Bonney Read might not be the kind of band who you picture partnering with advocacy institutions, but not everyone is aware of how invested the band is in mounting fundraiser gigs and charitable activities aimed to support the good-hearted projects of Gawad Kalinga and Joomajam. “We’ve always talked about making important music – the kind that moves people towards positive change,” band guitarist Kat Ayala shares. “We reached out, asked questions, and found a spot in the battlefield where we could really contribute by doing what we love doing, which is making music, telling stories, and bringing people together.” The Aussie pop-rock quartet composed of vocalist/guitarist Jess Cooper, lead guitarist Kat Ayala, drummer Astrid Holz, and bassist Jeremy Goldfinch, will be embarking on a 9-date tour in the Philippines from March 3 to March 21 as part of their efforts to connect with the Filipino community. Aside from headlining the self-dubbed Philippine Humanitour 2015, they will also be playing with some of the country’s most sought-after indie acts: The Butchercons, Top Junk, Reklamo, Oh Flamingo, and Jensen and the Flips to name a few. We recently caught up with Bonney Read to talk about guitarist Kat Ayala’s familial ties with legendary music icons Cynthia Alexander and Joey Ayala, their new single “Last Time” and the upcoming tour.
1.We’ve learned that Bonney Read are embarking on a 9-date tour here in the Philippines soon. What are the things you guys are most excited about?
Everything. We’re excited about playing to a completely new audience in a country whose culture is deeply supportive of and passionate about music. We’ll be doing things that are so out of our ordinary Australian musician lives and expanding our horizons. We’re excited to learn more about the Filipino culture, make lasting friendships, and help people. And of course, there’s the food (Astrid loves pancit,) the music, the beach, and we get to see where our little Katniss enjoyed her childhood.
2. The tour also serves as a benefit concert in partnership with progressive organizations Gawad Kalinga and Joomajam. What made you engage in this cause that makes use of music for a greater purpose other than just a form of entertainment?
We went through a bit of a turning point last year that made us re-evaluate our priorities and our collective goals. We’ve always talked about making important music – the kind that moves people towards positive change. So we decided to get to work on that. We reached out, asked questions, and found a spot in the battlefield where we could really contribute by doing what we love doing, which is making music, telling stories, and bringing people together.
3. Surprisingly, Kat Ayala has familial connections with Joey Ayala and Cynthia Alexander. Hence, the Philippine connection. Other than the two music icons mentioned above, which Filipino artists are you looking forward to seeing/working with?
Kat actually grew up in the Philippines – in Davao and Manila, and still has a lot of family and friends there. When the band decided to visit, she reached out to her people, and they connected us with some ridiculously cool individuals who were so gracious and eager to work with us. It was insane. We’re blown away by how welcoming everybody is.
We can’t wait to hang out with Vin Dancel, Nicki Cabardo, Mayonnaise and the Yellow Room crew, Blue Jean Junkies, Top Junk, Reklamo, and Flying Ipis and the Locked Down family. We’re also looking forward to soaking up the Manila and Davao music scenes as spectators because we’ve heard of how inspiring the talent is over there.
4. You’ve recently released a new single called “The Last Time.” What is it all about?
The Last Time is about that moment where you’re standing at the edge of heartache and you’re staring into the all-too-familiar, and all-too-attractive face of a destructive romantic affair. And, rather than jumping in, like you’ve always done, you decide to walk away instead. It feels good.
5. Any upcoming EPs or albums you are working on?
We’re always writing and working on new material, but right now we’re focused on recording our single, Days Gone By, and making it sound amazing before the tour. This song is really special to us, and will feature heavily in the documentary of our Philippine journey. We’re also donating all proceeds made from Days Gone By to Joomajam’s education program at the GK Sibol schools, which we hope will help to financially support their endeavours for years to come.
6. How do you describe your music? Are you listening to any particular artist while you were recording the tracks in the studio?
We say that our genre is Pop Rock. We love catchy melodies and guitar lines, but we play hard, sink into dirty grooves, and Coop’s got that grit in her voice that cuts the Rock into everything that we do.
We listen to a lot of different kinds of music individually – from Classic Rock to Hip Hop to Dance and everything in between and across. But collectively, we do have a staple of artists that we always turn to for inspiration: Paramore, A Day To Remember, The Foo Fighters, Slipknot, Taylor Swift, Anberlin, and Baby Animals.
7. What can we expect from the upcoming tour?
You can expect one hell of a ride. We never do anything half-assed. We’ll be working very closely with Gawad Kalinga and Joomajam – running music workshops, building houses, and fundraising for them at our gigs, where you’ll see us give our absolute all. That means a lot of sweat, funny faces, and dancing. And then we’ll hang out with you afterwards. We love a chat and a laugh, so do come up and say hi!
Catch the Aussie pop-rock outfit on their upcoming Philippine tour. Here are the dates:
March 5, 9pm @ The 70′s Bistro with The ButcherCons and Top Junk
March 6, SaGuijo Cafe + Bar Events – The Yellow Room’s Paramore Night
March 10, SaGuijo with REKLAMO and Blue Jean Junkies
March 11, Route 196 Bar with Top Junk, Oh, Flamingo!, and Jensen & The Flips
March 13, Saguijo with Locked Down Entertainment
March 18, Taboan, MTS (Davao City)
March 20, Sa’Less Diner and Moozika (Davao City)
March 21, Route 196 with Blue Jean Junkies and Reklamo