********* TRUE FAITH **********
It was December 1991 when Medwin Marfil (then a student at La Salle Taft) recorded the song Perfect along with workmates at Fullerton Studios, Ferdie Marquez and Francis Guevarra. It was written
by Medwin and Francis. A few weeks earlier, over booze and isaw (street food- beastly innards), they talked about forming a band together since they shared the same liking for British blue-eyed
soul,new wave and Euro pop. They all knew they wanted to get into the music biz and break the routine and monotony of their lives. Medwin and Ferdie were previously in a band called Strictly
Confidential that played in clubs doing new wave and The Dawn covers. They had a few demos played on radio stations, NU107 and 99.5RT.
Just after the Presidential elections of 1992 Medwin summed-up enough courage to give Perfect to RT. This, shortly after he named the band (then a trio), TRUE FAITH. He got the name from a title of a song by electro-punk group, New Order. Instantly it caught the attention of RT’s listeners and it shot up to to the top of its charts and stayed at no. 1 for 10 weeks. The song’s popularity grew so quickly that schools started to invite them for their events. They decided that they should formalize the band’s line-up: Medwin on vocals, Francis on keyboards, Ferdie on guitars; and fellow studio buddies, Eazer Pastor and Caryl Campos on guitars and bass respectively.
By year’s end they were managed by Teddy Dario and 99.5RT disc
jockey, Vince De Guzman otherwise known as Vince St. Price. The duo got them to play in the famed club, Faces. Before embarking on the weekly stint at the club the band hired Jun Dizon as the
drummer. As expected they were the top crowd drawer. Around this time demand for the group to play shows in schools and events, and for them to release their debut album was reaching fever-pitch
levels. A&R executives of major record companies engaged in a bidding war!
True Faith eventually inked a recording contract with entertainment giant, OctoArts in February 1993. Perfect the debut album was released on the summer of that year with the title track as the carrier single. It went Gold in no time with Perfect the single becoming a staple on FM radio. The album was hailed by critics as a fresh new take on OPM (Original Pilipino Music) with its own hybrid sound of new wave, folk, pop and rock and instantly made True Faith a new force in the music industry. Three other singles were subsequently released: Everything She Wore, Ambon, and the club favorite, How Much I Feel. That same year, the band released the video for Perfect which had no less than supermodel, Tweety De Leon as video muse.
But it wasn’t until the second album, Beyond Doubt was released in 1994 that the band got into the masses’ consciousness. The album quickly reached double platinum status with the single Sa Puso Ko, the massive hit Huwag Na Lang Kaya, and the heart-wrenching ballad, Muntik Nang Maabot ang Langit. Having dodged the dreaded “sophomore jinx” True Faith certainly was a group that was certain to stay much longer. It was also in 1994 that the band won several accolades at the Awit Awards of that year. (Since then it was rare that the band wouldn’t get recognized for every album they’ve made in annual awards shows.) Coming at the heels of Beyond Doubt’s success, the band toured intensively nationwide and played to SRO crowds. They did triumphant shows alongside their favorite acts like The Dawn, Kuh Ledesma, the late Ric Segreto and The Eraserheads. Few would have dared say that True Faith have not made their veritable mark inlocal music history yet.
In 1995 Build, the third album was released and eventually went
platinum in a month. This marked the recording debut of new bassist, Bimbo Yance. As evident in the first single Alaala, Bimbo’s funky bass playing added a deeper groove to Truefaith’s music. Head
E-head, Ely Buendia contributed a song in the album entitled Kundi Rin Lang Ikaw; a song which he co-wrote with friend Jojo Bacasmas. It became one of the singles out of the cd with Hi! and Baliw as
the other two. By this time they were managed by Leslie Cheng and Ricci Fidelino.
Although it was obvious that Truefaith was one of the most successful acts of that era, they were not spared from the usual problems that normally almost every band would go through. The band entered a “dark phase” in 1996. Fueled by artistic differences, pressures from an already crowded band scene, disagreements with management and internal bickering, Truefaith “disbanded” by the end of that year. The original line-up was no more. But before parting ways, everyone agreed that no one was to going to continue the band.
But having learned that there were certain people who wanted to continue the band without him (thereby breaking what was agreed upon beforehand) Medwin took matters into his own hands,and through the advice of an entertainment lawyer acquired legal ownership of the band name and decided to pursue Truefaith further. He had the support of colleagues in the business including OctoArts (which by now has merged with UK music label, EMI). Shortly thereafter, with Bimbo and Jun retained, the group hired Yeng Remulla as keyboadist and Carlo Sison as guitar player. “The New Truefaith” held jam sessions and started writing new material for an upcoming record. Legendary diva of cool, Kuh Ledesma and her company this time took the task of managing the band.
