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Earthmover is a post rock trio from Manila known for their atmospheric instrumental compositions. The band gained buzz in the underground music scene because of their noise-driven live shows that create emotional climates within the space.The band has fronted for several international acts, such as And So I Watch You From Afar, Battles, and Caspian. In 2014, Earthmover represented Filipino music in Singapore’s Baybeats Music Festival.
The band was formed in 2011 when cousins Dru Ubaldo (drums) and Daniel Garcia (guitars) wanted to form a post rock band, as they were both huge enthusiasts of the genre. The two started composing ambient, instrumental pieces and realized that they needed another member to piece everything together. Ubaldo and Garcia invited their good friend and bassist, Gerald Guererro, to fill in the gaps, and thus Earthmover was born.
Hailing from Quezon City, the members come from a decade of actively playing in bands from different genres, such as Kneel on Nails, Sound, Lampara, and Sikatuna. Earthmover entered the music scene with their debut independent release, First Sighting EP, in March 2012.
As more and more people were exposed to their live shows, the Earthmover fanbase continued to grow. The positive feedback from their followers and peers alike continued to spread, and it wasn’t long until they became regarded as one of the most innovative instrumental bands to have appeared on Philippine shores in the last decade.
The style of Earthmover is heavy instrumental rock, and their music is often compared to artists like This Will Destroy You, Caspian, and Explosions In the Sky. In several interviews, the band details how they tell stories or musical narratives with their songs, and that they go through emotional and psychological preparations before playing gigs.
Earthmover is known for their tempo swivels, dramatic riffs, manic plucking, jazzy percussion play and groovy bass lines that form cascading rhythms. Their tracks have certain patterns, filled with slow build-ups and powerful outbursts that engage their listeners in a multi-sensory manner. This style was presented in their First Sighting EP, which gained critical acclaim after its release in 2012.
Since their songs are primarily instrumental, the band sees this opportunity to ask their fans to create their own interpretations of the songs, resulting to a deeper artist-listener bond. “During the formative years when we were writing the first draft of the songs, we thought of it as an advantage so we can push the theatrical angle of the sound— experiment more on song structures, soundscapes, and make it more open to interpretation,” said the band, in an interview with Team Manila.
In the same year, the band released a live performance of a new song called “Ivered Ago,” which was recorded at Love One Another Studio in Pasig. The song was inspired by a trip in the mountains, where members of the band listened to Bon Iver’s album, “For Emma, Forever Ago” non-stop (hence the title).
In 2014, the band released another single called “Chasing Reverie.” To promote the single, they invited their fans to create art as a cover for the release.
In April 2018, the band released their latest single, “Z” through their social media channels. The song is darker and heavier compared to their past releases. The release and reaction from their fanbase and peers proved that they have maintained their commanding style as pioneers of the local post rock scene.
Aside from their musicianship, one of the strongest qualities of the band is their ability to record, mix and master their own tracks, with Ubaldo and Garcia working as sound engineers for Point Bee Multimedia, where they produce most of their songs.
All members of the band are heavily influenced by Deftones, citing the band as a childhood favorite. “That band became a part of our lives,” said the band in an interview by Bandwagon Asia, with Garcia saying that it’s common to hear Deftones in their sound.
While the comparison to Deftones happens a lot, Garcia said in a separate interview that they don’t do it on purpose. “It’s just natural and hardwired in us. We don’t plan it.”
Other bands that inspired their sound are Sigur Ros, This Will Destroy You, Jaga Jazzist, Meshuggah, Silverchair, Mae, 65 Days of Static and Deafheaven.
Earthmover Album and Songlist Discography
First Sighting EP (2012)
Other Releases / Singles:
1. Ivered Ago (2012)
2. Chasing Reverie (2014)
3. Z (2018)
The three members of the band are longtime friends and were all previously in the metalcore band, Sikatuna, where Garcia was the vocalist.
Bassist Gerald Guererro said that the band treats sampling as their fourth member. “We focus more on the groove and locking in. Of course, dreamscape sounds through sampling is important; we treat it as our 4th member,“ explains Gerald on their heavy use of presets, samples, and looping,” commented Guererro.
Daniel Garcia – Guitars
Dru Ubaldo – Drums, samples
Gerald Guererro - Bass
Other Band Member Related Information
After opening for the post rock band Caspian live in Manila in March 2014, guitarist Philip Jamieson described Earthmover’s music as “Deftones without the lyrics.”
Earthmover sampled a quote from Mikey, a character from the movie The Goonies, “Down here it’s our time, it’s our time down here,” in their song, Three.
The band performed in Singapore for the Baybeats music festival in May 2014.
Earthmover Music Videos and Other Media
Live Performance Videos (Playlist)
Official Music Videos (Playlist)
Official Lyric Videos & Other Content (Playlist)