Hello! We are The Buildings, an independent rock band based in Manila. Our band was formed in 2014—currently with Mariah Reodica on vocals and guitar, Dominic Zinampan on bass, and Kean Reformado on drums. We’re about to embark on a massive journey to tour around Japan in 2023. Two weeks, around ten shows, in several cities.
We’ve been around for eight years now as an independent band. Although it would be easier to say that what united us was a shared love for ‘90s alternative and indie rock, proto- and post-punk, and other genres deemed unfashionable during the early 2010s, it was more perhaps a feeling of being out-of-place and out-of-sync that deeply brought (and still brings) us together, compounded by the strong impulse to develop songs together and share them with the world.
In wanting to preserve our DIY sensibility, of sharing our material in a state that we are all happy with, without ever having to compromise and meet the demands of anyone or anything but ourselves, we have spent the past eight years trying to carve out our own space and discover our own trajectory.
This largely means that the approach that best resonates with us is to do everything ourselves—from the heady, creative tasks of songwriting, performance, audio production, and overall artistic direction for all things band-related to the more humdrum managerial duties of scheduling gigs and rehearsals, plotting out itineraries, negotiating with gig organizers and label heads, and coordinating with CD printers, merch suppliers, and the music press, among others.
While we have mostly approached things with a DIY ethic, such as with our two albums Cell-O-Phane (2016) and Heaven is a Long Exhale (2021), we really would not have survived this long without the help of our friends. Many have helped us along the way, from offering to provide art (e.g. images, videos, etc.) to accompany our songs, to put out our albums in different formats and sell them, and to organize shows—both physical and virtual—for us.
We are at a point that we need help more than ever.
In early 2020, we were already in touch with Ian Martin of Tokyo-based label Call and Response Records, a fiercely independent label operating in Koenji, a hotspot for Japanese bands, since 2005. We jived because of how they’ve championed their eclectic roster of outsider acts, and their DIY ethos resonated with us from across the sea. Ian offered to release our second album through his label and, to help us promote the album, organize a series of shows in Japan initially scheduled for 2021. It was also around this time that we were discussing with Naga City-based label Struggle Records the possibility of playing a show in Naga City in Southern Luzon.
However, all of these plans were put on hold when, on March 17, 2020, the first enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was implemented in Luzon. While we were able to eventually work around the quarantine measures and record and release our second album, Heaven is a Long Exhale (2021), on Ian’s label as well as play a series of shows in Southern Luzon with the help of Struggle Records earlier this year, we have yet to fulfill our pre-pandemic dream of performing in Japan. Following the playback of a recorded performance of ours and the warm reception it received, our desire to connect with our audience in Japan has only gotten stronger.
This crowdfunding campaign will help us secure expenses for our transportation (i.e. round-trip flight tickets and transportation within Japan), accommodations, and food for the three band band members, our touring member Wax Roldan, and our manager Sarah Buendia. Our goal is to play ten shows across Japan in the span of 2 weeks.
The breakdown of expenses for the 2-week tour will be:
- Flights, including baggage expenses - 90,000
- Accommodations in Japan - 80,000
- JR Passes - 20,000
- Food & Misc. Fees - 50,000
We know that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adds a lot of uncertainties to the already challenging task of planning a tour. We’ve already booked rebookable flight tickets in the case that one of us is unable to fly or that Japan and/or the Philippines undergo another lockdown. In the dire case that the tour has to be postponed, we’ll work to reschedule to the next possible dates that are feasible with our budget.
As an indie band, we’re deeply grateful to our indie label Call And Response Records for booking a nationwide Japan tour, but between the both of us, our resources are still limited. In case we do not reach our target, we’re still determined to play two weeks as what we earn at each show still goes towards paying for the tour. But we’ll certainly have to cut corners, whether we have to sleep in a van or perhaps scrounge for nightly discounted meals at the grocery. The difference in the cost of living between Japan and the Philippines is no joke!
Our earnings will primarily be dependent on merch sales and gig honoraria, which are still not guaranteed to cover the cost of our tour. We’re aware that touring on this scale doesn’t reap big bucks, but we’re still determined to do it because of our love for playing and our eagerness to share our music.
