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Posts Tagged ‘India

Demonic Resurrection

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Demonic Resurrection is one of India’s oldest metal bands. Frontman Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija has kept the band going with his dogged determination despite multiple lineup changes over the years. The band have performed at festivals and even toured the UK. On their fifth full length album Dashavatar, the band have expanded their already full sound with the introduction of Indian instruments and further experimentation in melodic death metal mixed with black metal and even strains of epic power. I spoke to Sahil about Dashavatar, their new sound and their plans for this year.

 

Read my interview with Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija on Nine Circles

Written by trendcrusher

April 13, 2017 at 8:17 am

Indian indie goes digital

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A few days ago I came across this article in inbox that I had written for a zine in 2012. It did not get published for some reason. The article was about 4 new websites which had music by independent artists from acrossIndia on sale. From the websites listed below only Oklisten is still active. The Tagmuse website is online but has not been updated in some time. Musicfellas was acquired by Gaana.com in 2014. Flipkart shut down it’s Flyte store.

The “Big Boys” like Apple and Google are now in India with their Apple iTunes and Google Play. There has also been a shift with streaming services emerging in the past couple of years. The dominant players are Gaana and Saavn, however they feature a limited amount of independent artists.

The past decade has seen a rapid increase in the number of EP/Albums being released by independent bands in India, there were over 50 last year according to NH7.in. A basic problem for bands is getting their music heard and distributed; there have been many platforms, soundclick (does anyone still use it?) Myspace and reverbnation that have been around for a while; bandcamp and soundcloud are relatively newer. Bands in the past used to post their mp3s online for free. “No one will pay for Mp3s ” is a common statement I have heard by band members. However things are slowly changing, in the past few months, a few platforms have emerged in India that offer paid downloads.

music fellas Music Fellas is described as a “social, music discovery platform helping people have great experiences and meaningful conversations around music they love.” The platform was started by 3 techies from IIT Roorkee and BITS Pilani who are also music lovers, Mayank Jain, Shubhranshu Jain and Gaurav Shahlot. Currently it is invite only. Visit http://www.musicfellas.com to get your invite

 

nh7-flyte-banner

NH7.in, the music streaming and discovery platform tied-up with the Indian e-commerce Flipkart.com to launch digital music downloads featuring independent music, via Flipkart’s Flyte digital store. The store currently features over albums/EPs from over 50 artists ranging from folk rockers Swarathma to hardcore band Scribe. The singles are priced between Rs. 6 – Rs. 15 for singles and Rs. 20 – 150 for albums. You can download the songs up to 4 times. Visit http://nh7.in/musicstore for more information.

ok-listen-logo

Ok Listen! was started after Vijay Basrur could realised that he could not buy Mp3s of a Indian rock band. He has over 16 years of experience working in companies like Baazee.com and Quikr. The platform currently features mainly folk and rock artists like Raghu Dixit Project, Indian Ocean and Parvaaz. The prices for singles range from Rs. 10 to Rs. 25 and albums from Rs. 60 to Rs.200. They is no limit on the number of times you can download the songs. The platform is pro musician as they receive 70% of the net sales. Visit http://oklisten.com for more information.

tagmuse-logo

Tagmuse describe itself as “A double-octave space for independent artists to perform, connect, amplify and inspire the rest of humanity. Creating a launch pad for all musicians irrespective of race, language, ability, style, or genre. We appreciate it all.” They will be launching in another month or so. Sign up on http://tagmuse.com and stay updated.

Written by trendcrusher

October 23, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Interview: India’s Thrash Metal Powerhouse Kryptos

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Nine Circles

kryptos

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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Written by trendcrusher

October 12, 2016 at 11:22 pm

death by fungi interview

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death by fungi is a hardcore punk band from Mumbai, India. Formed in 2013, the band released a self titled EP last year. Earlier this month, the released another EP, ‘in dearth of’ which features a more melodic sound.

I spoke to vocalist/guitarist Vrishank Menon about the ‘in dearth of’ EP, recording it and also their plans for the rest of the year. 

death by fungi

What made you decide to start a hardcore punk band? What about the style appeals to you?

I can’t say! I got into punk rock when I was very young, right after I got into Slayer and Metallica, but mostly listened to skatepunk bands like Strung Out and Propagandhi. As I got older, I got into eighties hardcore (Black Flag, Minor Threat), metalcore (Shai Hulud, Converge, Integrity), powerviolence (Spazz, Charles Bronson) and post-hardcore (Fugazi, Glassjaw, Nation of Ulysses).

The music was very empowering, it was fast and it broke musical convention – as a 12 year old, I loved that! I still firmly believe that most alternative genres of music we listen to today – be it alternative rock, metal, math rock, whatever – comes from hardcore and hardcore ethic.

