Posts Tagged ‘delhi

Shashank Bhatnagar (UnBolly Inc)

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Continuing from the last post on gig promoters in Delhi, the next person being featured is no stranger to the metal scene in India. Known as the vocalist in Undying Inc and Soul Inclination, Shashank Bhatnagar has in the past year started donning the hat of a gig promoter with Unbolly IncHe is taking HEAD Party down south to Bangalore this weekend after working on over 40 shows in a short period.

Find out more about the origins of Unbolly Inc. what he is currently listening to and also future plans in my interview with Shashank Bhatnagar below

Hi Shashank, you are gearing up for the first edition of HEAD Party in Bangalore. How are preparations going?

Preparations are in full swing. We know pretty much all the songs from both the bands, kinda instilled in our muscle memory. It’s almost like a badass training regime (all thanks to our jampad commander-in-chief, Shashvat Pandit) but a lot more fun. Nothing beats the feeling of educating the masses on Heavy Metal & delivering power to the classics we have grown up listening to. Our team & artists are super excited for this.

How and when did you decide to start Unbolly?

I started Unbolly with my better half, Avi Bu. Got a dear friend and a veteran in art & music, Raj Das for creative. Got introduced to the lovely, Mr. Gaurav Soral, Loveleen Anand & Vishal Saini of Cafe Turquoise Cottage for the venue by another dear friend, Pranav Sehgal of Crooner’s Collective. Called up another old buddy from the industry, Manu Saksena to help me out with the production. And boom, first Headparty!

Now that we look back, birth of Unbolly has been pending since aeons.I personally, have been doing small scale Metal/Rock events since 2005, on & off. Giving our new team a name and a stronger direction came as recently as October 2017 though. But I never wanted to be an event organizer post 2010, have spent majority of my life being a musician, water boring/rain harvesting plants, selling homes, & personally training people for their fitter selves, wanted to keep it that way. Felt we had to come back, primarily because of the downfall Delhi faced in 2017, with the number of original Indie shows, venues, dropping to almost nothing. Overflow of Hindi Bollywood bands calling themselves Sufi and whatnot. Practically killed off every form of music, sense of belonging to the small community we had, or even basic respect for musicians around. To a level that we barely had any Rock/Metal bands left in this city. And yes, we hate everything Bollywood, or pretentious. Hence, Un-bolly.

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

We prefer working with professional bands who believe in promoting themselves on priority, have recent releases, and are downright Badasses when it comes to deliverance. Not only in aspects of financial dealings, but also reliability of the performance. We do try our best, to work with the best in business. We don’t do this for everyone, we do this with everyone. If we are on the same page, you’re on.

What has been the most memorable show you have organized so far?

Far too many to mention here. But the last #HEADPartyV7 at Café Turquoise Cottage in Delhi, definitely was something that gave us the confidence to take our style of Metal to a brand new city, Bangalore. We had the legendary “Demonic Resurrection” from Mumbai, held a Delhi debut for Jaipur’s “War Cry”,& our own little tribute to Vinnie Paul (Drummer of Pantera/Damage Plan/Hell Yeah). Needless to say, there were a hell lot of flying sweat, blood & bodies. Our heaven of 250+ monsters.

What are 5 bands that the readers should check out?

Highly suspect, Blue Saraceno, Hozier, Avatar, Kaleo

You are the vocalist of Undying inc as well as Soul Inclination. How you manage between your bands and organizing shows?

It’s extremely tough. Hence, trying to pull back on the events a bit and start writing music with both already.

Do you have any more shows planned for this year?

As of now, for Unbolly; 30th August, 2nd September, 14th September, 24th September, 11th October, 26th-28th October, 9th November. More dates to be added. Follow our page on Instagram (@unbollyinc) & Facebook to stay updated.

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

Indian Rock & Metal will rise again. To all who abandoned it? You’d feel sorry soon.

Written by trendcrusher

August 30, 2018 at 10:32 pm

Dhatu Drishya

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It has been a while since I featured concert promoters on the blog. There have been a steady rise in metal concerts in Delhi over the past couple of years and I’ll be speaking to the people behind them. The first is the team behind the Dhatu Drishya.


