Interview with Workshop
Workshop are a humor metal band from Mumbai. In 2009, they released their debut album ‘Khooni Murga’. After a short break and line-up changes, they are back with their second album ‘Made love to the Dragon‘. Find out more about the album, their new line-up and their plans for this year in my interview with Sahil ‘The Demonstealer’ Makhija and Hamza ‘The Hamzoid’ Kazi below.
Hi guys, how do you feel now that your latest album ‘Made love to the Dragon’ will be released soon?
DS (Demonstealer): I am unbelievably relieved and thankful that the album is finally out. It feels like a great weight has been lifted off my chest. I’ve been stuck in a space time continuum of albums as since 2008 I was writing the new Reptilian Death album, since 2010 the new DR album and since 2009 the new Workshop album and all three have just seemed to have been in limbo. It’s kind of like copying files on the PC when you copy them one at a time it seems to go faster but when you copy 3-4 folders together it seems to take forever. So I was stuck in something like that and finally the first album to be completed and released is the new Workshop.
HK (Hamza Kazi): We actually consider it to be quite an achievement since it’s the first DSR release featuring live drums. We’ve gone through the 7 layers of hell to get this one out. Wait does hell have 7 layers or was that the human skin? Anyway, you get the point.
The album has been 3 years in the making, when did you start working on the songs for the album?
DS: To our own knowledge we wrote 1/3 of this album while recording the last album actually. If you go back to the Workshop blogs from the first album you will be able to retrace the origins of Gajanand Dhige, Made Love To The Dragon and Bunty Aur Malika Arabic version. So it’s been in the works since that time but officially in 2009 we started writing the album and it took us about a year to write after that.
HK: There are rumours of there being a few Govinda and Mithun movies which have been 13.5 and 16 years in the making. We’re definitely better off in that aspect for sure.
How long did the recording for the album take?
DS: Way too long! If you follow up our blogs we started in March 2011 and completed in December 2012. That is how long it took us. I’m so glad I own my own studio because can you imagine if I had to hire a studio for almost 2 years!! I’d be bankrupt!
“Blues Motion” features solos by Mattias AI Eklund and Christophe Godin. How did you get them to contribute to the album?
DS: Furtados Music got both of them to India for a Laney Clinic Tour and I was the tour manager so I spent a lot of time with both of them and we’re good friends now. I just wrote to both of them and said hey I’ve got this really cool song and I’d like you both to play a solo each and they said sure and sent me their solos and it just blew my mind!! It’s like totally amazing! They’ve both played such awesome solos.
HK: The real story goes something like this. They came to India. Sahil invited them on his Headbanger’s Kitchen show. Put some ‘Can’t refuse to play a guitar solo’ powder in the food and voila!
In June 2011, Workshop called it quits. What was the motivation behind starting the band again?
DS: Well we had an album half done, we were going to complete recording it anyway so it just made sense to get new blood into the band and move on because the album deserved it. It would have been a shame to have a great album and no band to play and promote it. So we discarded all Riju’s bass parts when Aditya Kadam joined us. He played on the album and became part of the band. 2011 was a very tough year for us and Workshop was one of those bands where the members were very important and we went through so much shit but now we’re back on our feet and ready to kick some ass.
HK: You know a band like Workshop makes a lot of money. We make 4 times the amount we get from our day jobs. Disbanding would mean reducing our income to 1/5th and who would want that? So it was more of a financial decision than anything else. Musicians will be able to wreak in the sarcasm here.
How did Devesh Dayal and Aditya Kadam become part of the band?
DS: We auditioned both of them. I actually don’t remember how it all happened but I am really glad they are part of Workshop as they both are top notch musicians and bought a whole new level of musicianship to the band both live and in the studio.
HK: Fevicol and an instruction manual.
“Made love to the Dragon” will be distributed by EMI India across the country. How did the deal come about?
DS: For 7 years I’ve run Demonstealer Records and honestly it is not possible for me to run a label, play in 5 bands, have a day job and run a studio. So I approached EMI music to take up distribution of all my upcoming releases via DSR which is how the deal came about so while I can handle the PR etc the main time consuming and financial part of producing and distributing the album to stores will now be handled by them which takes a huge work load off me and allows me to focus more on the music.
What are your plans for 2013?
DS: Gig our asses off. We’ll play anything and anywhere so if anyone out there reading wants us for gig contact us and we’ll make it happen.
HK: Actually apart from Devesh, all the members are fat. If we gig our asses off, that’ll reduce our body weight by atleast 20%. That’s the actual plan. Weight loss for the win !
Any final words?
DS: Cheers & Stay Demonic! Mainly because Workshop has no cool catch phrase.
HK: That’s one small tit for man, one giant boob for mankind. There, now we’ve got a cool catchphrase.
Order ‘Made love to the Dragon‘ here