The search for true individuality is BOK76's highest priority as a band. It is this goal which gives its members the fuel to perform onstage. It is also the same goal which forces the band to shun conformity, preferring instead to "do their own thing" rather than stick to a set of established templates. According to the band, one's individuality & independence is a gift which is God-given; it is the gift of free will.
That is the music of the band, the music of individuality, referred to by most MTV enthusiasts as alternative rock. To the uninitiated, they may sound noisy, uncoordinated, and misdirected, but to those who know how to appreciate their music, it is the true sound of individuality.
The name itself – BOK76 – is unique and rare, a far cry from what most bands name themselves. The name may sound to others as boring and uninspired, but to the members, it is the essence of what they stand for. They have given themselves a name which makes them one step closer to their goal.
Now how did this band really start? According to vocalist Erwin Bautista, friendship is the main ingredient of this recipe. He had been friends with guitarists Elwynn Dayrit and bassist Owee Nicolas since they were in their diapers. They all live in the same subdivision and they have close ties with each other's families.
They met guitarist Don Montealegre during their high school days. Don shared their optimism and youthful exuberance, perfectly adhering to their own set of morals and philosophy. During that time Don was the vocalist for trash metal band Acid Radio. They were a popular act in schools back then. Don also jammed with Elwynn and Owee back then and formed Gix, totally unaware that this would be the predecessor of BOK76. They did a few successful sideshow gigs together until just before high school graduation, they decided to call it quits.
A few months after graduation, Acid Radio informally broke up. During this time, Erwin was back from Tugegarao where he spent most of his high school life and reunited with his childhood friends, Elwynn and Owee. During college, Don was invited to join the nail-biting hardcore group Soma, his guttural screams complemented the band's aggressive sound. This was where he met drummer Jerome Ocampo.
Erwin, Elwynn, Owee and Don got together and soon realized that each has their own influence and preference for music. They have their respective talents. They agreed to do something, which will enable them to harness their musical talents and at the same time express themselves and have fun. What better way to do it than form a band? A band like no one has ever seen before. A band that has goals and long-term ambitions that were not present in all of their former bands. They asked Jerome to join them and thus, BOK76 was finally completed. In Mid 2001 because of schedule conflicts, the band needed to look for another drummer. And so Benjo Villaruz entered the scene to play the drums. Benjo had the same problem with Jerome, the Sched Conflicts. So recently, the band decided to get a new drummer, Jay Castelo who perfectly fitted the band’s sound and attitude towards life and music. He was a classmate of Don in UST where he played with some other band whom Don sometimes also jams with.
The Core of BOK76 is basically 5 guys with various types of influences and musical preferences. What came out of these was their unique sound, what they jokingly call, Rockershhhh….
The band presently has a
good number of gigs to their name. They started out playing at Club Dredd and Yosh Café just right
before they were closed. They played regular acoustic gigs at Gills N Fins in
The band has to their
name a lot of what we may call “Accomplishments”. They were featured in the
television show “Best Friends” in 1999, were Mp3manila.com’s Dec. 2000 Artist
of the Month with their songs “O.O.D.”, “Tsiks Na To”
and “Hit U Hard” in the top of the charts for months. They won
Erwin Bautista - Vocals & Guitars
Influences: Our Lady Peace, Beatles, Metallica, Wolfgang, Razorback, Oasis, Blur Favorite Singers: Damon Albarn of blur, Serj Tankian of S.O.A.D. , Liam and Noel of Oasis, Brandon Boyd of Incubus, Basti of Wolfgang and James Brown! Motto: "he who laughs last, got the joke
Owee Nicolas - Bassist, Backing Vocals (sometimes)
Influences: Our Lady Peace, Infectious Grooves, Staind, Red Hot Chilli Peppers My Idols: Robert Trujillo, Les Claypool, Flea, Dirk Lance (bassline in Redefine), Myself (bassline in OOD)
Elwynn Dayrit - Drums, Back-up Vocals &
Influences: Beatles, Korn, Icubus, Mudvayne, Toad the Wet Sprocket, System of a Down Favorite Guitarist: "Minyong" , Harold Pre
Donini Montealegre - Guitars & Vocals
Influences: Pantera, White Zombie, Alice In Chains Megadeth, Ugly Kid Joe, Weezer, Beastie Boys, Sepultura etc. Favorite Guitarists: Paul Gilbert, Gary Hoey, Tuck Andress, Dimebag Darrel, Scott Ian, Kerry King Previous Bands: Acid Radio, Gix band, Soma, Pillow Talk. Other Bands and Projects: Black Bamboo, Mega-Gett (Project Band) and Leash
Jay Castelo -