Interview: Behind the Scenes with Pink Trash Project: A Tale of Music, Passion, and Ate Pink

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As a blogger, I receive at least ten emails per day of mixed press releases, from new music and artist releases of different genres to new movies and series, and to be honest, it can be exhausting for a one-woman team. I always try to painstakingly look out for which ones are most fit to blog about in a day. And to be honest, only a few publicists stand out.

One night, I got a new follower notification on my Instagram with the name, Pink Trash Project. As a punk enthusiast, I got interested first by the name, and second, by Ate Pink’s style, and as much as I hate to admit it, my love and fascination for the color pink, which propelled me to check her out.

Listen to Pink Trash Project on Spotify.

I became an instant fan after listening to Pink Trash Project’s retro, electronic rock music that reminds me of my classic faves, Blondie, The Bangles, and Bananarama. It might be a first for OPM to have this type of rock band (PTP). And that’s apart from vocalist and principal songwriter Pink’s rich and chameleon voice and the rest of the band’s upbeat and thrilling arrangement of their songs. The Pink Trash Project is Pink, and the band is PTP.

Jeriah “Ate Pink” Bautista, a.k.a. Pink Trash Project

Another thing I love about Pink Trash Project is Pink’s devotion and unsurpassable passion while also supporting others’ endeavors (like my own). She’s never too busy to like and comment to my posts, and even though she knows that I’m based in some Southern part of the country, she remains steadfast in inviting me to their shows and supporting this blog.

I truly believe and pray that Pink Trash Project and her band PTP are going to great heights not just because of their music and talent but also because of their passion for their craft and their generosity to their fans, fellow artists, and media friends.

In time for PTP, the band’s fourth anniversary, and as they successfully concluded the independently organized Pink Trash Party mini-music festival, we talked to Ate Pink (as her fans call her) about her journey and aspirations.

The Pop Blog: Can you tell us the origin story of Pink Trash Project and how you got together with your band?

Pink Trash Project (Ate Pink): Pink Trash Project initially started as a passion project for me. I obviously like the color pink, and when I was still unsure of my artist name, my producer friend named my folder “The Jeriah Project,” which has my real name. I really liked the word “project,” – so I added it, and it just doesn’t sound right kung Pink Project lang diba? Chaka. In 2019, I felt like trash, thus, the Pink Trash Project.

PTP Bassist Vasyl Javier

I’m most comfortable singing with a band, so when I decided to try to get into the OPM scene in 2020, I brought my bandmates from Quezon here, but after one show, the pandemic happened. Nakakalokaaaa! And so when the music scene started returning, I asked my then producer, now bandmate Vasyl, to look for Manila-based bandmates who would like to play for me.

So, in 2022, I met my guardian angels: Leo, Brendan, and Vasyl, of course, who played for me, and along the journey, I met Von and Shan. I was shy at first; I kept telling them that I sounded different on recordings versus singing live. I tried to sell myself to them because Brendan (who also does guitar duties with 7th, mrld, and MOLA BLUE) was already in a popular band. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t disappoint them.

It’s funny because I know my music is weird; it’s not mainstream or pop. It’s more like self-expression, and that’s where we all get along. The members get to be who they are when they’re with me, and I never restrict what they want to do with my songs. Everyone has creative freedom.

Brendan Grey on lead guitars

The Pop Blog: Your music has a unique and eclectic sound. How would you describe your musical style and what influences have shaped it?

Pink Trash Project: I think our genre is called Electronic Pop Rock. In the band, our music influences differ, like we have varied playlists. However, as the songwriter, my influences stand out.

I’m a big fan of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and if you’d see me perform, it’s obvious, haha. But then also there’s Dua Lipa and K-pop who contributed to the Electronic Dance side of our genre. Paramore is another main influence.

We have a lot of influences! Our sound is Electronic Pop but with heavy elements of a rock song to complement my singing style. It has that dancy but with headbanging feels.

Shan Orquin for rhythm guitar duties

The Pop Blog: Can you share your creative process?

Pink Trash Project: We’ve created 2 songs so far as a band: EXIT and Narcissism. It starts with me creating a demo of the full song and then sending it to my bandmates. They’ll start listening to it and think about their parts. I always tell them they can do whatever they want. They do what they want–cut some parts, add some flavors, and ask me if it’s okay. I’ll then pitch in what I think works and what doesn’t.

