Jep Peligro (Biñan, Laguna) -- Konspirazine publisher, music fanatic since 12, all around nice guy
1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and what keeps you busy other than music?
Hello Hippie. How are you doing, bro? Thank you for considering myself to be a part of your cool project. I don't think I would be the best person to include on your series of interviews, but I would be more than happy to take part in it and share what little I know. My name is Jeff, I go by Jep Peligro. I was born in Santa Cruz, Manila, and grew up all over Manila and Q.C. Other than being a music fanatic, I keep myself busy with trying to run my own music-related fanzine, a web blog (not web zine, *cough cough*) and in between those, I try to pretend to be a normal human being slaving myself away for the man 7.5 hours a day/ 5 days a week. Thank you so much.
2. So how/when did you get into the scene? Who/what influenced you?
I never imagined there had been an active U.G. scene here in our shores back when I was a kid and collecting tapes from Manila's record/tape stores. In my ignorance, I thought the re-issued TRC tapes I collected (during the mid-90's, mind you) were of bands that were no longer active and altogether ceased existence. Man, was I so wrong. Reading local scene reports and show reviews in the Rock & Rhythm magazines made me aware we had an active, thriving U.G. scene, and that it was myself who was out of touch with this scene. By '96-'97, my elder sister joined a Riot Grrl band [Cherry Bomb], whose sound shifted to a 90's Victory Records-inspired Hardcore style, and from there, my knowledge of the scene grew more. The earliest crew that baptized me more into Hardcore Punk were from Washington, Makati composed of the guys from Dominus Cross. Countless gigs tagging along with those two bands later got me introduced to all these great bands who rounded up the bar scenes (haha), the basketball court gigs, multi-purpose halls, garages, hell, anywhere an open space can accomodate band equipment for a show were all fair game. My influences were all my early mentors in the scene, including the fine fellas at Loads Of Motherhood, Mindrape, Tame The Tikbalang, Resurrected, Gas, Skrewheds, Bulldozed, Milagro/Barrier, Eight Ounce, Children Of The Damned, Homecide (pre-Piledriver), Ground Zero, and almost all of the early Laguna scenesters. That was mostly where gigs were prevalent and I almost always attended their shows there.
3. How did the Laguna scene come about? How is it different from other scenes, say, Manila and other provincial scenes?
Like I mentioned, I wouldn't be the best resoure person to consult as to how the scene, particularly in Laguna, came about, as I pretty much got involved only during the scene's 2nd wave. But if you go into the Laguna scene's history books, you will find out the scene's pioneers were of two excellent, well-respected Hardcore Punk bands by the names of AGGRESSIVE DOG ATTACK and of course, the almighty BIOFEEDBACK. These 2 bands started the ball rolling with playing their brand of music whenever Manila & other provincial scenes invited them over to play gigs, and from there, these crew brought that same DIY attitude back home and began organizing local shows as well. That move spawned the birth of other great Laguna bands like Camote Chunks, New Found Heritage, Social Outrage, they were mostly crews and collectives made up of these above mentioned bands. As well, there were the groups behind these bands such as the Strong South Laguna, Killing Squad crew, Crossxblood crew, Southside Strong Locos, Dare To Care, etc. These were from the lower Laguna areas, not to forget the upper Laguna scenes brewing in the Calamba, to the San Pablo-Los Baños areas, namely the Acid Cow collective, Playground Suicide & such. As you can imagine, we've had plenty enough to keep our little scene growing at a steady pace. Notable bands that came out of this era include Anal Scream, Aberrant, Autumn Willow, B.N.B., Barrier/Milagro, Balance, Before 21, Bent, Bio-Jerks, Brainsalad, Broken Frame, Bubblegum, Charved Neck, C.B.E., Chilidogs, Crackpots, Crimage, Counter Attack, Catacomb, Downgrade, Expendable Youth, Failure Of Truth, Hand-Painted Wall, Holding Hands, Hulk Hogan, Jellyfish Babies, Jolly Pops, Kiddie Corps, Kambing, Life Is Short, Lotus Pride, Mellow Del Prado, Mortus, N.S.P., On A Day Like Today, Outlast, Parkas Atropos, Progression, Rabid Chihuahuas, S.A.W., Sk8 Fags, Space Cow, Spanky, Spenglers, Touchdown, Tons Of Intense, This Was I, Thin Line, Valley Of Chrome, Village Idiots, Whatanoodle, and lots more my memory escapes me.
