MANILA, Philippines — Five-year old band Unit 406 returns with a new single that band members Ash, Chen, Gab, Tim, and TJ planned to release to “switch things up.”
Their first release under their new home at MCA Music is the searing pop/rock ballad “Kung Ang Puso” that draws on the story of a failed relationship, where one party is still willing to fix things, but the other has already given up.
Guitarist and vocalist Chen Pangan shares that it took some time for Gab Tagadtad, the band’s chief songwriter, to finish “Kung Ang Puso.”
“He wrote the chorus in 2017, then put it aside and came back to it after two years. When he did, he had one of those moments where the songwriting was totally easy, na parang nagsibagsakan na lang yung mga letra sa papel. Natapos niya agad noon yung kanta, then pinarinig niya sa amin and sa label, and we all gave it a thumbs-up.”
Gab is a prolific songwriter who has written songs for other artists. He says his approach to making music is very different when he writes for Unit 406.
“When I write for Unit 406, I imagine us playing on stage. Yung mga calculated na hampas ni Tim sa drums na sinasakop yung buong venue, yung bass lines ni Ash na naka-super glue sa ugong ng drums niya, yung distorted guitars ni Chen na parang nakikipagduet pa sa harmonies naming tatlo, at yung piano at synth parts ni TJ na nagpapadulas sa tenga ng nakikinig. With that in mind, iniisip ko kung ano pa yung gusto kong marinig sa kanila na hindi ko pa naririnig. I start from there hangang mabuo yung song.”
Gab reveals he usually writes a bucketload of songs, then he and the rest of the band sift through them and pick their favorites. Sometimes they tweak what he’s written to suit the members’ tastes, and sometimes they’ll ask him to write about a certain topic or in a certain style. That approach is a major part of the reason behind their success. They know that changing labels was a risky thing for them to do, but they stand by their decision.
“We’re grateful to our previous label because that’s actually where it all started for us. It allowed us to work with some really talented people,” says bassist Ash Vanguardia.
“Signing with MCA was a natural choice for us at this point, because it complements our direction and vision as a group,” says Tim Sison, the band’s drummer.
“MCA will open new doors for Unit 406 when it comes to our music,” keyboardist TJ Hollon adds. “On the technical side, aside from serving as our record label, MCA will also manage us. That will allow for more consistency and efficiency when it comes to our projects.”
“If we keep pushing, 2021 could be our year. We’re really blessed to have been able to sign with MCA even during this time, because we know we’re not alone in our pursuit of success. While we wait for live events to return, we’ll release as much music as we can online so we can still be with our listeners as we await better days,” Gab says.