The death of Slapshock lead singer Jamir Garcia on 26 November puts a tragic end to the band’s glorious 23-year history as the Philippines’ top hard rock band.
Garcia was found in the bathroom of his residence in Project 8, Quezon City, hanging by the window with a blanket wrapped around his neck, according to a report from QC Police District Station 3 in Talipapa, Novaliches.
He was dead on arrival at Metro North Medical Center in QC. He was 42.
His demise likewise rendered moot the criminal charges of estafa and qualified theft filed against him at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on 12 October by Slapshock guitarist Jerry Basco.
Basco accused Garcia — his first-cousin and whom he recommended to replace original Slapshock lead singer Reynold Munsayac in 1998 — of stealing from him almost P1 million cash in talent fees from one of the band’s corporate sponsors.
On 14, 17 and 31 October and 1 November, Daily Tribune ran a series of exclusive reports on the incidents surrounding the case.
The allegations — confirmed in a statement sent to Daily Tribune on 21 October by Slapshock bassist Lee Nadela — led to the band’s breakup. A disbandment agreement which all members signed on 28 September indicated the breakup is effective August 2021.
The formal breakup was post-dated in consideration of fulfilling the band’s remaining commitments to one of its corporate sponsors.
The complaint against Garcia first involved more than P400,000 that Basco was to receive, for which Garcia was charged with misappropriating the money as de facto administrator of the band’s talent fees earned as endorser of a popular consumer brand.
Sources with direct knowledge of the issues in the case told Daily Tribune that another batch of fees worth P500,000 that should have been part of Basco’s fees from the same sponsor, were discovered to have also been stolen by Garcia.
This meant that another complaint of estafa was to be filed against Garcia, said the sources.
The first estafa complaint involved Garcia’s unauthorized withdrawal of royalties from digital sales of the band’s songs.
Daily Tribune tried calling Basco to comment on Garcia’s death, but he has not responded at press time.
Slapshock was formed in 1997 and went on to release seven major-label albums: 4th Degree Burn (1999); Headtrip (2001); Project 11-41 (2002); Novena (2004); Silence (2006); Kinse Kalibre (2011) and Atake (2017).
Initially influenced by rap-metal, the band explored the range of hard rock and gained a large fan base dubbed Slap Armies.
The band’s popularity enabled it to enjoy a financially lucrative career with a roster of corporate sponsors.
From just one sponsor, the band earned P30 million cash from 2015 to 2020.
The Department of Health has a national crisis hotline to assist people with mental health concerns: Tel. nos. 0917-8998727 and 0917-9898727. The Natasha Goulbourn Foundation may also be reached at 8-804-4673 and 0917-5584673.