Sunday, 26 October 2014

CATATONIA FEST SPECIAL: INTERVIEW WITH CHAOS

Transcending Obscurity brings to you yet another promising gig. He is one of the few organizers trying to make gigs happen more often in Mumbai, the man behind the website, label and a hundred other cool properties, Mr. Kunal Choksi. Having included a great mix of bands from different parts of the country, I interviewed one of these bands, Trivandrum thrash metallers 'Chaos'. In an interview with Nikhil (guitar player), he talks about the band, the music scene in Trivandrum, their new merch, etc. Check it out!

Don't forget to be there at Catatonia Fest, it's less than a week away! RSVP HERE



Hello boys! Introduce yourselves!
Hello Pratika! We're Chaos :D

Favourite food? 
JK should've answered this question. I'm not very particular about food as such (more of an enthusiast of beverages, so to speak), but JK is an absolute foodie! I think the list of things he enjoys devouring include, Chicken shawaya, chicken shwarma, Krispy Kreme Donuts (He might go a far as killing someone to get his hands on one), bacon beef burger with extra cheese and the list goes on and on! He even has this habit of finding interesting food joints everywhere and he'd make it a point that he drags us all repeatedly to such places until we're all fed up of it! So, if you're reading this, keep your food away from JK!

Not all of us out here are aware of when you began. Tell us, where did the power to start this band come from?
We started the band back in 2005 during our college days. There were just a handful of bands here in Trivandrum back then. They all had a clear sight of what they were trying to achieve, but unfortunately, most of them burned out over the past decade. Where did the power to start the band come from? I was always into this form of music from my school days and I used to play a bit of guitar as well. So, when I got into college, I wanted to form a band. Luckily I found someone with similar musical interests in JK and things just kicked off from there.

CHAOS


How's thrash in Thiruvanathapuram? 
Thrash? Literally non-existent. However, Trivandrum or Kerala as such, has been hit hard right in the ball-sack by a phenomenon which can be referred to as 'the new wave of mallu rock', and what is this wave that I speak of? It all starts with a bunch of guys coming up with a Malayalam name for their band (If you're willing to use the term 'band' loosely). From there, it's pretty much a downward spiral involving pathetic attempts to get famous regionally overnight, so on and so forth. All jokes aside, there are a few good bands here and there but most of them are just trying to do what 'Avial' did and not getting anywhere even remotely close to Avial. There's even this new show which is aimed at rescuing the rock scene in Kerala, which has turned into a clown parade of mainstream media shitting all over the things that were once out of their area of interest. So yeah! This is what is happening over here.

What's been going on of late with Chaos? Tell me everything! (merch, releases, everything!)
We've just released the Blacklash tee which has been very well received. The stock ran out a lot quicker than we'd expected it to. Can't really thank Kunal enough for making that happen! Apart from that, we're putting the finishing touches on our next album, which we are planning on releasing sometime in 2015.



Which were the bands that inspired you to start playing metal? Which are those bands that you all collectively love? 
We've been inspired by a lot of old 80s thrash. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Anthrax etc. Pantera has a special place in my list because for me, Dimebag Darrel opened up a wide array of possibilities which has inspired me beyond comparison.

What gigs are you playing in the near or distant future?
We're all set to play in Mumbai this coming November at Catatonia fest. Apart from that, we don't have anything lined up.

A message to all your fans and supporters
Chaos clan! Thank you very much for all the support you've given us through out the years. See you all at our next show, stay Awesome! CHEERS \m/

Chaos on Facebook

BUY THEIR ALBUM - Violent Redemption - HERE

Visit Transcending Obscurity on Facebook




Saturday, 27 September 2014

Q&A WITH CHRONIC XORN (KOLKATA), THEIR NEW LYRIC VIDEO, ETC

Chronic Xorn, a Kolkata-based five-piece metal band are setting fire! The band recently got endorsed by ESP guitars through Furtados music.  Last night, they released a lyric video for their latest single 'The Great Human Failure' (check below). I've also added them to the Metalsphere list of bands for bookings, so feel free to contact me in case you want to book them! There are more details in this little interview I did with them.




For everyone who doesn't know you, introduce yourselves :)
Hi! We are Chronic Xorn from Kolkata.  The band was formed in 2008. We play a mix of melodic death and groove metal. We released our first EP in 2010 titled 'Death.Destruction.Sermon' and a full length album called 'From Mercy' in 2012.

Favourite food!
Bangalis are pretty renowned for being foodies and we are no exception to that. Just give us MEAT!

What is the mystery behind the force forming Chronic Xorn? (Simply, tell us a little history on the band!)
Well, the band was formed by Sunny, Tamaghna, Abhinav, Anindya and Jeet. However, over the years, we’ve had a lot of line up changes owing to job issues. The band was later joined by Angshuman, Suvam, Biswaroop and Sambit and that is our present lineup.

What's the metal scene in Kolkata like? 
The metal scene in Kolkata is getting better with time. In 2008 there were around 20-30 people who used to come to gigs, but since 2011-12 we have seen 200-300 people on a regular basis coming for gigs. The college fests have opened up to metal bands these days which is a real good thing and to top it off, metal bands are getting money (although it’s not a lot, but it’s still a good thing) for playing at fests.

What bands have inspired you from the start? 
We have a varied range of influences starting from Iron maiden and Metallica all the way to Dream Theater to All Shall Perish to Nile and Hate Eternal. It’s really hard to say specifically for every one of us.

You've released a lyric video for your song 'The Great Human Failure'. Why do a lyric video and what idea went behind this song? Is there going to be a concept album?
Well, basically we wanted to release a new single and instead of releasing an audio on Soundcloud we thought it’d be cool to do a lyric video with animation effects, it’s just that.
Yes, it is going to be a concept album and 'The Great Human Failure' is one of the tracks that will be present in that album. More details will be released soon from our camp!

Check Chronic Xorn's lyric video for 'The Great Human Failure' right here!



Tell me what's in store for the band? (Gigs, releases, merchandise)
Yes! Well, we are playing on the 29th of September at Elysium 2014 in Kolkata and we have a few gigs lined up in October and November (mostly not in Kolkata). We have also done a cover of Stairway to Heaven which we could not include in the album due to copyright issues. We’ll upload that cover soon. Plus, we’ve got some more teasers from the album coming soon!
New merchandise will be released along with the new album!

A message to all your lovely fans and supporters.
It has been a wonderful experience playing for you guys for all these years. Thank you for your support! Stay tuned for more of our updates. Cheers!














Chronic Xorn on Facebook
Twitter handle - @chronicxorn
Chronic Xorn on Soundcloud

\m/



Wednesday, 24 September 2014

SOUND-AWAKE - INDIA'S FIRST STORE EXCLUSIVELY FOR INDIAN MERCHANDISE!

Have you heard of Sound-Awake?
They've recently opened India's first store dedicated EXCLUSIVELY to selling merchandise by Indian bands and artists. What you need to know is that this is India's one-stop shop for merchandise made by Indian bands, a convenient platform for bands to get their merch selling in a proper store and one place for people keen on buying merchandise to do so in one go! Instead of the online ordering hassle, people in Bangalore can now just take their metro or rickshaw or whatever the fuck vehicle they own and shop for stuff they'd value buying.

Doesn't mom sometimes enter the house with these random t-shirts that say 'I <3 NY' telling you, "It'll look good on you, beta"? Well, it's time you went shopping with mommy and showed her the store she can pick stuff up from which won't lead to a facepalm frenzy.

CALLING ALL BANDS WHO WISH TO SELL THEIR MERCHANDISE AT THIS STORE! DETAILS BELOW!

Orion and Albatross tees, now up for sale at the Sound-Awake store in Bangalore!


