Nathan’s Back In The Rivermaya Flow

(Article from Radio Republic)

The recent departure of bassist Norby David from Rivermaya left the band once more without a member. With the numerous lineup changes in its two-decade-long history, such occurrences have already become part of the band’s legend. Succeeding gigs saw Peso Movement main man (and former Rivermaya bassist) Japs Sergio on the four-string.

In other gigs where drummer Ryan Peralta wasn’t available, guitarist/former drummer Mark Escueta returned to the skinswith Sergio shifting to guitarand former bassist (and arguably the one most associated with the band) Nathan Azarcon joining in the next performances.

Speculation among fans became rampant: was something up? After all, Rivermaya’s first popular incarnation reunited for a few songs last January at original guitar player Perf de Castro’s show at 19 East…and yes, including Nathan and former ringleader Rico Blanco (former frontman Bamboo Mañalac reportedly was in the U.S. at the time).

In a Facebook post a few weeks ago, Azarcon revealed that he has returned to the band.

In a Radio Republic exclusive interview, the band says that everything happened due to an “alignment of the stars.” It was Sergio who broached the idea of bringing Azarcon back. It turned out the band members were also thinking the same thing.

Escueta, Peralta, and guitarist Mike Elgar admit to having some initial hesitation, as they were not sure if Azarcon was available. It supposedly boiled down to a text message from Escueta: “Psst.” Azarcon replied back, and he was back with Rivermaya in an instant.

The fiery bassist did not have a problem readjusting. “Matagal na kaming magkasama ni Ryan (I’ve played with Ryan for a long time already),” narrates Azarcon. “Nung si Mark dati, nung ginagawa niya yung thesis niya, si Rye yung [nagse-session] (When Mark was finishing his thesis before, it was Ryan who sessioned as drummer).”

While it was Blanco’s songs that became radio hits during the band’s prime, fans know that Azarcon wrote and sang some of the band’s powerful songs, like “Again” and “May Kasalanan.” So when Bamboo (the band dissolved) and Hijo was formed, Azarcon as the frontman made absolute sense.

Will Azarcon be the new frontman?

Lahat kami sideman (we’re all sidemen),” Escueta jokingly clarifies. “Hindi pa namin pinag-uusapan (We haven’t talked about it). Ngayon, mixture ng rearranging and performing the old stuff. Songwriting.”

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