Mumbai is a city better known for it’s metal than punk scene. How did you find like minded band members? How did the band get together?

I was very fortunate to find these people but we aren’t all that like-minded when it comes to music. I mean we all love hardcore bands like Converge and Despise You, but we come from different places, musically. I began writing punk and indie rock tunes when I was in my mid-teens and used to record songs on my own since none of my friends liked punk rock. Kamran and I grew up playing in odd bands here and there so it was natural that I’d make him play bass with me and he did. Another friend agreed to play drums but he didn’t really care. Finding Aryaman was more a stroke of luck. He used to play drums in a mathcore band with Kamran and so when our old drummer left us right before our first show, he asked Aryaman to drum for us. We had no idea but he came from a background of thrash and old-school death metal like Entombed and Morbid Angel. So he was super stoked to play fast songs with us and we all clicked immediately. The first song we jammed to was perfect and all of us established ‘musical intimacy’, if that’s a thing. We shifted to a heavy hardcore sound because of Aryaman’s influence on that band. I think we found our sound our current sound together.

cover The ‘in dearth of’ EP sounds more melodic compared to your self-titled EP. What prompted the shift in direction? Tell us a bit more about your EP.

Two songs on the EP are more melodic but the other two are much heavier than our older work. In terms of sound, we’re just doing more, not letting genre boundaries limit us. We threw in bits of post rock, skramz and emo (bands like American Football and Christie Front Drive, mind you) while fucking with time signatures and guitar tones. We just write what feels right.

What was the songwriting process for the EP? How long did it take?

It’s different for every song. Iced and Pathfinder fell together very quickly and sort of assembled themselves. I literally remember Aryaman and I spit-balling riff and drum ideas and putting together all these songs in literally less than an hour. Endless Rain and Black Lung were very different and we spent a lot of time writing those. Endless Rain was actually the first song we wrote as a band and we’ve been revising it for 2 years. We weren’t even going to put it on the EP but we had extra studio time booked, so we altered the structure and put that in.

We try to be systematic but our band works better when we’re impulsive and do things if they feel right.

The EP was recorded at That studio and a home studio. What was the recording process like? Did you try anything different this time around?

It was much better, we enjoyed the process and everything came out sounding very nice and didn’t rob us of all of our money. That Studio was great and the engineers we worked with, Anupam Roy and Abhishek Kamdar, were very helpful and added a lot to the record.

The only thing I did different was recording a lot of guitar layers.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? Do you have any shows planned?

We are recording a split with our friends from Jugaa (Kathmandu based- metallic hardcore) in the summer and I’m currently trying to book as many shows as possible. We’re also organizing DIY house shows, which should be very fun. Hopefully.

Stream/Download ‘in dearth of’ below

Written by trendcrusher

May 28, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Godless Interview

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Godless are an upcoming death metal band from India. The band members are no strangers to the Indian metal scene, they have been part of bands like Skrypt, Eccentric Pendulum, Ironic Reversal and Shock Therapy. The band release their debut EP ‘Centuries of Decadence‘ this week through Transcending Obscurity India. I spoke to bassist Abbas and vocalist Kaushal about the EP, working with Joe Haley and also their plans for the rest of the year.

Godless

“Ravi (my band mate in Skrypt) and I decided to form a new band. We wanted to take this project really seriously and wanted like minded musicians to play with. We got in touch with the other members and things just started to fall in place.” said bassist Abbas about how the band got together.

“We never really made a conscious effort to play any particular genre of metal really. We’re all definitely fans of death and thrash metal though. We just wanted to make some really powerful and and aggressive music so what we ended up making just happened to fall into the death metal category.” said Abbas about how they decided to play death metal.

Last year Godless released a single Infest featuring Sean O’Kane Connolly (Ex – In Dread Response) on vocals. “So we had struggled a bit trying to find vocalists when the band started off. We thought it would be a good idea to get a guest vocalist to track a song so people could get a feel of the band and it would be easier to jam with people during auditions. Soon after releasing the demo we actually tried out a few vocalist but things just didn’t work out as planned. We then thought of trying out someone from either Pune or Bangalore since they’re quite close to Hyderabad. The eccentric pendulum guys are really good friends so I asked them to suggest someone and they recommended Kaushal. He came down and jammed with us and things just went way better than we imagined. He was quite keen on the band and really enjoyed the music and has exactly the same focus as us so everything was just perfect.” explained Abbas about how vocalist Kaushal become a part of the band.

