Orange and Lemons

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This article is about the Filipino band. For the nursery rhyme, see Oranges and Lemons. For other uses, see Oranges and Lemons (disambiguation).
Orange and Lemons
Origin Baliuag, Bulacan, Philippines
Genres Pinoy rock
Alternative rock
OPM
Indie pop
Years active 1999–2007, 2010
Labels Universal Records Philippines
Associated acts
Colossal Youth
The Camerawalls
Kenyo
Popseeds
Project 1
Past members Mcoy Fundales
Clementine
JM del Mundo
Ace del Mundo

Orange and Lemons was a Filipino pop rock band formed in 1999. The band name "Oranges and Lemons" was initially recommended by a former member of the group. Apparently the band was not aware at the time that the name was actually derived from a British nursery rhyme and a title of an album by the British band XTC. So they changed it to "Orange and Lemons".

With a style of retro music combined with alternative rock, the band has become one of few Pinoy rock bands to have that definitive sound that separated them from the rest of pure pop and rock. The band's main musical influences ranged from The Beatles and The Smiths, to The Cure and The Eraserheads.

Orange and Lemons or ONL was a grand and swift crossover story from their humble beginnings as a virtually unknown act in the scene to being independent artists then to being artists under the major label Universal Records Philippines. Their songs enjoyed massive airplay in radio stations and music channels in the country resulting to the band gaining popularity and winning fans of different ages and backgrounds.

Their hit songs as of 2006 included "Just like a Splendid Love Song", "Hanggang Kailan" ("Until When"), "Heaven Knows (This Angel Has Flown)", "Abot Kamay" ("Within Reach") and the controversial hit song "Pinoy Ako" ("I'm Filipino"), which was the official soundtrack of Pinoy Big Brother, the Philippines' franchised version of the reality TV show Big Brother.

Band members[edit]

History[edit]

The early years[edit]

Clementine Castro and Mcoy Fundales met in high school in the mid-1990s. They found out through participating in school programs and events that they shared a common passion for music. Fundales introduced Castro to the music of The Beatles and since then jammed songs from the legendary group. At the same time, they developed their songwriting partnership. The duo formed groups with friends from their province of Bulacan and went through several names such as The Voiz, Sweet Silence, Irony, The Cranes, Mushroom and eventually settled down with Orange and Lemons. The name was suggested by their former drummer. The group got the name because it sounded playful, fresh and catchy to them. Years after they used the name they found out that there is a British nursery rhyme and an XTC album called Oranges & Lemons. Castro discovered the music of The Smiths in college and introduced it to Fundales. It was the music of The Beatles and The Smiths combined that created a huge impact on the duo's songwriting and playing style.

Brothers Ace and JM del Mundo were in a band called Colossal Youth when they met Castro and Fundales in a local bar in Bulacan in 1999. Older brother Ace, who was playing guitars at the time, was very impressed with the songwriting skills of Castro and Fundales and instantly became a fan.

Castro and Fundales with two other friends were handled by Roldan "Bong" Baluyot of No Seat Affair (a local management, booking and production outfit) when they recorded a two-track demo ("She's Leaving Home", "Isang Gabi") in 1999 as Orange and Lemons. The song "She's Leaving Home" soon found its way to radio station NU107.5 FM's playlist.

Rap-metal bands lorded the scene at the time and ONL (with their clean, jangly guitar driven, Brit-flavored pop songs) went almost unnoticed. Looking for a label to release the band's material became a difficult task.

Out of college and out of work, Castro and Fundales decided to put the band in hiatus in 2000 to find day jobs and try different careers.

In 2003, Ace showed up at Castro's place asking about the band. He urged Castro to reform it to have the original songs recorded even for posterity's sake. Ace was so determined and steadfast about the idea that he even volunteered to switch from playing guitars to drums to get the band started. It was enough to convince Castro; he contacted Fundales and their former bassist to discuss the possibilities. A rehearsal date was soon set. The former bassist, however, failed to show up. Fortunately, JM came along with Ace and was soon jamming with the group on bass. After the jamming session, Fundales and Castro decided to have the del Mundo brothers in the band permanently and the new line-up of Orange and Lemons was formed.

