“People don’t get it here,” Idris Vicuna told me over the phone the day before Thanksgiving.
“They’re really into pop or Katy Perry or even Mac Demarco…. Filipinos are just really trendy; they’re just not exposed to all the music that’s out there,” he added.
Vicuna, who performs as Eyedress (a homophone of his first name), has experienced a wide array of music scenes having grown up in both San Clemente and also Phoenix before moving to Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, when he was just 15 years old.
“It was because of my parents…. I was pretty bummed ‘cause I was like already playing in bands when I was in San Clemente, and it felt like it could have gone somewhere. I was bummed when we moved back [to Manila], because I didn’t know anyone here,” Vicuna said.
“In America, in general, there can be large groups of people who like niche music.... Everyone was into garage and mod rock…. Manila is just like not too clued up as Americans are to music … but it was definitely a blessing in disguise…. When I moved here, I got more serious about music. When I moved here, I met my best friend who’s also American, and he was into the same s--- as me, all the same bands…. I felt like I had more options. When I lived in the states, I thought I’d finish high school and work at Starbucks or some s---. I had no ambition at all. When I moved here, I still was the normal person I am, but I had more time, because it’s really laid back here,” he added.
A lot of Vicuna’s time went into his recent 20-song album, “Sensitive G,” which collates hip-hop, proto-punk and noise into something like a contemporary Suicide experiment.
“I wanted it to be 12 songs, but my label liked all of the songs that I sent them…. I was like, ‘I guess.’ I was like, ‘I wanna trim the fat and get all the meat,’ and they were like, ‘This is all good,’” Vicuna said.
It’s made even better by Eric Andre, who has a cameo in Eyedress’ music video for “No Love in the City.”
“My friend who works for Boiler Room … was like, ‘My buddy Eric Andre is here…. Eric wants to hang out; can you hang out with him?'" Vicuna said.
"He was here with his girlfriend who is a Filipino chef and works in a hotel in L.A. We just went clubbing with him. They're so in love,” he added.