Trendcrusher

Spiral Ascent – A look back at the debut album of Kryptos

leave a comment »

As a collector of CDs, there are a few that stand out and one such album is Kryptos Spiral Ascent. The Bangalore based band’s debut album was incidentally the first Indian metal album, I’ve owned. Over an email interview vocalist Ganesh discusses Kyrptos’s formative years, the Bangalore metal scene and ten years of Spiral Ascent.

Kryptos - 2004

Nolan Lewis (Guitars), Akshay Patel (Guitars), Ryan Colaco (Drums) and Ganesh K (Vocals/Bass) (Left to Right)

On Kryptos’ early years:
Kryptos started out as a college band called “8 on the Richter”. “8OTR (hated the name) was a band I had put together with a bunch of dudes in late 96/97.” said Ganesh about the band. “I met Nolan at St. Joseph College of Commerce’s admission queue. We didn’t quite take to each other, but I remember our dads talking about some shit. Next thing I knew, we were in the same class and shared common tastes in heavy music. It was in passing I asked him if he played the guitar. Not only did he say yes, he owned a guitar AND an amp. That did it. I spoke to the rest of 8OTR and he became a member. A few line-up changes followed and it was just Nolan and I – we decided to look for a drummer. We found Chinlen Singh through an ad I placed on RSJ [the now defunct magazine]. It was then that we decided 8OTR sucked. We needed a better name that would reflect what we were into and what we intended to write.”

On Bangalore:
“Bangalore, then & now (not so much), is pretty much a classic rock/metal town. It was not odd to hear Slayer, Megadeth, Dio, Black Sabbath being played at pubs – hell! I have even heard Death’s Symbolic at a bar in Bangalore. There was a legendary wall on Brigade Road where someone had spray painted SLAYER. From college benches to pub loos, it was not out-of-the-place to find AC/DC, GN’R, Slayer, Scorpions, etc. There was a healthy local metal scene with bands like Millenium, Crimson Storm, Vulcan Haze, W.A.R.D.E.N, etc gigging. There were numerous pubs and bars that played everything from heavy blues, hard rock to early metal. There was no scene, but the seeds were sown.”

Being a part of  compilations:
Headbangalore’ was a compilation of Bangalore bands Phallusy, Threinody, Myndsnare and Kryptos. Forsaken, Forgotten (land of ice) and Clandestine Elements were the 3 tracks by Kryptos that were part of the compilation. “We were siting around Threinody’s rehearsal space, which we shared with them for a while, drinking beer and shooting the breeze when we decided that we could actually go out and do a fucking compilation.The effort was great; the involvement was spot on, but the studio and the mixing engineer sucked. The release was well received though we were never really studio ready, but then what mattered back then was the DIY approach – people dug it.”

“Back then, the only gigs that were happening were college and other miscellaneous competitions. We took part in as many. We didn’t give two hoots about winning and all that; we just wanted to play live. The law of averages caught up and won a few. One of the prizes was that we could record a couple of songs at this studio called Throatlatch Studios in Navi Mumbai. The owners then released one of the songs, Descension, on a compilation called Deep Throat.”

10 years of Spiral Ascent:
“Man, that album took forever to record. I don’t remember the sequence of events but we recorded and tracked everywhere! From Warren’s [Mendonsa] place in Dadar to a few studios in Bangalore, including Ricky Kej’s – he is a Grammy winner today – w00t! Looking back, how I wish we had someone to whoop our arses and helped us save time and money, but I would do it all over again. No regrets.”
“Few Indian bands had released albums a decade ago. “How? We just did. There were quite a few Indian bands that released original music before us. From Thermal and a Quarter to Millennium, Rock Machine to Vulcan Haze. We felt we have 8 odd songs, let’s just put it out and get on with it.”

On the line-up for the album:

“Chinglen Singh had to leave Bangalore and head back to Assam due to personal reasons. Ryan Colaco was then with Angel Dust, we asked him to moonlight for a couple of gigs we had coming. And that was that. With Akshay it was a bit more complicated. I had heard of this guy who’d come to Kryptos gigs, record it and bootleg. I loved that! I am not sure how we met, if he auditioned or whatever – but before we knew he was there. A great guitar player with quite a personality.”

On Writing for the album:
“We never sat down and said, ‘hey! Enough of the beer! Let’s write an album!’ It happened over time, when we had enough material we began the recording process.”

Spiral Ascent

On Recording the album:
The album was recorded by Clay Kelton at his studio. “Took a couple of weeks, months maybe. The process was an on-the-go one – oh Ryan’s here today, eh? Let’s track the drums! Or ‘is that Tiny (Trinity D’Souza, Cryptic)? Dude, play a solo here!’ So, it was all over the place – quite a miracle we actually put something out. Those days were a bloody haze. Bet there are a few. I remember setting Akshay’s vodka on fire once, don’t know why or what happened after. But Clay didn’t like it much.”

On the album art:
“The cover art was design by Niklas Sundin (Dark Tranquillity). Being fans of DT’s early work – musically and cover art-wise, we decided to mail him for fucks sake. When he replied it was like ‘Woah! We need to pay him money now!”

If they had to change anything…
“Apart from playing to a metronome, not a bloody thing.”

Parting words:
“Eat shit, drink beer and bark at the moon! Also, buy our merch!”

This week Kryptos head to Germany on tour with Death Angel. Those in the area should definitely head to one of the show, tour dates are below.

Kryptos Europe tour poster 2015

Written by trendcrusher

July 14, 2015 at 10:00 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: