Find Out Where Up Dharma Down Gets Their After-Gig GrubOctober 17, 2019
If there’s one topic that gets any kind of Filipino talking, it’s food. Local bands are no exception to this rule, as their gigs extend up to early morning or bring them on long drives or out of town trips.
“This has been our most talkative interview! We’re more of an eating band, rather than a drinking band.” – Armi Millare
Internationally recognized band Up Dharma Down—who have been featured on TIME Magazine and whose songs have become many Pinoys’ anthems for heartbreak—had a lot to say about what they like to eat, what they don’t eat, and what they look for on the road. Armi Millare managed to say, “this has been our most talkative interview!” twice when I sat down with the band before their last gig at 19 East. She also describes the band as “more of an eating band, rather than a drinking band.” Read on to find out what vocalist and keyboardist Armi, guitarist (plus samples and synths) Carlos Tañada, drummer (plus samples, synths, and visuals) Ean Mayor, and bassist-slash-back-up vocalist (and synths) Paul Yap crave after a gig and what they look for on their own time.
Pepper: Do you guys have a go-to place before or after a gig?
Paul: It depends where we are actually. If we’re in Makati, our favorite places would be Nihon Bashitei, Whistlestop, and Hap Chan. Sometimes we go to Aristocrat in Jupiter for the chicken.
Ean: Usually whatever’s open at 3am, so the ones that are open 24 hours.
Paul: Meron pang isa (there’s another one), Uncle Moe’s, when we’re in Pasig!
Ean: Mas may appetite kami to eat after a gig. Before (that), nirereserve namin. (We have a bigger appetite after a gig. Before that, we reserve our appetite).
Paul: Mahirap gumalaw kapag busog. (It’s hard to move when you’re full).
Armi: Mahirap kumain before performing kasi di ako makahinga. May times na nasustuck sa throat ko, so you have to wash it down with water. Usually after the gig, yung metabolism mo medyo mabilis pa, tapos yung adrenaline mo mataas, so better for me to eat. Usually, I can eat sweets and stuff with dairy at least three days before a gig. I can’t drink anything cold after singing. When we were starting out, when our talent fee was barya lang; lalabas lang kami to eat. Naalala mo yung mga murang buffet dati? Yun tsaka Hap Chan palagi. (It’s hard to eat before performing because I have a hard time breathing. There are times something gets stuck in my throat, so I have to wash it down with water. But usually after a gig, your metabolism is high and so is your adrenaline, so it’s better for me to eat. When we were starting out and our talent fee was so small, we always went out just to eat in cheap buffet places. That, and Hap Chan.)
Pepper: What are your favorite orders for each restaurant?
Paul: If we’re at Nihon Bashitei, (we order) the Toru Spicy Maki and Salmon Sashimi.
Armi: Soba, uni.
Ean: Sa Whistlestop, masarap yung tokwa nila. Atoy’s kapag wala kaming pera. Kapag long drive, nag-hahanap kami ng S&R. (Whistlestop has good tofu. We go to Atoy’s when we’re short on cash. When we’re on the road, we look for S&R.
Armi: Razon’s also for long drives! Mahilig si Toti sa Razon’s! (Our manager, Toti, is fond of Razon’s.)
Paul: When we’re at Fort, we go to Recovery Food. Sulit yung Buffalo Tenders and yung steak sa Bugsy’s. (The buffalo tenders and steak from Bugsy’s are worth the price.)
Armi: How about when we’re up at north? Hm, Mr. Kebab dati. (We used to go to Mr. Kebab).
Paul: North? Countryside!
Pepper: Does anyone cook in the band?
Armi: It’s like this: whatever I cook, they’ll eat. Si Ean, maarte siya sa food. Ayaw niya ng creamy; gusto lang niya pesto sa pasta. Ayaw niya ng carbonara. He eats pizza. Ayaw niya mga fruits sa ulam niya; kunwari yung may pineapple, ganun. Maarte talaga siya. (Ean is picky about his food. He doesn’t like creamy food; he only likes pesto sauce with his pasta. He doesn’t like carbonara. He eats pizza. He doesn’t like fruits with his meat, like pineapples. He’s really picky!) Si Paul, lahat kinakain niya. Carlos din, may specific siyang fried na gusto niya. (Paul eats everything. Carlos isn’t picky either, but he has specific foods that he likes fried).
Ean: (I eat) More of Japanese and Korean.
Pepper: What are your favorite restaurants from out of town gigs?
Paul: Kapag (nasa) Davao, we love eating the tuna there! We go to Backyard Burgers also, even if we don’t have an event there. Usually (a) food coma (happens) after! ‘Pag Cebu, Handuraw Pizza and Casa Verde’s ribs. In Bacolod, Felicia’s Pastry Cafe and Steak Room and the original Aida’s (Chicken). Iba pa rin yung fresh food sa Bacolod. Sa Gen San, yung tuna and seafood. (When we’re in Davao, we love eating the tuna there. When we’re in Cebu, we go to Handuraw Pizza and eat Casa Verde’s ribs. In Bacolod, we like to go to Felicia’s Pastry Cafe and Steak Room and the original Aida’s Chicken. The food in Bacolod is really fresh. In General Santos, the tuna and seafood is really good.)
Pepper: What are your go-to drinks?
Armi: We’re mostly whiskey drinkers. Single malt lang talaga. (Our favorite is single malt.) Jack (Daniel’s) and Glenfiddich.
Paul: ‘Pag beer, gusto namin dark beer like Cerveza or Paulaner, mga imported beers. (We like dark beer like Cerveza Negra or Paulaner, and other imported beers).
Pepper: What’s your common favorite food and your individual preferences?
Carlos: Ako, Mexican. Mahilig ako sa spicy, sa may chips, at karne. (I like Mexican food. I’m fond of spicy food that has chips and meat.) My go-to Mexican place is the Mexicombi Food Truck.
Ean: Kung walang Japanese, hahanapin ko yung Cantonese. (If there’s no Japanese, I look for Cantonese). I like dimsum and tausi spareribs with rice. I like the dimsum in Tim Ho Wan more than the pork buns.
Paul: Japanese and Korean. For Korean, (I like) pork tofu and masarap yung Korean fried chicken. Mahilig din ako sa Thai food, like Pad Thai (I really like Thai food, like Pad Thai.)—for me the best Thai food is still (in) Som’s compared to the pricier places, like People’s Palace.
Armi: Mediterranean, Filipino, Japanese. Sa Filipino food, mga gata and really spicy food. (For Filipino food, I really like coconut based and spicy food.) I can survive on leaves since I didn’t grow up a meat eater. But if may chance na masarap yung dish, patulan ko din siya. (If there’s a chance the meat dish is good, I’ll eat it.) When it comes to Mediterranean, I eat hummus, moussaka, stuffed bell peppers, pita bread, garlic sauce.
Paul and Armi: And Juju Eats!
Armi: Masarap yung roasted pumpkin. I had three of those this week, and the catfish salad. Ginagawa ko, hinahalf ko yung roasted pumpkin and catfish salad. (The roasted pumpkin is really good. I had three of those this week, and the catfish salad. What I do is, I order half of the roasted pumpkin and catfish salad.)