They have yet to release a full-length album, but popular indie rock band IV of Spades as well as their fans had to deal with the sudden, unexpected exit of the band’s lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Unique Salonga.
The announcement posted on their official Facebook page in the early morning of May 5 says, “Yesterday, May 4, we finally had the chance to talk as a band. Unique Salonga officially left the band to continue with his personal endeavors.” The announcement signed by Zild Benitez (bass guitar/backing vocals), Badjao de Castro (drums) and Blaster Silonga (lead guitar) has so far generated 52,000 reactions, 37,500 shares and 8,400 comments.
Formed in 2014 and known for their 70s-inspired outfits and music that’s influenced by disco, funk and punk rock, IV of Spades won Air Asia’s Dreams Come True, the search for the most promising acts in Southeast Asia. Part of their prize was getting to perform with globally renowned musician, record producer, composer and songwriter, David Foster.
In early April, ABS-CBN reported that Salonga was rushed to the hospital, but no details were released. Fans were also quick to notice that the band, aside from posting the announcement, has disabled their official Twitter account and deleted all posts and unfollowed everyone on their Instagram account.
Here are some of the tweets that best represent the fans’ conflicting feelings about Salonga’s departure from the band.
It's just weird for a band to lose their main vocal and writer so soon. It's like losing the heart of their band. If Unique Salonga was just on a bass, guitar or drums, we could easily let this go. But his voice man, his voice. ??
— ƃopllnq ? (@gabrielmonstere) May 5, 2018
Sana sa gig ng IV of Spades mamaya walang mag-hahanap kay Unique, walang sisigaw ng bumalik na sya. Support natin yung tatlo. Imbes na hanapin natin yung wala, isupport natin sila Zild, Blaster, and Badj. Let's make them happy, kapalit ng pagharap nila saatin kahit kulang ng isa.
— pam ; mama pepi (@yea_boi_mp3) May 5, 2018
Salamat at paalam, @uniquetsalonga.
I may not been there from the very beginning but at least I've experienced seeing you live on stage with the band before you left. Thank you for being my tahanan at mundo. You have been my happiness for 4 months. Goodluck on your journey. pic.twitter.com/R4ARLc7npk
— czár (@uniquetspades) May 5, 2018
"Unique Salonga officially left the band to continue his personal endeavours."
Goodluck on your journey, Unique. Thankyou for sharing your talent & making such incredible music with Spades.
We will still support you and will continue to love & support IV OF SPADES! pic.twitter.com/rZa92i3Vne
— IV OF SPADES UNITED ? (@IVOSUnited) May 4, 2018
The pvblic will definitely miss the original IV of Spades sound, but wishes Salonga the best of luck as he pursues his personal endeavors and assures the now three-man band of love and support as they continue to make music. Long live OPM!