The boys soon started arranging and rehearsing original songs that would eventually end up in their debut album, Love in the Land of Rubber Shoes and Dirty Ice Cream.

Going independent[edit]

Castro and Fundales contacted Bong Baluyot to once again handle the band. They presented crude demo recordings of the new songs. Baluyot liked the songs and was convinced that there might be a demand for the band's sound this time around. With friend Boom Jose of the '80s band Violent Playground, they booked ONL in a session to put the songs on record. Ten songs were recorded in three days due to a limited financial budget. After the songs were recorded, Baluyot once again started scouting around for a label that would take the group in.

The band needed gigs. The boys decided to rehearse their '80s repertoire to get bookings in bars in the Metro. It was again a challenge since acoustic acts and novelty songs were in demand at that time. ONL got their first gig stint in a club in Makati City called Where Else?. The band's sense of humor and wit on stage combined with their nostalgic repertoire and excellent original material soon got people, young professionals in particular, spreading the word. ONL's audience steadily grew.

It was in one of those gigs that ONL met Toti Dalmacion, formerly of Groove Nation, a local music store famous for rare and hard-to-find vinyl records. Dalmacion occasionally spins for the Where Else? discothèque and is known as a contemporary music guru of sorts in the Philippine music scene. He became curious about Orange and Lemons because of their band name since he is a long-time XTC fan. Dalmacion liked ONL's music for its familiar yet new sound. The band soon found themselves indulged in conversations with Dalmacion regarding music, genres and style.

Dalmacion was already toying with the idea of establishing an independent label that he would call Terno Recordings. The label would showcase unsigned and talented Filipino artists with a unique sound and style that could (hopefully) pass international standards. He proposed that ONL be the flagship artist for the label. Opportunities were realized by both parties. A one-album deal was signed.

ONL's 10-track debut album, Love in the Land of Rubber Shoes and Dirty Ice Cream was independently released and launched in December 2003.

The album's carrier single "(Just Like) A Splendid Love Song" got radio airplay on NU107.5 FM and would soon after reach the station's number 1 spot in their weekly countdown. Another local station JAM88.3 FM started airing the single and it too went up on the station's charts.

The album created buzz and ONL was now playing in venues across the Metro to a jam-packed crowd hungry for their brand of music.

Orange and Lemons was declared Best New Artist for 2004 in NU107's yearly Rock Awards event.

Major label success[edit]

Bong Baluyot met with Robert Javier of '90s band The Youth during one of ONL's regular Gweilos Bar Makati gigs. Javier informed Baluyot that Bella Tan of major label Universal Records Philippines was interested in signing Orange and Lemons to the label. Negotiations went on and ONL found themselves signing a contract with Universal Records in October 2004.

The band proceeded to record a new album; their second and first under a major label. Given more resources and recording time allotment, ONL showed tremendous growth in their sound on the new album.

Strike Whilst The Iron Is Hot was completed and released in June 2005, dishing out successful singles such as "Hanggang Kailan (Umuwi Ka Na Baby)", "Heaven Knows (This Angel Has Flown)" and "Lihim".

One of the band's biggest breaks came with an offer from Philippine media giant ABS-CBN for ONL to do the jingle/soundtrack for a new series Pinoy Big Brother, the Philippine franchised version of the reality TV show Big Brother. ONL came up with a massive yet controversial hit song called "Pinoy Ako".

Other projects of the band included "Abot Kamay" (a song for a shampoo advertisement) and "Blue Moon" (their version of the classic track for a movie theme song).

The band launched a repackaged edition of Strike Whilst The Iron Is Hot a few months after it was released to include new songs. The album is now at multi-platinum status.

ONL, backed with hit songs, extensive radio airplay and TV appearances, toured the country for a series of successful shows.

The band received numerous awards and citations for their work. In June 2005, Orange and Lemons was featured on MTV Philippines in its Rising Star segment, and in March 2006 they were featured in the "Lokal Artist of the Month" segment. Orange and Lemons were named "Artist of the Year" at the NU107's Rock Awards for 2005.