Here is a small Q&A with the Sound-Awake boys, so small that it is really only three questions. That's all you need to know.

Tell us something about Sound-Awake! (members, how old the company is, et al) 
Sound-Awake (formed in January 2012) is a capsule with Fellow Artist Management, Downtown Gig Production and Booking. At Sound-Awake, we completely thrive on the DIY motto and believe in one single entity called music.
Sound-Awake is setting its foot forward as the fuel for the Artists in the country. Our team comprises of Sangeeth Ram (Founder/CEO), Rohan Thomas, Abdul Sathar, Preran Rai.

What is it that made you want to open a store dedicated exclusively to Indian bands/artists? 
Keeping in mind the day to day struggles an Indian band/artist goes through when it comes to reach and recognition, The Sound-Awake store is doing its best. We have a wide array of merchandise on sale from fantastic and unique Indian bands/artists and wish for the list to keep growing.

A list of artists whose merchandise you have acquired as of now
The Raghu Dixit Project [Bangalore]
Lagori [Bangalore]
The Down Troddence [Bangalore]
Parvaaz [Bangalore]
Live Banned [Bangalore]
Orion [Mumbai]
Albatross [Mumbai]
Threinody [Bangalore]
As we keep searching [Pune]
Rock Paper Scissors [Artwork by Smita Murugan]


Store address: 
The Sound-Awake Store
#28, 1st Floor, Public Utility Building,
MG Road, Bangalore,
India 560001


If you are lost or want to get your merchandise selling at the store..
Feel free to call Sangeeth Ram on +91 9535336383 or email soundawake.mailbox@gmail.com



We wish the team good luck on their awesome venture! Long live Indian music, and more importantly the people who support independent artists!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

GIG UPDATE AND INTERVIEW WITH THE STORMBRINGER TEAM (THE STORMFEST ANNIVERSARY)

Pepsi MTV Indies Live and The Stormbringer present The Stormfest Anniversary, this weekend in Pune! Here's an interview I've done with the organizer that's bringing to us one of the most kickass gigs in proximity on the 28th of September 2014. Man, this Pune scene is killing it. Mumbai, it's time we travelled to Pune for gigs. I'm going for sure!



For you lazy fuckers who don't want to read the poster, here is the lineup:

Orcus (Mumbai)
Providence (Mumbai)
THE DOWN TRODDENCE (Kannur/Bangalore)


Name of organizer (come on come on tell us, don't hide!) 
We’re collectively called The Stormbringer – Tushar Joshi, Utkarsh Golatkar, Kaushik Joshi & Aakanksha Rao

Favourite food 
Tushar - Cinnabons
Utkarsh – Anything non veg. (including the jokes)
Kaushik Joshi -  Dabeli (seriously)
Aakanksha Rao – Wada Pav

Which was the first gig you did in Pune?
Our first gig was 'The Stormfest' on 21st September 2013. We had Virion, Cruoris, Adamantium , Bleeding Edge, Cosmic Infusion and Gutslit. It was at this crappy banquet hall in Wakad but it was one mental gig! All the Pune bands gave a stellar performance and Gutslit & Cosmic Infusion killed the crowd.

What's special about this anniversary edition of Stormfest? 
We've grown a lot over the last year and come a long way from an underground venue, low budget etc. to commercial, ambient venues and high-profile bands. We decided we need to get the best band in the current scene and couldn’t think of anyone else other than The Down Troddence who’ve recently won 8 awards at the Rolling Stone Metal Awards (2014). We’re also getting Providence who have gathered a lot of fans in Pune since the last time they were seen by Pune fans, so we’re really keen on having them both!

What was the initial idea behind organizing gigs?
I’ve (Tushar) been part of the Pune music scene since 2004 performing in a few bands, the likes of Campus Rock Idols and some Mixtape events, Yamaha Roxx etc., doing gigs on a regular basis. We had a lot of gigs until I left the country in 2008. I returned in 2013 hoping to perform again but only to find that there are only competitions and mall gigs where bands could perform with an exception of very few independent gigs. That was pathetic! Bands should not have to compete with each other and malls are no place for a band to perform. Moreover, the bands end up paying up to Rs. 1000 as registration fee just to get 15 minutes of crappy sound from a sound engineer whose forte is Indian festivals, playing to a crowd of Honey Singh & EDM lovers and at the end of it, bands get disappointed because they lose to a band that has been playing for years. They also get into a state of bitching about the other bands, which was really unhealthy for the scene as we’re all in this together and suffering equally. So I realized that something needs to be done about this and decided to get into organizing gigs.
Also, the idea behind doing gigs in Pune was that other organizers were bringing in bands from outside and the local bands were barely getting a stage to perform. I was also told by a very prominent independent event organizer that Pune bands aren’t good. I refused to accept that as we’ve always had some really great bands come out of the city in the past. Currently, in my opinion, we definitely have some amazing talent in the city that just needs to be nurtured and encouraged. However, if I’m being biased and if its true that they are in fact not worth giving a stage to perform, then unless they are given a chance with a fair setup where they can perform, they can’t be expected to improve. It was that simple. So I formed The Stormbringer as an initiative to promote the local bands/artists.

What genres have you been doing gigs in?
We’re involved with bands/artists right from Classical to Extreme Metal. We’re in it to promote independent music so we don’t segregate genres.

Besides this, what is it that you do for a living, or is this your only job?
I (Tushar) do this full time. Utkarsh is a vocalist. Kaushik works in Kirloskar's accounts department and Aakanksha works for AIESEC.

Do you play music? 
I play bass, rhythm guitars (I’m really bad). Utkarsh is a vocalist for Chaoskampf and the only talented musician in the team. Kaushik and Aakanksha, both are professional bathroom singers.

What lies ahead for the Stormbringer!?
We’re planning a lot of things. Next step will be to move into other cities apart from Pune and improve the independent music scene there. So watch out people, THERE’S A STORM COMING OUT OF PUNE!! \m/


RSVP for The STORMFEST ANNIVERSARY EDITION HERE!
Here's the Facebook page for the Stormbringer.. CLICK CLICK!

See you this weekend, Pune!
\m/

Monday, 15 September 2014

DRUMMER WEEK: GAUTAM DEB (NOISEWARE, PMOC)

I've known Deb for a few years now, competing with Chronic Phobia at many gigs with Noiseware! He's one hell of a drummer! Check this long interview I've done with him. :)






Full name and age.
Gautam Deb and just turned 25.
I'm feeling extremely old already.

What is your favourite dish/cuisine?
Indian (home) food any day.

Kindly tell us about all your precious gear! (Sticks, cymbals, kit, skins, gear/bags)
I have a Mapex kit in Pune but will be upgrading it soon, and got a Roland TD 11k  E- kit in Bombay. I've got 15 gorgeous cymbals from Soultone cymbals.
I'm currently in love with them. I've got a mix of dark and bright sets.
As for sticks, I use either a Vic Firth or Vater 5A/5B/7B.
All gig bags and practice pads are sorted, thanks to Alberto. He's a God's gift to all the musicians in Bombay.

How long have you been playing the drums?
I've been playing since nine years. I took drumming up seriously when I was in school in Pune and was very sure that this is what I am going to do.

What got you into playing drums?
Women/girls.
Then I realized there’s more to it….haha!

Have you learned to read music as well, or do you just play by ear?
I use a lethal combination of both.
I got myself into reading a couple of years back but then I developed my own style of reading, thanks to my school/teacher/college ….Noiseware.
I programme what I play so I get a midi chart and I use that chart as my reading sheets.
The advantage is that I can hear what I write and even slow down the tempo if I want to which I’m sure a piece of paper can't do, but then when I'm jamming, I just use my ear and try to create something and then take it to the midi charts.
Reading is an important aspect and helps understand time and every musician should at least know it if not use it.

