Kiko Machine is a pop/rock/comedy band culling from Philippines. This indie band is unique in ways like their ever energetic performances on stage, the only band with Spiderman costume, their ill-famed “spidey” dance and their wide-ranging musical blend of rock, punk, rap, metal, emo, disco, funk and even rock. Among the artists that they adore includes the likes of KISS, the Foo Fighters, Deftones, the Used, 311, the Beatles, Superglass, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Joe Satriani, Incubus, Weezer, VST and Company, Eraserheads, Siakol, Hotdog and many more.
Kiko Machine is currently composed of members namely: JP Cuison, Bheng Densing, Spider-Dan, Manix Abrera, Billy Reyes and Jeff Azarcon. JP Cuison (played with Eraserheads and Rivermaya) deals on vocals and songwriting. Bheng Densing was the back-up vocalist and back-up dancer as well. Manix Abrera played the guitars and so with Billy Reyes, the second guitarist. Spider-Dan in spider-man costume teased the bass and the crowd with his silly dance moves. Jeff Azarcon is the band’s only drum connoisseur.
The idea of the band comes from the prominent university of the country, University of the Philippines especially in the College of Fine Arts. Formerly, the band was called “Punk Sinatra” but later changed the name to Kiko Machine after knowing a band in U.S. with the same name.
Eventually, Kiko Machine gained some gigs but after Zoltan had an accident, the band was in a limbo in looking for a replacement. They were able to recruit Billy Reyes, a UP Fine Arts student who then became regular on the band. They also have Bon Sundiang whose music evolved Kiko Machine’s style that allows them to grab the first place of MTV’s Listen Up. After his resignation, the band played with Marco Rosales on 2001 but then finally settled with the drummer Jeff Azarcon, another Fine Arts UP student after Marco left for US.
Though Kiko Machine is known for their comical uproars and their hilarious dancing on stage, the band did not enjoy sunshine all the time. Sometimes, problems are there including finances/money of course, the parents are there also, instead of encouraging is somewhat inhibiting them in doing what was loved to.
But one thing that keeps them together is the philosophy that “Band always comes first”. And best example is JP who prioritized his band and continued recording the song, “Gabi”, which was composed by Bheng even though he knew that her sister died of asthma. As a result, the song was a heart-breaking rendition as his emotions were poured into the song.
Like any other band, Kiko Machine wants its big break and be famous in the rock scene. Because of that, little problems arise as Spider-Dan left the band on December 2005 for many irrational reasons such as school, his thesis, his girlfriend, his silly antics and many more. He also believed that his character as Spider-man prevents the band in getting a record deal. Despite of all the positive impressions on him, Dan was really steadfast in his decision.
The vacant position was later filled up by Apol Sta. Maria, a bassist of former Chocolate Beef. For one year, Dan rested and Kiko Machine got generous acclamations from critics. They were featured on NU 107’s In The Raw and DJ Francis Brew praised their demo recoding. But without Dan, Kiko Machine, which is known for its comedy and lively entertainment on stage is nothing.
After some while, the band looked for another bassist and Billy suggested having Dan back. Such a joyful reunion for the band and the first song composed together was “PULP Magazine”.
Band members’ personalities as well as what their music is all about is packed in their eponymous album which was released independently but under the distribution of Star Records for nationwide release. Some of their songs were used in shows of ABS-CBN. Takeshi is playing good on Myx as well as McGyver in different radio stations of the country.
Now that Kiko Machine had broken the UP horizon, these guys remained their down-to-earth characters like what they have been doing before they received accolades and recognitions. It is then proven that its not just the music, not just the money but also the character and the devotion to music are to be given importance and respected.
A L B U M
Album1 : Kiko MachineAlbum Overview Released : 2005
Label : Star Records
02 Val Sotto
04 Royal Rumble
06 Takeshi Castle
08 Magandang U
11 Barkada Trip
13 Y-Speak Amazing OST
14 Gabi Listen