Other projects[edit]

The release of the acclaimed tribute album of the Apo Hiking Society, Kami nAPO Muna in 2006, where the band contributed one track, gave Orange and Lemons the spotlight again. Their musical talents were showcased once more with the promotion of their rendition of the Apo song "Yakap sa Dilim". Judged by critics as one of the best cuts in the 18-track album, the song was played extensively and massively on upscale and mass-oriented radio stations. Fundales' vocal interpretation and the band's guitar work refocused the public's attention on their musical prowess. Their video of the same song showed more blatantly and without hesitation their own brand of humor, which successfully blended action comedy with slight sexual connotations.

Orange and Lemons once again did their take on yet another Apo song "Tuloy na Tuloy Pa Rin Ang Pasko" by December 2006. The song was used by ABS-CBN for their Christmas station ID.

As a follow-up to "Abot Kamay", the band completed a song from Unilever Philippines called "Let Me" and was used for another shampoo advertisement.

Universal Records released their third and last album on June 8, 2007 called Moonlane Gardens. Their first single in that album was "Ang Katulad Mong Walang Katulad" and their last single before they disbanded was "Fade".

Disbanding[edit]

It was reported on October 10, 2007 by the Inquirer.net that Orange and Lemons had disbanded. The reason stated was primarily due to differences between band members and their managers. Clem Castro, the then lead guitarist of the band, started his own band after being kicked out of Orange and Lemons. He is currently the frontman of 3-piece indie pop group The Camerawalls signed under his own label, Lilystars Records. He formed the band with original Orange & Lemons bassist Law. The three remaining band members formed a new band called Kenyo.[1]

Controversies[edit]

Allegations have been made that the melody and musical arrangement of their breakout single "Pinoy Ako", also used as theme song in the hit reality show Pinoy Big Brother, was stolen from an obscure single "Chandeliers" by 1980s new wave group, Care.[2] When asked what their reaction was by The Manila Bulletin: "It saddens us because it's unfair." Sony BMG Music Entertainment, owner of the rights to Care's Diamonds and Emeralds album from which "Chandeliers" came from, has yet to issue a statement or take legal actions if it so warrants.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Love in the Land of Rubber Shoes and Dirty Ice Cream [Terno Records] (2003)
  • Strike whilst the Iron Is Hot [Universal Records] (2005)
  • Moonlane Gardens [Universal Records]

Tribute album contributions[edit]

Other collaborations[edit]

  • NU 107 Super Size Rock (2004)
  • Jack Lives Here (2004)
  • Pinoy Ako (Star Records, 2005)
  • Super! The Biggest Opm Hits Of The Year (2006)
  • Musika Sa Bahay Ni Kuya: The Best Of Pinoy Big Brother Hits (Star Records, 2008)
  • i-Star 15: The Best Of Inspirational Songs (Star Records, 2010)

Christmas album contributions[edit]

  • Not Another Christmas Album - JAM 88.3 ("Christmas Daydreams") (2004)
  • OPM Gold Christmas Album ("Tuloy na Tuloy Pa Rin Ang Pasko") (2006)
  • Close Up Season of Smiles ("God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen") (2006)

Singles[edit]

  • "She's Leaving Home"
  • "Just Like A Splendid Love Song"
  • "A Beginning of Something Wonderful"
  • "Kailangan Kita"
  • "Hanggang Kailan (Umuwi Ka Na Baby)"
  • "Heaven Knows (This Angel Has Flown)"
  • "Pinoy Ako"
  • "Abot Kamay"
  • "Blue Moon"
  • "Lihim"
  • "Yakap Sa Dilim" (original by APO Hiking Society)
  • "Tuloy na Tuloy Pa Rin Ang Pasko"
  • "Let Me"
  • "Ang Katulad Mong Walang Katulad"
  • "Fade"
  • "Huwag Kang Matakot" (original by The Eraserheads)

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Sugarfree
NU Rock Awards
Best New Artist

2004
Succeeded by
Pedicab