Looking Up, the band’s fourth album was launched in 1997 with the rockin’ single, Enjoy as the carrier. Hardcore Truefaith fans were taken aback by the new sound which was a mix of crunchy guitars and piano rock (consider Ben Folds Five, Billy Joel) with poppish melodies and self-indulgent lyrics. Medwin would admit later on that the events that have transpired prior to the album’s recording did influence the style of music that they intended for the record. Despite disappointing sales (which Medwin attributes to them not promoting it extensively) Looking Up is considered to be one of the band’s best albums by critics and contemporary music journalists. The group regards this as a personal triumph. Around this time Truefaith started to regain lost ground by doing rounds of shows nationwide (with the help of then manager, Mina Vendivel) to prove that they weren’t about to give up just yet.
The band renewed their contract with OctoArts-EMI in 1998 with much fervor and released another ambitious album of reinvention: Bliss. Medwin’s brother, Eugene (who co-wrote Huwag na lang Kaya) joins in the line-up and wrote several tracks in the album including (Awit Para) Sa Kanya which would become a single. Jake Lumacad also debuts in this album as the new keyboardist. Bliss harkened back to the folksy-pop sound that the band was known for in the first two records but this time laced with lush electronic grooves courtesy of soundsmith extraordinaire, Brian Cua. The sound was a mix of what’s considered to be traditional with the new and futuristic. Singles released were Get It On and Sandalan. In 1999, the band shot the video for Awit Para Sa Kanya under the direction of noted video director, Robert Quebral. But it wasn’t until the year 2000 that it would fully realize its merits.
In the year 2000, Truefaith released Memoies Are Cheap: The Best of Truefaith 1993-2000, a collection of all their big hits. It included the brand new single Kung Ok Lang Sa ‘Yo which was well received by FM radio. An instant classic, it would become one of the band’s most sought-after songs in their live playlist. Jay Valencia’s superb guitar prowess is indisputable in this voice- and-guitar number; it wouldn’t have come as a surprise why he was enlisted as the new guitar player. Suddenly, people were ready to listen to Truefaith again. Another single is Minsan which predates the bossa-nova fad of 2006. Not to be missed are the remixes of old hits by past collaborator Brian Cua and founding member, Francis Guevarra. The latter's reworking of How Much I Feel, a song he co-wrote on the debut record, is one of the compilation’s standout tracks. Medwin and Andy Barce (former band assistant and road manager) this time (up until the present time) shared management duties.
2000’s celebratory return streak was only heightened with the (Awit Para) Sa Kanya video winning the much-coveted Video of the Year award at the MTV Philippine Video Music Awards. Clearly, this signaled the return of one of the country’s best bands.
2001 saw the band continuing its resurgence of luck. Alongside Rivermaya, South Border,Parokya ni Edgar and the E-heads, Truefaith became part of a live album which was recorded in several provinces including Davao. This was a project by coffee company, Nescafe. This would eventually lead to the band signing up with the company for a “promotional” video and song: Sumasarap ang Gising.
With Sumasarap as carrier single, the band relesed their 7th cd, Legalized Intense Vague Emotions. This time they dabbled on classic R&B, Motown-y grooves backed up by a horn section. Influences of 80s blue-eyed soul and 60s sunshine pop are also unmistakably noticeable. These are clearly pronounced in the next single, Basta-Basta which also was the music to a Mitsubishi TV ad. The Vague Emotions album was quickly followed with a live album and a TV concert. Truefaith Live: MYXed Emotions at Halo Halo was released at the end of 2001. MYX the video channel was relatively new at that time and Halo Halo was their weekly in-studio live music show. The cd featured a duet with Cooky Chua on the band’s cover of Paglisan ( an original by Cooky’s group, Color It Red).
Grace (2002) the band’s next cd was welcomed with lukewarm response. Touted as a return to the pop rock realm, it didn’t quite meet the expectations of fans and even the band weren’t as happy as they were with previous efforts. The single Deadma initially made much of a stir with its video that featured FHM cover girl Diana Zubiri. All else fizzled into oblivion. True fans would disagree: they’d argue that tracks like Come Back Home and Medusa would have made great singles. As Medwin recalls today, the group wasn’t given ample time to polish the record into how it should be. The record company was also undergoing management personnel chnages which didn’t help either. He also remembers that aside from Slapshock and other rap metal bands, the band scene wasn’t as vibrant as it used to be. This seeming limbo like state of the band scene was followed by another music trend. A trend that Truefaith would be a bit player of sorts.
In 2004, Truefaith released Eto Hits… Acoustic. Convinced that the band pioneered the unplugged side of OPM in the early 90s, EMI decided to release a compilation of old Truefaith songs in their original acoustic arrangement or re-done to suit the theme. It also included a cover of the Culture Club classic, Mistake Number 3. (The video for Mistake Number 3 was nominated at the MTV Awards of that year.) The collection did quite well.
