Members: Mark dela Cruz
Mark dela Cruz was gifted by his parents of his very first guitar as a Christmas present back in 1990. Being inspired by some actor who plays the instrument in "Batibot". Not later the next year, he showed an extreme interest on the 6-string beast. His mother taught him the basic chords from Beatles and BeeGees songs and learned them the easy way.
Mastering to write his own songs also came quickly to him as he entered high-school. It was the 90s era of alternative rock. Influenced by Nirvana and Eraserheads, he began to form rock bands with his classmates and friends honing his songwriting expertise at the same time.
After several garage practices, Mark and his bands parted ways in College. He began working on his music on his own as there were only a few of his new buddies showed interest on his craft. He began to record on cassette-tapes his compositions all by himself, doing vocals and playing all instruments, sharpening his skills in guitars and basics of keyboards and drums. Dissected every song he could write - which explains why he flunked most of his Accounting subjects. He released many demo-tapes of his materials and shared them with friends, classmates and relatives, desperately wanted to expose his music on a wider audience. But things did not work out as planned and started to just focus his life working in the corporate world as he graduated with a degree in Business Management.
Mark saw light again in 2001 as he reunited with some of his high-school friends. They formed a pop-rock band, this time, with him on drums. The band eventually released widely an independent album of all original materials which surprisingly doesn't include any composition by Mark --their songs were all written solely by their singer. The band took its biggest breaks in playing gigs on large events nationwide and some stints on national television. This was the time when Mark began to be active in the independent and underground music scene. Not only playing gigs with the band, but also producing and directing shows for some of the big acts in the country when some of these groups and artists were just starting out. This was the 'rockstar' timeline for him and the band showing off their deep powerpop and punk-rock identities each time they went on stage. But unfortunately, the group wasn't somehow as consistent as Mark's perseverance to make it big in the music scene. Though the group remained the best of friends, some pursued personal priorities that located the band under an on-going hiatus.
Now armed with some D.I.Y. attitudes, Mark reformed his lonesome musical persona as Oblong, still incorporating his bubblegum-pop sensibilities and geeky antics in his songs. Raw, whiny and melancholic, he has always professed his love for the music of The Beatles, Oasis, Blur, Ben Folds, Weezer, Dashboard Confessional, and Hartley Golstein. Sometimes off-tuned, but sweet guitars, fused with unexpected beats and cheap, bitter-sweet words completes the indie-pop sound of Oblong. With the independent release of his debut EP "Sarah, sing me to sleep" in 2007, Mark showcased his sensitive aura on songs like "Monday" and "Tahan Na", as well as on his follow-up single "Lullabye" in 2008. Today, Oblong is planned to take a new and edgier path which can be heard on his latest tune "Sky Quest", which is actually a jingle for a local travel agency. Though sometimes breaks hearts with his sentimental hooks, Oblong often times surprises with his punk-driven melodies.
Mark remains to be a corporate slave working 8 hours a day âand even more. He is currently working on new songs, collaborating with other artists, occassionaly performing and producing gigs in small clubs, and soliciting sponsorships for Oblong's follow-up album...and is now very busy fathering a lovely wife and a beautiful baby boy. And until now, Mark dela Cruz maintains his identity as the sole member and chief songwriter for Oblong.
Oblong's single "Lullabye" is included in "Tastemakers Feast (Disc 1)" CD compiled by Independent Artists Club (IAC) and Nokia Corp., along with other kick-ass songs from other respected indie artists like Black Gulaman, Emorej, Food Shelter And Clothing, Skies of Ember, and more.
The CD is not for sale and only for promotional use. But I have some copies Nokia gave me which I can share to those interested...let me know.
So yeah, check out Oblong's IAC webpage at http://web-iac. nokia-asia. com/philippines/artists/oblong
Oblong's EP "Sarah, sing me to sleep." now available!!
Includes the songs "Monday", "Tahan na", a cassette-demo recorded way-back 1998 entitled "In My Heart", and many more...!!!
"Oblong's debut EP "Sarah, sing me to sleep" is folk pop easy to swallow in one spin. Mark de la Cruz aka Oblong has a radio commercial cologne voice that sometimes reminds me of "Nelson" or "Micheal Learns to Rock" going meloncholy but in a good way, that direction I would take anytime and that would be totally something new to do right now. "Monday" would be my favorite track, especially with the Cocolulu remix. With all the 80s tags said above, then put a dash of electronics, suddenly the track becomes electro folk which would be much more awesome. Nice cover too by Sunshine Reyes." --Diego Mapa (Cambio/Pedicab)
For orders, txt 09196052259 / 09266766316
Also available at www.repleteshop.multiply.com or txt Tani Santos at 09153193769
To those who are interested (distributions, fanzines, independent stores, collectives, etc.) in distributing my CD, please keep in touch.
Check this out : Monday's Cocolulu Remixed Version c/o the good Mark Redito/Cocolulu..Thanks, man!
More infos at www.myspace.com/iloveoblong
A message from Jay Ignacio of the legendary DaPulis:
"Hi Mark D! Salamat sa pagparinig mo sa iyong mga nilikha. May potential ka. May mga familiar kang chord progressions pero naiba mo naman ang melody, kahit papaano. Senti ka pala. Sulat ka pa ng maraming kanta at iparinig mo ulit sa akin. Baka madiskubre ka. Ingat."
Thanks, Jay! --(October, 2006)
Check out the newest single from Oblong-- The jazzy, soulful-ish "Monday", to be included in the upcoming ep "Sarah, Sing Me To Sleep", so watch out!...For comments: send SMS to (0919)6052259. Peace.
Catch OBLONG @ Dub City Cafe (San Pablo City, Laguna) on August 5, 2006 at 7pm, together with The Spoons, Novella, Sad Days, and more...
Catch OBLONG @ a "SMART"-sponsered event in San Pablo City, Laguna together with Nyoy Volante, Layag-Laya, and After Dusk on July 22, 2006 at the San Pablo City Municipal Hall (covered court).
OBLONG will be performing for "EAR-FRIENDLY 2.0 (an acoustic rock show!)" on July 15, 2006 @ DUB CITY CAFE (San Pablo City, Laguna) along with Mellow Del Prado, Sink, and Eggboy (aka Diego Mapa of Monsterbot/Cambio/Pedicab). Show starts at 7pm. Bring ur date/s!!!
Catch OBLONG once more @ DUB CITY CAFE (San Pablo City, Laguna) on June 14, 2006 at 9pm. Kampay!
(For OBLONG inquiries : +639196052259)
Catch OBLONG live @ DUB CITY CAFE (San Pablo City, Laguna) on June 7, 2006 at 9pm. See you there!
Unfortunately, the release of Oblong's EP was again held in hiatus due to some unexpected and
unpleasant trials that came along the way for the past five, six months. Please refer to the lyrics of "Tahan Na" for exact details (HAHAH!).
And so for the very meantime, best to just stay tuned for what the future holds for Oblong. Shalome! -------(February, 2006)
After a year of long-wait, Mark D. aka Oblong, has returned with a new single entitled "Tahan Na". A newly-independently recorded material penned by himself. Inspired by his hopeless romantic strategies on dealing with love quarrels and heart breaks. A soon-to-be one of the few tracks to be included in his much-awaited EP coming December this year (2005), with fingers crossed...
...so, boys and girls, start wiping out your lover's tears as you, guys, listen to this heart-warming, very honest, and lovely piece of music brought to us by OBLONG ----(September, 2005)