Loud and pounding| soft and accurate| the normal drummer. What do you prefer?
Is this a sexpert question? haha…but anyway
It depends on what you are playing. Currently I freelance as a drummer and playing different genres needs different styles of playing. So, understanding the physics of dynamics is important.




What thought goes into the composing process?
This one is all about the ear. No amount of charts can help you make a good song unless you are Beethoven.
If it sounds good then it is good. For learning and refining, yes, charts would definitely help you.

What other music projects are you currently a part of?
Currently I’m writing an album with Noiseware (Metchul) and PMOC (Pinnochio's Moment of Clarity) which is sort of a post rock album.
Creatively I’m just involved with these two projects.
Last year I worked on an album with Reverrse polarity with Keshav Dhar producing it and it was a great learning experience for me.

Do you have a day job? What is it that you do?
Not really. I play the drums and I make a living out of it.
I also have a design firm so I switch temporarily during an off-season.
So yeah, two professions as of now but never ever a day fucking job.

Your favorite musicians (Indian)
Guitar: Warren Mendonsa, Prashant Shah (Scribe),Adhiraj (Noiseware), Anurag Shankar (Siddharth Basrur project)
Bass: Sheldon D'silva, Carl Peters, Rushad Mistry, Abhinav Chaudhary (Circus), Adi Mistry
Drums: Jai Row Kavi, Gino Banks, Vinayak Pol, Nishant Hagjer (UndyingInc), Varun Venkit, Ranjit Barot
Vocals: Vishwesh, Siddharth Basrur, Clinton Cerejo, Shashank Bhatnagar
Any other instrument:
Taufiq Qureshi (Percussions) Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia (Bansuri)
Zakhir Hussain(Tabla), V.Selvaganesh

Your favourite musicians (international)
Guitar: Fredrik Thordendal, Tosin Abasi,  John McLaughlin, Andrew Goddard, Wes Borland, Dave Brubeck
Bass: Roy Mitchell (Mutemath), Jon Stockman( Karnivool), Victor Wooten,  Jaco Pastorius, Sam Rivers, Tal Wilkenfeld
Drums: Steve Judd, Darren King, Chris Coleman, Tony Royster Jr, Tomas Haake, Matt Halpern, Vincent Colaiuta, Dave Weckl, Travis Barker, Kerim Krimh Lechner
Vocals: Fin Greenall (Fink), Ian Kenny, Bruce Dickinson, Corey taylor,
Any other instrument:
Daniel Waples - hang drum
Chick Corea- Piano
Hiromi- Piano/Keyboard
Hans zimmer- composer and music producer
Bonobo- composer

Can we expect a release from your band(s) any time soon?
Both the bands Noiseware and PMOC are planning to release their albums by end this year.

Whom do you look up to, as a musician and a band?
There are so many hardworking musicians in the country today.
Some musicians/bands inspire me the most are Sahil Makhija,Rahul Hariharan,Coshish and also people like Nikhil Udupa,Himanshu,Rishu,Shadaab,Bobin james,Uttara Mendonsa who are building the Independent music scene.

A message to all your fans (hello ladies!)
Hello Ladies Call me maybe!? Please.
All guy fans…Only chat online maybe.

Thanks so much for your time! 
Its always a pleasure chatting with you Pratika.
You are awesome!






Noiseware on Facebook
Pinocchio's Moment of Clarity on Facebook


\m/

One more interview and lets wrap this up!





Thursday, 11 September 2014

DRUMMER WEEK: VIBHAS VENKATRAM (ECCENTRIC PENDULUM)

Every whack and hit in the technical space seems to seamlessly fit into this drummer's spectrum! One of the tightest and best drummers in the Indian metal scene, Vibhas Venkatram of Eccentric Pendulum is the man behind the indispensable odd time signatures and grooves in this band! Here's a quick and crazy interview with this guy!

Photo courtesy: Munz Photography






Full name and age.
Vibhas Venkatram, 27.

What is your favourite dish/cuisine? 
Street food, Indian, Thai, Italian (Anything vegetarian)

Kindly tell us about all your precious gear! (Sticks, cymbals, kit, skins, gear/bags)
I have a basic GB&A 5-piece drumkit, Pearl Omar Hakim Signature snare drum, Tama Iron Cobra double pedals, Sabian B8 pro hi hats, Wuhan China cymbals (12" and 14"), Meinl HCS Splash cymbals (8" and 10"). I use Vic Firth 8D/85A sticks.

How long have you been playing the drums?
I've been drumming since August 2005.

What got you into playing drums?
Repeated playing of Slipknot's 'Iowa' and Linkin Park's 'Hybrid Theory'. A couple of friends wanted to jam and were looking for a drummer to perform at a college fest.  I loved the experience and after that, it just turned into a serious hobby.

Have you learned to read music as well, or do you just play by ear?
Both. I prefer playing by ear unless there is an intricate drum beat/fill which I HAVE to play the way it is composed, in which case I refer the sheet music.

Loud and pounding | soft and accurate | the normal drummer. What do you prefer?
The dynamics depend on the type of music. I prefer varied dynamics (again, depends on the music)

Eccentric Pendulum (2012)


What thought goes into the composing process?
A lot of thought. Heh. To be open minded, creative and coming up with parts that don't just mindlessly follow the guitar riffs. Smooth transition between parts of the song, a few good fills etc. Basicall,y to break the monotony in metal drumming (or try to!)

What other music projects are you currently a part of?
I'm trying to explore the non-metal side of music. I've been jamming with a bunch of amazing musicians and should be performing real soon.

Do you have a day job? What is it that you do?
I am a full-time musician. I teach, record and perform.

Your favorite musicians (Indian, other than EP members, of course)
Guitar: Tony Das, Pradeep Ramanathan, Anshuman Mishra, Sandesh Nagaraj.
Bass: Gurdip Singh Narang, Abbas Razvi.
Drums: Manu Krishnan, Abhinav Yogesh, Yadhunandan Nagaraj, Mithun Puthanaveetil
Vocals: Sylvester Pradeep, Bruce Lee Mani

Your favourite musicians (international)
Guitar: John McLaughlin, Paul Masvidal, Chuck Schuldiner, Jeff Loomis, Greg Howe.
Bass: Anthony Jackson, Justin Chancellor, Tetsuo Sakurai , Mariusz Duda.
Drums: Gavin Harrison, Danny Carey, Sean Reinert, Simon Phillips, Thomas Haake, Vinnie Colaiuta.
Vocals: Daniel Gildenlöw, Maynard James Keenan, Thom Yorke,  Warrel Dane, Mikael Akerfeldt.
Piano: Hiromi Uehara, Robert Glasper

Can we expect a release from your band(s) any time soon?
Eccentric Pendulum's second album is on its way. We are looking for an early 2015 release. (hopefully!)

Whom do you look up to, as a musician and a band?
Musicians/Bands who keep pushing the boundaries. Hiromi Uehara, Thom Yorke, Tool, Meshuggah,  Cynic, John McLaughlin, Gavin Harrison.

A message to all your fans (hello ladies!)
Thanks for all the support. Keep an open mind and support all artists. Cheers!

Photo courtesy: Danz Photography

Eccentric Pendulum on Facebook


\m/


Friday, 5 September 2014

DRUMMER WEEK: VIRENDRA KAITH A.K.A VIRU (DEMONIC RESURRECTION, SCRIBE, ETC.)

