My favorite thing about the local music scene here is that there’s always an act that’s bound to surprise you when you least expect it. These unique artists can often lay tucked away in their respective corners, never to see the light of day, while more established acts would occupy most of the limited space that’s left in the attention spans of regular local music fans — or at least here in Manila. And hey, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some artists just don’t care about becoming the hottest act around, and that’s perfectly fine. I guess being a fan of these artists, it’s hard to watch them go sorely underappreciated.
Introducing indie/folk-rock outfit Cowboy Country Club, a trio consisting of the Palomares brothers, Sean and Patrick, and their cousin Ryan Jacob who hail from the southern — and lesser exposed — end of Metro Manila. Fresh off releasing their single, Cowboy’s Back (Do What You Do), Young STAR talked to the three guys about the band itself, their future plans, and their favorite artists.
Young STAR: How did the project start? How long have you known each other?
Ryan Jacob: Sean and Patch are brothers, we’re first cousins on our moms’ side. Growing up, we took on a lot of different hobbies together — basketball, home films, ultimate frisbee, skateboarding, so many things. We still do a bit of all that but it’s music that really stuck with us as something we can do the rest of our lives. We started playing instruments maybe 2008 and then tried out covers together some time in high school in 2012. Afterwards, we ventured on to our own different music projects but in the summer of 2016 we met up and started making Cowboy songs. We realized that as family and life constants to that point, there were a lot of things we wanted to say, materialize, and immortalize together. Out the Water, On the Way was then born a year later.
Where did the band’s name come from?
Patrick Palomares: “Cowboy Country Club” was actually only a stand-in name for the band. We couldn’t really think of anything else when the time came to pick a real one, so we just went with it. It was sort of a jokey-play on how many popular indie bands that we’re fans of had their names ending with the word “Club.”
What’s the songwriting dynamic of the band? Who usually takes the lead?
Ryan: Usually though, it’s Sean and/or Patrick who start something then show it to me when we meet up or through a demo sent online. A couple of songs on the other hand have started out as an instrumental jam between me and Patrick while Sean is not with us. Sometimes it’s all three of us in the same room over a sleepover. We switch up who plays what, and we’ve all contributed to the lyrics. There’s really no set template, we’re still open and exploring what makes a Cowboy song. Ultimately, it’s having known each other our whole lives that becomes the bedrock of both the content and the process. We’re very honest with each other and make sure all three of us are on the same boat when finalizing ideas.