I was able to interview Luis Katigbak, one of the proponents and founders of the QLE Awards (the other two are Quark Henares and Erwin Romulo), over Facebook Chat. Here’s the transcript:
Paul: Luis! 🙂
Luis:: Hi Paul 🙂
Luis: : Hahaha 🙂 On the QLE?
Paul: yeah. on your very own first awards! 🙂 woo-hoo!
Luis:: Hee hee thanks 🙂 Should be a fun night
Paul: hey maybe I can do the interview now? 🙂
Luis:: Over Facebook? 😉
Paul: yup 🙂
Luis:: Sure 🙂
Paul: okay, first question, looking back, where do you think the idea of QLE awards started?
Luis:: Erwin and I were talking about my column criticizing the NU107 Rock Awards lineup and he said, “We should do our own awards. “The Luis and Erwin Awards” Luckily Quark joined us soon after, because “The Luis and Erwin Awards” would have been a horrible name. And we couldn’t call it the Luis Erwin and Quark Awards because that would have been too much of a pain to say.
Luis:: So it became the ELQ Awards in our first few email exchanges. And then finally the QLE Awards. 😉 The idea really was just to call attention to the bands and artists we felt really deserved it. Not that there aren’t good bands on the NU lineup — like I said, I approve of Sandwich, Urbandub, etc. — but we were really shocked that Ciudad and Markus Highway weren’t nominated for anything.
“The idea really was just to call attention to the bands and artists we felt really deserved it.”
Paul: wow. was anyone else privy to these idea/ideas? what did your friends/sister say?
Paul: still there? 😉
Luis:: Going back a bit. The very first thing that happened was that I saw the nominees for the NU Awards online. I immediately emailed Erwin. We agreed that many of the nominees sucked. And then later that week we were at Quark’s house and started talking about it. Then I wrote that column, Then Erwin suggested the Erwin and Luis awards. Then Quark came on board. Then I suggested that Erwin and I write about it in our columns (Bulletin and Star). and then Quark said he could get it into the Inquirer as well. Throughout all this, friends knew that we were not pleased with the nominees and that we were planning to pull off something, but it was really just discussions between Quark, Erwin and me. We didn’t hide it tho; I remember we met up at Magnet High street and discussed our nominees freely while other people (including my girlfriend Yvette) were there. No one had any objections. ;);) But I think people didnt realize what we were really up to until the blog posts and the articles came out 😀
Paul: Did you, Quark and Erwin discuss the downside of doing something like this? Ticking off Atom?
Luis:: That actually never came up. I mean, presumably Quark knows his dad well enough to know what the possible consequences (or lack thereof) would be. ;);) Honestly, we haven’t gotten any negative feedback from anyone from NU, as far as I know. As Erwin said, “It’s good for them. People talking about the Awards. They should worry when no one cares enough to criticize.” Quark did make jokes along the lines of people hating us, but that hasn’t happened, really.
“It’s good for them. People talking about the Awards. They should worry when no one cares enough to criticize.”
Paul: I was reading Erwin’s comment on the Drip site, it seems that this was something that happens every year; what happened this year? What made the difference?
Luis:: I think it was because 2008 was a REALLY good year for music. 🙂 I’ve been working on music magazines for six years now and this may be the strongest year for local music in that span — and it upset me that this was not at least reflected in the Awards lineup. I mean, look back as recently as 2006, the NU Awards were not bad. They seemed to nod at most, if not all, of the worthy acts, and I cant think of anyone who was nominated who out and out sucked.
Luis:: It was also a happy combination of things: among them the fact that we all have an outlet for our ideas in the form of our writing for the broadsheets.
Paul: Yeah I was amazed at the fact that the 3 of you would have a voice at the same time in the 3 major broadsheets of the Philippines
Luis:: Hahaha 🙂 Yeah. The idea that we would put our roster of winners up in all three thrilled us, to be honest. I’m not sure if anything like that has been done before.