From September 2022 to February 2023, we will be busy performing at gigs around the Philippines, booking the gigs in Japan as well as sorting out lodging, rehearsing for these gigs, and organizing events like workshops that will be part of our fundraising campaign. Here is a more detailed list of events that will take place throughout this project:
- September 2022
- Recording of compilation album
- October 2022
- Distribution of merch (e.g. fans, pins, shirts, Cell-O-Phane bootlegs, etc.) to donors according to tiers
- Post-production of compilation album
- November 2022
- Release of compilation album and distribution to donors
- December 2022
- January 2023
- February 2023
- Japan tour
- Gather footage for Japan tour documentary
- March 2023 and onwards
- Start of booking for private gigs
- Post-production of Japan tour documentary, distribution to donors upon completion
Our rewards come in three forms: 1) lovingly-crafted merch; 2) our deepest gratitude in the short documentary we will be making about our tour; and 3) private gigs for our most generous donors. The merch will be distributed at the end of our Spark Project campaign while our most generous donors can book us for private gigs starting around March 2023, after the conclusion of our tour. The short documentary that we will make about our tour might take some time considering that we will be shooting and editing it ourselves. However, we aim to finish the film and distribute a private link to it to our donors before 2023 ends. All pledgers will be put on a mailing list where we will update you with tour reports (including our breakdown of expenses) and shipping updates. We’ll also be coordinating with our top-tier pledgers about holding a private show for them then.
No amount is too small, and we’ll be deeply grateful for anything you are willing to share.
Thank you so much for your support!<3
Mariah, Kean & Dom
|Caloy Diaz||28 August, 2022|
|Janverse Gg||29 August, 2022|
|Jam Lorenzo||30 August, 2022|
|Aki Medina||30 August, 2022|
|Mariel Tuble||30 August, 2022|
|Carlos Manalo||30 August, 2022|
|Jenn De los Ama||30 August, 2022|
|Robert Laurel||30 August, 2022|
|Red Bartolome||30 August, 2022|
|Erika Beldia||30 August, 2022|
|Hamish David Gundry||30 August, 2022|
|Japandraiser Launch||30 August, 2022|
|Art Angelz||30 August, 2022|
|Howie Bakunawa||30 August, 2022|
|Japandraise Launch||30 August, 2022|
|Carmencici's Bakery||5 September, 2022|
|Erica Sangoyo||5 September, 2022|
|Nicole Sarmienta||5 September, 2022|
|Kim Bacani||10 September, 2022|
|Jan Lorenz Encarnacion||12 September, 2022|
|Yason Banal||15 September, 2022|
|Jet and Mae||17 September, 2022|
|M. A.||19 September, 2022|
|Romer Reyes||19 September, 2022|
|Innah||20 September, 2022|
|Mamma Angelie||22 September, 2022|
|Patch Dulay||28 September, 2022|
|maria lourdes reformado||1 October, 2022|
|Ma Concepcion Virtucio||1 October, 2022|
|Carrie Young||1 October, 2022|
|Mike Tee||2 October, 2022|
|nicahappy||2 October, 2022|
|Rebecca Gerodias||3 October, 2022|
|Cecile Fernandez||3 October, 2022|
|Bernadette Vidanes||3 October, 2022|
|Lizzie Atayde||3 October, 2022|
|Marianne Cadiz||4 October, 2022|
|Timi Brioso-Bricia||4 October, 2022|
|Takuya Saeki||4 October, 2022|
|Chit Pascual||6 October, 2022|
|Nathalie Ravago||8 October, 2022|
|Pamela Beatrice Fernandez||9 October, 2022|
|Dianne and Andrei||10 October, 2022|
|Tiny Torres||10 October, 2022|
|Tristan Zinampan||10 October, 2022|
|RICA ESTRADA||10 October, 2022|
|Wataru Abe||11 October, 2022|
Frequently Asked Questions
Back this Campaign
House - ₱500
With this pledge, you'll be rewarded with a Heaven Is A Long Exhale button pin:
Street - ₱1500
With this pledge, you'll receive:
- 1pc. Heaven Is A Long Exhale Button Pin
- And 1pc. Heaven Is A Long Exhale Foldable Hand Fan
Neighborhood - ₱2500
With this pledge, you will receive:
- 1 The Buildings x Little Alagad T-shirt
- And a Special Thanks in the credits of our Japan Tour 2023 Documentary!
Town - ₱3500
With this pledge, you'll receive:
- 1 The Buildings x Little Alagads T-shirt
- Special Thanks in the credits of our Japan Tour 2023 Documentary
- And a digital copy of the Malabong Lababo Studio Compilation Album, with live recordings from artists like Ourselves the Elves, Bird Dens, Ivy Hill and more!
City - ₱5000
With this pledge, you'll receive:
- 1 The Buildings x Little Alagads T-Shirt
- Special Thanks in the credits of the Japan Tour 2023 Documentary
- Malabong Lababo Compilation Album
- Digital copy of the Japan Tour 2023 Documentary