Posts Tagged ‘bangalore

Sandesh Shenoy

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Trendslaughter Festival is one of the few metal only festivals in India. Started in 2012, the festival has featured underground bands from around the world like Demilich, Impiety and also Indian bands. The headliners for the second edition of the upcoming edition of Trendslaughter festival is Czech black metal band Cult of Fire, their first live performance in Asia, making it one looked forward to by many.

I spoke to Sandesh Shenoy, one of the people behind the festival. About the 6th edition of the festival, how the line up is curated and also their plans for the rest of the year.

Read my interview on Unite Asia

Written by trendcrusher

February 20, 2018 at 11:00 am

Djinn & Miskatonic

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Djinn & Miskatonic are a doom metal band from Bangalore, India. Their debut album Forever in the Realm was the first Indian release by Transcending Obscurity. The album received rave reviews from around the world and further strengthened Bangalore reputation as the Doom metal capital of India. Last month, the band released their  sophomore album Even Gods Must Die. The album takes forward the sonic template established on their debut album with a few surprises.

Read my interview with vocalist GK and bassist JP on Unite Asia

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February 2, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Bantering Ram (Unscene)

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In the past decade of blogging, I’ve mainly interviewed bands and recently also records label owners. Starting this week, I will be featuring the individuals that work behind the scene to make shows happen, the organizers.

Earlier this year, a new series of gigs called Unscene was launched in Bangalore. Each month founders, Abhijit Rao (Escher’s Knot) and Bantering Ram program a killer lineup of artists, which makes me wish I lived in Bangalore instead.

I wanted to know about Unscene spoke to Ram about the origins, memorable moments so far and their plans for the future.

Hi Ram, you’ve just wrapped up the 6th edition of the Unscene series of concerts. How does it feel looking back?

Reasonably satisfying that we’ve managed to keep it going and that we’ve brought in a number of bands that have been ear-openers for our audience. Bu it’s never enough, man. We could always do better.

For those not familiar with Unscene, do tell us about its origins and also the motivation behind starting the series of shows?

Back when I used to be a frequenter of Bengaluru gig venue, CounterCulture (no longer operational now) a few years back, I used to talk to Abijith Rao (musician/sound engineer/biker and very good friend now) who was part of that setup then about reviving metal music gigs in the city, which had gone into sharp decline. I’m not even a metalhead but I thought it was an unfortunate state of affairs and in an extreme way epitomised the difficulties in the independent music space in India. The more I saw gigs, the more I realized that it was a problem for even non-metal bands. Lots of good bands but not seen and heard enough. However, it remained a thought and a few well-meant conversations for some time. After the Progworks On Wheels tour in 2016, though, I thought I was sufficiently prepared to actually do something about it. I broached the topic with Nikhil Barua of The Humming Tree, Bengaluru who was very open to it. After talking to Abijith, we then pitched it as a rather ambitious monthly series of back-to-back to Metal and non-Metal music nights. Nikhil loved the idea of expanding the space for genres and bands and backed us to the hilt on this.

The name, Unscene, is hardly original; it’s a fairly obvious and in my opinion, a mildly pompous, play on what is called the ‘scene’ and going away from ‘scene’ things as also on the unseen or rather, less seen, nature of the musicians. However, I will stress that this is NOT a platform for newbies nor an open-mic gig. The bands that have played and will continue to play are formed of solid musicians. e.g the Anand Bhaskar Collective has been around and done well before playing on the first edition of Unscene. But it was the first time the band played in Bengaluru despite having tried to get a gig here for a long time.

This is not a living for me but it gives life to some of the things I want to do. I do it because I want to. It’s as simple and perhaps, as selfish as that.

Unscene is over 2 days, one metal and the other alternative. What was the reason behind splitting the bands and audience over 2 days?

The second day is not just Alternative. Let’s say, it’s non-metal. Part of the answer is in my response to the previous question. As much as it appeals to my subversive mind to have an ambient, jazz/R&B/electronica-influenced band like Signal W smack in the middle of the Doom/Death Metal of a Primitiv and the Prog outpouring of a Pineapple Express, it might just get a little too much for an audience to deal with. The 2-day format allows us to have more bands play in an edition and widens our audience.

How do you select the bands that will perform at shows?

That’s quite simple. It’s not just about how about good they are – that’s always such a relative measure and we don’t claim to being final arbiters of what constitutes ‘good’ music – we have to like their music. No point in doing something that lacks personal conviction. Then it’s a question of fitting in with what we’re programming on an edition while also keeping cost in mind. And yes, if we get to know that a band is a bunch of jerks to deal with, they can be insanely talented but I can’t have them on Unscene.

What have been the memorable moments so far? Any funny incidents?

It’s only in the 6th Edition and a bit of the 5th Edition that I’ve been able to spend a fair deal of time watching and listening to my bands since I usually am at the gate (that’s changed now thanks to the venue). I just feel very gratified when a number of people come over thrilled and happy with us for bringing over many of these bands that have impressed them. It has happened very frequently and that makes it worthwhile.

Related to that bit about my hardly getting to see these bands, in response to Siddharth Nair’s (of the Prog Metal band, Tangents) query on what I thought of his band’s performance, I let it slip that “Can’t say much because I usually come for about 5 minutes”. That didn’t come out quite right and so now “coming in 5” has become a standing joke. And I don’t think it’s going to go away quickly. 

I really like the artwork for the posters for each edition. You also give away some pretty cool stickers at the shows. Tell us about the inspiration behind this.

The artwork is all Denver Fernandes. He gets what we’re trying to do and I let him do his thing. I think some of his best work (and this is just my opinion) is seen on what he does for Unscene.

When Abijith and I were sitting about throwing out possible names for this gig series (I had pretty much made up my mind on Unscene but we still wanted to see if we could come up with anything different), we came up with a few ‘scene’ phrases that one gets to hear all the time; things that we cringe at, that we feel epitomize much of what’s wrong here. Since then, I keep coming up with these and note them down. We wanted to give something away to folk that would come for these gigs. Stickers seemed like a good idea. So now I say often in half-jest that I organize these gigs just so I get to put these stickers out.

What is next for Unscene? What are your plans for the coming months?

Next? I continue doing these gigs. Although there’s been talk of taking it to other cities, it makes no sense to me. I’d rather focus on getting this in better shape, get more people to come for these shows, make it financially viable, increase the geographic spread of bands that Unscene brings in.

Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have anything else to add?

It’s been my pleasure. I have plenty more to add – not for nothing is that Bantering Ram moniker. But I’d rather end with a cautionary note. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and hoopla but the independent music space in India is not in great shape. For it to change for the better, everyone – organizers/promoters, venues, bands and audiences – has to mature. A lot. I’d love for us to not have to make those snarky stickers. And for the name, Unscene, to be done away with for valid reason.

Bonus question. What are 5 Indian independent bands that the read should check out?

There are quite a few – 5 is too small a number. But still, without meaning any disrespect to the bunch not listed here and in no particular order, here are 5 that you could do well to check out.

– Dossers Urge

– The Minerva Conduct

– The Circus

– Kaihon

– The Uncertainty Principle

The album that I’m really looking forward to this year is the new one from Blushing Satellite. I’ve heard it at different stages of its production and it is such a beautiful piece of work! Yup, I couldn’t resist sneaking that 6th one in.

Check out music from all 6 bands below


Written by trendcrusher

June 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm

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Interview: India’s Thrash Metal Powerhouse Kryptos

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Nine Circles


With just over 2 months to go for the end of the year, there’s been another killer release from the Indian metal scene; Burn up the night by heavy metal band Kryptos. The band are one of the oldest surviving metal bands in India. Over the past 18 years they have released 3 albums.

Burn up the Night released through AFM Records features a straight up 80’s heavy metal sound which will appeal particularly to “old school” metal fans. I enjoyed the album as the songwriting and production contrasts with the sterile sounds of upcoming bands

I (Peter ‘Trendcrusher‘ K.) spoke to vocalist/guitarist Nolan Lewis about their change in sound, music videos and their recent European tour.

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October 12, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Eccentric Pendulum

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Eccentric Pendulum

Eccentric Pendulum are a progressive metal band from Bangalore, India. They released the EP ‘Sculptor of Negative Emotions’ in 2009 and the album ‘Winding The Optics’ in 2011. Winners of the Indian leg of the Wacken Metal Battle, the band were the first to represent India at the global metal battle at Wacken Open Air 2011.

I spoke to the band about their new single ‘Resisting Another Equation’ and also their future plans for Transcending Obscurity here

Written by trendcrusher

December 25, 2015 at 12:30 am

Ironic Reversal Interview

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Ironic Reversal are a metal band from Bangalore. I discovered them through a facebook post by my friend Abbas (Skrypt) and was impressed with what I heard. The band released their 2nd album ‘Dysgenic‘ in October. I spoke to the band about the album, the concept behind it and more.

Ironic Reversal

Madhur Murli (guitars), Kaushal LS (vocals), Rahul Kini (drums)

Ironic Reversal has been around for just over a year now. How did the project start?

Madhur: Ironic Reversal started off as a bedroom project when I was studying in Manipal. By December 2013, I had written most of the songs for Clonus and was looking to record and release it. Around the same time, I was introduced to Rahul Kini by our producer Narayanan. All of us were playing together as a part of an instrumental prog metal band called Analyzed Consequences. Narayanan—after watching a couple of Orchid’s shows—suggested that I approach their vocalist Kaushal to perform the vocals on Clonus. Kaushal was interested and we started working on the album immediately. Rahul had helped me out with the drum programming during Clonus and I was really happy with the result. So, when it came to the drums for Dysgenic, I was absolutely sure that I wanted him to do it. I asked him to officially come on board and he agreed.

What is Dysgenic about? Tell us a bit about it.

Kaushal: Dysgenic speaks of a bleak, dystopian future where genetic experimentation has spiraled completely out of control. GMO mega-corporations have seized power and have replaced the democratic governments of the world with a corporate republic. As a result, all privately-owned mass media is criminalized, protests of any kind are banned, propaganda is rampant, farmers live in perpetual debt slavery, all organic food is outlawed and radical environmentalists have resorted to terrorism.

And that’s just the premise. It’s a tale that spans the five songs of Dysgenic. You can check out the lyrics and the extended synopsis here


What was the songwriting process for the album? How long have you been working on it?

Madhur: The songwriting process began in January 2015, a few months after we released our debut album Clonus. It took me about three months to write all the five songs in Dysgenic. After finalizing the guitar parts, our drummer Rahul spent a month on the drum lines. Since we decided to program drums rather than go to a studio, we spent more time trying to humanize the drums as much as possible. Rahul literally mapped note-per-note of what he was playing on the drums to MIDI. Once the drum lines were written, I borrowed a friend’s bass and spent about a couple of weeks writing the bass parts.

After hearing how the whole thing was sounding, I felt that there was a certain flow amongst the songs. I thought of making the record a concept album which our vocalist/lyricist Kaushal seemed pretty interested in. Kaushal started making notes of possible ideas and storylines that would fit the music. It took some time to narrow down the final theme of Dysgenic—we wanted to get it right. Once we did that, the lyric-writing process began.

All in all, the entire songwriting process took about six months.

How was the recording process? How long did it take?

Madhur: Considering the fact that I had moved to Delhi when we decided to go ahead with the album, I had to make a schedule of how we were going to go about recording the album. The first step was to freeze the guitar parts, which I did and tracked each song as I finalized the parts. This took about two weeks after which I sent the guitar tracks to our producer Narayanan in Manipal.

Since we programmed the drums, we didn’t have to spend time recording them in the studio. Although, as I’d mentioned earlier, Rahul spent quite some time humanizing the drums as much as possible.

The next step was to record the bass, for which I went to a friend’s (who’s bass I’d borrowed) house to record. Recording the bass took only three days since all the parts were pretty much written.

On Narayanan’s advice, we headed to Manipal to record the vocals. We spent three days recording. During the free time, I sat with Narayanan to figure out guitar, bass and drum tones.

How does it compare to your previous album, Clonus?

Madhur: From the writing perspective, the biggest difference would be that the tracks in Dysgenic are linked to each other. I had written Clonus over nine months and all the songs are kind of disconnected. Dysgenic was written over three months and a certain amount of continuity was maintained. Clonus was our first album and I feel we were still looking for our style and sound but with Dysgenic, I think we finally have a distinct style and sound.

Kaushal: Lyrically as well, all the songs on Clonus have individual themes; some were inspired by a few ’70s sci-fi/dystopian films. But for Dysgenic, the lyrics were written as a whole with a specific concept and storyline in mind. It’s meant to be heard/read from start to finish

Do you plan on playing live anytime soon?

Madhur: I don’t think we will go live anytime soon, mainly due to the fact that I’m currently in the USA for a master’s degree.

Listen to ‘Dysgenic‘ below

Photo Credit: Photo 1 – Khalid Saquib,photo 2 & 3 – Neerav Nagumantri

Written by trendcrusher

December 2, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Introducing: Deadstar

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Who: Deadstar is the instrumental project of Nihal Anand.

Where: Bangalore, India

What:  Last month, Deadstar released his debut album “In Between Dreams“. “Well its quite varied for the different songs on the album. A lot of the mood is based on travel and places I was lucky enough to see during the time I was writing the album.” said Nihal about the album. “Other songs are based off of TV shows, other bands, people that I know well and people I’ve never met. So it’s basically anything that really pushed me to feel something over the last 4 months. I think most of the songs are quite happy on the surface, but they all make me a tiny bit sad, so I think that’s the perfect vibe for this album.”

How:  “I’ve been writing songs for the album since May this year so its been about 3 months of writing, I usually finish writing/recording a song in a day so its still fresh, so I guess its 10 days of those 3 months that I actively spent writing songs.” said Nihal about how he went about writing the album. “A lot of times I didn’t feel like I could come up with anything nice if I forced it so I just picked up the guitar when I felt like. I probably spent more time travelling and collecting ideas in those months. Since I play and record alone, the songwriting process is completely linked to the recording. I’ll start off recording the riffs I have in mind, then add in second guitar and whatever drums I have in mind and from there it just keeps going. I rarely I have complete songs written when I start recording, because I need to know how all the parts sound together.”

“So that way, the actual recording was about 10 days and then I sat and obsessively mixed it for a few weeks, adding in keys, electronic bits and field recordings.” said Nihal about the recording process. “I do everything at home on my own, I recently bought this really nice Focusrite sound card and since I have an amp simulator I can record at any time, but it’s usually in the wee hours of the morning.”

Listen to “In Between Dreams” below


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September 28, 2015 at 10:00 am