Pinoy rock veterans start local band

Published on Thu, Mar 7, 2002 by Jack Kintner

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Pinoy rock veterans start local band

By Jack Kintner

Four rock musicians with 20 years’ experience and two gold albums between them have gathered together to form a new local band. “Gary’s Project” plays next in Blaine on Saturday, March 9, at the Bordertown Tavern and returns to the Dakota Creek Roadhouse on Friday, March 22, (from 9 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. at both places.)

Bandleader and lead guitar player Gary Perez, 49, has had two gold albums in a 20-plus year career in the Philippines, with his songs ‘Bonggaha’ and ‘Tao’ both topping the charts. Perez has also played with and opened for Eric Clapton and Paul Williams, and bands such as Canned Heat and Blood, Sweat and Tears.

The band also includes Perez’s wife Gina, vocalist and rhythm guitar, Renee Currillo, drums, and David Payne on bass. The band rehearses at a house they all share in Ferndale, and their next-door neighbor, Sean Lihou, 61, is one of their biggest fans.

“They’re accomplished musically and play a wide variety of material,” said Lihou, who once had his own family band in Scotland.

David Payne, the only member who was not a part of the Philippine rock scene, known as “pinoy rock,” was a session artist in Los Angeles for over 20 years before moving north to Whatcom County and now divides his time between music and woodworking, including making guitars. “Right now I support myself making miniature instruments for doll-house manufacturers,” Payne said. “Some of the instruments I make are really tiny, but they’re playable.”..

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