Always known as Viru, this man needs no introduction. From Demonic Resurrection to Far Travel Music, Viru is a drummer with versatility, power and a bunch of other drumming skills! He is, without a doubt, one of the best drummers in India This also being one of the best interviews I've done, here's a detailed conversation with Viru! Check it out!

From Demonic Resurrection's 'The Demon King' photoshoot


Full name and age.
Virendra Gagan Kaith, 33

What is your favourite dish/cuisine?
Dal rice with papad and achaar. And Indian Chinese food.

Kindly tell us about all your precious gear! (Sticks, cymbals, kit, skins, gear/bags)
I got a Mapex "Pro M" kit
All my drum accessories are also by Mapex
Promark sticks
Zildjian Z3 cymbals, and only my hi hats are K series
Pearl Demon Drive Pedals
American Tourister backpack
Walking shoes from Decathlon which I also use while playing drums, sometimes.

How long have you been playing the drums?
It's broken up into sections. I started playing drums when I was in school and my uncle would set up the whole kit in our living room (joint family vibe). I played a couple of gigs with my uncle where I would  support him on the octopad or congas while he would be on the drumkit. Then I properly started playing drums while I was in college, which is in the year 2000. Used to jam with Mithun (Guitarist of PDV) as we were in the same college. But then from 2002 to 2005 I started working in a recording studio called Throatlatch. That is when I was more inclined towards how to record and mix rather than actually playing the drums. But then that experience has helped shaping myself as a drummer. From 2005, I started playing regularly as a drummer and even got to join PDV. And in 2007, I joined Demonic Resurrection. Since then there has been no looking back (Because there's only a backdrop behind me!)

What got you into playing drums?
Music was always being played in my house as my uncle was a professional drummer. We were very encouraged to participate in all these extracurricular activities in school, so that got me excited about rhythms in general. I remember, I used to set and program different grooves on my uncle's Roland SPD-20. Since then, its been a journey of meeting like-minded musicians and friends that got me into playing drums on a professional level.

Have you learned to read music as well, or do you just play by ear?
I would initially practice by listening to songs and figuring out parts. Then, I was also fascinated to learn how to read music, as everything that was available online was in musical language, so I learnt reading music by myself through online content available on the internet. It's a combination of both that has helped me explore more boundaries.

Loud and pounding | soft and accurate | the normal drummer. What do you prefer?
I would ideally prefer a loud and pounding drummer, because I am more inclined towards listening/playing a lot of metal music. However, as a freelance musician, I have learnt that there is so much more in playing different styles that enhances the music as a whole. So you can't go bashing the drumkit at all the gigs. Sometimes, it is more challenging to go a step back and maintain a clarity in your playing, that suddenly gives the music another dimension.



What thought goes into the composing process?
I am actually not someone who can compose something from scratch. But I work as an arranger, where if someone has an idea, I can maybe enhance it with whatever knowledge I have gather. And always, for me, music comes first. I treat the arrangement depending on how the music flows.

What other music projects are you currently a part of?
I will try and name them all:
Demonic Resurrection (Metal)
Scribe (Scribecore)
Sparsh (Hindi Rock)
Mihir Joshi Band (Blues Rock)
Far Travel Music (Electro Alt)
Treble Bite (Rock N Roll)
Ash King (Bollywood Pop)
Mahalakshmi Iyer (Funk Fusion)
FIFA 14 Career Mode :P
Clash of Clans ftw!!!!


Your favorite musicians (Indian)
Guitar: Prashant Shah
Bass: Rushad Mistry
Drums: Gino Banks
Vocals: Papon
Any other instrument: Rasika (Flute/Vocals)

Your favourite musicians (international)
Guitar: Fredrik Thordendal (Meshuggah)
Bass: Billy Sheehan (Naicin)
Drums: Tomas Haake (Meshuggah)
Vocals: Corey Taylor (Slipknot)
Any other instrument: Zakir Hussain
LeRoi Moore (Dave Matthews Band)

Can we expect a release from your band(s) any time soon?
Demonic Resurrection - Released in July, 2014
Far Travel Music - EP released in June, 2014
Sparsh - Working on the debut album, hopefully by this year end
Mihir Joshi Band - Album released in June 2014
Scribe - Hail Mogambo!!!!!!!!!! :)

Whom do you look up to, as a musician and a band?
As a musician, it would be Gino Banks, he should endorse the slogan "Eat drums, sleep drums, play drums". He is like an inspiration that pushes your limits to make you a better musician every day.

A message to all your fans (hello ladies!)
All my bands are releasing newer stuff this year. So go grab your copy. And you can get in touch with me through my facebook page if you have any queries regarding drums, or how to be in so many bands :P
Also, I am up to play FIFA anytime!!!!  Or even rink football!!!!


Demonic Resurrection on Facebook
Scribe on Facebook
Sparsh on Facebook
Far Travel Music on Facebook
Treble Bite on Facebook
Ash King on Facebook
Mahalakshmi Iyer on Facebook




\m/

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

DRUMMER WEEK: VARUN SOOD (BLAKC)

Varun Sood is a fucking metal drummer and there's no doubt about that! Earlier being drummer of former Delhi band 'Frequency', he now works in Mumbai. Besides his amazing corporate job (lul), he is drummer of Blakc. Having played at Slayer and Metallica tributes in the past, this hard-hitting drummer is an absolute treat to watch, and you can take my word for it. He's one of the tightest drummers I've seen live in recent times. Check this cute interview I did with the Punjabi drummer!




Full name and age.
Varun Sood (aka Punjabidrummer on Youtube), 29.

What is your favourite dish/cuisine?
I guess it’s a close competition between Rajma Chawal and Golgappe (better known as Pani Puri in Mumbai)

Kindly tell us about all your precious gear! (Sticks, cymbals, kit, skins, gear/bags)
I am really gear agnostic as of now since I have broken all my cymbals. So I basically play whatever is available at the venue. However, I do have a faithful Iron Cobra double bass pedal that has been serving me for a good 6 years now.

How long have you been playing the drums?
I think I have just completed 8 years.

What got you into playing drums?
I remember seeing Prestorika, a popular thrash metal band from Delhi playing at my college in 2003, and all I remember is staring at the drummer belting it for an hour. I just knew then that this what I want to learn.

Have you learned to read music as well, or do you just play by ear?
By ear. I have tried to dabble with learning notations but honestly I really suck at it.

Loud and pounding | soft and accurate | the normal drummer. What do you prefer?
Loud and pounding any bloody day of the year!

Live with Blakc


What thought goes into the composing process?
I have always wanted to be “a band’s drummer”. My job is to get the foundation right and that’s what I try and do with every song. I mostly sit with the bassist and the guitarist to figure out what groove fits the song best.

What other music projects are you currently a part of?
As of now, I play full-time for Blakc. However, I am open to playing sessions (Hullo! Can anyone hear me??)

Do you have a day job? What is it that you do?
Yup. I work as a Financial Analyst for a real estate company.

Your favorite musicians (Indian)
Guitar: Akshay Rajpurohit, Warren Mendonsa, Bruce Lee Mani, Adil Manuel
Bass: Roop Thomas Philip, Ashish Sharma (ex-Frequency)
Drums: Jai Row Kavi, Rahul Hariharan, Viru Kaith, Nishant Hagjer, Gino Banks
Vocals: Sidharth Basrur, Shashank Bhatnagar

Your favourite musicians (international)
Guitar: Steve Vai, Stephen Carpenter (Deftones), Fredrik Thordendal, Dave Mustaine
Bass: Billy Sheehan, Flea, Stuart Zender (Jamiroquai)
Drums: Tomas Haake, Brad Wilk, Lars Ulrich, Abe Cunningham, Dennis Chambers…this list is too long to fit the page
Vocals: James Hetfield, Chris Cornell, Zach de la Rocha, Chino Moreno

Can we expect a release from your band(s) any time soon?
We (Blakc) are working really hard towards our third album and we expect to come out with a new record in 2015.

