Bamboo is a Filipino alternative rock band founded in 2003 by the former vocalist of Rivermaya, Bamboo Ma?alac.
Francisco "Bamboo" Ma?alac serves as the band's frontman. Contrary to popular belief, the band is not named after him. According to Ira Cruz, the guitarist, the word bamboo relates to strength and durability with an island feel to it. Also, it's very Filipino and Asian at the same time. Their first priority for a band name during 2000s was "Audio Barangay" which means "Audio Neighborhood" in English. However, they realized that its a bit hard to pronounce and it is not that catchy compared to just "Bamboo." They also dropped the name "Audio Barangay" because Audioslave was formed roughly the same time during their band's formation, to avoid confusion.
Two of its members, Bamboo Ma?alac and Nathan Azarcon, were formerly part of Rivermaya. The other two members, Ira Cruz and Vic Mercado, were former instrumentalists of another band, Passage. Ira Cruz and Nathan Azarcon were also former members of the band Kapatid during that time.
Four years after their departure from Rivermaya, Ma?alac and Azarcon caught up again with each other, during which Azarcon introduced him to Ira Cruz and Vic Mercado.
Bamboo's debut album, As The Music Plays, was released in February 2004 where it received positive response from fans and critics alike. The album also won numerous awards at the AWIT Awards, NU 107 Rock Awards, and MTV Pilipinas 2004.
Their second album, Light Peace Love, which was released in 2005, consists of ten songs with differing moods and subjects, and took only 3 months to record. This album has a softer sound with both its lyrics and delivery. For this album, the band added more strings and a variety of other instruments, including a trumpet. The band admitted that this album had a personal feel to it. They experimented with several new styles that may please new listeners, at the risk of disappointing fans of the more conventional rock of their first album. Nathan Azarcon is a Thomasian Triskelion.
Their third album, We Stand Alone Together, was released in 2007 with participation of JOSHUA "JESSA". It contains revived local songs such as Buklod's "Tatsulok" and international songs such as Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" from different generations. It also includes bonus tracks like unplugged versions of their hit songs from previous albums such as "Mr. Clay", "These Days", and "Hallelujah". Once again, opting to do away with the conventional rock image that was attached to them , they produced sounds which were more jazzy than expected.
Star Records--backed up by ABS-CBN TV Production and MYX--produced and created the official soundtrack for the tele-epiko "Rounin", wherein the title track ?Argos? was performed by Bamboo. A new avenue was opened to the band, as ?Argos? is said to be the band?s first venture to record a song for a primetime television show. It is also the first time for the multi-awarded band and Star Records to work together.
The band is also part of the ?Days of Peace? Campaign by UNICEF with Gary Valenciano. The band's Tomorrow Becomes Yesterday album achieved platinum status on September 28, 2008- two days after its release.