TJ Brillantes of Greyhoundz
Thursday, 5, May 2016

Long gone were the days that rock bands are limited only to white high tops and leather boots. We live in an era where diversity is key. It used to be just black sneakers for rock bands and we're glad to say that we can spot a pair of fresh sneakers whenever we attend the usual rock gigs. Safe to say that your local "rakistas" are now packing more heat than a forum debate.

Taking a little time off from his busy schedule, we got ahold of Greyhoundz skinsman TJ Brillantes. In between co-running Medisina / Brgy. Tibay in Cubao X, playing in Brigada and being a dedicated dad, the guy is always on point when it comes to his assembly of sneakers. Join us as we get the lowdown from this guy's shoe history. 

As a drummer, what's your criteria when it comes to the best drumming shoes?

For drumming you'd think I'd go for comfort or something lightweight, but the most important factor for me is grip. I've tried a lot of shoes that look good but it would end up slipping on my kick pedal. So yeah, grip.

Seeing you co-own and manage a brand, do you think streetwear and sneakers strictly go hand in hand? Can one live without the other?

I wouldn't say strictly, but they do go hand in hand. Streetwear is exactly what it means, and sneakers are pretty much a staple in that. 

Being in a band, can you say that sneakers play an integral part in the scene that you're in? As sneaker culture is usually embedded within hip-hop.

Integral? I suppose it wouldn't die without sneakers but yes, alongside music is an equivalent fashion scene to go with it. For hip-hop that means a whole lotta sneakers, especially when you have the likes of Run DMC, Pharell, Missy Elliot and Kanye dishing out their own designs for major brands. And well, I for one am heavily influenced by hip-hop so I may have some biases there. 

Give us your top 5 dream shoes... explain why.

1. Kobe 11 FTB

I'm a very big Kobe Bryant fan but I heard these go for $1000 resale. Maybe I should tell my kid to skip school this year.. I'm kidding.


2. Atmos x Nike Air Max 1 Elephant (2007)

Those are one of my grails. Though I have a chance because they're re-releasing next year. Trip to Japan anyone?


3. Nike Dunk High "Deftones"

Rogel and I talked about this one and it brought back a lot of memories. What can I say? I'm a HUGE Deftones fan.


4. adidas Ultaboost

I don't own a pair, haha.


5. Any pair that I want to cop is a dream pair.

I literally dream about them.

Among your collection, share your top 5 best shoes?

I wouldn't say collection (because I'm no way a collector) so I'd rather call these my favorite shoes:

Air Jordan 1 Premier Laser (2008)

I got them as a gift from my then fiancée who is now my wife. There's sentimental value right there.

adidas Black Scale ZX 7000

Scored these on Cyber Monday for cheap. I don't know, I like the colors and the material and I'm a fan of Black Scale.

Puma x BWGH R698

Because low key collabs are cool.

Fragment Design x Nike Lab Roshe LD 1000

Hunted these down when they first came out. Good thing I have a buddy in Dubai who found them at an outlet store. Would you believe that?

Comme Des Garçons Play x Converse Chuck Taylor '70

They're very wearable. Probably my most worn pair as of this moment.

How did you find out about Shoephoric? What does the word mean for you?

From Rogel Simon of course! I see that guy all the time, both of us being in bands and all. To me, being Shoephoric is the feeling you get when you appreciate shoes, hyped or not.

Starting out with Greyhoundz when you first broke out, what was your go-to-shoe back then?

Oh man, there were plenty. adidas Stan Smith and Superstars, Puma Clyde and Basket, DVS, Etnies, Nice Shoes, early DC shoes, Vans etc. But my favorite was the Pro-Keds Royal Lo.

Basketball shoes or runners? Why?

Pwede ba both? I still play ball every week and I like nice basketball shoes. I use mostly runners on regular days.

Should sneakers get in the way of your clothing choices or you don't really mind it at all?

I don't know if they should because I'm no fashion expert but personally, I tend to wear neutral colored clothes most of the time so they won't get in the way of my shoes.

Any shoutouts?

Shoutouts to my Sneakpeek family, Aldwin Gepilano and Mikki Quilala. Also to Macbeth Footwear, Jamir Garcia and Titan 22, Raoul Reinoso. Thanks to you guys and to all of my friends in the sneaker industry!