Monday, 12 July 2010


Mistula is a true virtual band from the Philippines', and is composed of four customized ball-jointed dolls. They fuse music, graphic art, literature, photography, and other art forms, built around themes of Catholic idolatry and cultural commentary.
I suppose many Westerners would be surprised at such a band coming from South East Asia bit any search on google will show the Philippino music scene is quite vibrant.
Mistula disseminates information and releases songs as well as other creative projects through their official website, and their online presence is maintained through their regularly updated blogs chronicling the band's virtual lives.
Mistula was conceptualized by Joey David and her husband, Rey Tiempo, in 2004. They came up with the idea for the band upon fusing David's ideas for a website devoted to Catholic iconography with Tiempo's ideas for a website for his rock band. "Mistula" is a Filipino term that translates to "in the likeness of", "resembling closely", or "similar to". The name pertains to the virtual aspect of the band. It is also reflective of the veneration of idealized images of Catholic saints which is prevalent in the Philippines.

Listen to MISULA'S Music here

Like Gorillaz the band has an evolving personality and all four members have individual personalities.
To the point where one member left in favor of a more peaceful existence in the UK
Apart from Filipino Catholic-culture, the band has stated that their musical influence is mainly heavy metal. Some bands they have frequently mentioned as their influences include the heavy metal bands Metallica and Pantera, and early Pinoy rock bands such as Mutiny, and Dahong Palay.

Their official fansite, The Black Rosary, has gained membership from all parts of the globe since the site's launch.
Mistula has garnered international recognition by being the first Filipino band to win a place in the International Play & Rate Competition of the UK-based site, Overplay.
In 2007 and 2008, Mistula was featured on Philippine TV programs, such as Lovely Day, Mel and Joey, The Sweet Life, and G-Cube.

Band members

Mistula's members are four Asian ball-jointed dolls by Volks Inc. from Japan and Cerberus Project from Korea. The dolls' virtual lives and profiles are documented on their official websites.

 Uno (vocals and bass) - Uno was invited into Mistula by Bella Lugosi, after the latter noted his online following through his blog. Uno works for an advertising agency and is a frequent traveler. He chronicles all of his bandmates' lives through an online journal called Fully Articulated.

Manx Minuet (vocals and guitars/lyricist and composer) - A former pornstar, Manx Minuet joined the band with Uno after receiving an invitation from Bella Lugosi. The song, "Nuestra SeƱora Dolorosa", is her solo work, made during a bout with depression after Dragan decided to quit the band.

Bella Lugosi (drums/lyricist and composer)- Bella Lugosi is the band's founder and leader, and was named after the actor Bela Lugosi because of his habit of sleeping all day and writing songs at night.


Lobo (rhythm guitar) - Lobo arrived as a replacement for former rhythm guitarist, Dragan, on April 4, 2006, but was not recruited into the band until after the Mistula auditions Lobo left school at a relatively young age, hitting the streets to seek his fortune and earn money to support himself and his younger sister, Veritas. His abuse of a drug that he and his comrades called "Full Moon" has caused severe damage to his memory, and he now sports two personalities: the wild, violent Lobo with the red hair, and the meeker Lobo with dark hair.

 Dragan (former rhythm guitarist) - Bella Lugosi recruited Dragan for before the release of "Baptized" to bring British influence to Mistula, and to exploit the advantages of being an Internet-based band. Dragan used the Internet to send his musical contributions to Mistula, until he was compelled to physically join the band during the Mysteries update to shoot a music video for the single, "Mulat". On February 19, 2006, after experiencing the band's tumultuous life, he quit in favor of a more peaceful existence in the UK. He continues to correspond with Mistula through the Internet.

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