Rishu Singh (ennui.BOMB)
I’ve was going through my old emails and found this interview I did with Rishu Singh from ennuidotbomb.com for Indianrockmp3 4 years ago before the release of the 4th edition of Stupid Ditties, India’s premier unmetal indie compilation. Manage bands, organise gigs, release compilations, he has done it all. Read on to find out more about Stupid Ditties, ennui.BOMB and his thoughts on the indie scene in India.
Hey Rishu, Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule, what’s new in the ennui.BOMB camp?
Well there is something happening in the ennui camp after a while. So that’s what’s new!
We’re busy with the launch of the 4th installment of Stupid Ditties, launch concerts for the same in Mumbai and Delhi, managing a new hardcore punk band, The Riot Peddlers, and kicking off a new gig series called ‘Kill The Weekday’. Most of this possible due to an ankle fracture, lotsa time at home and my considerate employers, Rolling Stone India.
Congrats on SD4 release, what can you tell us about it? How different it is from previous editions of the compilation?
Thanks! Frankly, there’s nothing new about SD4. It still is exactly what we started out as, “an unmetal compilation of original Indian music”. I doubt that will ever change! In terms of music, its got some genres we’ve never touched like hip-hop and ska. Overall, it’s heartening to see various artists all over India try their shit. Just the fact that we have musicians who are making music they believe in is good enough to put them on a compilation and/or listen to them. It’s the song that counts. Fuck recording quality! The Stupid Ditties series is a leg up. I hope someone somewhere (do A&R people still exist?) loves that badly recorded song a band has made and signs them on for a multi-trillion dollar contract!
Free CD giveaway?? What’s the Catch? Doesn’t it hurt the pocket?
Hahaha! There’s no catch bro. Both my wife Aditi and me have jobs, are rockers and have grown up in this scene. We’d rather spend some money on something like this. And frankly it’s best doing it without a sponsor to retain the creative control of what we want to do in terms of art and promotion. Though a sponsor with the same sensibilities wouldn’t hurt! But I guess I’m too lazy to go around asking!
One question I have been dying to ask you, what’s the story behind the name ennui.BOMB?
I think when you get too fucking bored, there’s bound to be some sort of a huge energy release. It could be constructive or destructive depending on your frame of mind. ennui.BOMB is that energy release. To bomb some of our fucked up boredom away! Hahaha!
Going back in time, you have had a bad experience with releasing ‘We Are The Scene 2’. Yet! You have successfully released SD series both physically and Digitally, What kept you going?
There’s never been a “bad experience” as such. WATS2 was supported financially by Throatlatch Records. I think they gave us Rs.5000 which was a big deal at that time. It’s just that WATS2 made me realize what exactly I wanted to push/promote, which was all the other music apart from metal that was not being looked at.
Stupiditties 1 was sponsored by Bhargava’s Musik and we took a small load to make the CD look and feel like a great unmetal CD. Eventually, we got super support from indiecision.com (now nh7.in) to release the next 2 compilations. So there has always been encouragement and support. And obviously the more time you spend in the music business, the more you know where costs can come down. That helped too.
A few years ago ennui.BOMB was managing bands like Medusa, Tripwire, Split among others, then you quit managing bands and now you are managing Riot Peddlers. What is the reason behind the move? Change of heart?
See, when I joined Rolling Stone India managing events, there were times when RS was looking at say a Medusa to play a gig. From RS’s perspective I could only pay the band X. At the same time, as the band’s manager, I knew that my band charges Y. So effectively I was negotiating with myself! Which didn’t make sense to me.
And the intention was always promoting these bands wherever I could because I know they are great. For example, Medusa has toured the UK and recorded with John Leckie. Split is doing fabulously for themselves now.
So I decided to quit as band manager but promote them wherever possible.
With Riot Peddlers, it’s a different story. The band is not as mainstream as most of these were. It requires a niche audience and I don’t see handling business for them clashing with my responsibilities at RS. Not to forget that they blew me away from the first scratch version I heard of their demo. So yea..
From organising gigs on terraces to now organizing gigs in bars/clubs for Rolling Stone, how did you make the transition?
I guess I can say I’m lucky to have found the job I am passionate about.
SD1 had a kickass launch gig at razz and finally there are more launch gigs happening for you with this release. How did you manage to crack that?
Most of the ennui gigs you will see are good offers for everyone involved. The bands get paid, people get free gigs with/without freebies like CDs, and the venues get a crowd. As long as everyone’s happy with the business/exposure they are getting, that’s what ennui.BOMB is about. I don’t want to make money from it. At least not right now with a job and all.
So the task is approaching people and sounding off ideas. If a venue sees potential for business or exposure, they will pick it up. Try it.
Do you think Punk is dead? And metal is taking over?
Metal has always been the biggest rock subculture in India. That and classic rock. Punk in India is a very haphazard tiny tiny vibe right now. Bands need to get their music out to people, connect with other bands in other parts of the country, go down and play different cities to get the whole punk vibe booming. It will happen. It’s inevitable.
What you think about current Indie India? What (Indie India) bands have you been listening to recently?
I think this is the best time to be involved with the music culture/business in India (where most artists are independent). There has never been a more fruitful era for rock music here. I really enjoy music by Medusa, The Supersonics, Pentagram, Split, Sridhar/Thayil, Bhayanak Maut, Hipnotribe and Scribe. Among recent discoveries are The Pulp Society, Lazy River, Underground Authority and Zygnema. It’s great to hear their music. Even better catching them live.
This is your space, anything you want to say ..(Shout out/ Thank You note/ Abuse)
Just some advice for anyone with a dream/a vision/an idea: JUST DO IT.
And don’t wait for people to help you out.
Do it yourself.
Last Famous Words are..
Music should be free.