Interview With Djinn & Miskatonic
Djinn and Miskatonic is a doom metal band from Bangalore, India. The band (Jayaprakash Satyamurthy on bass, Gautham Khandige on vocals, Siddharth Manoharan on drums and Sriram K.R on guitars) combine Doom Metal with parts of Sludge, Stoner and Death/Doom Metal. They were in Mumbai in the first week of September performing at Metal at the Tavern (Thane) in support of the release of their debut album ‘Forever in the Realm’. I caught up with them there for an exclusive interview.
“It was like the communion service where the Holy Spirit did not show up” says Jayaprakash Satyamurthy about the delay in manufacturing of the CDs. “We had a good show and we had great sound. There were even a few people moshing.”
Jayaprakash was earlier part of stoner doom metal band, Bevar Sea. “Gautam and I were jamming and writing songs even before Bevar Sea started and then in the first year when Bevar Sea starting happening we started looking for a drummer and could not find the right one, then Siddharth came along” says Jayaprakash about the origins of the band. “We started jamming regularly with Siddharth in early 2011. Then when I left Bevar Sea, it seemed like time to start doing this full time. Sriram came in initially as a guest guitarist for the Motorhead tribute and then we thought that this came off well and for some reason he seemed to like playing the songs; so we continued jamming, which was earlier this year.”
“Some of the songs have been around since 2011; I have some demos of myself playing through these songs with my cats in the background” says Jayaprakash about the songwriting of their album. “Last year was a really bad year for the band, we had just 2 or 3 show and it was looking dismal for us as a live act. So we said fuck it, lets just record our songs and put them for free download. We figured no one was going to hear us live, so let them have these good studio tracks to listen to. But as it turns out we have had a lot more shows this year, so the timing for the debut album has been really good.”
The album was recorded at Area 51 studios in Bangalore, which is run by Premik Jolly, guitarist for Threinody. “We had got most of the Motorhead cover recorded at Premick’s studio. After tracking the song we had such great chemistry with Premik that we decided to record the album there” says Sriram. “The album was completely recorded at Area 51, as we did not want substandard drum sounds and he has got the best stuff in town” added Jayaprakash about the recording process.
Bangalore is slowing becoming the “Doom metal hub of India” with bands like Dying Embrace, Bevar Sea and Shepherd all based in the city. “It initially comes from a small cluster of friends like Srikanth, Chako (Bevar Sea guitariasts), Sriram, Gautam and myself, that were all on the same internet forum 8 years back. We used to be talking about the same music and we went from talking to being in bands with each other.” says Jayaprakash about the surge of Doom metal in Bangalore. “That’s why you have a small cluster of bands that knew each other well and have similar influences. I think it’s going beyond that now; I have spoken to some younger musicians, who are not any personal friends of ours, but have heard these bands and have started to play doom, not quite the same way we do or Bevar Sea does. The small cohesive scene is expanding and now everyone is moving little to the side and doing their own thing. We are no longer all playing in each other’s footsteps and establishing our own identity. I don’t think it’s going to be a very small and close knit scene any longer; each band is going to be forging a bigger identity than a common ground. It’s like a big bang happened and now the molecules are spreading through space and time.”
‘Forever in the Realm‘ is the first release by the sub label of Transcending Obscurity. “Kunal kept suggesting to us this January about doing something and we kept withering about. Once we had an album recorded, it all made sense because we put in a lot of money recording the album and producing it as well. We were dreading putting in a lot of money again manufacturing the cds and marketing it. Kunal’s offer came back and we thought it was the right time, we had a product and he has a framework for manufacturing and selling it. It takes a burden off us; we are no longer a band shopping a few songs around.”
“We have one more show coming up this year and that’s all we are sure of now” says Jayaprakash about their plans for rest of the year. “We will continue jamming and write songs. Writing is a constant process with us. We want to promote the album as much as possible; we are willing to work with organisers across the country.” Signs off Sriram.
Listen to ‘Forever in the Realm‘ below