The Home of New Rock
Back in mid-2004 when the band started out, we had very low expectations of stirring the mainstream crowd’s interest. Record label executives turned us down and suggested that we needed to change the way we sound to get the attention that we want.
That wasn’t the best thing to tell a group who couldn’t do anything else. It also told us how hard it would be to even break in the business, but we tried anyway. At the time we had just met our manager, Toti Dalmacion and got signed under Terno Recordings, also with zero expectations. Come one day after the boys had passed on the newly recorded first single, “Maybe” to Kiko and Zach, we heard our first airplay. Something every band/artist will never forget.
This gave us a place to share our music. It told us that it was OK to be different, and that there is a frequency that people will tune into, no matter what. If you get played on that station, chances are one or two heads will bop to your tunes. People will listen because its a station that does what it’s set out to do and focus on the music, no matter how strange or obtuse you are. People started doubling during gigs when there used to be 3 slow golf-clappers with eyebrows raised, to more than I can count with the band’s fingers and toes combined.
NU remained our official radio station. It was the only station that played our songs for 2 years until others started picking up our music. Since I’ve heard of the news of it closing down, I couldn’t help but think to myself how things would’ve been if they hadn’t pressed Play. Enough to even include us in the Rock Awards from 2005 (thanks to the people behind that program In The Raw). The station just had so much to do with the growth of the band, if not most of the band’s growth depended on this radio station.
Coming from a place where it’s not easy to breakthrough, we’ve had our doubts as the industry got weaker after the big wave of bands in 2006 happened. You know how frail the entertainment industry is. Trends, they come and go. And the kiss of death is usually attached to a tad of recognition. So we thought we were going to plummet into oblivion until last year 2009 when NU gave us the 3 awards we never thought we’d ever win in this lifetime.
It gave us so much hope, and it gave us the stamp of approval that we never thought would see the light of day. This is why we’ll be forever grateful to the people behind NU. Because it really filled our low expectations with a lot of surprises and affirmation. Perhaps others don’t necessarily agree, but to most of us musicians, it still counts that a pillar in the music industry like NU recognizes you enough to even just play your songs.
Other than it being the constant source of music (circa 1994) as I ride with my brothers to school, it just says how big a role an institution like NU played in this generation. It might even take another hundred words to discuss, so I won’t go there. And besides, we ARE that generation still.
We will miss you and thank you SO much for the support, NU. To all the DJ’s and officials, in behalf of Up Dharma Down, we wish you the best.