The Dawn (band)

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This article is about the Filipino rock band. For other uses,see Dawn (disambiguation).

The Dawn
Background information
Origin Manila, Philippines
Genre(s) Pinoy rock, OPM, New Wave
Years active 1985-1995
Label(s) MCA Music Philippines
Warner Music Philippines
Sony BMG Philippines
PolyEast Records
Jett Pangan Group
Cicada Band
Twisted Halo
True Faith
Sun Valley Crew
Project 1
Jett Pangan
JB Leonor
Buddy Zabala
Kenneth Ilagan
Former members
Teddy Diaz
Clay Luna
Mon Legaspi
Carlos Balcells
Atsushi Matsuura
Noel Mendes (Zorro)
Dodo Fernandez
Francis Reyes

The Dawn is a Filipino rock band which achieved commercial success during the late 1980s in the Philippines. The band broke up in 1995 with lead vocalist Jett Pangan forming another band, the Jett Pangan Group. The Dawn reunited in late 1999.



The Dawn was formed in 1985 by Teddy Diaz (vocals and guitars), JB Leonor (drums), Jett Pangan (lead vocals) and Clay Luna (bass). The band's name was derived from a portrait of the Holy Spirit that symbolized the dawn of a new day (probably found in a book given by the Sisters of the Holy Spirit to Teddy Diaz,<ref name="FilExpOnline">Sheryl Garcia. "The Dawn remembers founding member in bio-pic",, June 18, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-11-13. </ref> as well as a crucifix which Teddy also received from the same sisterhood), called The Dawning of the Holy Spirit.<ref>Template:Cite video</ref> Diaz, Leonor and Luna initially wanted a female vocalist; but in the course of their search, Jett Pangan auditioned and got the trio's unanimous nod. The quartet began performing in clubs and eventually recorded a demo of a song entitled "Enveloped Ideas," a copy of which they submitted to DWXB 102.7, a now-defunct Metro Manila–based FM radio station that played Alternative rock and New Wave music. It topped the radio station's charts in 1986, helping the group gain a cult following.<ref>Villanueva, Val A.. "Audiofile: "Mr. DJ"",, 2009-02-22. Retrieved on 2009-09-27. </ref> Heavily influenced by the New Wave genre of the 1980s, "Enveloped Ideas" is distinct for its introductory operatic vocals a la Klaus Nomi.

While The Dawn was in search of a major record label, Luna left the band to immigrate to the US. Carlos "Caloy" Balcells, bass player of another Filipino group, the Cicada Band, soon replaced him.

Success and tragedy

The Dawn ca. late 80's (L-R, front to rear) the late Teddy Diaz, Jett Pangan, JB Leonor and Carlos Balcells

In 1986, The Dawn signed with OctoArts International and, the next summer, released their eponymous debut album, which gained commercial success. ManyTemplate:Who felt that The Dawn would fill the void left behind by the Juan de la Cruz Band when their music slowly faded in the 1980s.

At the height of their popularity in 1988, and just weeks after the release of their second album I Stand With You, Teddy Diaz was stabbed to death in front of his girlfriend's house on August 21, 1988 by two men allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Despite the demise of Diaz, his influence is still felt among many guitarists today and he has become a legend among many Filipino musicians. The Dawn still considers Diaz to be the band's driving force to this day.

The band continued to play, at one time employing the services of a masked guitarist (nicknamed Zorro by some fans) in the absence of a permanent guitar player. Atsushi Matsuura, a Japanese guitarist who had earlier released a solo album in the Philippines under Ivory Records, took on lead guitar duties in January 1989. He was later replaced by Francis Reyes, former Afterimage guitarist, who was also a disc jockey at NU-107, a local alternative rock radio station. Reyes also happened to be Diaz's close friend. Classically trained session keyboardist Millette Saldajeno also joined the band in 1990 but was later replaced by Isidore Fernandez in 1992.

Breakup and reunion

In 1995, the band went their separate ways due to Pangan's desire to move on with another career. Pangan then formed the Jett Pangan Group.

The 1997 reunion at the ULTRA brought the band back on-stage and, for the first time, the band employed two guitarists: Matsuura and Reyes. They did another reunion show at the now defunct ABG's along Pasong Tamo, while they were discussing a comeback release through Sony Music Philippines (now Sony BMG Music Philippines). In 2000 they reunited with both Francis Reyes and Atsushi Matsuura on guitars and performed on GMA Networks' 2000 Global Millennium Day Broadcast in Ayala Avenue in Makati City. That year, they also recorded Prodigal Sun, an album that, much like the parable of the Prodigal Son, symbolized their return to the music scene.

