Every decade has its own musical trends. While disco held sway in the ‘70s, the ‘80s saw the emergence of new wave and the local punk movement, the ‘90s belonged to rock bands. From metal, glam, grunge, to alternative and retro and just about every genre you can think of, bands were on full view for music loving Filipinos. Some of the biggest names in local rock were to emerge from the ‘90s, including the Eraserheads, Parokya ni Edgar, Rivermaya, Wolfgang and P.O.T.
Band fever was also catching fire at the grassroots level. Amateur bands of every color and stripe popped up as more and more people discovered and embraced the new mode of self-expression. But as the ‘90s drew to a close, the vibrant amateur band scene was facing a major problem—and it wasn’t lack of talent. With so many bands battling for exposure, it was becoming more difficult to win a following and get the break many unknown, face-less bands needed.
At about the same time, Red Horse Beer was also looking for a new direction—and a new identity. Closely associated with ‘70s action star and tough guy Ruel Vernal, Red Horse Beer, the beer that oozed beefy machismo, was looking to expand its consumer base. A re-invention was in order. Against this backdrop, one of the major highlights in the local rock timeline, took place in 1999: the merger of Red Horse Beer and the purveyors of the local rock industry for the first-ever Red Horse Beer Muziklaban Rock Challenge.
Dubbed Red Horse Beer “Red Hot Muziklaban”, the competition began as a tie-up between the brand and Magic 89.9’s Tunog Kalye Series, a program designed to give new local bands much-needed exposure.
And what a hit it was. Prior to Muziklaban, amateur bands would sometimes even pay to play at obscure, often low-budget school- or barangay-based “Battle of the Bands” competitions that gave them bragging rights, but hardly enough playing time to shake off stage jitters…Red Horse Muziklaban was the easy route to the big time: Professionally staged and properly backed by the brand, the rock face-off gave fledgling bands a nationwide audience and the chance to win not only a substantial cash prize, but also the motherload of every aspiring rocker—a recording contract.
In no time at all, Muziklaban evolved into the biggest and farthest-reaching amateur rock band competition in the country. Through the years, it has become THE event in the local rock scene—eagerly anticipated both by upcoming bands and rock music and Red Horse Beer aficionados. The marriage of rock and Red Horse proved to be the shot in the arm that the amateur rock band scene needed. The brand’s popular tagline aptly describes it: “Ito ang tama” – pertaining to both the brand’s and Muziklaban’s potency, and the right-ness of the union.
Before Muziklaban, Red Horse Beer was already enjoying a loyal following among musicians and younger drinkers. When it launched Muziklaban, Red Horse Beer took on legendary status and gained an even bigger following among younger fans, particularly those who were tough, uncompromising, and cool— characteristics that are encapsulated in the term “astig” which came to be the very image of Red Horse Beer.
This year, Red Horse Beer Muziklaban Rock Challenge celebrates its 10th anniversary. And Red Horse Beer is pulling out all the stops. Amateur bands from all over the country stand to win the “lakas ng tama” prize of P1 million— the biggest prize for any band competition in the history of Pinoy Rock—and again, a guaranteed recording contract.
Red Horse Beer Muziklaban Rock Challenge, at 10 years, continues to be extra-strong. So come November 29, expect only the biggest and meanest rock extravaganza as Red Horse Beer Muziklaban Rock Challenge mounts its grand finals at the Marikina Sports Complex. Prepare to get hit—hard.
Red Horse Beer Muziklaban Rock Challenge grand finals
Date: November 29, 2008
Venue: Marikina Sports Complex