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(SPOT.ph) The lead vocalist of iconic OPM pop-rock band The Dawn has a lot to be thankful for. Not only has The Dawn carved its name in the music industry for the past 26 years, Jett Pangan is also celebrating his 10th year as a stage actor.
He is currently rehearsing for his latest project with Atlantis Productions, Nine, a musical based on Federico Fellini’s semi-autobiographical film, 8 ½. Jett plays the lead role of film director Guido Contini, and co-stars a long list of stellar actresses and musicians: Cherie Gil, Eula Valdez, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Ima Castro, Carla Guevara-Laforteza, Sitti Navarro, Yanah Laurel, Jay Glorioso, Japs Treopaldo, Reg Claravall, Mikkie Bradshaw, and Princess Virtudazo.
Spot sat down with Jett, who noticeably lost weight for his role as the suave and sophisticated Italian filmmaker. He talked about being “the luckiest guy alive,” why OPM is in trouble, and successful feats that make him say, “Salamat!”
As the lead vocalist of The Dawn, you said there was a time where you had a creative block.
Many times. I guess the biggest one was when we were preparing for the last album that we released in 2010, which was Sound the Alarm. At the time we had a new guitar player and we had schedule problems between members. It was difficult to get together and write like most bands do. A lot of the songs were done remotely—like one guy would make the music, another would… you know, stuff like that. It’s hard to write when you have those issues and when members have other things that they do.
How were you able to finish the album?
Necessity is the mother of all inventions, so to speak. When you have a deadline to catch, then you have no choice but to really make it happen. It could’ve done better, honestly, because like I said that was a time when schedules were really in the way. Instead of working for you, it was working against you. And that was the time when the record industry was already beginning to wane. As we know, the industry now is really in bad shape. We were caught on the crest of that bad shape. We still did the album. At least the fans—the core fans—were really happy that we released an album.
Have you read the article, “Life and Death of OPM” by Don Jaucian? It’s been the buzz on the internet lately, and it’s been gaining a lot of feedback and flack, especially from people defending that OPM is not dead.
No [I haven’t read it], but I can sort of foresee it. It’s good that you have people like that who are staunch advocates of OPM. It’s actually good that he’s being offered resistance because if everyone is surrendering to that fact, then OPM is in trouble.
Do you think OPM is in trouble?
It is in trouble. But see, the beauty of the Filipino artist is that we’re so used to encountering so many hurdles that we find ways to keep ourselves alive.