Hailing from The Philippines, Mi Ultimo is a 5 piece metal band composed of working professionals in Singapore. The band competed in finals at the 2016 Global Battle of the Bands Singapore leg and a year after, performed at Baybeats Festiavl 2017. In the same year, the band won the finals for the Vans Musicians Wanted and performed in Guangzhou. The band is currently working on an EP with 7 songs in the stable.
How did you guys get together?
Mi Ultimo was formed in the early 2015 by Mar Bautista (vocalist), Ian Soliva (guitarist), Mike Rocales (drummer), & Don Ismael (ex bassist) doing covers from bands such as Lamb of God, Slayer, Killswitch Engage, & others within the same genre. It took a while for the band to create their own music since the band was originally formed to cover a heavier genre than what most of the Filipino bands have been doing. The band did 2 original songs when Don went back to the Philippines for good. The band took into a serious turn when Ed Avelino stepped in to fill in the missing post for a bass player. Daboi Marcelo (ex guitarist) also filled in as a second guitarist until he left the band early this year to focus on his plans in the Philippines. Eddril Lacorte was eventually called up to take the vacant guitar post and did most of the final works to complete the EP tracklist.
It can get tough juggling work, family and music. How do you manage as a band?
Before we got together to form the band, we already knew each other. That helped in forming a strong bond within the group since we already had that respect beforehand. Some of us have families here in Singapore and we always make that as a priority above anything else. We also try not to consider session players when some of us are temporarily unavailable for a gig since we are trying to be as cohesive as possible whenever we step on the stage.
You call yourselves "shy and aggressive". Tell us about your music influences.
A conglomeration of different metal & rock based on each of the member's influences from grunge to heavy metal. Each of us has a dofferemt genre of influence and it is quite evident in most of our songs.
What do you hope for your audience to imagine and feel when they listen to your songs?
We always aim to connect to the audience whenever we play on stage. That is the reason why we never complicate our songs as we always treat the audience as first time listeners. We always try to make our music as relatable as possible to reach a wider group. Whenever we tend to lean into the extreme side during the song writing process, we always say to ourselves, “Let’s not do this. The audience might want to step back for a cigarette break at this part of the song and never come back."
What’s your favourite thing about living in Singapore?
It’s the quality of living that always makes us think how lucky we are here in Singapore. Unlike back home in The Philippines where we always pray not to get stabbed or shot by a random stranger whenever we step out of the confines of our own homes, it always feels refreshingly safe to walk in the streets of Singapore even at night. Among some of the things we like is how the society is very disciplined in abiding the rules which makes the city well organized.
Fast forward to 2040. Where do you see yourselves?
Most of us are at the age of 40’s now, and by 2040, we are will be in our 60’s. By that time, some of us might consider heading back home to retire, some might be here in Singapore with grand kids. 20 years from now, a lot is going to change specially how the current technology is driving the era into full throttle. We will never know to be honest.
A line that sums up your band's philosophy?
No one is too old to make music.
Catch MI Ultimo at Anaki Rocks the City So Shiok 2018, 24 - 25 March Dhoby Ghaut Green Amphitheatre. Anaki Rocks the City is our big up to the diverse yet undiscovered talent on our home soil – the underground, the overlooked and the cool people who don't conform to an artistic norm. More importantly, it has the ability to transcend race, nationality, gender, genre or any divisive label. Anaki Rocks the City is open to and free for all to attend. There are absolutely no tickets sold. Because together, we are are the anthem.