2001 saw the band actively engaged in the live circuit, embarking on an 8-city US tour and were in New York City when 9/11 turned the World Trade Center into ground zero. In 2004, Carlos Balcells left the band in order to perform his duties as city councilor in his native Talisay City. Former Wolfgang bass player Mon Legaspi took his place in the band. A few months later, the band once again parted with Matsuura and returned to being a quartet.

Recent developments

In 2004, the band released Harapin (Filipino, "To Face"), featuring singles such as Tulad ng Dati ("Just Like Before") and Laging Narito ("Always Here").

In late 2005, bass player Mon Legaspi amicably left the band to pursue other projects and was replaced by Buddy Zabala, formerly of The Eraserheads. Around this time, The Dawn also contributed to the Apo Hiking Society tribute album kami nAPO muna with a cover of Bawat Bata ("Every Child").

In 2006 an independent film based on the band's history was released. Tulad Ng Dati (Just Like Before, as entitled in the Pusan International Film Festival) won Best Editing, Best Sound, and Best Picture in the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. It was also the country's entry to the Hawaii International Film Festival.<ref>Dimaculangan, Jocelyn. "Tulad ng Dati" to be screened in SM digital cinemas starting April 25. Retrieved on 2009-09-21.</ref> The Dawn's 20th anniversary album, a two-disc set of the same title was released in October of the same year. Disc one contains re-recordings of their hits through the years and the carrier single Ang Iyong Paalam ("Your Farewell"), while disc two contains videos, including rare footage of Teddy Diaz doing a guitar solo.<ref name="">Resty Odon. "Titik Pilipino Album Review", Retrieved on 2006-11-18. </ref>

In October 2006, "Enveloped Ideas" was voted as the greatest New Wave song of all time by the listeners of DWXB-FM, which was revived on the Internet with its original DJs broadcasting from Manila.

In October 2008, The Dawn launched their tenth studio album, The Later Half of Day, their first album in two years since the last released in 2006. It featured Jazz re-arrangements of their old songs.

In July 2009, the band launched their eleventh studio album, Sound The Alarm. The album features The Dawn's latest guitarist Kenneth Ilagan, formerly of True Faith and Rivermaya. Francis Reyes, who had been with the band for the last 18 years, left after what Jett Pangan called a "hard meeting". Pangan also went on to state that Reyes was welcome to rejoin the band.<ref>Panaligan, Jojo. "'Francis Reyes is welcome to rejoin The Dawn’ – Jett Pangan", Manila Bulletin, 2009-08-25. Retrieved on 2009-10-08. </ref>


Studio albums

Compilation albums

Live albums

The Dawn line-ups

Year Lineup Releases
  • Teddy Diaz - guitars, back-up vocals, keyboards
  • JB Leonor - drums
  • Jett Pangan - vocals, guitar
  • Carlos Balcells - bass guitar
January - November
  • JB Leonor - drums
  • Jett Pangan - lead vocals
  • Carlos Balcells - bass guitar
  • Atsushi Matsuura - guitars, back-up vocals, keyboards
December 1989 -
January 1995
  • JB Leonor - drums
  • Jett Pangan - lead vocals
  • Carlos Balcells - bass guitar
  • Francis Reyes - guitars, back-up vocals, keyboards
  • JB Leonor - drums
  • Jett Pangan - lead vocals
  • Carlos Balcells - bass guitar
  • Francis Reyes - guitars, back-up vocals, keyboards
  • Atsushi Matsuura - guitars, back-up vocals
  • JB Leonor - drums
  • Jett Pangan - lead vocals
  • Francis Reyes - guitars, back-up vocals, keyboards
  • Atsushi Matsuura - guitars, back-up vocals
  • Mon Legaspi - bass guitar
  • JB Leonor - drums
  • Jett Pangan - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Francis Reyes - guitars, back-up vocals, keyboards
  • Mon Legaspi - bass guitar
  • JB Leonor - drums
  • Jett Pangan - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Francis Reyes - guitars, back-up vocals
  • Buddy Zabala - bass guitar, back-up vocals
  • JB Leonor - drums
  • Jett Pangan - vocals
  • Buddy Zabala - bass guitar
  • Kenneth Ilagan - guitar

See also

External links


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