Last Friday Sugarfree vocalist/guitarist/founding member Ebe Dancel announced that he will soon leave the band. His impending departure seems to be a done deal, and it can't have been that surprising after he signed a solo deal with a different record label last year.
|[Photo by Maxi Adrian San Agustin.]|
Then yesterday, news broke that Bamboo has decided to disband. While they have not yet confirmed or denied the reports, things don't very look promising after the group released an ominous-sounding advisory.
|[Photo by Magic Liwanag Photography.]|
So, who's next?
(Please let it be a "pogi rock" act, please let it be a "pogi rock" act.)
Going back to Sugarfree, there will be no shortage of options for the soon-to-be orphaned drummer and bassist after Ebe leaves.Other bands have been there and done that.
One possibility is for one of the remaining members to take over frontman duties. This is what Rivermaya did when original vocalist Bamboo Mañalac left; they "promoted" keyboardist Rico Blanco, and the rest is history.
Some bands, meanwhile, brought in outsiders, with varying results.
After vocalist Ely Buendia left the Eraserheads, the remaining members brought in Kris Dancel, formerly of Fatal Posporos and Ebe's sister-in-law. If only because it resulted in fresh takes on E-Heads classics—"Magasin" told from a female perspective, anyone?—I believe that substitution was an inspired choice. Unfortunately the arrangement didn't last and the 'Heads disbanded without the new line-up releasing an album.
When Blanco himself quit Rivermaya, the band tried a different tack and staged televised auditions for a new vocalist. Jayson Fernandez won the search, joined the group, and the "Banda ng Bayan" lived on. Last I heard, they're still at it.
The now-defunct Mojofly was likewise successful for years after taking in Lougee Basabas following the departure of original vocalist Kitchie Nadal.
So we'll see. I think, though, that Sugarfree will go the Eraserheads way and disband. I might be wrong in saying this, but Ebe Dancel is Sugarfree. At the very least, he was the driving force behind the group. I guess now he'll have the time to make the (so far fictional) supergroup Row4 a reality.