Music

Slapshock Vocalist Jamir Garcia Found Dead

The charismatic frontman will be sorely missed by his legions of fans.
IMAGE Wikipedia / Francis Sacil-Espina
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Vladimir Garcia, more popularly known as Jamir and vocalist of the band Slapshock, has died. He was 42 years old. The news was reported by several media outlets, quoting a report by the Quezon City Police District Station 3.

The police report said Garcia was found in the bathroom of his home in Quezon City on Thursday morning, November 26, 2020 by a witness, Suzeth Manlapaz, and Garcia’s partner Sojina Crisostomo. Garcia was brought to Metro North Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival at about 10:20 a.m.

As the vocalist of rock and metal band Slapshock, Garcia commanded an immense following together with his bandmates Lean Ansing, Jerry Basco, Chi Evora and Lee Nadela. The band was formed in the late 1990s at the University of the Philippines, where the members were all students, and was heavily influenced by the American rap and the nu-metal movement at the time.

The band’s debut album 4th Degree Burn was released in 1999 and contained the massive hits “Evil Clown” and “Agent Orange.” The album went on to achieve platinum status (selling over 150,000 units).

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Slapshock performed steadily throughout the 2000s and 2010s and went on to record six other LPs: Headtrip, Project 11-41, Novena, Silence, Kinse Kalibre, and most recently, Atake, which was released in 2017. The band has also released two compilation albums and two EPs.

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Deftly combining rock, rap, metal and funk, Slapshock became one of the biggest acts in the country, selling out multiple venues at their live shows here and abroad. In 2008, Slapshock was invited to play at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival, where they shared the stage with international heavyweights such as Korn, Killswitch Engage, Velvet Revolver, As I Lay Dying, Machine Head and Muse. The band was the first-ever Filipino and Asian artist to participate in the annual rock event.

As the frontman of the band, Garcia earned the distinction of becoming a bona fide rock star, able to captivate audiences with his stage presence and vocal abilities. Together with Ansing, he took part in the ambitious Project Ear (East Asian Revolution), a "super group" of musicians from Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, in 2008. The group performed at the MTV Asia Awards that year.

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This year, Garcia and the rest of Slapshock were embroiled in a controversy that involved the group’s finances. First reported by The Daily Tribune, the controversy alleged internal conflics within the group that led to their eventual disbandment in September 2020. Although Nadela provided The Daily Tribune with a statement, Garcia kept mum on the issue, reportedly choosing instead to post a cryptic message on his Facebook account about a passage from the Bible: “Proverbs 12:23.”

That passage reads: “The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.”

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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