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Music and Film | Creative Projects

The Buildings Band Japan Tour

Philippines

Help Filipino independent rock band The Buildings tour their album, Heaven Is A Long Exhale, in Japan!

Manila, Philippines
₱200,000.00 funding goal
38 backers
49% funded
7 days left

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.

Maybe you’ve seen us at gigs around Metro Manila, or heard about us online on CNN Philippines Life, Bandcamp, RookieMag, and Rappler.

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

xoxo,

Mariah, Kean & Dom

 

Name Date
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

Frequently Asked Questions

Your donations 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 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.
Depending on how much you pledge, we have prepared a variety of tokens and other rewards. These include shirts, fans, pins, albums (e.g. a limited edition physical bootleg of Cell-O-Phane (plus bonus tracks) as well as a digital compilation album featuring eight acts recorded at Malabong Lababo), copies of our Japan Tour documentary, access to future events, and more!
Our friends at Call And Response Records have contacted gig organizers around Japan and have drafted a rough itinerary for us. We will travel around Japan via train, using Japan Rail Passes that we will purchase once we get there.
The flight tickets we bought allow us to rebook for an unlimited number of times. In the event that we cannot proceed with the tour in February, we will just reschedule the tour and rebook our flight accordingly.
You can book us for a single 30-to-45-minute set—for any event except those that endorse certain politicians, political parties or groups, and their causes—within the National Capital Region (NCR) upon the conclusion of our February 2023 tour. You may request us to play certain songs of ours as long as you tell us in advance. For those outside NCR, we can consider gigs in Regions III (Central Luzon) and IV-A (Calabarzon) or we can record a live performance along with a special message for the donor/s. The only equipment our band can provide for the live performance are two electric guitars, one bass guitar, and pedalboards; the rest (e.g. drum kit, microphones, amplifiers, etc.) must be shouldered by the organizer/s.

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