Paul: Was it hard to pitch to Manila Bulletin? Did the editors from the other newspapers know that this was going to be actually coordinated? Has this happened before?
Luis:: My editors at the Bulletin are great — I sent them the column, they loved it, they ran with it. And it’s clear from what I wrote that it was to be a coordinated effort. As for the Inquirer and the Star, I don’t know if they knew, but I think Quark and Erwin did inform them. Erwin’s was delayed because of a misunderstanding — they thought he wanted it to come out on the day of the NU Rock Awards itself ;p I never expected, however, that we would be doing an Actual Awards Night 😀 When the idea came up, I was like, “Game!’
“I never expected, however, that we would be doing an Actual Awards Night 😀 When the idea came up, I was like, ‘Game!'”
Paul: Who first came out with the idea of producing the first ever QLE Awards? Shawn Yao?
Luis:: Am not sure actually. I heard about it from Quark, who just said, “People have been telling me we should do this!” But the first person who came forth and said, “I will help you guys organize this and make this happen” — because Quark, Erwin and I couldn’t have done it on our own — was Gang Badoy, head of Rock Ed. :D:D For which we are immeasurably grateful.
Paul: And they just happened to have an event in Route 196 on December 10, right? On record I wish I took up Shawn’s idea when she commented. We actually have SweetSpot on December 5 hahaha
Luis:: At first it was supposed to be this weekend, actually. (Saturday) Then Dec. 10 was decided upon by JP I think 🙂 Oh, I love Sweetspot gigs. Who’s playing?
Paul: Los Baños bands (courtesy of Caio Cadiz of Milagros Dancehall) + SoulExperiment (courtesy of Pen Uy of Yosha)
Paul: In your mind’s eye what do you think will happen after QLE? You think the 16th Nu107 Rock Awards will be different?
Luis:: I wouldn’t imagine that the NU Awards would change the way they do things because of something we did. Am just happy we were able to call some attention to some very deserving artists. Not that these artists need us either — but I do think that because of all this we at least reached some people who were persuaded to check them out 🙂
Paul: The last question got me to thinking, will the next QLE Awards be always AFTER Nu107 Rock Awards? Otherwise, they might just wait on your choices? You see that happening? I mean the choices of you, Quark and Erwin do carry some weight – you see this happening?
Luis:: You mean, if we ever decide to announce our nominees before THEY announce their nominees, they might be influenced? 😉 You mean, if we ever decide to announce our nominees before THEY announce their nominees, they might be influenced? 😉
Paul: yeah.so it goes without saying that you would need to do QLE only after Nu107 has released their list of nominees or at least finalized it?
Luis:: Well, first of all, iba talaga yung proseso sa NU. Since they go through all that text voting stuff (though their nominees are not solely based on that). So I think, IF we continue the QLE, our winners (wala nang nominees – ba’t pa) will be determined solely on the basis of our personal preferences, with no regard for whether or not we can/should influence NU. In other words, while we were spurred into action this year largely because of their nominees list, if we carry on, we will be making OUR list regardless of whatever NU chooses to do or not do. So theoretically, we might have a year where our lists of winners look the same 😉 And that would be fun
“In other words, while we were spurred into action this year largely because of their nominees list, if we carry on, we will be making OUR list regardless of whatever NU chooses to do or not do.”
Paul: I noticed that. There were very few intersections of your choices except with “Ang Pusa Mo” by Pedicab for Best Video that was chosen both by Erwin and Quark. Was that intentional?
Luis:: Intentional in what sense? Oh, you mean as a ‘balance’ to the Rock Awards?
Paul: That there were no intersections. There was really no unanimity between the 3 of you. It’s like the 3 of you really have different tastes.
Luis:: Ah yes 🙂 That’s the beauty of it, in a way
Paul: Well that. And also the choices of the 3 of you were all different except with “Ang Pusa Mo” where Erwin and Quark agreed. So is it DELIBERATE that you choose DIFFERENT artists per CATEGORY since you don’t have nominations in the first place?