After 2 years of absence from the recording scene, Truefaith returned in a big way with the launch of their 11th cd, Stray To Be Found. Powered by the first single, the mega ballad, Dahil Ikaw (which is the theme song to the teleserye Sa Piling Mo) the band have made their comeback in a spectacular manner. Not to be left out in the burgeoning "new band wave", they have once again proven to be a force to reckon with in the local music industry. A couple of years back, Benedict Esguerra and Kenneth Ilagan entered the band as drummer and guitarist respectively. Two years was just enough time for them to gel with the band. After Dahil Ikaw, the singles, Sayang Ang Lahat, Cross My Heart (a cover of an EBTG classic), and Araw’t Gabi were released. All the videos for these singles became regular fare in MYX’s Daily Top 10.
The video for Dahil Ikaw which was one of the most viewed in 2006 was nominated in 2 categories at the MYX Music Awards of 2007 consequently winning in the soundtrack category.It was directed by Genghis Jimenez.
In October 2005, the band went to the U.S.A. for their 1st American Tour. They played 2 shows 'round San Francisco, San Diego, New York and two shows in L.A. Medwin believes that the popularity of the song Dahil Ikaw has only increased the chances of them goin back to America and possibly a tour of Europe to entertain Filipinos there. It is no wonder that the song that ushered their comeback has paved the way for them to play internationally. From 2006 to 2008 they’ve done shows in Taiwan, Hong Kong Singapore and Malaysia.
To celebrate Truefaith's contribution to OPM and their years in EMI Philippines, the record label compiled all of the band's most memorable hits and other less popular albeit beautiful tracks. Dubbed as "Dream Journal:The Very Best Of Truefaith 1993-2007", the two-disc 32-track album chronicles Truefaith's journey through songs that endeared them to the listening public and cemented the band's reputation as certified hit makers.
In early 2009, Allan Elgar debuted as the new guitar player. He used to play for Mojofly, The Jett Pangan Group and his band, 7-Foot Jr. His exceptional guitar skills and roots in new wave and alternative were all that was needed to convince Medwin and the guys to have him join the group.
Shortly after Allan officially became a member, the band started working on a new album. The group just signed with Viva Records and recording sessions were held between the summer of 2009 up to December of that year. (In the middle of all this, Eugene and Medwin did a special acoustic show in Dubai.The first of many Truefaith apperances in the city in subsequent years.)
On March 12, 2010 the new album, "Love Parade" was launched in Eastwood City. It was an eclectic mix of different styles but the operative thrust was to go back to the decade the boys love most: The 80s!
The band performed most of the songs from the record during their set on that night including the carrier single, "Yun Lang" - with no less than Armi Millare of Up Dharma Down singing her parts of the song live onstage. Also guesting that night was Carlos Magno of the band, Out of Body Special. He sang on the song, "Strangeflower" which would eventually be played on some radio stations. (Luke Mejares and hip-hop artist Ryan Armamento also guested in the album on the same song but couldn't make it to the launch.)
The video for "Yun Lang" was directed by filmmaker, Quark Henares and it featured Armi Millare as guest. The video made it to the MYX Pinoy Countdown on May.
In that same month, the band embarked on their first ever tour of Canada. It started in Toronto then to Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton then in Vancouver. It was, according to Medwin, a real thrill to be playing to Truefaith fans in that country.
In July, the band did a show in Dubai. It was the first time that the whole group visited the state.
By year's end the 2nd single out of Love Parade was released: "Pangako." It enjoyed extensive airplay in a lot of radio stations nationwide. It was written by Allan.
In February 2011, the band went back to Dubai to perform at the show, Bisrock which featured, Pepe Smith, Urbandub, Cueshe etc.
In the first week of May of that year, Truefaith went to Hong Kong and performed for Smart/PLDT along with After Image's vocalist, Wency Cornejo.
The song, "Pag-Asa" from the Love Parade album was used as the theme song for a Koreanovela on TV 5 titled, "Don't Cry My Love."
It was decided upon by the band and Viva that the single to follow "Pangako" would be the uplifting ballad, "Mountain Wind." It was written by Medwin and Jake.
In the 24th Awit Awards which was held in December 2011, the band was nominated in 2 categories: Best Performance by a Group for "Yun Lang" and Best Inspirational Song for "Mountain Wind."
In the year 2012 the band did two shows for Smart/PLDT: one in February in Hong Kong and another in June in Macau.
The song, "Strangeflower" still from Love Parade, got some airplay over at 99.5RT and Jam 88.3 and some Killer Bee Stations in the south of the country.
Truefaith was invited to play at
one of the biggest annual music events in October. The band was very well-recieved by an enthusiastic crowd at the Tanduay Rhum Rockfest which was held at the MOA
The band went back to Dubai in December for a Pre-Xmas show with Wency Cornejo.
So far in 2013 the band has been doing numerous shows and just might stage a concert to mark the 20th Anniversary fo the release of the debut album, "Perfect" before the end of the year.There are also plans to bring the group to Europe, Canada and the U.S.
Medwin and co. should begin writing material again for the next record which they hope to release next year. New songs could be available for download in the coming months. A Xmas single perhaps?
Medwin believes that they will keep on making music as long as they are able to. It is this enduring passion and faith for Filipino music that shall fuel this drive to perform and create some of the best Pinoy songs anyone will ever hear.