Everyone has creative freedom in the band, and it’s funny how we’re so aligned with everything! Brendan and Leo usually fix the song’s length to make it more radio-friendly. They also lead the initial band arrangement. After arranging and tracking it, Vasyl will now add the “PTP Elements,” like the electronic stuff and the flavors of PTP. He then sends it to us, asks for feedback, and BOOM! A new song is born.

The Pop Blog: How important is it for you to use your music as a platform for advocacy, and what topics are
you currently passionate about?

Pink Trash Project: If you listen to my music, it may sound like I’m always angry, and that’s the truth. I am a mental health advocate, and I know how it feels to have no one to talk to or have people constantly judging you just because you can’t explain what you think and feel.

Leo Macaraig on drums

My songs focus on things I can’t say because you’re afraid to be judged or misinterpreted. These are the words that go on your mind when alone or even when you’re with someone, but you’re out of the zone because you’re not okay.

Maybe the reason why I advocate mental health/mental awareness is because of the things I have been through. There are times that I felt no one would understand what the heck I’m going through, so I journal my feelings and add melodies, so suddenly it becomes a song.

I know the importance of having someone who understands you; that’s why I want to be that person whom people can say, “Oh, Ate Pink understands me and my sentiments.”

Our song Narcissism is an outcry of those who are in a relationship with narcissists. When you’re in one, you don’t get to tell anyone the truth because your main duty as a partner is to make them look good despite their negative traits. I hope that whoever is in the same situation as I was can walk away even if it’s hard. When people listen to this song, they can sing their hearts out – cry as much as they can – and feel comforted that somebody knows their struggle – that they are not alone. And maybe someday, they get the courage to walk away.

The Pop Blog: As an indie musician, you’ve likely faced various challenges in the music industry. What have been some of the most significant obstacles you’ve encountered, and how have you overcome them?

Pink Trash Project: Honestly, our main obstacle is the funding of the band–the production, recordings, practices, etc. Hahaha! We don’t have the budget to create MVs, do photoshoots, and sometimes, we even have to borrow money from each other for our band practices and fares. It’s so difficult to promote our music without a label that backs us up. We can’t just be invited to big shows because we don’t have someone with a lot of connections. But we usually get new listeners during our live shows, so if there are no shows, we get stagnant. We try to promote our music online, but it’s so hard too!

I admire musicians who are content creators – that’s why I create shows for us because that’s what I know, and since we don’t have the funds, I take care of it. I don’t ask my bandmates to share, and it’s so heavy because honestly, I’m not rich.

For example, the Pink Trash Party I organized. The only reason I got a rad line up is because they’re our friends and wanted to help! To promote it, I tapped a lot of media partners to get the word out there. We asked friends to be our production team and designed the place on our own. We also shared food and drinks because we didn’t have enough funds. It was so hard, but it worked out well and the show was a success. Because of this, they call me the super-independent musician! Hahahaha!

The Pop Blog: Are you open to signing up for a major record label or do you wanna keep it indie (like also joining an indie record label)?

Pink Trash Project: I didn’t want to initially because I work in a related field. I know the business side of things, but when things were getting serious with Pink Trash Project–we’re getting heard, going somewhere–we talked about it, and I said, yeah, we can try a mainstream label ‘coz it’s been hard being independent.

My bandmates are super talented, and they deserve to get their talents out there–performing in big stages, shooting MVs with budgets! But we hope to sign up with a right and fair management and label.

The Pop Blog: We’re eager to know about your future projects. Can you give us a sneak peek into what’s
next for Pink Trash Project in terms of music releases and upcoming performances?

Pink Trash Project: We’re currently in the process of making an album or EP, and we’re not sure yet, honestly, but a new MV is coming up next year that we’d share with you all once it’s out.

We’re also planning to go on tour while completing the album, so wish us luck! No full details yet because we got so busy with the Pink Trash Party, hahaha!

The Pop Blog: Are there any artists or bands you dream of working with in the future, and why?

Pink Trash Project: For the longest time, we’ve been thinking about this because we want to collaborate with a lot of artists. However, when we think of our musical style, I think it jives more with Dilaw, Zild, and One Click Straight!

They’re our friends, so we never know. Maybe we’ll collab with them when we make it big! Haha. TPB

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