Luis:: The 3 of us obviously love music, and follow the local music scene very closely, but we don’t have the same tastes. Quark and Erwin also agreed on best cover. And Erwin and I agreed on artist of the year. It wasn’t DELIBERATE in the sense that we insisted on DIFFERENT artists per CATEGORY
Luis:: We really just came up with the categories, and filled them in separately, with no regard for what the others might choose, and it so happened that in 3 categories, 2 of us agreed. and in one category — COMEBACK — ALL of us agreed. 🙂
Paul: Oh yeah my bad. hahaha I didn’t scroll down that time …
Paul: I wanted to ask this question since you’re like the neutral one here – Erwin really had a harsh review of Taken by Cars entitled “Taken by Bores” yet Quark chose them for Album of the Year – what’s your take on that? 🙂
Luis:: To be honest, I had the idea that we SHOULD ‘plan’ our winners — “spread the wealth” so to speak — but luckily we decided not to do it that way, and really just alotted one slot per ‘judge’ per category, with no deals or trades.
Ah, now THAT’S interesting 😉
Well, since we decided not to ‘meddle’ in each other’s choices, and Quark REALLY loves them, Erwin let it be. He didn’t even make a fuss, really. The QLEs aren’t about putting down acts, they’re about promoting the good stuff. We were actually going to have some “negative” awards — Worst Album, Most Pointless Comeback, etc. — but we decided against them in the end. Buti na lang!
Luis:: And since the choices of the QLEs really are meant to be personal, honest, and unsullied by other considerations, Quark’s love of TBC resulted in them winning thrice.
Paul: I’m kind of in the middle of this – if I were to choose half of the awards will go to Drip but for “fairness” I chose the artists I chose in my QLE hommage – so I kind of understand how hard it would be for the 3 of you hahaha
Luis:: For the record, I like Taken By Cars too. Not as much as Quark does tho ;p Yeah, I love the Drip album A LOT 😀 And their live performances too of course
Paul: Which brings up this question – what was your cut-off date? Did you ever listen to the Lover’s Quarrel album by Mike’s Apartment – I just kept listening to it again and again – I really think it’s the libretto of a neo-soul opera waiting to happen.
Luis:: Actually, that’s the funny thing — even in a personal, we-call-all-the-shots ‘awards show’ like this, I think we still didnt have room for all the ‘honors’ we wanted to bestow ;);) Like the Itchyworms came out with some pretty killer songs… Luckily they’re represented under Live Act. And they are a pretty awesome Live Act. And if I could have chosen TWO Songs of the Year, I would have added “Identity Theft” 🙂 But then if we just listed everything it might not have the same impact. And people might get tired of wading through such a list.
“And if I could have chosen TWO Songs of the Year, I would have added ‘Identity Theft’ :)”
Paul: That’s true. Did you have a cut-off date like January to November 2008?
Luis:: Exactly that 🙂 Jan to Nov. I was wondering whether to include Dec 2007 (OBS, Purplechickens, etc) but in the end it was simpler to stick to 2008
Paul: So the 3 of you are going to host the first QLE Awards? What can we expect?
Luis:: At this point, even WE don’t know what to expect, really 😉 Just performances, presentations of awards, and lotsa fun. 😀 Rock Ed is setting things up and it’s taking shape as we speak.
Paul: Thanks for the Facebook Chat interview Luis! 🙂 I’ll post this on my blogs 🙂 I hope people will start buying the albums of the artists that won the QLE Awards! Hopefully I can interview Quark and Erwin one of these days!
Luis:: Thanks Paul! 🙂
Paul: You’re welcome! anything that will serve, uplift and encourage OPM! 🙂
Luis:: Amen 😀
Paul: Hahaha Amen! So it is written so it shall be done! 🙂