Whom do you look up to, as a musician and a band?
Too many to list here, but as a musician definitely all my favorite drummers listed above.

A message to all your fans (hello ladies!)
Just a big hug and thank you for supporting me so far. Keep doing the same and I’ll keep drumming forever! :)

Somebody's preparing for kids :P 


Blakc on Facebook

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Monday, 1 September 2014

DRUMMER WEEK: MAYANK SHARMA (ZYGNEMA, ATMOSFEAR, AGNYA)

One of my oldest friends in the Mumbai metal scene, Mayank Sharma is the metronome behind some really kickass bands, one being one of India's biggest metal bands Zygnema! Playing different styles from power groove/heavy metal in Zygnema to death metal in Atmosfear and some fusion with Agnya, Mayank never fails to come across as one of the tightest and most accurate live drummers we've seen. Working on recording live drums for all of these bands, he is also now going to be an active part of Providence. Here's an interesting interview with Mayank!


Zygnema


Full name and age.
Mayank Sharma, 25

What is your favourite dish/cuisine?  
My favorite would be Kheema that my mom makes. We have kheema parties at my place. :P

Kindly tell us about all your precious gear! (Sticks, cymbals, kit, skins, gear/bags)
Vater Drum Sticks, Sabian cymbals. I have a Gladnick (local manufacturer) Custom kit for home practice. I majorly use Evans Heads and a Tama Iron Cobra double-bass pedal.

How long have you been playing the drums?
9 Years

What got you into playing drums?
I got pulled in by Linkin Park. I really enjoyed the grooves that Rob (drummer) played and how different the patterns were in each song. My father, being a drummer who always wanted me to learn drums, forced me into learning instruments. I come from a family of musicians so every one wanted me to learn something and I acted like a rebel as they were all forcing me (WHAT A FOOL I WAS)
When I was in the 11th standard, a guy did a guitar solo performance at the Annual College Programme. He was Shrikant Sreenivasan (Coshish). I went back home and I thought “I have a drum kit, why can't I just start practicing and then call Shrikant over to jam with him?".. and that is how it all began!

Have you learned to read music as well, or do you just play by ear?
I do know to read and write music, but I only approach it when it's needed, but generally I play by ear. If I do not understand a part maybe I would check out its transcripts, but that hardly ever happens.
I started learning the drums on my own and after a year or so I realized that I need to learn the instrument properly from a good teacher and then I found the best set of teachers I could have and got myself enrolled in the classes. Gino Banks, Sandy, Vinayak Pol, Jai Row Kavi. It was compulsory to know to read and write music with the above mentioned teachers.

Loud and pounding | soft and accurate | the normal drummer. What do you prefer?
It's about the type of music that I am playing but my personal favorite is LOUD AND POUNDING!



What thought goes into the composing process?
I am a very groove and accent-oriented person, At times, I try and follow a riff with its own groove and accentuate according to the riff. At times if I feel a different rhythm and groove to a riff or a pattern can go well together, so I just try and apply that. At times it's as easy as something just popping up in your head or you feeling something perfectly fits in and you try it. It is easily executable but then there are times when you think of something and executing it takes days.

What other music projects are you currently a part of?
I am with a Death Metal Band  - Atmosfear and a ambient fusion band – Agnya. I am also now helping Providence with the drummer duties.

Do you have a day job? What is it that you do?
Play Drums

Your favorite musicians (Indian)
Guitar: Prashant Shah, Sidharth Kadadi, Charan Singh Pathania, Bruce Mckoy
Bass: Roop Thomas, Sheldon Dsilva, Reuben Bhattacharya, Anish Nair, Leon Quadros
Drums: Gino Banks, Jai Row Kavi, Virendra Kaith, Nishant Hagjer, Tao Issrao, Rahul Hariharan, Hamza Kazi
Vocals:Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy, Jimmy, Siddharth Basrur, Sunneith Revankar

Your favourite musicians (international)
Guitar: Dimebag Darrell, Fredrik Thordendal, Marten Hagstorm, Mark Hosking, Andrew Goddard, Adam Jones, Devin Townsend, Vogg, Mattias IA Eklundh, Wes Borland
Bass: Jon Stockman, Sam Rivers, Dick Lövgren, Justin Chancellor
Drums: Morgan Agren, Thomas Haake, Gene Hoglan, Gavin Harrison, Danny Carey, Benny Greb, Jojo Mayer, Stef Broks, Chris Adler
Vocals: Devin Townsend, Randy Blythe, Phil Anselmo, Max Cavalera, Corey Taylor, Ian Kenny, Maynard James Keenan


Can we expect a release from your band(s) any time soon?
All the bands that I am with are working on albums.
I have already finished the drum tracking for Atmosfear and the bass is also done. After we finish tracking guitars and vocals, it'll be closer to seeing an end product.
Zygnema will be entering the studio in the first week of September to track the drums and follow on.
Agnya might also be entering the studio by mid September or early October to work on the full length album.
So yeah, there's a lot of stuff is happening in a span of two months and I will also be working with Providence on their album.

Whom do you look up to, as a musician and a band?
As a musician I look up to every other musician to gain knowledge from them. Every one teaches you something or the other. I have been learning so much from the drummers around me, like few simple fills and their application, which I might not have thought of. I keep me ears and eyes out to the musicians so that I can learn something new from them. As a drummer, I look up to all my favorite drummers.

A message to all your fans (hello ladies!)
Thank you to every one for the support and for appreciating my work. If you are a musician then keep practicing and you will achieve what you want. If you are not a musician, just enjoy the music and get drunk. And then drink again.



Zygnema on Facebook | Twitter | Reverbnation
Atmosfear on Facebook and Twitter
Agnya on Facebook



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Saturday, 30 August 2014

DRUMMER WEEK: REUBEN PACHUAU (IIIRD SOVEREIGN, VORTEX HOUSE BAND)

When it comes to extreme music, Reuben is just one of those drummers! I'm sure this is one drummer you want to know more about :) Popularly, we know him as the drummer of IIIrd Sovereign. Here's an interview with one of India's best death metal drummers who I had the privilege of interviewing! Read on!

IIIrd Sovereign

Full name and age.
Reuben Lalchuangkima. Age: Old :-P

What is your favourite dish/cuisine?
Mizo traditional dish (pork, fish and chicken).

Kindly tell us about all your precious gear! (Sticks, cymbals, kit, skins, gear/bags)
Drums Kits: Mapex Pro M 7 piece (2 x 22"x20" bass drums, 12" and 13" toms, 16" and 18" floor toms, Black Panther Cherry bomb snare) AND Mapex Horizon Jazz series (20"x18" bass drum, 10" and 12" toms, 14" floor tom, MPX 14" steel snare)
Skins/Heads: Mostly Evans G2 n EC2, for bass drums- Evans EMAD.
Pedals: Axis Longboard and Mapex P980A
Rack: Pearl rack 2 x 501c and 501
Cymbals: Zildjian (ZBT) and Wuhan. 20" ride, 14",16" and 18" crashes, 10" and 12" splashes, 12",14" and 16" Chinas, 13" and 14" hi-hats.
Sticks: Zildjian (5B) and Vic Firth (5B and 2B)

How long have you been playing the drums?
Since 1998

What got you into playing drums?
I got inspired by the legendary heavy/thrash metal bands (Metallica, Megadeth, Sepultura, Anthrax, etc.,.)   Since I can't play anything else, I have to do something that can be played without melody. You don't have to be in tune, you just have to hit hard from time to time, it's fun, lol!

