The Bee Gees, The Jackson 5, Kings of Leon. Ton, Gino, and Aldo Vergel de Dios of Pinoy rock band Hansom have come at the foot of a long tradition of keeping music in the family. They even have plans of bringing in their little brother when he’s old enough. But until then, it’s a threesome, and it’s strictly bros over hoes.
“We treat the live performances special; that mentality came from theatre.”—Gino
I never got used to the North. I still get lost ’til now.
Ton: Really? I’m the opposite.
Yes! [Laughs] ‘Coz I’m really from the South—like Las Pinas area near Cavite. LRT? Fuck that.
Gino: Yeah. Well for us, Makati is far. We consider Makati south.
So, you guys are more LRT people than bus people?
Gino: Definitely. The LRT is near our house so it’s so easy to get to.
Ton: I’d rather take the LRT than the MRT or the other LRT because it’s the newest one.
So how are you guys, what’s up?
All: Good, we’re good.
Ton: We came from recording last night—again. That’s what’s up.
How was it?
Gino: We’re trying out a new place.
Ton: We’re trying out a younger guy, a younger producer.
Aldo: That sounds so bad [laughs]. Dirty.
That’s gonna go in the article, “Their old producer was old.”
Aldo: No he’s gonna kick our ass tomorrow!
Ton: He’s just barely in his thirties!
Gino: He’s just very administered.
Aldo: He’s 35.
Gino: It’s just not appropriate to call him “peer” because we respect him.
[Laughs] Good save! So as we all know, you guys are brothers and, famous threesomes, like the Three Musketeers, and they have a motto, “All for one, one for all.” Do you guys have a motto?
Aldo: Don’t steal my chocolate!
Ton: Band first, uhhh, family first!
All: …Band, second.
Aww! It’s like Jackson 5 but there are only three of you.
Ton: Yes and we have a younger brother…
Gino: When he grows up, he’s going to turn black. Yeah, our younger brother is going to be black when he’s older since he’s the youngest of the group.
So you guys did theater when you were younger?
Can you talk to us about that?
Ton: Yeah, it’s our main influence. I mean it’s our start…
Aldo: That’s where we got our appreciation for performing.
Gino: So we treat the live performances special; that mentality came from theatre.
So does any, like, show choir stuff come into your music or…?
Ton: Actually, yes. Even choreography, you know…
Aldo: We still appreciate Broadway. Every Lent, we’ll listen to Jesus Christ Superstar.
“I remember when I was three years old, [Dad] started playing [Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York." All of a sudden, I started singing. My dad was like, “You can sing!” So he brought me home to my mom, and he was like, “Oh, watch this!” I felt like some kinda toy."—Ton
Well, some of you are self-taught. What’s your first memory of music?
Aldo: Our dad, for sure.
Ton: We would ride with our dad. We studied in our Lola's school in Makati; We’d listen to "New York, New York"—that was the Frank Sinatra my dad had. We’d all listen to that. I remember when I was three years old, he started playing it. All of a sudden, I started singing. My dad was like, “You can sing!” So he brought me home to my mom and he was like, “Oh, watch this!” I felt like some kinda toy.
Aldo: And you had an umbrella and kicked around.
Ton: I was actually singing it every morning. And that’s why they got us into theatre. We’re thankful to our dad for that. I’m glad it’s not Rod Stewart ‘coz he was listening to him at that the time, too.
How dare you! I love Rod Stewart!
Ton: I thought he was girl!
Ton: He should have stuck to that stuff in the 70s.
Gino: We like the 70s a lot better.
Ton: Mom’s favorite bands are U2, Police, Queen.
Aldo: Mom claims I was born around the time of Guns N Roses, Appetitive Of Destruction…
So I hear that humor figures a lot in your music and your music videos. Can you tell us about that?
Aldo: When we’re together, that’s what we do. We’re in a house full of boys; We joke around all the time.
Gino: Yeah, we think it’s unhealthy to be too serious about yourselves so we try to make each other laugh.
Ton: Even with our friends, we just try to keep the mood light. I think that becomes a problem; We don’t know when to be serious. [Laughs]
Aldo: We really try to look serious in the video.
So, what’s the funniest thing you’ve seen lately? Seen, heard, whatever…
Aldo: I’m usually so prepared for this. Well… Our little brother is a My Little Pony fan.
Ton: He’s a Brony.
Aldo: He was getting us to watch it, but then I was like, “Uh, no, it’s not okay! It’s not our thing.” My Little Pony in our generation was a little bit girly. But he was like, “You can’t judge it, kuya, if you haven’t seen it. “
So now it’s time to get serious. Let’s talk about your new album. How’s it going?