How is it different from the other scenes? I can proudly say that during the 90's, when the scene was laying dead, Laguna put that spark back and jump-started the dying scene back to life. Look it up in our history books and you'll see that this scene was the first to manage the feat of hosting the first ever DIY tour of a foreign band to our local shores (1995 with punk band All You Can Eat from California, USA), that inspired countless other scenes/crews to follow their lead. We also had the country's first mail-order distro Crossxblood Distribution dubbing foreign lp's, cd's and cassettes into dubbed cassette tapes made easily accessible (Read: sold dirt-cheap) to local kids at local shops and local shows, thus spreading the Hardcore Punk reality to the masses hungry for their fix.No other scene achieved that status during the 90's as far as I recall.
4. How much do you think the local scene has changed in the last 30 years? Why do you think "divisions" still exist? You know, punk vs. hardcore/metal, old school vs. new school.
I honestly couldn't round up the whole 30 years as I have only been observing our scene for the past 16-17 years since I was introduced to it bro. But from what I've seen, the scene we have now couldn't be any better. You have countless, talented bands I can seriously say we could throw in there with the other international acts with pride. A lot of bands have become better musicians and even those are no longer limited to the Metro Manila areas anymore. Although recently, I've observed as well that new kids/bands entering our scene all have it too easy thanks to this age of the interwebs. Sure, we all started from scratch and built our knowledge on the scene by attending countless gigs, collecting zines, interacting with bands we dig, and networking through snail mail and word of mouth, til we satisfied ourselves and learned all we could from such activities, that all has changed now. Kids today have it too easy with Google,Youtube, Facebook and such. I just hope they all put their hearts into it because if you're just a bored kid with nothing better to do, you only make our scene a superficial one and it loses meaning that way. Anyhow, I would not fuckin' encourage it and sure as hell won't allow it.
As far as I'm concerned, these so called divisions no longer exist. That may have been through for the 90's scene, but I've been to alot of shows lately where Metal dominated gigs have a couple of Hardcore bands lined up, and some Hardcore gigs have got a couple of Metal bands lined up too., I don't think these so-called divisions are tolerated much as almost everyone I know from these different scenes all know each other. Of course, there's gonna be that 1 or 2 bands/guys who will insist on having it divided, but don't let it ruin anything for you. They simply need to grow up.
5. What are some of your fondest memories in the scene? Any funny/sad experiences you'd like to share? Anyone/anything you miss?
My fondest memories of the scene are those times I experienced with the Laguna crew back in those "glorious" years of our youth, man, The Crossxblood, Skrewheds, Bulldozed, Barrier & Milagro crews were a crazy bunch and were my "kuya's" in the scene. I miss hanging out with these bunch, countless nights getting drunk at the Crossblood headquarters in Binan, Laguna, watching how those guys operated (dubbing tapes, photocopying foreign zines for local, sell-at-cost distrubution, etc), attending & watching gigs with 30 or more of us in attendance doing the public commutes to and from venues, pooling everyone's money to get by, etc etc. Man, those were fun times, indeed. I hung out with those motherfuckers when I was 16 and all through my teens. Yeah, I've been schooled by the cream of the crop and that's a pride I wear in my sleeve to this day. much love and respect to the Laguna crew.
6. You have a lot of experience as a zine writer and probably one of the very good few who are still at it. Can you say something about the role of zines in the scene, for those who might not be familiar with them?
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Zines are the backbone of our local underground Hardcore & Punk scenes. Forget all the trendy, glossy magazines trying to penetrate our scene (especially Pulp mag and their likes..) Fanzines are our scene's history books. These are done by honest scene fanatics who want nothing more for the scene than to be properly documented and immortalized in their work. We don't have corporate bosses who lick asses of major, multinational, capitalist "sponsors", and don't have to make a trend of a movement led by honest, hardworking bands/people. Simply put, we keep it real, motherfuckers. We are selfish that way, yes. Ask yourself and answer it honestly. If these glossy mags reach a wider audience and our Hardcore Punk bands want in on it because of that lame-ass excuse, isn't it more sensible for these bands to tour their asses off and correspond through snail mail or even the internet to reach these supposedly "wider audience"? Will they say that touring out of pocket is expensive without a glossy mag sponsor? Well, do their understanding of Hardcore Punk translate to living a Hardcore Punk band life the easy way? you tell me. Support your local zines and keep it steady at a grassroots level. Love it or get the fuck out of the underground.
I wasn't born knowing what fanzines are. I learned about it from reading the 90's local music magazine Rock & Rhythm. From there. my interest in zines grew, and helped me dig deeper in my research. Communicate and write your local zinemakers now.
7. In pre-internet days, zines were a big way for kids to learn about new bands, records, gigs, etc. The net has had a huge impact on the scene, as it has on indie music as a whole. How has zine/music culture changed since the rise of the internet/blogs/social networks?
