Words By Jericho Igdanes
Luis Manansala, Seb Gonzales, and Steven Gershwin are making revolutionary music. Based in the Philippines, the trio started out as a batch band at their high school. Drummer Manansala complements the slick guitar-playing of Gonzales, while Gershwin does double duty on synthesizers and vocals.
As The Last Dream, they feature an alternative rock sound influenced by The Beatles, Eraserheads, and Strawberry Girls. Their lyrics paint vivid pictures, speaking about childhood stories or social commentary. Based in Metro Manila, the trio hopes to help change the world through their music.
A Crash Course On Their Music
A song dedicated to the band’s grandparents and close friends, “Lullaby” began as a Math rock riff by Gonzales. Born out of free time in the classroom, he took the opportunity to compose a track. What sets this track apart is its slow transitions, which Gonzales says is a deliberate attempt to switch things up. The lyrics are the brainchild of Gershwin, recounting a story with his grandparents. As a child, he would have trouble sleeping. He would often ask help from his grandparents, who would soothe him through lullabies or bedtime stories. Gershwin says he would often interrupt their songs to ask if they would go somewhere else, knowing that they would go back to their bedroom once he falls asleep. In reality, Gershwin truly feared that, one day, his beloved grandparents would actually leave him. He was thankful for every time they woke up with him and his brother the next morning. “Even if someone is gone, it doesn’t mean that the story is ending,” Gershwin adds. He wrote the lyrics for himself, as a lullaby for when he can’t sleep these days.
With this song, The Last Dream wants everyone to appreciate and show their love to
their grandparents while they're still here.
"The City is Our Enemy"
The track “The City is Our Enemy" is a commentary on the current Philippine administration. The line "the city is our enemy, defending itself from people" came from a TedX Talk by writer Alex Andreou. The heavy sound is reminiscent of stadium rock bands like U2 and The White Stripes, and the lyrics speak about poverty, injustice, and people power. Born from a conversation with Gershwin’s best friend Choi, the message of the song is directed to the people who are indifferent to the political atmosphere in the Philippines. "It's not about politics anymore,” he says. “It's about knowing what's right. I want my friends and family to see that I am not afraid of my stance. It's about life and values
disrupted by power."
Gonzales believes the song’s message could resonate with the public. "I believe that it could impact our society. What made me even more interested to participate is the melody and the meaning of the song." Manansala adds, "Dreams and inspirations are no longer the main priority of the youth, instead they have to come up with more practical and logical ideas that would possibly end the cycle of greed and violence of our country."
From these conversations, it is clear that The Last Dream is a band built to sing about change. They may be young, but they are very serious about their craft and the messages they want to bring to their music.
How Have They Used Their Passions During The Pandemic?
To be isolated from the outside world is definitely difficult, but to our surprise, the quarantine time given to us has been productive. It pushes us to be as creative as possible when it comes to music, studies, and exploring new hobbies. Since we're alone with our thoughts most of the time, we have more creative freedom. With that said there were also difficult times, especially when we had to pass our music back and forth for trial and error. The whole process may be draining but being passionate about it and finally achieving it is a lot of fun. We have also been creating our own music individually and under The Last Dream as a band. That makes this quarantine situation a little more colorful.
JULY 1, 2020