Ton: Uh, good.
Can you give us kind of like a creative direction of the album?
Aldo: It’s still the same formula. I mean, it’s really just the same big process where we come up with the sound individually or together, and then we just try to develop it as a group.
Ton: I guess the flavor has definitely become a lot more… slower. The last album was very “AHHHH” the whole time—just shouting in your face.
Gino: I guess this one has more dynamics.
If your album were a soundtrack of any movie or television show, what would it be?
Gino: I’m thinking of a Lito Lapid movie.
Aldo: Something about moving around, travel. Lito Lapid’s movie had this scene where he had a knife, and there were two bad guys. And he only had one bullet left.
I think I know where this is going…
Aldo: And, he hits the knife, and kills both of them!
Ton: Why is that the soundtrack of our…?
Gino: It’s full of action and comedy!
Gino: Meant to be serious…
But not really!
Ton: It’s like an 80s action movie.
Aldo: Like Chuck Norris. Lethal Weapon.
What do you think makes you or your music sound sexy?
Gino: I guess it’s ‘coz we’re exactly how young men should be. Fast and over too soon.
Aldo: Just like our songs!
Gino: I was talking about the music, the songs! Nothing else!
Okay, comment on this: Bros over Hoes.
Aldo: I don’t approve of the term “hoes.” Family first!
Gino: Safe answer.
Ton: Showbiz answer!
Gino: For me, it’s bros before hoes, but mommy before bros. She’s the only woman in the house. So that’s the ultimate respect.
Ton: She’s the patroness of our arts!
“I guess the flavor has definitely become a lot more… slower. The last album was very “AHHHH” the whole time—just shouting in your face.”—Ton
Okay so you guys seem like a very crazy bunch. What are the top five craziest things you’ve done together?
Aldo: One time, we were going to go to a gig and went through flood so high.
Ton: Yeah, in our Innova! The flood reached the windshield! We were with our driver, and he was like, “Nah, ignore it. That’s fine.”
Gino: There were kids swimming in front of us. Our gig was in Bulacan. So when we got there, the guard was like, “Did it rain?” [Laughs]
Aldo: When we got there, it was super sunny so he wouldn’t believe there was a flood!
Gino: That was pretty crazy. And then there’s this other one during Typhoon Ondoy. Mom wasn’t home, and our mom is kind of like the enforcer, so we were kind of like, “What do we do?” So were just carrying a lot of stuff.
Ton: We were carrying couches, TV, and stuff!
Aldo: The piano!
I have to say that you saved the TV, that says a lot about you guys! Like, “There’s a flood! I’ll save the TV!”
Ton: Actually… the ref, TV, couch, dog.
What’s something you haven’t done yet but you really want to do, like before you die?
Aldo: I want to do like a nationwide tour of all the nice locations.
Like gig in Rice Terraces?
All: Oh yes!
Ton: Or like those windmills in Illocos! Video shoot there.
Gino: It’s like to jam with my idols: Pepe Smith, Wally Gonzales. I’m a Juan de la Cruz fan.
What is one thing we don’t know about Hansom that would just make people go like WTF?
Aldo: Sometimes we jam in just our briefs.
Ton: Well, we shower together ‘coz we’re brothers.
Gino: We don’t really say anything about it, we’re just like ‘sup bro?’
Bros being bros. Okay, last few questions, does your mom fund your band?
Gino: Only Aldo, ‘coz he’s still in school—he still gets allowance.
Aldo: Which I save up to buy other things.
Gino: If [the money]’s from us, from our capital, it originally came from like battles—winning battles.
Aldo: We just let it roll over into the next album.
Ton: That’s where it all started.
Gino: That’s how we started being able to record. We actually made money playing! So when we win some, we use it to record.
Ton: I don’t think we’re earning too much, but it’s enough it keep it going.
Are your parents supportive of that? Or are they like ‘get real jobs?’
Aldo: They’ve always been supportive.
Gino: They understand that we really like what we’re doing. They’re probably our number one and number two fans, and they’ll even fight about who’s number one.
Ton: It’s true.
Message to your mom, to your dad, and to your fans?
Ton: You’re sexy, Mommy.
Aldo: Mommy, thank you for making us sexy.
Gino: Thanks for the genes. Thank you for my proportions, mom and dad.
Aldo: To make it simple, thank you to our sexy parents!
Ton: And to our fans, thank you to our sexy fans.
Interview by Rita Faire
Photographed by Nyael David
For the full story, grab a copy of STATUS July 2012 issue