Hi, you are gearing up for the 7th edition of the Dhatu Drishya. How are preparations going for the gig?

Umm we still need to work on the after party packs and quantity of the booze. Kidding! We are all set with the preparations part of this event. We always try to finish the preparation section a month before hosting the gig and we are really excited since like every time the line-up is kickass. Noiseware is headlining this gig and it’s been quite a long time to see these boys in Capital and at the same time we have 1833 A.D performing which itself has been in the Indian metal scene from past 10 years plus 2 totally new acts Jammers Graveyard (Guwahati) and Brazen Molok (Raipur) to look forward to. We hope that our fellow metalheads are also excited as we are.

How did the Dhatu Drishya series of gigs start?

Well that’s a long story but I can sum it up as – a new baker in town sets up his shop for cookies and all he wants is people to come taste and acknowledge its food for which he has worked hard on for several years and getting feedback so that he can make it more better and serve much better and tasty products. Setting up a new bakery or a band is a same thing and it applies in our rock / metal industry as well. One evening we were hunting ducks and chicks and went to a Chinese van to eat and then we passed out as we were drunk and decided to just chill.We realized that we are not the only one who needs people to acknowledge our music just like other local artists who work hard for several years put their heart and soul, sweat and money just to communicate their perceptions of life through their music and hear original music as much as possible. That was the day we decided to put up our first DIY gig in Sep 9, 2016 in Antisocial and everyone really appreciated our idea of bringing out fresh artists/ bands from different parts of the country. Eventually we decided to put this event every now and then so that people could hear and acknowledge more and more original music. We hope to continue in a same manner.

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

We have a set team we call it ‘Crew’ and friends from the scene. Every time we decide to put up a show we audition out around 8 or 9 bands/ artists from the entries we receive 2 months before the event date and we do Ini Mini Miny Moe then we ask the people from the scene only if they would like to see these bands performing live. In the same process we try our best possible way to select at least 1 act from the entries which is very new in the scene and has their original tracks ready and has a very limited experience of playing a live gig. Let me add one more thing that performing a gig is very different than competing in a battle of bands. So we make sure that quality and newness should remain intact as it should for a gig and we try our best not to disappoint the artist and the people who are coming for the shows as well.

What has been the most memorable show you have organized so far?

Each and every gig we have organized has been the most memorable experiences of our lives. Every show has its own uniqueness and memories to cherish. There is so much more than just hearing live music in our shows. You get to meet so many people who eventually become your brothers and best buddies, talk about music, talk about the independent art scene and we get to meet those bands and artists who have actually influenced us to create music and keep these genres active in our country and learn so many things from the experiences of these artists like We are really big Fans of PRIMITIV an old school thrash metal act from Mumbai and I personally never missed any show whenever they came to Delhi and last time we got them as our headliner which was like a dream coming true to meet these guys and share some thoughts about the very same music genre. So it’s always a special kind of feeling and boost in our blood veins when we get to see these artists playing on stage and see a very different style of music and each band and artist has something different to offer from their bags of creativity.

What are 5 bands that the readers should check out?

Ah it’s hard for me to say just 5 bands cz they are so many Indian metal acts people know less about and I would suggest people should really check out some artists who are not such big acts from our country but really have the potential to become one and that’s what we are looking forward to. From our playlist people should definitely check these 5 metal bands from our country.

1. Primitiv (Mumbai)

2. Ayog (Nagpur)

3. Acid Pit (New Delhi)

4. Adamantium (Pune)

5. Dymbur (Shilong)

Do you plan on taking Dhatu Drishya to other cities?

Yeah definitely and why not. We really want to expand our boundaries and explore new musicians and Indian metal bands which we haven’t seen or heard yet. So yeah if we get a chance and favorable conditions, we would surely organize something out of Capital and would like to promote as much as fresh acts as possible.

Do you have any more shows planned for this year?

As of now we cannot commit since we plan our next event once the upcoming event has been wrapped up but yeah Dhatu Drishya has some plans for future gigs just need to work out with the funds and other aspects since we do not have any sponsors and we do all of these events by saving our salaries and our pocket monies. We look forward to organize as many gigs like these as possible.

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

It’s still a very small circle we have built over a long period of time in Indian Metal scene. We know that people have their own taste but we want them to acknowledge that Metal is also a form of music that people usually are not much aware of in our country and there are pretty kickass Indian artists who have set the world in amaze that this country has the talent which has been forged in fire and over the years of practice that is required to play such badass music.So start appreciating these fellas and all those you know who play live music. Your friends, a local artist you saw last weekend in club where you just went to chill out. And Indian Metal scene is emerging slowly but for sure is emerging and we can only put our efforts as much it’s possible at the end the people coming together to support are essence of these scene. Start going in shows where a local band is performing and we are sure you’ll experience what cannot be explained in just words. Stay happy Stay Metalhead

Jai Metal \m/


Written by trendcrusher

August 23, 2018 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Interviews

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Kunal Batra (Neon Black Prodcutions) interview

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The response to the interview with Bantering Ram was great so I’ve decided to feature more gig organizers here. The next one to be featured is Kunal Batra of Neon Black Productions. I first got to know Kunal when I met him a few years ago at the Bangalore Open Air. In the past couple of years he has organised metal shows in Delhi like Domination the Deathfest and also Jeff Loomis’s tour across India.

I spoke to Kunal about the recent Domination the Deathfest show, what’s he currently listening to and also their upcoming shows.

Hi Kunal, organised the 9th edition of Domination – The Deathfest in Delhi earlier this month. How did the show go?

Hey Peter! The show went really good. This was the second DDF in Delhi and the response was as phenomenal as the first one. We had a killer lineup and people loved it. Hoping to continue this tradition yearly now.

How did you start organizing shows and Neon Black Productions ?

Neon Black Productions is a collaborative effort by me and Mayur Jalan from Hyderabad. We both were independently organizing shows from past few years and we thought of joining forces as the bands and artists we were thinking of bringing down were quite similar. So I quit my day job of being an engineer and got into this full time. And we successfully launched this effort in shape of Jeff Loomis India tour that we did last year in December.

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

A lot of it depends on a number of factors, really. Starting from the financial aspect and which bands would people like to see performing here to what bands are free to come down here and if we are not coinciding with any other shows that’ll be happening in the same time frame in the country. A lot of planning and effort goes behind each and every show/gig we do.

What has been the most memorable show you have organized so far?

Although each and every show I’ve done till now has given me some good memories to cherish, I’d say it was the Jeff Loomis tour in Dec ’16 that we did. It was a dream come true for us as both Mayur and I are legit fanboys of Jeff and Nevermore in particular. So seeing him play day after day on tour was just surreal.

What are 5 bands that the readers should check out?

Oh it’s a tough one haha. Well for me, currently I’m listening to a lot of Gojira, Sulphur Aeon, Converge, Immolation, Savatage etc. So yeah, definitely those.

Do you have any more shows planned for this year?

Yes! We are planning to bring down a few more international acts this year and something big is in plans for early next year. So keep an eye out!

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

Thank you for the interview man. Really appreciate it. Just want to add for the readers that keep supporting your local shows and local promoters. That’s how we all grow.

Written by trendcrusher

August 22, 2017 at 10:46 pm

Introducing: Grammy Winning Effort

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Grammy winning effort

Who: Grammy Winning Effort The band consists of Dayus Madhan (Vocals), Shashvat Pandit (Guitars), R N Jaidev (Guitars), Akshay Dwivedi (Bass) and Suyash Gabriel (Drums)

Where: Delhi, India

What: The band released their self titled album last week. “This album is about standing up for what you believe in and not letting societal pressures hold you back from doing what you ought to do.” said Dayus about their debut album. “It’s about giving people the courage to be who they want to be and stay true to that.”

How: “The songs were written over the span of a couple of years.” said Dayus about writing the album. “We started writing the material in 2010 roughly and as we were recording in 2011 we kept adding parts to the songs. We wanted to see what they would sound like as they were being put down before finalizing any parts.”
“This album has been a very long process.” Dayus described the recording process for the album. “We initially started recording in 2012 and were almost done with the whole project, but soon after the band ran into some trouble and we all got busy with our respective jobs at the time. So it kept getting postponed and we finally finished it up this year (2015). We had to re-track a few things and added live drums. But it sounds much better because of that.”

Grammy Winning Effort” sounds awesome, it is my new work out album. Listen to it below

Written by trendcrusher

October 21, 2015 at 10:00 am

Skyharbor interview

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Skyharbor are the most successful metal band from India. Last year, the band released their second album ‘Guiding Lights’ which was followed by a tour of India and Europe.

Skyharbor released a single ‘Out of Time’ last month after lineup changes (Eric Emery and Aditya Ashok have replaced Dan Tompkins and Anup Sastry on vocals and drums respectively.) I spoke to Keshav Dhar about their new single, the new lineup and their upcoming tour of North America.



Keshav Dhar (Guitars), Aditya Ashok (Drums), Eric Emery (Vocals) , Devesh Dayal (Guitars) and Krishna (Bass) (Left to Right)

Your new single ‘Out of Time’ sounds awesome. Tell us a bit about it.

Keshav Dhar: It was interesting because we wanted the first song that we released with our new lineup to be a fully collaborative effort between everyone. We had a lot of material written before Out of Time, but this song was born out of a vocal melody that Eric had written previously, so I wrote the skeleton of the song around that and then everyone came in and changed up a whole lot of things. I’m really happy with how it’s turned out, especially because it’s been a fully collaborative effort, so this means we’ve got a good thing going.

The single features your new line up Eric Emery on vocals and Aditya Ashok on drums. How did they become part of the line up?

Keshav Dhar: Basically, as of 2014, Dan and Anup were the only two members of the band for whom Skyharbor was only one of numerous other projects. We were getting a lot of attention with the Download/Graspop festival run, the pledge campaign for what eventually became Guiding Lights, and just stuff that was going on in general. We were also getting a lot of touring opportunities around the world that we had to turn down because either Dan or Anup were unavailable at any given point of time. It was unfortunate because we loved each other like brothers and had an absolutely fantastic musical chemistry and vision for what we wanted Skyharbor to sound like. But eventually as all the projects kept growing bigger and bigger, there came a point when they had to prioritize, and unfortunately Skyharbor was not in a position to sustain them as a full time career band. So they decided to move on and focus exclusively on their other projects, and at the same time free us up to pursue our ambitions freely.

Aditya has been a great friend of ours for many years now, and we definitely wanted to get someone from our home country of India to play drums so that the main rhythm section of the band could have more opportunities to jam together, as we want to move towards a more ‘live’ and natural sound. We asked him if he wanted to join, and he stepped up to the plate wonderfully.

With Eric, we were a bit worried when Dan left because it’s very hard to find a good singer who’s willing to live this lifestyle of touring and album cycles and generally go through a hard time for the first few years of solidifying a band, especially with a new frontman things can really be hard because the sound changes drastically when you change the voice, and it’s almost like the industry and even fans will expect you to prove yourselves all over again and that can take years. Our good friend Forrester Savell (who mixed Guiding Lights) suggested we check out Eric, I looked up his Youtube channel and sent him a message asking if he’d like to audition. He sent in his audition in record time, and the rest was history. Possibly the smoothest lineup transition we could ever have hoped for.

How different was the song writing process with the new members on board?

Keshav Dhar: It’s interesting. Anup and Dan had incredible ideas, but their approach was more like, since they were both so busy all the time we’d usually write the bulk of the music between Devesh, Krishna and myself and present it to them, and then they’d present finished drum or vocal ideas back, and that was usually what we just went with. It was great because it was a very painless exercise, as they’re both outstanding at what they do, but it wasn’t quite as collaborative a process as maybe we wanted it to be. And sometimes they’d have their parts literally sent in at the last minute, by which time we didn’t even feel like discussing any potential changes or trying anything else out even if we did have ideas, because there simply wasn’t any time. But now we literally go over everything, consider trying different things out for every vocal, drum, guitar and bass part of every song, really milk the process and throw billions of ideas back and forth in the quest to make the songs the best they possibly can be.

On ‘Guiding Lights’ you’ll experiment with their sound. There were heavy songs like ‘Evolution’, a ballad like ‘Patience’ and everything in between. Was it a conscious decision by the band? Tell us about it.

Keshav Dhar: We’ve always had heavy moments and peaceful moments, from the very start, and that’s really what we’re all about, light and shade, ebb and flow, peaks and valleys. It can be like having 10 movements in the same song, or you can have 10 songs that are a movement each. There will always be a bit of everything in what we do.

Looking back at the album now, would you like to change anything about it?

Keshav Dhar: Honestly, no. I don’t believe in that stuff. We said what we wanted to say with the album, and I feel it expressed us perfectly as people and musicians at the time. Sure there are things that we know now that we didn’t know back then, but then that’s what life is all about, growing and discovering.

Renowned producer Forrester Savell mixed and mastered ‘Out of Time’ as well as ‘Guiding Lights’. How was it working with him?

Keshav Dhar: He’s almost like a member of the band by now, he understands us perfectly and absolutely nails the vision we have for the music. All of us in the band absolutely love Sound Awake, it’s one of if not the greatest produced rock record of all time, and to be working with him is a real privilege.

This November, you embark on your first tour of North America with Tesseract, The Contortionist and Erra. What can fans expect from your set?

Keshav Dhar: Well we’re opening, which means we’ll only have a half hour set, so we won’t really be able to do the sprawling 8+ minute songs haha but it’ll still be a fun, short and snappy set.

In the short period, you have emerged as the most successful band from India. Do you have any tips for metal bands that are just starting out?

Keshav Dhar: Really, just do your thing and focus on the music and not on facebook likes or album sales or even live shows, until your material is of the highest possible standard it can be. Everything else is secondary, and in any case none of us have any control over whether someone will like what we put out next or not, because we all write music for ourselves, so just keep doing that without hope of reward, and if you do become successful that’s a bonus. I personally consider us extremely fortunate and lucky to be in the position that we are in today, and although we have worked very hard I won’t say that the limited success we’ve had is entirely down to hard work alone, because there are plenty of bands that work very hard and have nothing to show for it. Just treat it as a passion and if you happen to get lucky and thousands of people connect with it and put money behind it, then you can start treating it like a business.

Have you started working on your third album? What can fans expect from it?

Keshav Dhar: Yes, it’ll probably take a lot of people by surprise just like Guiding Lights did to those who got into the band with Blinding, as we’re exploring a completely new direction for us, but it will always sound like Skyharbor. We’re super stoked with how it’s shaping up.

You are also currently booking a tour of India in February next year. Do you have other plans do you have in the New Year?

Keshav Dhar: We’re looking at hitting Australia at some point early next year, releasing the new album at some point in the first half of the year as well, and then of course touring it, so the same as any album cycle really. Excited to get back out on the road again!

Listen to “Out of Time” below



Written by trendcrusher

October 2, 2015 at 10:00 am

First video interview – Keshav Dhar (Skyharbor)

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Last week, Delhi based producer Keshav Dhar was in Mumbai to record the Mumbai metal act Providence‘s EP. A guitar clinic was also held at B69, which I attended. The turnout was decent considering it was a weekday and it was not marketed a lot.

During the clinic, Keshav played 2 Skyharbor tracks, “Aphasia” and “Trayus”. He broke down each song and also explained his songwriting technique. The clinic was great learning experience for all those present.

Sunnieth (Bhayanak Maut, Amidst the Chaos) was among the audience and that resulted in an impromptu performance of “Aphasia” at the end of the clinic. The first “live performance” of Skyharbor.

I managed to do a short interview with Keshav. Check it out here.

* Apologies for the video quality.

Written by trendcrusher

August 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm