Article Monoplex #2: Halo Halo Interviewed
Halo Halo is a Filipino dessert, a concoction of fruitiness and colour so bright it looks slightly radioactive. It’s also a three-piece band from London, who play an equally flavoursome medley of cacophonies driven by Rachel’s banjo, scattered with Gill’s bass, and structured on Jack’s drums and call-and-response vocals. Their first single, Manananggal, taps into vocalist-multiinstrumentalist Rachel’s Filipino heritage, being named after folkloric winged predator of unborn children. Their music has taken them to play in Israel, the Republic of Korea, the Arctic Circle, and in support of friends Electrelane last summer. They’ll bring their cheerful assortment of music and visual projections to the Monoplex.
What does the dessert halo halo taste like and how does it compare with your music?
Rachel: Refreshing and sweet. It is made of shaved ice and condensed milk and then lots of boiled sweet beans and fruits and normally topped off with Ube ice cream. Halo means mix in Tagalog and you have to halo halo (mix mix) before you eat, which sums up our music because we have all these different musical ideas that we try and mix together.
Can you tell us a little about the films Jack makes and what Gill and Rachel do outside the band?
Jack: I studied Art at Goldsmiths so made a few films there that might be a bit too weird or boring to describe right now, but I’ve always liked the connection film can have with music. I’ve made music videos for bands that I’ve been in and for other people. I just finished a video for the Middle Ones, and I’ve been working on visuals for Verity Susman [of Electrelane]‘s solo shows. Gonna do a Halo Halo video next!
Rachel: I draw and like to make things, at the moment I want to make children’s books. Gill is working on a book too. We think she could be a celebrity academic, so me and Jack are going to try and turn her book into a cool TV series.
Halo Halo have a fair deal of wanderlust – where have you been on adventures?
Jack: Rachel and I went to Japan a few years ago and that experience inspired the first songs we wrote for Halo Halo. That’s encouraged us to try playing in other new places. Our travels have been connected with art residencies too, rather than the usual touring from place to place you do in a band. We stayed in Sweden for a couple of weeks and filmed a music video with a local horror director and his friends who have an am-dram group. I really want us to go back to Japan and play in Yoyogi park in Tokyo. Every Sunday all kinds of bands set up and play, its really awesome and I’d like to make a film about it.
What are the plans for the not distant future of the band?
It’s all about recording the album at the moment, which we’ll be doing this summer!
Download Halo Halo’s single Manananggal.
Halo Halo will be on in the Article Monoplex at 11:15pm. More information here.