Bevar Sea are a stoner doom metal band from Bangalore. They were one of the opening bands for Bangalore Open Air in May. Later this month, their self titled album will be released through Iron Fist Records. I had interviewed them earlier in May.
Bevar Sea are Artist of the Month on Indianrockmp3.com. Check out my interview with their guitarist Rahul Chacko below
Hi Rahul, you are a couple weeks away from the release of your self-titled album. How does it feel?
Rahul: Hey there. Well, at one point, it almost felt anticlimactic, since we’d had the songs for so long, and we’d even had the finished recordings with us for some time, and thanks to a number of factors, it took quite a while to get it release-ready. I’d actually done most of the artwork for the CD and booklet a long time ago, and only recently picked it up again to finish it off.
But now that the launch date is drawing nearer, it’s getting more real in our heads and we’re getting pumped again, so it’s all good.
Tell us a bit about the songs on the album, what are the themes behind it?
Rahul: Ganesh is the man behind the lyrics for all the songs. There was one point where the rest of us weren’t too sure what the lyrics were, but the audience in the concert front row all sang along without a pause. Embarrassing.
Anyway, Abishtu’s probably the most straightforward one, about a bike-riding serial killer terrorising hipsters. Universal Sleeper’s a drug fiend in limbo going on a whacked out trip, The Smiler’s about a guy who sells out his integrity to climb up the social ladder, and Mono Gnome’s a morality tale of a midget who has a fling with a witch, and ends up getting the whole world torched. At least, I think it was a morality tale. I know I’m scared off witches for good. Unless she’s like Triss from The Witcher. Wait, was she a witch or a sorceress? Gah!
You have been working on the album for a while now, what was the recording process? How long did it take?
Rahul: We just tried to be as pragmatic as possible when it came to recording. Since there weren’t enough funds to do a full-on studio recording session, we used the drum recordings from The Mighty Riff and went from there. Deepak’s usually the tightest one in the band, so that didn’t turn out too bad! The remaining instruments, we recorded at home. That collectively took about a week or so, but the sessions were spread out over quite a span. Our neighbours obviously complained a bit, since we had to crank up the tube amp to get the sound we wanted, but ultimately noise prevailed.
The album was mixed and mastered by Billy Anderson who has also produced bands like Cathedral, Orange Goblin & High on Fire. How was it working with him?
Rahul: It’s always a pleasure to work with a professional who knows what they’re doing, and with a guy with those kind of credentials, it’s no surprise that things have gone smooth. We thought our rough mixes were decent, but the tracks that Billy’s sending back now make them sound like the amateur efforts they were. Hopefully, we can learn something from his output and improve our own understanding of music production.
The album is being released by Iron Fist Records, what are your plans for the release of the album?
Rahul: Bring along the whole kitchen sink with us, basically. We’ll have the physical CD for sale, along with digital album download options, t-shirts, posters, fabric prints, stickers, patches, and some other loot if we can manage it.
There are some limited pre-order packs available which should have the bulk of these goodies included – we’re still figuring out pricing since some of these are ideas we’re trying out for the first time, and we’re still not sure how much it’s going to cost us in the end.
Other than that, tour a bit, and do some pimpage for the album to try get it featured in places that cover this kind of music.
You were one of the opening bands for Kreator at Bangalore Open Air in June. How was your experience?
Rahul: It was the biggest stage we’ve ever played on, so that in itself was a trip – lots of space to move around and pull off rockstar poses. Even though the turnout was somewhat disappointing, the crowd that did show up seemed to really be into it, which was a big plus. Oh yeah, there was some power-tripping douchebag backstage who was throwing his weight around and making a nuisance of himself, but otherwise, it was a good time being surrounded by friends and metal. Not to mention, getting to see Kreator up close and personal – they blew our faces off something fierce.
Artwork plays an important role in your band. Tell us how you go about creating the artwork for your merchandise.
Rahul: Usually I take references from the lyrics and the general vibe of the song, and adapt it to whatever format the artwork is going to use. The CD art was a little more freeform, since there wasn’t any direct lyrical theme to draw from, so I just decided to give it a nautical spin and see how it turned out. Truth be told, I’ve probably spent more time on the artwork for the CD than on my guitar parts. Anyway, the reaction’s been great, so we’ll probably keep churning out art along with the music.
What are your thoughts on the old school – new school rivalry?
Rahul: Being a predominantly atavistic band, I guess we’re supposed to trash the school of nu, but it’s not worth the effort, to be honest. For me, the important thing in music is how it makes you feel, what your gut reaction to that sound is. In contrast, a lot of the genre turf wars I come across seem too tribalistic in nature for my liking – less about the music and more about posturing. It leads to some funny face-offs now and then, but that kind of thing tends to get old fast.
I’ll admit, I have a preference for how some of the bands in the 70s did heavy music, but I don’t want to ape their style completely either. You should be free to introduce some unconventional elements in there if you think it fits; otherwise, it’s just pandering.
Do you have any shows outside Bangalore planned in the coming months?
Rahul: Indeed! We’re trying to sort out shows in Cochin, Trivandrum, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Nasik. So far, we’ve only played Bangalore and Chennai, so it’s going to be a great time making a ruckus in the new cities.
Rahul: Thanks for reading! Flames in the comments thread are welcome – if we’re not pissing off somebody, then we’ve gone wrong somewhere. Turn up for our gigs, buy our merch, and make us moderately wealthy bastards. Ok, just financially solvent bastards, then. Cheers!