The Sound of Iloilo’s Party Scene: Them Bang Bros Spills the Beats in an Interview
The nightlife industry has always been an integral part of any city’s culture, and Iloilo City is no exception. As the city continues to progress, its nightlife scene has also grown and evolved over time, thanks to the efforts of local artists and collectives like THEM BANG BROS.
Them Bang Bros is a group of DJs and nightlife enthusiasts based in Iloilo, Philippines. Founded in June 2022, the group comprises Jason David, Ivan Jucaban, DIMAS, CJ Tanoy, and their newest member, Glock Villalobos. Each member has a specific style of playing and a particular set of music genres, which together create a unique sound in the nightlife industry. Because of this, public demand to see and hear them perform has been undeniably high. Since their conception during the J7 days all the way to their current residency at Drink SLS, crowds gather and pack the place like there’s no tomorrow, surely anticipating many memorable weekends when these guys are behind the decks. Their goal is to give the crowd what they want to hear while also introducing them to new sounds and genres, thus creating a wholly unique experience that goes far beyond expectations. You won’t expect a “mid” night out with these guys.
Despite their busy schedules, we had a chance to interview THEM BANG BROS, as one of our missions is to explore all kinds of nightlife scenes in the country. In this interview, we talked to THEM BANG BROS about their role in Iloilo’s thriving nightlife scene, the values that guide their collective, the music and vibe they convey, and their thoughts on the future of the industry.
Them Bang Bros is a collective of DJs and nightlife aficionados; can you tell us who is in the group and what role each member plays?
DIMAS: THEM BANG BROS is comprised of Jason David, Ivan Jucaban, DIMAS, CJ Tanoy and our newest member, Glock Villalobos. We have been together in the scene since 2017, witnessing each other’s growth and progression throughout these years and forming a unique sound within the nightlife industry that is not easily replicated. Our roles within the group are not all that different from one another, provided that each of us has a specific style of playing, with a nearly particular set of music genres that showcase our interests to a wider audience. For instance, Ivan has an affinity for funk and hiphop, whereas CJ leans more on the technical side of DJing while also playing baile funk and house music.
What role does Them Bang Bros play in Iloilo’s thriving nightlife scene?
Jason: I’d say we play a pretty big role in the current flow of things. In all honesty, wherever we go, the crowd follows, as what we have observed. This all started when CJ, Dimas, Ivan and I got together to perform during the weekends at J7 Plaza Hotel Iloilo. We tried to make it a habit of introducing new sounds or bringing back old stuff that the people have not heard in a while. As our genres grew even more diverse, like playing relateable stuff with a different twist for instance, we certainly saw growth and progression. This is how TBB was born.
Ivan: Our goal is to give the crowd what they want to hear, give them that fulfillment in enjoying the songs they know and love. At the same time, we also take opportunities to educate them on stuff we love, stuff they may not necessarily be familiar with. Take baile funk, for instance. We were the purveyors of that in Iloilo City. It’s not just we play our music but we give them a show every weekend. We interact with the crowd. We give them the time of their lives as they drink up and have fun until the closing hours of the morning.
Could you tell us how the crowd in Iloilo differs from that in Metro Manila or any other prominent cities where the nightlife business is prevalent?
Ivan: Honestly, the crowd in Iloilo is very different from any other prominent city. Believe it or not, Ilonggos can be quite conservative. In a typical club or bar setting, friends and acquaintances catch up on conversations,but once they get in the mood once the alcohol kicks in and the music sets the mood perfectly, they’re in for a pretty wild night.
Does Them Bang Bros operate according to a certain set of values or guidelines? Is there a specific routine that must be adhered to no matter what?
Ivan: TBB is very systematic. We rotate every weekend so that each one of us has time to express what we want to play for the crowd. We adjust according to each other’s needs,particularly with time slots, especially when some us have bookings for private events outside our residency.
DIMAS: Yep, it’s all pretty easygoing among us. If one needs some cover as far as time slots are concerned, the other extends a little bit. Whenever there are concerns to be raised, we just talk it out. We hang out at our favorite local coffee shop or bar, have a meeting, discuss necessary improvements or such then maintain the good vibes among us and the community who follow us.
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