Imbue No Kudos (INK)

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Imbue no Kudos, or INK, is an Olongapo-based rock band with metal and alternative influences. They have received national attention, thanks in part to radio airplay and participation in medium- to large-scale local music tours. The band is famous for their tight live performances and savvy integration of harder music components into a more accessible song format.


Blue Pepperoni

INK started out as Blue Pepperoni, a pop-rock cover band that started with high school friends Herbert, Allan, Jem, Earl, and Darwin. What was different, then, were the instrumental assignments, with vocalist Herbert (Betong) being on drums, Allan (AJ) on lead, and Earl on bass. Darwin was the sole member to carry on his instrument assignment to INK. Their vocalist at this point was Fanita Spears. The band covered tunes from Garbage to Hanson. At one point, the band was invited to perform on the same stage as local superband South Border.

However, though they were recording a demo in the hopes of having an album out, graduation forced all the members to take stock of their futures. At this point, Blue Pepperoni disbanded.

Imbue No Kudos

In 1998, Betong, Darwin, and Jem decided to reform, this time taking the music to a heavier slant, covering tunes from bands like 311 and Rage Against the Machine. Allan eventually joined them again, this time as the bassist. Betong would step up to the microphone, and Jem would take the drummer's seat.

Their first original song, "Superstition," gained airplay at the local radio station, and they joined a band competition. They didn't win, but their presence was noticed enough that they were invited to play at the local underground music venue, Jaco's.

There, they started sharing the stage with big local acts such as Sky Church, Loss of Control, and ChicoSci. Their ability to write original songs jumpstarted many of the other bands in the local scene to also start writing original songs.

Fixing everything into place

The band experienced dynamic lineup changes, with Earl coming back to thicken the guitar sound, and with the addition of Jeffrey Sassone on second vocals. At the largest, the band had nine members.

They also had name issues, as there was another band tht was known as INK. To prevent copyright concerns, they made the name an acronym for "Imbue No Kudpos," roughly translating as "to influence no praise."


Specimen A was the band's first EP release, and the band's sound at that point was heavily influenced by Incubus and the Deftones. Eventually, their work was seen and heard by Eric Perlas of Tower of Doom Records, and he helped them with their second EP release, "In Patience We Live," a fitting title for their 2005 EP release. At this point, Jeffrey had already left the band, and Betong would continue as the main vocalist.

Feedback from the popular market, as INK became one of the top-selling stocks for Tower of Doom. At this point, one of their tracks, "Karisma" was also included in the independent Southeast Asian compilation, One hand Stands Another.

The next few years were a roller coaster of gigs and being onstage opening for the likes of Kamikazee, Urbandub, and Sandwich. The band also participated in both Tower of Doom Siege Tours, and the Invasia Tour as well They also opened for foreign acts like Love Me Butch, Furcurve, and Brand New Sunset. They even joined a World Battle of the Bands contest.

The release of the album But What If We Will became the center around which many of their activities centered and derived from, as they toured heavily the songs from the album.

In 2011, Darwin left the band. AJ then took over his place in guitars, with Vinz de Juan taking over for the bass duties. The band's gig schedule slowed down a bit at this point, but they also opened for Taking Back Sunday in 2012.

To date, they are once again gigging frequently in support of their latest EP, Exit/Exists.

Trivia: What's In A Name?

For some time, the band used the following text to explain their name:
IMBUE (im-byoo) - To inspire or influence thoroughly.
NO (noh) - Used to express refusal, denial, disbelief or disagreement.
KUDOS (koo-dohz) - a statement of praise or approval; accolade; compliment.


INK's music is heavy rock with alternative, metal, and some say post-hardcore influences. Some writeups have stated that in the early on, INK was influenced by the likes of the Deftones and Incubus. Like their influences, they have arrangements based on guitar-centered riffs and melodies, combined with screams and vocals - in fact, the band's earlier incarnation had two vocalists, to divide the clear and screaming vocal parts.

Their Facebook page has included He is Legend, Glassjaw, Poison the Well, The Color Morale, and Beartooth as among the bands that they like.

Imbue No Kudos Album and Songlist Discography

Specimen A (2002)

1. Fatum
2. Superstition
3. Crucifix
4. Taciturn
5. Day I Die

In Patience We Live (2004)

​1. Blank & Faded
2. Karisma
3. The Day We Felt Tomorrow
4. Fractions of Affirmation
5. In Patience We Live

But What If We Will (2007)

​1. She’s Something Else
2. The Fiction Of It All
3. Lonely Star
4. To Hold Everything Above (T.H.E.A)
5. Selfish Night
6. The Test
7. Sino
8. Recover
9. Behind A Paper Wall
10. The Beautiful
11. Kudos (Jafantasy)
12. But What If We Will

Exit/Exists (2014)

​1. Into Your Ocean
2. Welcome to Surrender
3. Intimacycle

Other Releases / Compilation Albums:

One Hand Stands Another (2005)

Tower of Doom Compilation, Vol. 1 (2006)

Rakista Radio Volume 1: Rakrakan Festival '14 (2014)

Imbue No Kudos Members


Current Lineup

Herbert "Betong" Enriquez - Vocals

Allan "AJ" Magsino - Guitar

Earl Santos - Guitar

Vinz de Juan - Bass

Manu Santos - Drums

Past Members

Darwin Alcazar - Guitar
Fanita Spears - Vocals

Jeffrey Sassone - Vocals

Jem Velunta - Drums

Other Band Member Related Information

Betong was originally the drummer of the proto-INK band Blue Pepperoni, before stepping up to be the vocalist in INK. He continues his interest in drumming in his other band, The 21st Fever. AJ Magsino was originally a guitarist in Blue Pepperoni, before taking on the bass duties for INK. However, after Darwin left the band in 2011, he fell back into the guitar slot, with Vinz de Juan taking over on bass. Earl Santos can be said to be the original bass guitarist, as he was that for Blue Pepperoni. However, in INK, he has filled up the guitarist slot, along with Darwin and later, AJ. He was also the last to rejoin the INK lineup from the Blue Pepperoni members. Vinz de Juan was a long time supporter of the band, and in the aftermath of Darwin's exit from INK, he became the bass guitarist, since AJ moved into the vacated guitar slot. He is concurrently the bassist for the hardcore/metal band TIl Kingdom Come. He was the bassist in another band, Mariposa.

Jem Velunta was a drummer for INK at some point, and is an old friend of all the other members who were in Blue Pepperoni. Between Blue Pepperoni and Imbue No Kudos, Darwin was the only one who kept his instrumental seat firmly as rhythm guitarist. He left the band in 2011. Fanita is the original vocalist for when the band was still known as Blue Pepperoni. Jeffery was originally from another band when the members of INK heard him in a band contest. He was invited to join INK as second vocalist, to take care of screams and the more aggressive vocal parts. He eventually left the band after some time.

Imbue No Kudos Music Videos and Other Media

Live Performance Videos (Playlist)

Official Music Videos (Playlist)

Official Lyric Videos & Other Content (Playlist)


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