Kaav are an instrumental band from Vypin Island, Kochi in Kerela. In 2010, they released a self titled EP which took me by surprise as I was not aware of any post rock bands from India. A couple weeks ago I was checking their website and saw that they were going to release their debut album “Rhapsody of Rains”. I heard they single “Thee” and knew I had to feature as “Artist of the Month” on Indianrockmp3. Read my interview with the band below.
Hi guys, you recently released your debut album “Rhapsody of Rains”. Tell us a bit about it.
Hi, Recorded at ‘Liquid Music Studio’ based in Kochi, the album is produced and mixed by Baiju Dharmajan and mastered by Ty Degroff, Final Sound, USA. The album cover, features photograph by acclaimed photographer Thulasi Kakkat.
The album is basically a continuation of our last release, Kaav EP (2010).Most of the songs or the basic structures were already there during the recording of Kaav EP. ‘Rhapsody of Rains’ consists of 8 songs/stories painted in grey and colorful shades of life. Rooted in our tradition, ‘Rhapsody of Rains’ has a raw feel to it.
The album was recorded at ‘Liquid Music Studio’ based in Kochi. What was the recording process like?
It was recorded in April 2011 and as mentioned earlier produced by Baiju Dharmajan. We were initially planning to record all the songs live, mainly, because of the nature of the songs. But after considering the complexity of the process, non-availability of huge studio setup, equipments etc. we gave a different approach to it. First the drums and guitar were tracked together and then all the guitar parts were re -recorded following the previously recorded drums. Then additional guitar parts, bass, extra percussion and fx etc. were added.
We wanted the album to have an earthy feel, so very less digital enhancement is done; almost nil on guitar and bass comparing to current production practices in the industry.
We also collaborated with people from different walks of life helping us with words, voice over’s, humming etc. It was an awesome experience altogether.
It was produced and mixed by Baiju Dharmajan (Ex- Motherjane). How was it working with Baiju?
We have been really lucky to have him to produce our album. We thoroughly enjoyed the recording and working with Baiju Dharmajan.
Songs in this album have different moods, but is set in a similar platform which needed different treatments to it. We are not used to metronomes -such technicalities and considering it’s an instrumental album with live drums, dynamics changes, natural sound fading and tempo changes etc the album needed a experienced producer. Having previously worked with us on our last EP he exactly knew the sound and the direction of the album.
His vast knowledge in different forms / extremes of music, production, technology and overall musical experience helped us sail through the production smoothly. It was a great learning experience working with him.
Your self titled E.P was voted as the best E.P of the year 2010 by Indiecison/NH7. How does your new album compare to it?
A basic structure for the album was already laid out even before we recorded the EP. We had about 7-8 songs and many bits and pieces of music before recording the EP. 3 of the songs were selected for Kaav EP. Some songs and some parts of the songs were made it to the ‘Rhapsody of Rains’. We released Kaav EP in September 2010 and six months later in April, 2012 again we entered the studio to record ‘Rhapsody of Rains’ with additional the new songs.
“Rhapsody of Rains” has been released by London based record label, Cochym. How did the deal with the come about?
After the release of our self financed EP (2010) we wanted to record the album on a larger canvas and were working on the finances. Then the director of cochym called us a said he loved our EP and would love to help us fund a music video for the song ‘Kettukatha’. This idea was eventually developed and later on offered us to record a full length album.
The album was supposed to be released last year. What was the reason behind the delay?
It got delayed due to timing mismatch and availability of studios etc. Basically the studios in Kochi are setup for film audio production and programming etc. Their core customers are film production houses, music directors from the film and devotional music industries etc. It’s a huge market segment. And that’s why they are not interested in taking up band productions of indie bands. Also the nature of music and the kind of production environment needed for indie bands is different from their core business. Cochym is now working on a studio setup with Baiju Dharmajan. Once it’s completed we are sure it will create an environment congenial for alternate musicians.
‘Daya’ from your EP was also featured in Coldplay’s website. How did that come about?
Coldplay setup an exhibition room on their website when they were recording their last album, were they invited people to submit art, pics and videos etc. We came across that page one day & just submitted the link. Then after 2-3 months somebody said that Daya was on Coldplay’s home page and that was awesome. It’s still there in the exhibition room.
Motherjane is an obvious influence on the band. What are the other Indian bands that have influenced you?
Not exactly. Musically we are not into to the kind of music Motherjane doing. But it’s been really motivating and inspiring to see Motherjane emerging as one of the top acts of the country. We (Syam and Shabeer) have also got an opportunity to tour with Motherjane as techs; they are so humble and grounded guys. And also we’ve taken guitar lessons from Baiju, and Arun took drum lessons from John in the past. Respect!
Baiju Dharmajan’s been a real motivating-inspiring force for us ever since we met him both musically and morally. We are blessed to have him produced both our releases. And also we got the opportunity to see through various stages of production of his solo album ‘The Crossover’. It’s going to be a landmark album of Indian indie.
Legendary guitarist John Anthony and his band Karnatrix. Their album ‘Namste’ is a must listen.
Avial and their first album. Their use of Malayalam language and right blending of music styles.
And of course our traditional and classical music.
What are you plans for the rest of 2012? Any live gigs/tour planned?
Stick together as a band…Survive. ..Travel. ..Play as many gigs as possible. ..Meet people. ..Listen to more music… Make more music…Live
Any Final words?
Thanks a lot for the Love and Support!