CERUMENTRIC is an electronic punk rock outfit from Manila, Philippines. The band made two albums using two old and slow desktop computers donated by a friend. This got CERUMENTRIC nominated twice in the Asian Voice Independent Music Awards (AVIMA), the Asian equivalent of an indie music Grammy. His music was selected for Nokia’s Asian music compilation project. If you ever wonder what is so special about that, consider that most of the artists nominated had access to professional studio production and high quality musical instruments.
CERUMENTRIC started out with nothing but an old Pentium III/128MB RAM computer, a supportive wife and friends, and some spare time in between being a freelance web designer and stay-at-home dad.
CERUMENTRIC is essentially Erick A. Fabian Sr. on synths, vocals, samplers and other little magic boxes.
CERUMENTRIC has opened for international indie acts Psydoll (Japan), Bottlesmoker (Indonesia), and Turbo Goth (PH/US).
CERUMENTRIC has performed in large venues, DIY underground shows, music bars, restaurants, thrift bookstores, film showings, living room concerts, garages and even college classrooms.
CERUMENTRIC‘s songs have been featured in compilations released by different outfits such as Nokia Asia’s Tastemaker’s Feast 2008 CD, Bacolod City label SSS Records HolidaySSS, U.S.-based art/music/literary magazine Receptacle, fashion/art/music/film site IndieManila.com, and Malaysian entertainment group Saintz & Sinnerz’s charity-based music release, Indie Aid Japan.
CERUMENTRIC’s story started with a deadly typhoon, a temporary hearing loss, and an old computer. In September 2006, while Typhoon Milenyo-Xangsane devastated the Philippine capital of Manila and its surrounding areas, Erick A. Fabian Sr. experienced hearing loss alongside a painful ordeal of tinnitus for the first time. It was a critical blow to the young singer-songwriter who has been writing songs since he was 13. The fear of not hearing the music that he has built his life around with was imminent.
Surveying the wreckage and witnessing the casualties of the typhoon on the way home from the doctor, Fabian had the realization that he only has one life to live and one chance to do what he has wanted all along. His wife told him to stop making excuses about making music once more, several years after the demise of his previous musical efforts. He started writing new songs in the indie electropop-meets-punk style on an old desktop that a friend donated because he can’t afford to get a new computer at that time.
After uploading his early demos and first album on MySpace to amuse his friends, his second full-length, ‘The Return Of The Transplant’, caught the attention of Southeast Asian music fans. The album was released in September 2009 on Bandcamp, while Typhoon Ketsana ravaged Manila with flash floods. In spite of a lukewarm reception by a largely snobbish Manila music scene, CERUMENTRIC has gained nominations from award-giving bodies and praise from discriminating music fans abroad.
CERUMENTRIC’s subsequent evolution into a dynamic electronic live act gained the band a small but loyal following that has survived to this day. More than nine years after bands in the fickle Manila indie music scene have come, reigned briefly as crowd darlings, and have disappeared from many scenesters’ short-term memory, Fabian’s outfit has survived and thrived, and has reached people all over the world, despite lack of a hype marketing budget. He has proven that his musical vision can survive any musical trend, and outlast any overhyped act. This time, Manila’s underdog electropunkrock outfit aspires to tread and make an impact on the global music scene, going for broke, kicking ass and taking names, while defining success on its own terms.