Bevar Sea Interview
Bevar Sea are doom metal band from Bangalore, India. I interviewed them 3 years ago when they release their self titled album. This weekend they release their second album ‘Invoke the Bizarre’ in India (Worldwide release 31st October). I caught up with Srikanth, guitarist of Bevar Sea and spoke to him about their new album, the different approach they took and also advice he had for bands planning to self release their music and merchandise.
Congrats on the release of your second album ‘Invoke the Bizarre’. Tell us a bit about the album.
Srikanth Panaman: Hey Peter. Long time no see! Invoke the Bizarre has been cooking slowly since the first album came out and we finally were able to record late last year and put it out this year. It is out on September 25th in India and October 31st in the rest of the world. It’s been a labour of love from everyone involved, and we’re excited to have the fans hear it finally.
How does the album compare to your debut album?
Srikanth Panaman: The first album was good for what it was at that time. We got the best out of what we had and knew at that time. On the second one, we went in knowing a lot more about recording and engineering, and we went in as better performers. Musically, this still stoner and doom, but it’s darker and more varied than the first one.
I remember you released a demo of ‘Sleeping Pool’ in December 2012. How long have you’ll been working on the songs for the album?
Srikanth Panaman: Sleeping Pool was written in 2011 before the first album came out, Where There’s Smoke (There’s a Pyre) was written in 2012, Bearded and Bizarre was written in 2013, The Grand Alignment, Bury Me in NOLA and Heathen were written in 2014. We are slow, much like our music. If we’re able to recover the money invested on an album sooner, and save up for the next album sooner, we will get off our asses and write more but one album every three years is not too bad. I’d ideally like us to have a smaller release between two full lengths, so let’s see how things go.
‘Invoke the Bizzare’ was recorded at Adarsh Recording Studio. How different was the recording process this time around?
Srikanth Panaman: We booked ten whole days at the studio for recording each band member separately and we wanted to use the big room and the fancy mics that the studio had at its disposal. We went in the order of drums, bass, rhythm guitars, additional guitars, acoustic guitars, lead guitars, and vocals over the course of the ten days, and spent the eleventh day listening to each track and then consolidate various takes. This was a pro approach and it was a great experience for us. We’d like to be in a real studio and not a home studio because the equipment is better, and more importantly the recording room itself is better. We also can’t afford to be lazy because time is limited, so that helps us finish what we started as per schedule. We all took time off work and got this done, so it wasn’t a weekend project for us.
You have been working with Matt Lynch (Mysterious Mammal Studios) on the album. How was the experience been?
Srikanth Panaman: Matt plays for an old timey Seattle/LA band called Snail and that’s how I got to know him. He had also worked with bands like Nebula and others, and I always liked the way his drums and the way the ‘room’ sounds in his mixes. We were more metal than his usual work, but when I told him what we’re going for on each track, he understood immediately and got the mixes the way I’d wanted. We gave him a good sounding recording, and the tones were all there. His job was mainly to remove all the mud, and to give us that big overall sound. We’re super happy with the results.
Your self titled album was released on Iron Fist records, a label started by the band. What did you’ll learn from the experience? What advice would you give other metal bands that plan on self releasing their EP/ Album?
Srikanth Panaman: That was a name we used because our then manager Salman (from Bangalore Open Air) wanted to use Kryptos’ and our releases to start a label to support and push good local bands but that never took off. We are putting this one out on our new imprint called The Mighty Riff Records, something I’ve been meaning to start for a couple of years but finally getting to. I sure do have some advice: Don’t compromise on the artwork and packaging. Don’t think of yourself as a local band. Don’t expect people to buy CDs if you don’t have a CD collection yourselves. Don’t expect to make your money back if you invested despite knowing your album had no demand to begin with. Learn everything about the workings of being in a band, including printing, pressing CDs, making merch, logistics, management, recording, video editing, designing, web designing – whatever talents you have acquired can be of use and can help you make your money back. The more skillful you are, the better it is.
Were you satisfied with the response your first album received? Are you planning anything different for the release of ‘Invoke the Bizarre’?
Srikanth Panaman:The first album far exceeded our expectations in terms of response. We’re hoping the second one will kick things up a few notches for us – especially in Europe, UK, and the US. These are the three territories where we got the most real purchases from, so we’d like to go a little deeper in those markets with this album.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Srikanth Panaman: We’re taking things slow this year. We just want to put this out and make sure the album reaches the right audience around the world.
Any final words?
Srikanth Panaman: Thanks for letting us talk about our new album man. Your readers can always go to the below links to follow us.
http://bevarsea.bandcamp.com [pre-orders are online here]
Listen to three songs from ‘Invoke the Bizzare’ below
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