Richie Paril - vocals // Terence Salinas - vocals
Photos by Phey Palma
Shepherds the Weak was an accident. We didn’t set out to form a band - no scouting; no auditions - we were simply a group of young Filipino ‘pares’ with instruments, mics and a passion for music who stumbled together in 2001.
A jamming duo of me (Glenn “Hey let’s call our band Milk and Cookies!!” Bogador) and Mike “I love Jazz more than metal” Salcedo was the catalyst that led to the line up of our original incarnation. In just a few, short months our 2-man-jam became a band of 5.
Mushie “I live and breathe World of Warcraft” Santos, an old friend from way back, showed up to one of our jams with no intention of joining a band. Luckily for us, he picked up the guitar during the break and impressed us with his awesome skill and versatility. We thought it would be cool to play with him more regularly and he agreed.
The “recruitment” of our vocalists happened in much the same impromptu way. Richie “I own 500 pairs more than Imelda Marcos” Paril and Terence “I have a huge tattoo on my arm” Salinas hung around the practice room a few times. During one jam, Richie picked up the mic and started doing some crazy-ass beat boxing. I thought he’d be decent enough to fill in empty spots during sound checks (hehehe…kidding). Seriously, he was good so we asked him to join us. Terence accidentally auditioned by singing a Craig David song one night while waiting for my shift at a LKF bar to finish. In spite of his song choice, we knew he was cool AND he could drink as much as we could - that was good enough for us to have him in the band.
So that’s how it all started: a hardcore bass player, a jazz drummer, a metal guitarist, a hip-hop beat-boxer and an R&B singer joined forces to form a funk-turned-metal-band.
Our first show was the infamous Wanchai LIVE hosted by the owners of Carnegies and The Wanch. We knew we were playing with more experienced bands so we were incredibly nervous even though our ridiculous timeslot of 2 pm meant that the crowd would be smaller. Needless to say, we almost wet our pants but we got through the set with only one hitch: we broke the snare drum after the 2nd song. Most of the other bands had to wait until the damaged drum was fixed which must have annoyed the crap out of them. We were so pumped after the show that we decided to play Medal of Honour for the next 9 hours.
The Early Years
When we first began playing together, we were all jobless and broke. We had nothing but free time, which we spent playing video games, drinking and eating our friend Adrian’s food stock (or should we say his parents’ food stock). We frequently filmed those days - I only wish we had kept all of the footage so we could gauge how much fatter we’ve become.
But let me get back to the music... A lot of our time was spent writing songs and practicing. We also kept playing local shows after the initial gig, and through those shows we got to know a few bands that are still around to this day. Around this time we met fellow musician Riz “I Love Pakistan but I will never live there again” Farooqi and his band Queen Ly Chee... this guy wanted to join our band so badly that he constantly filled in as a guitarist and is actually listed as a band member on our MySpace page.
Let me just mention that Bryant (our current guitarist and LOGISTICS *cough cough* extraordinaire) has been hanging around with us since as far back as 2001 which leads me to conclude that in order for you to join our band, all you have to do is hang out with us and drink beer.
Shepherds the Weak
2005 was a significant year for our band. We made a decision to change our name to Shepherds the Weak (STW). It was an easy transition as most of our songs were becoming heavier as we progressed. We decided that our original name (which I won’t mention for fear of being mocked mercilessly) would not adequately represent our new material. At the same time, we recruited our friend Danilo Cosio “I know how to ride a motorcycle” Gabuya (a.k.a. JR) as a 2nd guitarist to help “fatten up” our sound.
Within the same year we also recorded and released our first EP, “Strength in Numbers”. We still reluctantly play two songs from that album, so if you catch us live don’t request ‘Betrayal’ or any other crap from that album (except ‘False Idols’)... we can’t remember how to play them anymore.
2005 – 2010
The past five years have been filled with many highs and lows for STW. Through ‘Start From Scratch,’ a production group we formed with our good friends in King Ly Chee, we were fortunate to meet and play alongside some of the bands we listen to. We opened for bands such as Parkway Drive, Misery Signals, Terror, First Blood, Shai Hulud, and Comeback Kid, as well as Napalm Death (Asian Tour, Shenzen) and Shadows Fall (2009, Pulp Summer Slam).
STW has also helped bring some Filipino bands to Hong Kong, including our good friends Badburn, Piledriver, Intolerant, Typecast and Skychurch. We have plans to sponsor more shows in the future.
In 2010 our line up changed for the first time. Due to work and life commitments, Mushie and JR had to bow out; they were replaced by our new members Tommi “I like Foo Fighters way too much” Svinhufvud and Bryant “I’m the king of logistics” Vallejo.
We plan to release a few new songs online soon alongside the launch of our new website. We are also planning a China tour amongst more Hong Kong shows, so stay tuned and keep visiting our website for more info.
Glenn “Hey let’s call our band Milk and Cookies!!” Bogador
Photo by Phey Palma