Welcome to the prequel blog of Sheila and the Insects


Line-up (circa 1999)
Orven "Bisoy" Enoveso - vocals
Ian Zafra - guitars
Benjie - bass
Blair - drums

Attack of the killer bat
Chatting with a legend
Bitter doubts
Lost kite
My most hated band
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"I didn't like the name but it doesn't matter. They played great band music."
- Nina Araknida
Sunstar, Flip / September 15, 2002

"Few rock bands in town could stand at the crossroads of a dynamic and evolving music scene and knock down the high walls that divide music genres and audiences with as much success as Sheila and the Insects. "
- Ronald P. Villavelez
Yup!, Issue 1.03 / November 2001

"Sheila & The Insectsí music is new wave-influenced post-punk rock music that is considerably heavy yet still melodic "
- Cris O. Ramos Jr.
The Manila Times / May 31, 2003

"What does an indie band do with the oft-maligned mix of rock and new wave? In the case of Cebu-based Sheila and the Insects, plenty."
- Ganns Deen
PULP , PulpReviews / Issue 13, March 2001


SATI lyrics
My Writing Exercises
Text jokes

99.5RT Sunday Sessions
CD review
The Pin-up Girls
Girl in Park
Squirrel Talk
Not quite indie

SATI MySpace Page
SATI Auralgasms
SATI Yahoo Group
SATI Purevolume Page
SATI Fiestamundo Page
SATI Friendster Page
IndieCulture Online
NA Records
DMC Ringbacks
Filipino Links
Diaper Dog Pictures

Jr. Kilat
Orange and Lemons
Smooth Friction
Squirrel Talk
Missing Filemon

Real band riders
Faking indie expertise
The Onion
How to dance properly
Shaving tip

Pinoy Radio
Go Listen Live Indie Music

Moon child
Kady Gurl
Torch the skies
Last dodo bird

If you've got a blog you want linked here, let me know. There's a contact form at the bottom.

Sheila and the Insects


Lyrics by Ian Zafra and Orven Enoveso
Music by Simon NuŮez and Ian Zafra

How did you run away?
Why did you end your smiles?
Was it something I said
Or did I say things wrong?
Your heart's now cold

Iím counting the miles
Til I see your face again
Have I hurt you more
than I myself can bear

So tell me where to start
My sad stride froze
I could have loved you more
But my heart, Iím sure,
Is not as clever as you

Will my heart ever know
Or care where youíve gone,
Where you've gone this time
And can I be as proud
As regrets now I bear

So tell me where to start
I fear to try
I should have loved you more
But my heart, I'm sure
Is not as clever

If I'd known then what I'd do
And cared for what I'd done
Too late I know

So tell me where to start
My sad stride froze
I could have loved you more
But my heart, Iím sure,
Is not as clever as you
Clever as you
Is not as clever as you

The last track in Flowerfish and also the last song thrown in the list for the album. The arrangement for this song is deliberately more dance-oriented, a direction the band may explore more in future releases.

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The entries here were lifted from the author's planner unearthed from piles of old stuff. Certain parts and entries considered too private were deleted. This weblog was posted to reveal the real story behind the band's struggles and successes. The author would like to invite viewers to submit personal accounts of their encounters with the band during the period described, for possible inclusion in this account.

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Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Sunstar Daily invited me to write an article. This was what I submitted as a sample work. They liked it but they wanted to pare it down to half its present length. They had space constraints. I'm publishing it here instead.


My suggested column title:
Off-key notes


I hated Sheila and the Insects. If you don't know what I'm talking about, they were the band from Cebu that burst through the Manila music scene circa 2000. Getting noticed with new wave sounding ditties and topping the Manila rock charts with two singles culled from a well-received independent album, SATI was for a time the toast of Cebu. I should know. I am their frontman. I still am.

Iím the lead vocalist for the band, and I have been for close to ten years now. I didnít always hate playing in the band. In fact, when I first started, I absolutely enjoyed it.

It was different before. I was still in college then when the norm was that bands played cover songs during gigs. Although there were bands that broke through with their original songs particularly during the ďLocal GroundĒ era, that scene, although now legendary, did not last long. We had emerged during the mid-90ís at the tail end of that short-lived local band scene explosion. The momentum, although meteoric, had quickly ebbed. We found ourselves riding a dying wave.

But we went on.

And we had to survive. So without knowing it, we evolved into a band that played covers. Yes, we had original songs but nobody really appreciated them. Not when radio didnít really support local bands and musicians. Radio had myopic play lists back then. (Not to say that itís great nowadays.) Myopic in the sense that they never noticed talent right under their noses. Iím not saying their program directors didnít have taste in that they never took notice of our band. That would be saying too much. After all, as I recall, we sounded awful years ago. Not to claim we sound great nowadays, but at least now I think most will find our songs palatable.

So going back to radio, their play lists had to be mostly foreign acts (read: top 40 hits) with a sprinkling of OPM (read: Martin Nievera ballads and other similar-sounding tagalog songs). Never any songs from Cebuano artists. Never!