Have you learned to read music as well, or do you just play by ear?
I started to play by ear and then continued with reading later on since the boundary without theory is pretty limited.

Loud and pounding | soft and accurate | the normal drummer. What do you prefer?
Normal and Accurate :)

What thought goes into the composing process?
Not much now, since Vedant is there for the lyrics, I keep on laying down different kinds of material and same thing goes for Benja, we just keep on selecting whichever part we like and we try to create something out of it, which we think should be meaningful, and of course, BRUTAL.

A picture I took at Deccan Rock (2011)


What other music projects are you currently a part of?
IIIrd Sovereign,Vortex House Band.

Do you have a day job? What is it that you do?
We set up a place called Vortex, so taking care of everything together (Music School, Recording studio and a gig hall) is the only job I have right now :-)

Your favorite musicians (Indian)
Guitar: Dhruv Ghanekar ('Chakraview' days), Benjamin (IIIrd Sovereign)
Bass: Jonah (IIIrd Sovereign)
Drums: Trilok Gurtu and Viru (DR)
Vocals: Vernon Ibrahim ('Only Be One' days)

Your favourite musicians (international)
Guitar: Patrick O'brien
Bass: Steve DiGiorgio
Drums: Gene Hoglan and Steve Gadd
Vocals: Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (Overkill)

Can we expect a release from your band(s) any time soon?
Sure, it's almost done, but I don't know how long the procedure for getting a label is gonna be. Anyway video of one of the new song will be out by October.

Whom do you look up to, as a musician and a band?
Sahil Makhija aka Demonstealer

A message to all your fans (hello ladies!)
Thanks for being there for us \m/ Cheers


IIIrd Sovereign on Facebook


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

DRUMMER WEEK: NISHANT HAGJER (UNDYING INC, RECTIFIED SPIRIT)

Welcome to drummer week!
There's no one better to inaugurate these two insane weeks with. Monster behind the drums, Nishant Hagjer has to be one of the most pounding and tight drummers most of us have seen live. Check this interview I did with the man himself. Stay tuned for many more of your favourites, this week onwards. :)

Photo: Danish R. D



Full name and age.
Nishant Hagjer, 20

What is your favourite dish/cuisine?
ALL KINDS OF HEALTHY FOOD!!

Kindly tell us about all your precious gear! (Sticks, cymbals, kit, skins, gear/bags)
Vic Firth Nova 2B Drum sticks. Paiste Cymbals (I break a lot of cymbals, so I get whichever model is available then and there. It takes a long time for overseas delivery!) Tama Imperial Star Drum kit, Roland TD 11K Electronic Drum kit. Tama Speed Cobra drum pedals, Pearl Demon Drive drum pedals, Joey Jordison Slipknot Snare Drum, Remo Powerstroke 3 drum heads, Remo Ambassador Snare drum head!

How long have you been playing the drums?
I've been playing for 8 years!

What got you into playing drums?
I used to play the keyboard and playing the drums on the keyboard had me hooked on to it. That’s how I got to know the basics haha! Then one fine day, I saw Tre Cool of Greenday drumming on VH1. That was it for me. His drumming, expression and showmanship made me get a drum kit!

Have you learned to read music as well, or do you just play by ear?
I play by the ear. I am currently learning how to read.

Loud and pounding| soft and accurate| the normal drummer. What do you prefer?
A mixture of the first two would sound great, but if I were choose one for a lifetime then its got to be LOUD and POUNDING.

Rectified Spirit
What thought goes into the composing process?
It’s a lengthy process. Nothing is fixed. If it’s a metal tune that I’m working on, then I generally start with the drumbeat. At times the beats are riff-oriented! I start with the keyboard and guitar for my pop project and that’s when I add beats and vocals, which turns into a full song.

What other music projects are you currently a part of?
I play drums for Undying Inc and Rectified Spirit. I have a pop/EDM/dance music bedroom project going on as well!

Do you have a day job? What is it that you do?
I’m a full-time drum teacher.

Your favorite musicians (Indian)
Guitar: Prasanna
Bass: Joshringdao Phonglo
Drums: Mithun Puthanveetil
Vocals: Yet to see many vocalists of other genres other than metal!

Your favourite musicians (international)
Guitar: Misha Mansoor
Bass: Henrik Linder
Drums: Matt Garstka
Vocals: Adam Lambert

Undying Inc
Can we expect a release from your band(s) any time soon?
Yes! We (Undying Inc) just released our EP and we have a few tracks ready already!

Whom do you look up to, as a musician and a band?
Multi-talented artists who have broken the barrier and come out of the vicious self-sponsored circle and are now comfortably doing their own thing, full time. I respect Periphery, they motivate me everyday, I've seen them grow over the past decade and its crazy where they are at now!

A message to all your fans (hello ladies!)
Hey all! Keep supporting my work, as that’s what motivates me the most! I do this every single day and I work super hard so if it puts a smile on your face, then I’m more than happy :)

Undying Inc on Facebook
Rectified Spirit on Facebook

Here's the official video of Undying Inc's song IRONCLAD.



Monday, 25 August 2014

ENTOMBED METAL FEST ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: Q&A WITH FRAMESHIFT INITIATIVES

Entombed Metal fest in Pune is an initiative started by Frameshift initiatives (I said it twice!), with a view of encouraging the metal music scene in the city. Having just organized 'Dawn of the Legion' in July, Frameshift's 'Entombed Metal fest' celebrates their anniversary with a power-packed gig, featuring Demonic Resurrection, who we can safely say is the international headliner of the night, besides other local acts like Cruoris, Anarchy, Adamantium and The Abel Projekt.

Since we're not so familiar with the people behind such a wonderful initiative, here's a scoop from the organizers when I had a little chat with them. Pune has moved into a more comfortable space when it comes to the whole live music scene, and doing this solely for heavy metal takes a lot of balls, considering the consistent lack of support from the commercial and mainstream world! Check the interview with Sanjeev Gupta and Ameet 'Teema' Kulkarni, who've been taking the effort to make these shows happen!



Why did you form Frameshift Initiatives?
Back in 2011 there were hardly any organizations/organizers that used to support metal bands with their promotion, bookings & management. Frameshift was started then with the aim to help out bands in the aforementioned areas.

What is the idea behind Entombed Metal Fest? Why take up such an initiative?
The idea is to provide upcoming bands (local & outstaiton) an opportunity to play with the well-known bands of the scene.  We took up this initiative because metal gigs weren't happening in Pune back in 2012. So it all started then to revive the scene and we are still working on it to make it better.

Are venues in Pune easy to get? 
 LOL!!!!! Not at all.

Have you been doing well just focusing on heavy metal gigs? 
Initially it wasn't so encouraging but slowly it got better and we hope that it continues to get better. Even the bands we have worked with so far have been very supportive in all aspects as they are also equally responsible for the success of the shows. A huge thank you to all of them.\m/

What is it that you do besides this for a living? 
Sanjeev: I am (still) studying in Pune.
Teema  : I am a full time musician.

Do you play music yourselves?
Sanjeev: Yeah I play music everyday on my phone. :P No, I don't play any instrument.
Teema  : I play guitar for Anarchy,Gaia's Throne and 1 more rock n roll/glam metal project with Aditya Shukla (Gaia's Throne). It's time to go back to the 80s ! :D

Teema and Sanjeev

What should we expect at the EMF anniversary?
All out madness! We have one of India's biggest bands headlining this one and kickass local bands to support them.The best part is that we have people travelling from Nagpur, Ahmednagar and Mumbai for this gig. It makes us feel proud because we also go to other cities for gigs and we know how it feels to travel to watch our favourite bands play. We are glad that people find our gigs worthy enough to come from so far. So it's definitely going to be one hell of a gig!

What's the future in terms of gigs for Frameshift?
More gigs including tribute gigs as well.

A message to people keen on attending.
We are very grateful to all those who attend our gigs and keep us going. A huge thanks to all of you for supporting metal and supporting frameshift. See you all on the 30th.
And thank you to Metalsphere for this interview.:)

RSVP for the Entombed Metal Fest anniversary edition right HERE
Facebook for FRAMESHIFT INITIATIVES


Dawn of the Legion Selfie

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Drummer week this evening onwards! 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

INTERVIEW WITH ORION (MUMBAI) - PROGRESSIVE DEATH METAL BAND

Orion is a four-piece progressive death metal band from Mumbai. They've been playing a few gigs here and there, been composing music and they're rising real fast. I remember playing a few gigs with these guys (in my Chronic Phobia days) so we go waaay back. My brother (Pritesh) later joined the band on drums, after which they released their EP 'On the Banks of Rubicon' in 2012, and have been on the rise ever since. These are some of the sweetest, sappiest and asshole-ist metalheads I have met. Travelling with them, I know they're absolutely fun to be around!

Orion also recently launched their CDs in jewel cases and t-shirts for 'On The Banks of Rubicon' through label Transcending Obscurity. T-shirts are available for Rs. 600/- and CDs for Rs. 150/-
You can also digitally download the album from HERE.

As Kunal Choksi (Transcending Obscurity) said, "Orion's debut release 'On the Banks of Rubicon' is a masterful album with pulsating energy, memorable riffing and catchy hooks masking the complexity of the music. The music has shades of melody counterbalanced by aggression and growls, a perfect balance for music that can only be justified with the tag of Progressive Death Metal."

Here's a small but detailed interview I did with them. Check it out!

Your favourite food.
Orion: Anything served with beer.

Q. A brief history of the band
We've been around for a while now. Had a few line up changes, that lead to a lot of soul searching and sound searching. Finally we believe we've found what makes us Orion, both in our music and mindset. We released our first EP in 2012 and, things have only gotten bigger since then. We're progressive death metal, so that gives us the freedom to tilt towards any direction, music-wise. We have a simple thumb rule, if it's epically unexpected, it goes on the album!

Orion is (left to right) Pritesh Prabhune (drums), Ashwin Kulkarni (guitars), Vigneshkumar Venkatraman (Vocals, guitars) and Anshuman Bhattacharya (bass, backing vocals)


Q. How has your journey been so far?
Rough in patches. Although since the album launch, it's only gotten better. The past few years, according to us, have been preparation to become the band that people know us to be today. Hopefully it only gets better from here because well, that's the plan.

Q. What has the band been doing of late? (gigs, composing, recording)
We just finished a semi-India tour of sorts. Starting with playing the WACKEN METAL BATTLE India finals in Bangalore, we played at Hyderabad, Jaipur and Pune. We played Mumbai also (Thunderstorm) recently. Now we're taking some time off to work further on our upcoming album which we intend to launch sometime early next year. Our first t-shirt is out, hope you'll have gotten yours already.

Q. How was your experience at the Wacken Metal battle this year?
Epic. It was a huge boost for us. Playing with the best bands from around the country was one hell of an experience. Plague Throat deserved to win it. We're already gearing up and pushing ourselves harder to be the ones next year.

Here's a video of Orion's trip to the Wacken Metal Battle national finals in Bangalore! 




Q. Something we should expect coming our way from you any time soon?
So in the near future fans can expect some single releases and a lot more shows.

 Q. Your favourite Indian bands
Apart from the big 4 that is Bhayanak Maut, Scribe, Demonic Resurrection and Devoid, we love Gutslit, Eccentric Pendulum, Providence, Zygnema, Albatross, The Down Troddence, Anthracite and Plague Throat.

Q. Your favourite international bands
Everyone from Opeth, Meshuggah, Veil of Maya, Karnivool, Alter Bridge, Whitechapel, Metallica.... This list has no end.

9. A message to all your fans..
We just make the music. You  make the scene. So keep coming for shows and keep growing metal here. Thank you for the support you've shown us so far! Also dump ice in your drink, not on your head. Just fucking donate. \m/


You can find Orion all over!
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Soundcloud

Listen to their song 'Oh Sweet Ebullition!' right here!

\m/ 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

INTERVIEW WITH ELEMENTAL (INDIA) + BAD BLOOD (LIVE VIDEO)

Elemental is a four-piece extreme metal band from Bhopal/Indore. Their music is about a serious picture of war between good and evil. Popularly known for always playing a tight set, intense drumming and groovy catchy riffs blended with a variety of metal vocal styles, this band is definitely something to look out for!

I met and watched these guys live for the first time at 'Dawn of the Legion' in Pune, but I'd heard a LOT about them before. They played at Entombed Metal fest in Mumbai a while ago. They're upcoming and well, coming up fast is all I can say! :P Here's a small interview I did with them. They're going to be busy, come this weekend. Read to find out more!

Elemental is Ankit 'Igor' Kujur (bass), Anchal Bhargava (vocals), Aman 'Ricky' Sharma (guitars) and Divyaraj Bhatnagar (drums)

Favourite food?
Chicken , sea food, and some green plants.

You have a lot of shows lined up of late. Can you tell us what and where? 
Yep, we have some upcoming gigs;
17th August - Harley Davidson presents 'The Doomsday', Indore
23rd August - IIT Kanpur Elims, Bhopal
31st August - Night Wrath Broadway, Mumbai
5th September - Cresendo, Indore
9th September - Abomination Vol. 2, Kolkata

Tell us a brief history about the band; how you formed, initial lineups, etc..
We started our journey in September 2012. Our vocalist met our drummer and they decided to jam. Later, we happened to meet our shredder Ricky who was in town for a month and the three of us started jamming. It all went well. We had a talk about the future and it was all fun, we must say. We enjoy what we do and that is what keeps us going! We all wanted to be in a band and play music we like, and we're doing it because we love it.

People didn't think there were metal bands in Bhopal/Indore. What do you have to say about that? 
Aahhh! Central India has an amazing scene! Bands like Demonic Resurrection, Zygnema, Devoid, Noiseware, Abraxas, Blakc, Motherjane, Indian Ocean and many more have played here many times before so that gives everyone a glimpse of the scene. Also there are almost two gigs every month where you will find a decent crowd of around 300 dedicated metalheads flying around everywhere. So this is what the other side of the story is. Most people aren't aware of the metal janta in our land!


Here's a video of Elemental playing their song 'Bad Blood'. I recorded this at Dawn of the Legion, Pune.
Sorry, thought the song was over and missed the breakdown :P 

Have your parents been supportive of your taste in music and supporting you as musicians?
So far so good! They've been very supportive, but there's no guarantee of what the future holds!

What's coming up for the band in terms of songwriting/releases? 
Yes! We are all set to release our first album 'Creation of the Damned'. We are being produced at Refractor Studios, Pune.

Kya aapko pataa hai muscle kahaan se aata hai? 
Ganja peene se.

Your favourite Indian bands
Undying Inc, Zygnema, Devoid, Inner Sanctum, Plague Throat, Gutslit.

Your favourite International bands
Behemoth, Dying Fetus, Origin, Decapitated, Suffocation, Meshuggah, Cattle Decapitation, Beyond Creation, Whitechapel, Amon Amarth, Katakylsm.

Message to all your fans
We don’t want any fans. We want brothers for a lifetime. Thanks for all the love and support you have shown so far. We assure to make your ears bleed to the end of days!

Elemental on:
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube

For bookings, contact Metalsphere on Facebook or call me!


\m/





Friday, 8 August 2014

THE FREAK GUITAR CAMP BY MATTIAS EKLUNDH, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN INDIA!

For the first time, guitar Guru and the creatively insane Mattias Ia Eklundh, frontman of Swedish progressive metal band Freak Kitchen, brings the Freak Guitar Camp from Sweden to India! Presented by BAJAAO, the Freak Guitar Camp is a week-long program for guitar players which will take place from the 13th – 19th of October, 2014 at Jal Srushti Island Resort in Mulshi, a serene location situated a few kilometers from Pune.

Here’s a video Mattias made for Freak Guitar Camp India:



Mattias is widely known for his unique style of guitar playing and song-writing. After years of learning, knowledge-sharing and patience, Mattias will now bring down the Freak Guitar Camp from Sweden to India. The Guru has always had a soft corner for India, Indian music and Indian musicians. This time, he will share his bit with us in our very own country! During the camp, Mattias will sink his teeth into odd time signatures, tons of poly rhythm techniques, licks and tricks to spare, how to make a guitar sound anything but a guitar, song writing process tips and talk about how to use synthetic modes and unorthodox scales.

The course fee is Rs.43,000/-. All candidates have to do is carry their instruments. Besides all the lessons and fun activities, the registration fee will include all the course material, luxurious beds, nutritious and lip smacking meals cooked by the Jal shrushti resort cooks.


 Here's a look at the camping spot Jal Srushti. Uffff. 

Take it from people who’ve attended the Freak Guitar Camp before. Mangesh Gandhi, frontman of Mumbai-based Hindi progressive rock band ‘Coshish’ shared his experience. He attended the 2011 camp in Sweden. “The Freak Guitar Camp is the best experience I had as a guitar player. IA is simply amazing and I basked in his awesomeness for a week in the Swedish woods. Beware, the musicality quotient takes a massive leap and might turn you into a musical zombie by the end of the week” he said.

Sidharth Kadadi, guitar player of Mumbai power groove metal band Zygnema said, "Freak Guitar Camp is truly a surreal experience, a must for all guitar players. Mattias is a living genius and he knows how to condition his campers. I learned a lot under IA's guidance and am looking forward to be a part of this again. You have to be a part of it to experience it. As our guru says -Once a camper, always a camper"

For registrations and further details, visit the official Freak Guitar Camp India website: http://www.freakguitarcamp.in/

Here's the official Freak Guitar Camp India Facebook page
Here's the event page for interested guitar players.
Mattias Eklundh
Freak Kitchen on Facebook

Here’s a link to the official video of Freak Kitchen’s ‘Teargas Jazz’ made in India.




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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

GIG UPDATE: THUNDERSTORM

I've written an article after ages and I'm glad it's a gig update. Mumbai, all these bands and organizer boys are eager to let you know that there's going to be one crazy night this weekend in Thane!

I've spoken to organizers Avirath Kadam, Shivam Gujarathi and Sushant Yadav, hands and legs behind Thunderstorm. Thunderstorm is a gig happening in Thane after a long time that is NOT in United 21, something we'd assume. Mark your calendars, it's on the 9th of August. The catch of the entire gig is the low entry as compared to other gigs that have happened in the recent past. Sushant adds, " It's not always that you get to see SEVEN bands for just Rs. 200!



Among having favourite foods like Chicken biryani, missal pav and jain chicken lollipop (yes, vegetarian alert. Y U Unmetal?), I spoke to these guys about the Thunderstorm lineup and a bunch of other things.
On speaking of the lineup, a mutual decision of the organizers was to fix on these bands, knowing they're all on good terms with them, and wanting to share the stage with their friends.

At this point in Mumbai after the craziness Control Alt Delete left us with, gloomy monsoons bring nothing entertaining, no college fests either, just muck and wet people. The gig was also initiated by keeping in mind giving upcoming bands the exposure they deserve, as even the seasonal college fests aren't the best and defining platform  for upcoming bands, especially metal bands. The Mumbai metal scene, on the other hand, is doing pretty great according to these guys, but they felt the need to do their bit by supporting it with more gigs.

With regards to the venue, Occasion's Hall, Goa Portuguesa was the venue in mind for quite a while, so they chose to stick with it. Doing the gig at another venue and not United 21 in Thane was also so that they could experiment and see if there are other venues open to metal shows in the area.

"We couldn't find anything that was related to monsoon for a gig name! So THUNDERSTORM it is!" 

For some reason, they have also managed to get a 'fitness' partner on board, with a view of wanting everyone in the scene to be fit (haan?), as they mentioned.

Here's the lineup:
Orcus
Dionysian
Narkasur
Wrath
Orion
Trinergic
Headliners: Albatross




As it is with every organizer across the country trying to put a metal fest together, one thing remains common - The lack of funds. They mentioned how lack of sponsorship is what has dissuaded organizers from putting up shows forever, but let's hope the fitness partner makes a difference, eh? *wink wink*

Doing more shows like this is definitely a plan for these three buggers. On a more personal note, Avirath mentioned how it's going to be 'one hell of a metal party' where people can have 'fun' together haan. Hmm. With Shivam's emphasis on Avirath doing a stage dive, he adds masala to our general expectations and dreams of lightweight stage divers (I still love you Avirath).

RSVP on their Facebook Event page.

\m/

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

THE ROLLING STONE METAL AWARDS PLAYLIST





These are the nominees for the Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2014.
Voting for best song, best album and best band (Popular choice) is open here on their event page, so RSVP too.


Cosmic Infusion
6 nominations
Best band
Best album 'Cosmic Infusion'
Best song - Burial of Thy Own
Best vocalist - Sushan Shetty
Best guitar player - Amnish Lohire
Keyboardist - Sushan Shetty

Facebook


For the full song, visit their Bandcamp page, the embed link wasn't working.
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Gutslit 
6 nominations
Best band
Best album 'Skewered in the Sewer'
Best vocalist - Aditya Barve
Best guitar player - Dynell Bangera
Best drummer - Aaron Pinto
Best bass player - Gurdip Singh Narang

Facebook


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Reptilian Death
7 nominations
Best band
Best album 'The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence'
Best song - O
Best vocalist - Vinay Venkatesh
Best guitar player - Sahil Makhija
Best drummer - Sahil Makhija
Best bass player - Ashwin Shriyan

Facebook


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Reverrse Polarity
4 nominations
Best band
Best album 'Reverrse Polarity'
Best song - Cross Poly Nation
Best drummer - Gautam Deb

Facebook


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The Down Troddence
6 nominations
Best band
Best album 'How are You? We are Fine, Thank you'
Best song - Nagavalli
Best guitar player - Varun Raj
Best drummer - Ganesh Radhakrishnan
Best keyboard player - Sushin Shyam

Facebook


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Undying Inc
4 nominations
Best song - Ironclad
Best vocalist - Shashank Bhatnagar
Best drummer - Nishant Hagjer
Best bass player - Reuben Bhattacharya

Facebook

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Zygnema
4 nominations
Best song- Shell Broken Hell Loose
Best vocalist - Jimmy Bhore
Best guitar player - Sidharth Kadadi
Best drummer - Mayank Sharma

Facebook


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Theorized 
1 nomination
 Best bass player - Sankalp Narayanan

Facebook


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When Stories End 
1 nomination
Best bass player - Gaurav Roka

Facebook


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Dark Helm
1 nomination
Best keyboard player - Aniketh Shankar

Facebook


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Lunatic Fringe
1 nomination
Best keyboard player - Gaurav Dutta

Facebook


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Slain 
1 nomination
Best keyboard player - Jonathan Wesley

Facebook


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Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone Metal Awards


\m/ May the best musicians win! \m/