Blek are a punk band from Mumbai. In the past year or so they have been gigging all over India including the north east and have released their EP “Hexes + Drama, & Other Reasons for Evacuation” for free through ennui.BOMB. This month, they are the Artist of the month on Indianrockmp3. Check out my interview with them below.
Hi Guys, Hows it going?
For those not familiar with the band, can you tell us how the band formed?
Rishi: Well we all sort of met each other in college. We were very serious about writing music and things hit off from there.
Jared: We all kind of got along at the first jam. We started working on new songs from our second jam because we did not want to play any covers at the time & now we write off each other. It becomes really difficult to write new stuff when one of us are absent at jams.
Earlier this year you released your debut EP “Hexes + Drama, & Other Reasons for Evacuation”. Tell us a bit about it.
Rishi: Well the moment we had some songs down we figured lets see what we can do with them. Hexes was a way of figuring our way around the finer details of making a record. EPs give you a freedom to experiment. That’s what hexed was all about.
Jared: Yup, we also wanted to put stuff out there because no one really knew our songs. So this was great way to do it. It was a good learning experience as a band. There were so many things we hadn’t thought of before we started recording. Our producer, Ayan De helped us through the specifics of that EP a lot.
The EP was released by ennui.BOMB. How did it come about?
Rishi: We were playing a lot of “underground” gigs last year, gigs like CTRL ALT DEL and the stupid ditties launch. Rishu heard us at gigs like that and wanted to get involved. We’d heard a lot about him and were eager to work with him.
Jared: Stupiditties (the compilations) is like a bible to fresh Indian indie. Being able to work with Rishu, the guy who puts it together is superb. He makes us work & makes things happen.
Last year you were one of the 5 all-India winners of the Ray-Ban Never Hide Sounds talent hunt. How did that help the band?
Rishi: Um. Free glasses are good, and in India there aren’t enough venues for young acts to develop. So every gig you get goes a long way in helping you grow if you make the most of it. Ray ban was one of those series of gigs.
Jared: It helped a lot. We could upgrade our gear. We met awesome bands like Digital Suicide & Fire Exit there. Free Ray- Ban’s, Yay!
In March, you did a tour of the north east to promote your EP along with The Lightyears Explode. How was the response?
Rishi: The lightyears joined us for the opener of that tour at kolkata. It was ace, the lightyears are always great to play with and are close friends of ours in Mumbai. The whole tour in itself was a riot. Great experience we made some good friends, and got back some good stories.
Jared: The North-East is a really neat place. The people are nice & the weather is good. They accepted our music & I love the vibe they bring to gigs. Those folks know how to party for sure.
Do you plan on releasing any new material in the coming months ? When can we expect a new EP/Album?
Rishi: A new single is almost ready, a lot of people who’ve heard us live wanted us to record it. So we figured we’d get it out there. Also looking at a new EP and loads of massive gigs before the year runs out.
Jared: What he said!
Later this month, you will be performing at the Ziro Festival of Music in Arunachal Pradesh; do you have any other gigs planned?
Rishi: Yes but they’d kill me if I told you. But we are planning something at what could be a new venue in south Bombay very soon. Keep your ears sharp its a b’day party.
Jared: Wow! Even I don’t know what Rishi is talking about. But yes, we are looking forward to ZIRO Festival especially after the ball we had in North East. I’ve seen the line-up & there’s so many new artists I want to see. Can’t wait.
Any final words?
Rishi: Hexed and drama for free on http://www.ennuidotbomb.com/#blek If you haven’t heard of us yet I just made it easier.
Band photo by monisha ajgaonkar