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Do you remember the first time you listened to Black Sabbath or Alice in Chains? Remember that rock-solid, riff driven boom of aggression flowing through your body when you first heard "Paranoid" or "Dam that River"?

Well you’re in for quite a ride, because this is the very same feeling you’ll get when you see these guys in action. Battery is a power trio made up of Nashville native, Michael Turner on vocals and guitar, and homegrown music wizards, Chris Salva on bass, and Patrick Dy on drums.

"We’ve only been together for six months, and we’ve managed to come out with a demo that’s getting some airplay on NU 107," says Michael. He was referring to the song "Toxic Hate", a cry against racial prejudice. The gloomy and pile-driving sound is the perfect backdrop for Michael’s thought provoking lyrics. On "Plastic Jesus", he wails about the absurdity of religious hypocrisy.

"Actually, ‘Plastic Jesus’ is the first song we all wrote and arranged together." Explains Patrick. Michael is basically the group’s chief songwriter, but Chris and Patrick also contribute their musical ideas. For example, Patrick is responsible for some of their songs’ mind-blowing fills and breaks. In fact, what lifts Battery above the madding crowd is the tight, solid interaction between drums and the bass. They ARE SO LOCKED-IN, it’s scary. And Chris is one of the few bassists in the local scene who plays with a pick, and does so with extreme finesse. These guys are really good musicians.

Prior to its inception, the members had gone through various bands. Michael was once with The Breed, and the other were once with Stormfront. Yet in the span of six months, the group has come with an album’s worth of material. That’s 14 songs, in case you want to be awed further.

The group cites classic rock bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Rush as main influences. But the latter is an obvious influence, not because of the three piece line-up; but because of their creative use of fill-ins within the songs. "We don’t overdo it", says Patrick. "I mean not to a point na hindi na kami maintindihan ng audience, kahit gaano ka-intricate ang arrangements. We still try to make it simple."

Michael Turner has been staying here in the Philippines for the past 4 years. So I asked him if he knows how to speak Tagalog. He replied by saying, "Kamusta ‘pre, bahala ka sa buhay mo…."

Captured at the NU 107 Independence Day Sessions, June 10th 1999

By Hendrick O. Gonzales

 
   
 

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