Having earned national fame as a “super band,” Franco continues to impress audiences with their music, which features a unique blend of reggae, metal and alternative rock.
The band is composed of icons from famous Pinoy rock bands. Franco Reyes, the lead singer, is among Cebu’s finest singers/songwriters. His previous band associations include Sheila and the Insects, FRANK!, and InYo. FRANK! was an alternative rock band, which was based in Cebu City. InYo was based in Florida, and had already recorded an album with 11 tracks with Big3 Records.
Urbandub’s Gabby Alipe and Paolo Toleran, more popularly known as “Ocho,” are on guitars. Ocho also plays the strings for Queso, formerly known as Cheese. Buhawi “Buwi” Meneses who plays bass for Parokya ni Edgar and Urbandub drummer JanJan Mendoza complete the band. Most of the band’s members, specifically Franco, Gabby and JanJan, come from Cebu’s vibrant rock scene.
How did the band start? Ocho, Buwi and JanJan used to jam together during their free time. They decided to make it a project. After some time, the threesome began looking for a front man. It was JanJan who suggested that they enlist Franco Reyes. Along with Gabby, they were able to convince Franco to return to the Philippines.
Why is the band named Franco? The lead singer thought it was a tad egotistic to have the band named after him but the members decided to take a vote. The decision was to use Franco as the name of the band.
Franco entered the Filipino music scene by playing songs from Reyes’ former bands, FRANK! and Inyo. Two of the band’s hit singles, “Cast Away” and “Song for the Suspect,” were originally from an album released by FRANK! in 2003. In 2009, the band released a full-length album under the management of MCA Music, Inc. Their self-titled album included 11 tracks, specifically Seasons, Touch the Sky, Cast Away, Memory Kill, A Mass for the End of Time, Last Waltz, Next Train Out, Song for the Suspect, Tetrahydrochloridedub, This Gathering, and For My Dearly Departed. Music videos for some of these singles are already aired on music channels.
In 2010, the band dominated the NU Rock Awards by bringing home four awards. They were named Artist of the Year, “This Gathering” was tagged Song of the Year, their self-titled album earned distinction as Album of the Year, and they also bagged the Listeners’ Choice Award. They also won Awit Awards’ Best Performance by a Group of Recording Artists for “Cast Away.”