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Radioactive Sago Project are a nine-member jazz fusion rock band with spoken word vocals provided by Lourd De Veyra.
Radioactive Sago Project are unique for their caustic and often tongue-in-cheek lyrics recited against a backdrop of a vibrant brass section. RSP’s funk, psychedelic, and big band influences are apparent in all their albums.
RSP are also well-known as a musical project fronted by Lourd De Veyra, a poet, activist, award-winning writer, composer, DJ, and TV personality.
Radioactive Sago Project have released four studio albums and continue to perform live.
Album and Songlist
The Radioactive Sago Project (2000)
1. Funebre in X Minor No. 1
2. Overture: Escape from Planet Sago
3. Black Smoke Blues
4. Tungkol Sa Wala
5. Spaceship 711
6. Gusto Ko Ng Baboy
7. Pudong Vs. Pablo
8. Love Ka Ni S…
9. Caffeine Jolt Jazz
10. Yellow Magic Mushroom Sutra
11. Mood Music
13. Humanap Ka Ng Panget (Andrew E cover)
14. Funebre In Y Major No. 11
Urban Gulaman (2004)
1. Metamphetamine Hydrosuicide
2. Hello Hello
3. Gin Pomelo
5. Ninakaw ang Bag Ko
7. Alaala ni Batman
8. Nalulunod sa isang Basong Tubig
10. Bad Motherfucker
11. Mr. Pogi In Space
12. Huwag Kang Maingay May Naglalaba
Tanginamo Ang Daming Nagugutom Sa Mundo Fashionista Ka Pa Rin (2007)
1. George Estregan Groove Explosion
2. Wasak na Wasak
3. Basagan ng Mukha
5. Alak, Sugal, Kape, Babae, Kabaong
7. Raul Aragon=Ricky Torre
9. Food Trip
10. Nasusunog Ang Maynila
11. For Adult’s Only
Ang Itlog At Ang Demonyo (2014)
1. Ang Bansa Ng Pambansa
6. Samba Kanor
7. Utak Garapata
9. Miting Ng Mga Atay
10. Sino Ka Ba, Pepe
The exact circumstances that brought the original lineup of Radioactive Sago Project together are unknown. But the band’s inception dates to the late 1990s. Profiles of RSP claim they formed in 1999, releasing their first album a year later. It suffices to indicate that the group became active on the cusp of the 2000s.
RSP's formation took place when Lourd de Veyra and his brother Francis, a bass player, began collaborating with musicians from the UP College of Music in Diliman, Quezon City.
The original lineup consisted of Francis de Veyra on bass and Jay Gapasin on drums with EJ Delgado on guitars. EJ Delgado has since been replaced by guitarist Junji Lerma, who joined the band in 2003.
RSP’s most novel feature is its brass section, which formerly included Ryan Zapanta and Rastem Eugenio on saxophones. The current lineup now features Roxy Modesto on tenor saxophone, Pards Tupas on the trombone, Wowie Anzano on the trumpet, and percussionist Arwin Nava.
The majority of the members of RSP’s original lineup were from the U.P. Music Program while Lourd de Veyra is an alumnus of UST.
Remarkably, RSP’s first forays into live concerts were in front of small literary circles. This reflects the band’s connections with the local writing scene. Frontman Lourd de Veyra began writing lyrics as on offshoot of his interest in poetry before pursuing a career in journalism.
Despite their obscure origins RSP managed to get signed with a mainstream record label, Viva Records, and by 2000 the band released their self-titled debut album. It’s worth noting that RSP’s performance level and musical skill was already mature by their first LP, which isn’t preceded by a demo or an EP. The single Baboy launched them into the airwaves and the song is RSP’s best known hit—arguably their last to have received massive airplay across the Philippines.
Although RSP’s music and first album were well-received, the band’s outlandishness in terms of style, content, and genre eventually led to their departure from Viva Records. Rather than go their separate ways or pursue different musical endeavors, the de Veyra brothers and the rest of RSP began working on new material. Their sophomore album, Urban Gulaman, was released via Terno Recordings, an indie label that continues to support the band until the present. To keep in touch with their fans, RSP maintained a large e-mail mailing list with 1,000 or more addresses. This allowed them to circulate updates and announce upcoming gigs before the advent of Twitter and Facebook.
