released in May 2006. He is currently pursuing a career as an independent artist.
Badiang played bass for Filipino folk/rock band Asin. He reconnected to Joey Ayala's Bagong Lumad while Favila is currently playing gigs outside the Phiippines. Milo Cruz, one of the supporting musician, is now living in New Zealand since mid-2003 and is now a sound engineer. He still plays regularly with various Kiwi bands and founded an all-Filipino band FLIP doing both covers and originals. He also started his own production company named ATBP Productions. ATBP is an abbreviation of a Filipino expression "at iba pa", a counterpart for the Latin "et cetera".
Yano in Davao:
Gancio returned to his homeland in Davao after finishing the recording of the 3rd album Tara in 1998. He pursued Yano in Davao even against odds from Yano management and family. In 2004, he released his solo album Sa Bandang Huli (At the Very End). Gancio did all the instruments in his indie-released album and mixed the music at his home in a PC-based software. In 2007, Gancio took into the band session Bassist Dave Ibao and Drummer Jan Najera. He said the he would be releasing an album, which, according to Gancio, will be the "fourth Yano album" instead of his second album. Hence, in 2013, Yano released a 4th album titled Talâ (Star) under Yano Records. The band is still based in Davao City.
Currently, Yano is composed of Gancio on vocals and lead guitars and supporting bassist JR Madarang.
In September 2014, Yano released its 5th album "Ya Hindi No" under Yano Records. Yano has just launched it during P FEST UK on the last week of the same month in Leeds and Romford.
Yano's music is unique in that there is fusion of western elements into Filipino ethnic music. Gancio describes it as 'Yano Music', appropriately so because there is a conscious input of own design creations of melody and rhythm in all instruments into the whole arrangement unique to each song. Though the originality is almost merely felt, and not very obvious, because each song sounds 'familiar'.
Yano's music is well known for their political and social themes. Their songs censure religious hypocrites like in Banal Na Aso, Santong Kabayo (Tagalog for Holy Dog, Saintly Horse), corrupt politicians in Trapo (colloquial, pejorative term for traditional politicians, also literally translates to "dust rag"), the lingo of the Philippine's elite in Coño Ka P're ("You're a coño") and abusive capitalists in Mc'Jo (alluding to the fastfood chains McDonald's and Jollibee.
Yano's songs also narrate the situation of Philippine society during the 1990s. Kumusta Na? ("How are you?") discusses the condition of the Filipino masses after the 1986 EDSA Revolution while the novelty-styled song Kaka tells a story of a person named Kaka, who is having difficulty in finding things in the dark after a power outage, a reference to the frequent blackouts in the Philippines during the early 1990s. The song Bawal ("prohibited") speaks about the effects of rules or laws with excessive restrictions to the point where it leads to suppression of freedom and love. Abno, also known as Abnormal Environmental, tackles the environment while Kaklase ("classmate") focuses on students facing maltreatment by their teachers. Another social relevant song, Mercy, tells about the story of a crazy peddler in the Philippines known as a taong grasa ("greasy person").
Their experiences as students enabled them to write songs in dismay of their school like in State U and their life in the university, such as Esem (in reference to the SM mall, and Iskolar Ng Bayan ("The Nation's Scholar"). They also made some love songs in their music like Senti (short for "sentimental") and Paalam Sampaguita ("Goodbye Sampaguita"). The latter also tackles the migration of many Filipinos to other countries to seek better opportunities.
Yano continues the wide range of subjects that the songs reflect and maintains a positive or 'Ya' perspective in recent 2013 Talâ album songs like Talâ Uno/Dos, an adaptation of Joseph Campbell's Follow your bliss and the universe will open up your doors that only used to be walls, Punda which is about extrimism, Tayo ay Pinagpala depicting the reality of conflict areas in the opposite, Pinoy na Pasko about being one no matter how diverse in the spirit of Christmas.
In the current 2014 Ya Hindi No September album release, the 'Ya' (Yes) perspective is most deliberately expressed. Its carrier song of the same title is about appreciation of the good and negating the negative. Bago is about the decision to turn away from the life of pain and take on the path of the colorful life filled with only happiness.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license