For those of us who spent growing up years in the Philippines loving the 90’s OPM ditties, we will fondly remember the name Paco Arespacochaga as the ex-husband of singer-actress Geneva Cruz. However, Paco has made a name for himself as the indefatigable drummer of popular band INTRoVOYS. After the annulment of his marriage to Geneva in 2001, Paco eventually married his second wife, Tiny Arespacochaga, with whom he has a son named Caelen.
Paco founded INTRoVOYS in 1986 along with 3rd-G Cristobal and Jonathan Buencamino. The band broke into the music scene with their debut album “Back to the Roots.” Their biggest hit is “Line To Heaven.”
Despite of lineup changes over time, the band remains standing tall for 30 years and counting. In 2005, the band uprooted its base from Manila to Los Angeles, California where members still perform in gigs and write their own brand of music.
INTRoVOYS will be performing in Vancouver BC for the very first time in a concert dubbed, “Throwback Sessions”, with another 90’s pop OPM icon, Wency Cornejo (lead singer, Afterimage Band), on Saturday August 27 at Fortune Sound Club, 147 East Pender.
Here’s my interview with Paco (courtesy of Issa Velayo of Innovision Events & Marketing):
Miss B: Your band has attracted troves of loyal followers during the 90’s and penned a lot of Number 1 hits. You, guys, are still performing together to-date. Are all members still original?
Paco: INTRoVOYS are Paco Arespacochaga (original), Jonathan Buencamino (original), Jj Buencamino (original), G3 Misa (since 2008) and JD Dela Paz (since 2012). For Vancouver show, we will be joined in by Rivermaya’s original member-guitarist, Perfecto “Perf” de Castro. We’re flying him in all the way from the Philippines for the concert.
Miss B: The members have all moved to the States (Los Angeles, CA) in 2005 for a perceivably quieter, normal life. But as an old cliché goes, music has always found its way back to where it began. You’ve released an album the same year entitled, A Brighter Day. What was that like?
Paco: A Brighter Day didn’t turn out to be as successful with the fans as how we’ve hoped it to be. However, it was critically acclaimed. I guess we really didn’t know what to expect then. Listening to all the songs in that album now, I personally think that it was a pretty darn good album! We did release another one entitled, New Beginnings. And because it was a “Greatest Hits” album, it did very well.
Miss B: You recently released a new album, Where We Left Off that the group is currently promoting. From where the band took off, tell me about the songs in this latest album. How will they impact a more varied breed; newer generation of fan base to your music?
Paco: Where We Left Off brings us back to what made us “Introvoys” to this day. The songs in the album are inspired from our own real life experiences. We did experiment with infusing new sound textures most of were evident in songs like “Here We Go”, “Swim To The Sky”, “Pangarap” and “Paradise”. “Here We Go”, on the other hand, threads into unfamiliar territory. Fans who purchased said album have given us mostly encouraging remarks to our new music.
Miss B: Are you venturing on a Philippine tour to promote the album and when will this be, if ever?
Paco: A Philippine tour to promote the new album is not entirely off the hook. But we’re not prioritizing that at the moment. The album is self-produced and self-distributed. Without any help from major local distribution companies, it would be a costly endeavor for us to bring the album back home. Fortunately, our fans in the Philippines have purchased the album via the band’s website. Now with digital distribution through Apple music, Spotify, etc., more and more fans are gaining accessibility to our new music.
Miss B: You are the drummer and adjudged to be the most popular member of INTRoVOYS. Did that ever become a bone of contention amongst the other band members?
Paco: The rest of the ‘Voys are like brothers of mine. Jonathan and Jj are my childhood friends. We’ve been together since birth, so to speak. I don’t even know what life is or would be without them (Lol!). We just celebrated our 30th anniversary as a band last July 16 to a sold out show at the Famous Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood and it felt surreal playing our own songs (and a bunch of covers) to a happy and receptive audience in a legendary venue. It was a dream come true for all the band members.
Miss B: Wency Cornejo has called Vancouver one of his most favorite cities and has since been performing here on a semi-regular basis. Being your group’s first time and with Wency at that, what can the fans expect from you on August 27th “Throwback Sessions” concert?
Paco: Instead of the usual back-to-back concept routine wherein two artists go onstage separately, we’re doing a one long ‘hydrid’ set. We will incorporate Wency into the band’s act. Our audience won’t have an opportunity even for a bathroom break because we’ll be doing a combo mix of INTRoVOYS/Afterimage 90’s OPM hits. New Wave medley and probably a Manila Sound medley. “Basta! It’s gonna be a blast!”