The drummer of a band is often hard to see during a gig, seated behind the drumkit. Unless you are Francis Aquino, though, who is hard to miss at a live show. A flurry of energy and intensity, he is undoubtedly the man who provides the hard hitting backbone to his band’s music.

Francis’ playing has often been dubbed as one on beast mode, a reference that emerged when he first joined Loquy. Kevin Roy, Loquy’s vocalist and also of Razorback fame, dubbed him ‘The Beast’ because of his powerful ways.

It was also when he became Loquy’s drummer that he learned to harness this power. “They had to tame me,” Francis recalls. 

This “tamed beast” was soon seen sessioning for seasoned acts like Tropical Depression, Kapatid, Razorback, Pinikpikan (Kalayo), Spy, and Pupil. Somewhere in between, he became the drummer of the world music group, The Rinka Collective

It was when he joined the popular hard rock band, Wolfgang that he finally caught the public’s eye. This coincided with Wolfgang’s return after its hiatus, marked by special shows and their album, “Villains.”  With Wolfgang, Francis played all around the Philippines—for the Tanduay First Five Rock Tour—before crossing oceans to tour in the US and Canada. It was also with Francis behind the kit that Wolfgang played some of their biggest sold out shows, like Wolfgang at the Met (at the Metropolitan Museum) and The Howls at the Full Moon (at the Music Museum). 

All these led to his cofounding of Kontra, a fast rising rock band making its mark with intense performances and strong original compositions. 

AsKontra’s drummer and music collaborator, Francis is exploiting his musical knowledge to emerge as a genuine powerhouse behind the kit. Be it a melodic ballad or a resounding anthem, he performs his role solidly as the band’s grounding rhythmic force—and providing backup vocals to boot.

The truth is, being a drummer was not in the plans as much as it was a necessity of sorts. His first band, Monkeyspank, needed the drummer’s seat filled quickly and, even with no experience in that arena, Francis picked up the sticks and hasn’t stopped since. It’s been almost two decades and, clearly, he has gone a long way from practicing on pillows to performing with rock’s who’s who andplaying before crowds of fans. Now with Kontra, his new playground, he pours his unbridled energy to create, experimentand make his mark known, loud and clear.