Well for one thing, the internet age has spawned a lot of poser web-log sites ("blogs") since it's advent and that has encouraged the stay-at-home mentality and learn everything you can through the internet type of kids who don't come out to live shows, don't purchase records directly from bands and don't purchase or trade paper zines directly from zinemakers. Good thing or bad, I dunno man. Although the fact remains the internet has made it a hundred times easier to get connected to like-minded individuals halfway across the globe, but only up to a certain extent. The most adverse effect I can see this internet age has on our scene is to make kids more lax and more ungrateful to the pioneers who started the scene they now enjoy. You see all these little fucks claiming punk or hardcore but as soon as you discuss G.I & The Idiots or Wuds or I.O.V. or Betrayed or R.D.A. or Urban Bandits and these little fuckers think you're fuckin' crazy or on drugs. WTF is up with that, mr.Internet, eh? You bring fanzines to sell or trade at shows and these li'l fucker woukd rather purchase their latest band t-shirts that cost 90% more than your zine you just have to grin and bear it. These little fucks have to remember to use the internet to their advantage and not to their enprisonment.
8. Finally, how can we get a copy of your zine? Any websites/stuff you'd like to promote? Shout-outs?
My zines are mostly available in Laguna (Binan-Sta.Rosa) gigs or Quezon City gigs or hell, at any gig I feel like supporting, I mostly bring a bunch for trade/selling. Mail orders are welcome but don't expect a quick reply as I can be a lazy fuck oftentimes. Just send me your mailing address and we could go from there. I have a download blog that ocassionally have excerpts of contents from old issues of my zine I had put out but even that had not been updated for the longest time. So sue me, I don't care. Haha. Kidding aside, it's at www.therealstrength.blogspot.com. Drop me a line there on my chatbox. Please do not stop listening to Biofeedback, ever. Listen to their songs, understand their message (applicable all throughout your life), and enjoy life with them. I did, and still do. They take away the pain and make this shitty life bearable. Communicate and never tire supporting your local zinesters, bands, show organizers, and the fans. DIY by all means necessary. Sincerity, Integrity, Faith & Action! Shout out to my real strength Gighie Bravo, for giving life and love. Cheers Hippie Teenage Anger! Always keep the faith!
Jep Peligro, Konspirazine life & thought fanzine. Binan, Laguna. Music fanatic since I was 12. I love New Wave and that's where it all started, thanks to my cousin JJ and my elder siblings. I ride a trike and a jeep everyday going to and from the corporate penitentiary and I hate the fact that I do that. I'm an all around nice guy according to my mom, but whenever I declare facts I observe within the scene, I lose friends & make new enemies. Such is life. Cheers!
17 Sept. '12 Upd8 from Jep Peligro:
9. Why the name "Konspira Zine," who came up with it? What year did your zine start and how many issues have you published since then?
Back in 1997-1998 I really can't recall bro, I had my own zine (the amateurish Propaganda zine that had a bold print run of at least around twenty copies, ultra-rare even I don't have a copy of it) based out of Makati, where I was residing at that time. During those times I was going up to hang out with the fellas at Binan, Laguna, and it was there that I got to meet and be friends with Treb, who used to do vocals for San Pedro-Binan's Children Of The Damned, before eventually forming Piledriver with the fellas from the old Sta.Rosa City's Homecide who were splitting up around that time. Treb had his own zine back then (Have You Zine Your Life?) and one day we got the idea of joining forces to do a new zine. That was were we got the name Conspirazine from. After our initial first issue, things just kept getting in the way and we were never able to pull off the 2nd issue (all saved on soft drives that had since vanished into oblivion.)
Some interviews were still saved on my email inboxes and some went to heaven. Until Treb eventually went full time vocalist for his band and sometime after relocated to the U.S. for the most part, in early to mid 2000's I went into hibernation mode, missing a lot, I mean really, really lots of shows, activies and all, as I began to get myself counted into the corporate workforce lifestyle. Now, that sucked man.
It was only around late 06-07 I began going back to shows, and by 2009, decided I wanted to get back to my zinewriting duties as I wanted a more focused approach on paper publications covering the real underground and not just those that get mentioned in big name glitter magazines. So far as of press time I've come up with 5 issues on a more or less 12-13 years stretch, yeah that's pretty lame, I know but you have to exclude the decade-long hiatus I went on. I'm now rounding up the latest issue (6) which hopefully, if time and laziness permits, should be out on the streets anytime soon, a month or two perhaps.
"Today a blog, tomorrow a book. A