Urban Gulaman was another example of RSP’s penchant for combining social commentary with off-beat pop culture references, with an emphasis on local Filipino cinema and consumer brands. The album also introduced two of RSP’s most enduring if lesser-known songs, Astro and Alaala Kay Batman. The former had an entertaining music video that spoofed Filipino B movies during the 1970s.
The band reached a creative and commercial peak with their third album Tanginamo Ang Daming Nagugutom Sa Mundo Fashionista Ka Pa Rin. Although it no longer enjoyed as much airplay as their debut effort, Tanginamo… is held in greater esteem by their audience.
Thanks to its promotional distribution among local print magazines and newspapers, the album garnered positive reviews and was eventually nominated for several awards for radio station’s NU107’s annual awards ceremony. The band members actually charted their third album’s release and reception in the short-lived blog Radioactivesagoproject, which lasted until 2008. In 2007 RSP performed in the 5th Manila Jazz Festival and continued performing live in other venues.
Due to the demands of their professional careers and mixed schedules, RSP’s output was nil for several years after their third album. Lourd de Veyra was also preoccupied with a budding media career, having transitioned to TV work after years spent writing copy for a newspaper. Meanwhile, Francis de Veyra had to juggle his commitment to teaching in a major university with his role as a music producer.
Despite the long gaps between their releases RSP have kept their style fresh and surprising, with much of their sarcasm and humor intact.
The band’s videography is as colorful as their music. RSP music videos, notably the faux-vintage short film for Astro from their 2004 album Urban Gulaman starred comedians Ramon Bautista and Jun Sabayton.
To this day De Veyra, Bautista, and Sabayton collaborate on media projects for television.
In late 2012, RSP performed the song Trip on camera for the second season of Tower Session, the video series produced by Tower of Doom.
The band’s fourth album Ang Itlog At Ang Demonyo was recorded throughout 2013 and completed the following year.
On July 1, 2014, RSP officially launched it with an exclusive concert in Parañaque.
Later in 2014, RSP’s live rendition of Utak Garapata from their new album was recorded and published online. The filmed performance took place at a popular music venue in Taguig.
RSP don’t belong to any particular genre, although their lineup and musical style takes after the jazz bands of the 1940s and 1960s.
There’s also a distinct Latin and Hispanic vein running through RSP’s songs, an atmosphere that seems to trace its roots to New Orleans and Havana rather than Quezon City, where RSP’s founding members are based.
But after four albums, RSP have mixed so many other influences into their oeuvre—from funk to hard rock—that they can easily be identified with these genres too.
Perhaps a capsule bio from indie label Terno Recordings describes them best. The eight piece ensemble…plays a critically acclaimed mélange of spoken word poetry, jazz, punk, soul, afro-latin, metal, and a mad sundry of musical styles sprinkled with massive doses of humor and irony.
But RSP’s popularity is also derived from the lyrics of their songs, which blend sarcasm and social commentary that’s often not very subtle.
Pop culture references are rife in their lyrics, including homage to Filipino and foreign TV and film and the themes found in these mediums.
Lourd De Veyra - Vocals
Francis De Veyra - Bass
Jay Gapasin - Drums
Junji Lerma - Guitars
Wowie Ansano - Trumpet
Pards Tupas - Trombone
Roxy Modesto - Saxophone
Arwin Nava - Percussion
B-Boy Garcia - Turntable (also performs with Queso and Greyhoundz)
EJ Delgado - Guitars
Ryan Zapanta -Saxophone
Rastem Eugenio - Saxophone
Awards and Recognition
Nu Rock Awards 2007
Winner Producer of the Year - Lourd and Francis de Veyra ,Tanginamo Ang Daming Nagugutom Sa Mundo Fashionista Ka Pa Rin LP
Music Videos and Other Media
Official Music Videos
Alaala kay Batman
Tanginamo Ang Daming Nagugutom Sa Mundo Fashionista Ka Pa Rin
Wasak na Wasak
Ang Itlog At Ang Demonyo
Utak Garapata (Live at 19east)
All photos sourced from: