Fonda (Saracen Charge Productions) interview

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I have known Fonda for close to a decade now. We met while she moved to Dubai and was writing for a zine. A couple years ago, she got involved with organising shows in Dubai and started Saracen Charge Productions earlier this year. This weekend is the first edition of the Desert Demolition Fest.

Find out more about the festival, organising shows in Dubai and also the upcoming shows from Saracen Charge Productions in my interview with Fonda below

Hi Fonda, you are working towards the Desert Demolition Fest Vol.1. How is it going?

Hey Pedro! Well, we can feel the stress but then, we’re pretty excited to have this simple fest having awesome bands representing 4 different countries. And it’s worth the eye bags by end of the evening, hehehe

You started Saracen Charge Productions earlier this year. How did you get involved in organizing shows?

Well, back in college, I was involving myself in doing underground metal gigs or even volunteering, and I was pretty active also with my band. Then later on, as you know, I became a zine writer too. And here in Dubai, I also worked in an event company for four years but it was more on the corporate level, but it did help. Then, working as well in a law firm which added my knowledge about the laws.. or not to get caught if I do shows! Hahaha! kidding

Combining all this, it broaden my network or contacts and it gave me the urge to be back in doing this. A friend of mine convinced me to start doing DIY event and for almost two years, I was involved doing this with them. But later on, things went on different direction so I decided to start this SCP. I’m also glad that friends and a lot of people was willing to help out for the sake of keeping the metal scene alive. And the result was a positive feedback for the first show, and this makes us to continue further!

How do you select the bands that will perform at your shows?

We don’t get bands just because they are well-known or we think about getting profit. The key to running a production is the passion for it before anything else. First, I make sure that I believe in the craftsmanship of their music. I listen to different genres whether it’s black metal, brutal death, prog, grindcore, hardcore, punk, goth, thrash, folk metal, hard rock, etc.

It’s either we approach a band that we’ve been admiring or, search for new ones that we see there’s potential. We highly welcome those who sends us message and introduce themselves and wants to come here. You know that feeling when you listen to their music and you be like “damn, these guys should be heard here in this region!”. But of course, this is risky as well, thinking about the expenses of promoting a new artist and wondering if we can even get a break even at least. However, it will always be a great feeling when sooner or later the band will soon be recognized globally, and they will look back and say that SCP crew was there to support us from day one. We gain friendship with the musicians, and that’s rewarding already

What have been the memorable moments so far? Any funny incidents?

I think I am totally brain-dead replying to this interview so I can’t think of one now! Memorable moments will always be touring the band members as if you are just chillin’ with friends. Funny incidents usually happens when wasted, lol

What are you currently listening to?

Oh, I enjoy discovering new bands or music, or stick with bands I’ve been listening to for ages and check their new album. But for now, I can give five on my playlist would be the Wardruna, Archspire, Dyscarnate, Katalepsy, and the young kids Alien Weaponry! Wait, I will add also The Sixpounder on the list

What are your plans for the coming months?

We have scheduled gigs until November 2018! Awesome really! Some are tentative, but the rest, we are furnishing everything and pretty excited to have them perform here, So we hope to get the local support that we need!

Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have anything else to add?

Hey thanks also for this interview. I hope I gave you a good scoop about me and the production, hehehe. Don’t forget to follow our page Saracen Charge Productions or drop us an email if you want us to check out your music:


Dubai folks, don’t miss Desert Demolition Vol. 1! All details below.

Written by trendcrusher

November 20, 2017 at 11:00 am

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In the past year, foreign bands have started touring across India not only playing one off shows. The first was Australian technical death metal band Psycroptic and this weekend French death metal band Benighted will embark on a tour across the country.

Benighted are one of the well known metal bands from France. The band have released 7 albums over the past 2 decades. Earlier this year, they released a concept album, Necrobreed through Season of Mist. The album continues in the death metal vein of their previous albums and is a ferocious listen.

Read my interview with vocalist Julien Truchan about Necrobreed, their tour of India and also their upcoming plans on Transcending Obscurity.

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November 15, 2017 at 4:25 pm

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Chepang are a US based “immigrant core” band. I first heard them last year, when they released their EP, Lathi Charge. The impressive debut release was hailed by webzines around the world. The band release their first full length album, Dadhelo last week. The album is a more complex and intense listen compared to Lathi Charge. After multiple listens, I can tell you that it is not your run of the mill grindcore release.

I spoke to guitarist Kshitiz Moktan aka Grandmaster Bhudey about Dadhelo, recording the album and their upcoming shows. Read the interview on Nine Circles.

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November 9, 2017 at 11:43 am

Roy Dipankar (Royville Productions)

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In the past decade, there have been quite a few documentaries focusing on metal music. My personal favourite has been Metal: A headbanger’s journey. Closer home, the few documentaries I seen have been college projects.

Last week I came across a crowdfunding video by film maker Roy Dipankar his documentary, Extreme Nation. This first of it’s kind, it will not only feature the metal scene in India but also neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Sri lanka and Bangladesh.

Find out more about Extreme Nation, the challenges that Roy has faced so far and his plans for the coming months in the interview below.

Photo by Kabir Ahmed

Hi Roy, for those familiar with you please introduce yourself. How did you get into filmmaking?

As far as I remember, I have been associated with producing & promoting music and film content; both independent and mainstream, as an oft non-conforming, artistically debauch A&R (artist & repertoire) and a compulsive anthropologist.
I also curate film festivals and screenings throughout the year for independent cinema and try to make films that convey compelling stories of our times, that need to be told. I am gradually getting in to the foray of fiction.

How did the idea for Extreme Nation come about?

I had always felt for the need to have quality documentation of a show, an interview or a music video in extreme metal music. I am talking in terms of Indian and Asian countries. Most of the information or coverage has been scattered, kind of disorganised.

Filming for Extreme Nation began at the Trendslaughter gig in Bangalore on February 2014. What I had in mind was a docudrama of sorts that would be part documentary, part fiction. This was the initial seed. However as my horizons expanded from city to city, town to town, country to country – I believe there was enough of amazing already happening with real people and events. Hence since late 2013 to now – Extreme Nation has developed to be quite a unique story!

Metal from the Indian subcontinent has it’s own flavor. Though the seed was laid in the west, metal music has gradually metamorphosed into a monster of it’s own kind. Metal music from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal through it’s various sub-genres, avenues and initiators carry their own story that is akin to the region. We are telling our tales through the eyes and tongue of a leviathan spawned out of our own backyard.

How do you select the bands that feature in the documentary?

Bands and individuals who feature in the film range from old school initiators to current violators of what accounts for blind human faith, mundane routine and beyond the ordinary. Music that is outrageous, boisterous, that defies authority, questions rules, proclaims of all & most things forbidden, through ill art. This film is not just about music or art alone but also about the people of the subcontinent and their inter-relations. That makes an interesting premise.

What is the biggest problem that you faced so far?

Financial constraints and mobility to countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan. Hence sometimes accessibility was a major concern, though I’ve overcome that through technology, networking and a handful of trustworthy individuals.

What are the memorable moments so far? Any funny incidents?

There are many in fact. Missing flights, drunk interviews, head of a metal maniac striking the camera, Hair getting stuck in a tripod, etc. Also once when a band member showed me what he calls a ‘mini horns up’, that was indeed extremely funny.

Tell us more about the crowdfunding project you have started.

This story has been initiated by me but the ultimate resource seemed clear as more and more people contacted me over the last few months in terms of support. Crowdfunding, hopefully will help finance the completion of the film and also involve a mass movement which is exactly what this film deserves.

This is not just a rockumentary highlighting metal musicians in their elements, but also showcases the characters’ personal relationships with a volatile subcontinent steeped in geo-political strife & constant power conflicts.

So this film is important not just for metal heads, or music lovers but as well for those who possess active interest in the political, historical, sociological & ethnographic affairs of the subcontinent and the world at large. It is a fun ride through captivating stories, revelant gigs, places, band and their concepts of the past and present in the extreme underground.

What are your plans for the coming months?

To complete Extreme Nation and apply for festival premieres across. I am also working on the pre-production of a short film; it will be hybrid cinema with mix-media involved (there will be music, though not metal). This short film will try and lay the foundation for a feature film in the making. All I can say right now is that it will be “a psychedelic experience from the underbelly laced with vitriol laden social comment”.‎

Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

You are welcome! I can only ask for more and more support towards documentary films and of course the best way to do so is begin with my film. This will only help me to bring one unique ethnographic film out of India to you.

Contribute to crowdfunding campaign on Wishberry

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October 29, 2017 at 9:52 pm


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I first heard Gutslit when they started out in 2007 and they have come a long way in the past decade. The band has released 2 albums and toured Europe multiple times despite line up changes. Their second album Amputheatre via Transcending Obscurity records is out now and it sounds great. The album is huge leap ahead of their previous album Skewered in The Sewer with regards to songwriting and production.

Read my interview with bassist Gurdip Singh Narag on the Everyday hate blog

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October 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Neck Deep in Filth

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Read my interview with vocalist Vishal Rai on Transcending Obscurity.

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October 15, 2017 at 10:00 am

Dream Theater

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I wrote a gig review after ages.

The rain caused fans to wonder if Dream Theater’s concert at the MMRDA Grounds on Sunday night would be canceled. Their fears were allayed when the veteran American progressive rock band took the stage and played ‘The Dark Eternal Night’, the track with which they’ve been opening the last few shows of the Asia leg of their ongoing Images, Words and Beyond world tour. About 5,000 attendees braved showers throughout the gig and were treated to a flawless three-hour set, the highlight of which was the 23-minute epic ‘A Change of Seasons’. Each member of the band got their moments in the spotlight, with guitarist John Petrucci drawing the loudest cheers and even vocalist James Labrie, who has his share of critics, silencing his naysayers. The band promises to be back in India soon and considering the response they got, it’s very likely that their fans here won’t have to wait as long as they did for this much-anticipated live debut.

First posted on The Daily Pao.

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October 12, 2017 at 10:00 am

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