Okay, I may be exaggerating, but only to stress a point. The point being that Cebuanos back then, never really took notice of local original music. Itís almost like when you never notice a pretty neighbor and it takes a comment from a visiting cousin from out-of-town to make you take a second look. Bad metaphor, I know.

So anyway, we still went on.

And on our gigs, we played cover songs. Hey, we were really enjoying ourselves. We were playing songs from The Smiths, The Cure, and Echo and the Bunnymen. What could be more Ďcoolí than that? Hey, we were young, collectively naÔve and I had more hair then.

It was great and I was having the time of my life. We played gigs in small clubs and eventually got invited to bigger clubs, clubs that had more class, much more expensive beer and a spunkier crowd. So every time weíd play for these better-dressed people, weíd throw in cheesy covers like ďGhost in youĒ by the Psychedelic Furs (it never failed) or that anthem-like ďDonít you forget about meĒ by the Simple Minds. People went gaga over the ďlalalaĒ of that songís ending. They loved us. And we loved it.

Maybe we loved it too much that we fell for it. It was the lure of bigger crowds, and bigger bank checks. We took it all in. Shamelessly. Nothing like fame and fortune.

I think we would never admit it then, but I think we got greedy. We wanted more, so we went to Manila. We weíre getting noticed in our neighborhood now so we figured the next natural step would be to get noticed in a bigger neighborhood. So we quit our day jobs, against our parentís sane advice, packed our guitars and clothes and tried our luck in the big city. Like I said, we were young and naÔve. We knew in our hearts weíd make it.

And we were right. Eventually.

We couldnít get gigs in the classy bars, because we didnít have a sexy female vocalist fronting, our band-name notwithstanding. Audition after audition, we got turned down. Until we decided to do our own stuff and play our own songs. Then things started happening for us. Our bandís self-discovery led us to the right gigs, the right connections and, eventually, the right breaks.

Eventually, we succeeded beyond our expectations. But only because we wanted it badly enough that we persisted for two years and against all odds. Nothing like the hunger for fame and fortune to drive you on. Yes, national radio finally played our songs, we topped the rock chart and we played in the NU107 rock awards as ďBest new artistĒ nominee. I was living my dreams.

But we didnít enjoy Manila. It was a rough neighborhood. And so we went back to Cebu. Back to the grind of gigs and the tiring band circuit. And we went back to playing cover songs, because sadly, Cebu still generally liked the old, familiar Sheila and the Insects.

Thatís when I started to hate playing for the band. I had found my soul in Manila playing songs that I myself wrote only to fall back into the same trap of playing cover songs. The rest of our bandís story here is one filled with constant unease, painful compromise and soul-less existence. At least thatís my version. And thatís my reason for eventually breaking up with the band.

I wanted honesty in my music. Something that, Iíve come to realize, means more than the weekly bar gigs, chanting party people, and the regular talent fee. I sold my soul for a song and I have had enough of it so I quit. There.

But were back now. Sheila and the Insects is back in the band scene. Weíve got a new sound, new songs, and a new album in the works. Iím playing with Ian Zafra, the guy who recruited me in the band years ago plus Boobop and Jerros, two new talented members who share the same ambition for the band.

So whatís different this time around? Our songs are for sale but not our souls.

I know I may sound presumptuous but at least Iím being honest. Something Iíve been unable to claim for my music for quite a few staggered years.

Posted at 10:15 pm by bisoy

November 2, 2005   10:59 AM PST
astig po.......new wave metal ang sounds....
Name PABLO of cagayan de Oro
August 2, 2005   01:04 PM PDT
we met in one of your gigs here in CDO-- bisoy your are God! thats what i said. you still sound great after all these years, after loosing few strands of hair.i witnessed you since Artist days and till now--ur music still astounds me. m at every gig ur @ in CDO.hope you'll have a big gig here soon. m a cousin of Carbs--bass of powerspoonz. c u soon.
December 17, 2004   04:37 PM PST
cool dude!!! peace up...werzz ur gig
August 3, 2004   10:03 PM PDT
you insects just keep weaving your music so there is good fodder to write.

> in spite of Ian, hehe

the tall guy can do magic with his strings--what choice do we have... but to tolerate his eccentricities. and maybe indulge him once in a while.

August 3, 2004   03:51 AM PDT
Thanks sis. I'm really getting the hang of this blog thing.

It feels great to have my music and now my writing for catharsis.

thanks for all your articles. Hope you can keep them coming in spite of Ian, hehe
August 2, 2004   12:42 PM PDT
here's my testimonial (hehe)--

I like listening to you guys pour your souls out through your music. I don't care too much for covers. that is not to say i don't like cure or r.e.m. or coldplay--bec i do. but when SATI plays, I want to hear the Insects. I want to hear your songs. I want to hear you bare your souls.

I like listening to sati-shit. i like listening to honesty.

and i like celebrating indie music from my own island.

btw, good writing, soy.

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