Centuries of Decadence

“All four songs in the EP have their own themes and narratives. The opening track Infest’s lyrics was written by Sean O’Kane Connolly and talk about the effects of overpopulation on the world. Ossuary is about a wretched creature which lives in the catacombs in a state of suspended animation, about to wreck havoc into our world — a metaphor for covert groups and sleeper cells within the governments of today. Replicant’s about, yes, the replicants from Blade Runner. Our vocalist’s big on sci-fi. Oneiros is our take on the Sandman, and we’ve taken our inspiration from Neil Gaiman’s graphic masterpiece. The artwork and the title of the EP reflect the narrative of the second song, Ossuary.” said vocalist Kaushal describing the themes behind their ‘Centuries of Decadence’ EP.

The EP has been mixed and mastered by Joe Haley (Psycroptic). “We’re all really big fans of Psycroptic and Joe’s playing. Since he was already mixing our stuff and mentioned to us that he was really digging the music we thought there’s no harm in asking him to try and lay down a solo. He was cool with it and just blew us away with the solo he laid down. Can’t wait for people to hear it.” said Abbas about how Joe Haley contributed a guitar solo to Ossuary. “Joe was just brilliant to work with. He was really cool with all the changes we had asked for and was just really nice about having to do even the smallest changes over and over. That said, he pretty much nailed the mix in just the first attempt and we’re really happy with the way everything turned out.”

With each member being a part of other bands, Godless could have become a side project. “Definitely not. We started off with the intention of never making this a side project.” said Abbas dismissing the idea. “Every band member took this up knowing that they’ll be able to commit to this band and make time for this apart from the projects they’re already involved with.”

Godless Album launch gig

Godless are launching their album in Hyderabad tomorrow at Houz of Blues. They also perform in Mumbai at the 8th edition of Domination the Deathfest on 5th June. “The plan is just to gig as much as possible. We’ve got a short album launch tour planned and then just booked a really cool gig at this metal festival Orka Networks is organising later this year. So just gigging as much as possible and writing new music in the downtime.” said Abbas about their plans for the rest of the year.

Listen/Download ‘Centuries of Decadence’ below

Written by trendcrusher

May 6, 2016 at 5:16 am

Heathen Beast Interview

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6 years ago, I was writing for Indianrockmp3 and got an email from a band I had never heard of before, Heathen Beast.  The band had emailed me about their debut release, ‘Ayodhya Burns’; The bold artwork and themes really surprised me . The band members used pseudonyms, no one knew who they were despite India having a relatively small metal scene.

The band returned last year after a 3 year break with a new EP ‘The Carnage of Godhra’ and their entire discography was released on CD by Transcending Obscurity. Today, the band release ‘Rise of the Saffron Empire’ their most venomous tracks yet. I spoke to the band about the EP, the themes in their music and more.

Rise of the Saffron Empire

Kolkata is not a city known for it’s metal bands. How did you get into metal?

The original line up of Heathen Beast was born and brought up in Mumbai. Later some of us were transferred to Kolkata on work. Since then we expanded our band to many parts of India with our main base in Kolkata. So we are quite new to the metal scene here. We all got into metal differently, some of us through friends, some of us through discovery via the internet and some of us via older siblings. It’s a different story for each member of this collective.

What made you decide to start a black metal band? What about the style appeals to you?

The absolute purity of black metal is what drew us to the genre. It is a genre that stands for something, it stands against something and it is never afraid to draw blood. It is the most primal form of metal and the perfect vehicle for us to express our hatred. It’s an ideology, a message and one that provokes thought. Very few other metal genres do that.

How has the response to your previous releases been? Have you faced any threats or complaints?

We are too insignificant for anyone to give a shit about us. So far we have had no threats or complaints. The response for all our music till date has been incredible. The fans have been more supportive than ever.

You went on a 3 year break after your first 2 releases? What was the reason behind it?

We are not full time musicians and life gets in the way and fucks us all. We have to move cities, change a lot of things around so sometimes it takes time to make music. Most musicians these days are all trying to balance life and music so we are doing the same. We are clear that this is 100% passion for us so we will do it at our own pace and we will do it right.

Your new release ‘Rise of the Saffron Empire’ has received accolades from around the world. How does it feel now that the EP has been released?

The feeling is amazing when people get your music and understand it. We don’t want posers listening to our music, we want people who not just like the music but also follow the ideology of the band. So we are happy to hear from most fans that they not only like the music but they relate to the lyrics and the ideology of the band.

The themes behind your music are current social and political issues in India. What is the main reason behind it?

Religion is the reason, God is the reason. Even the political events are driven by these man made creations and it is the most powerful force right now in our country. It is what is destroying what we have. It’s what needs to be spoken about right now. So we could not think of anything else that made more sense to sing about. However they are assholes out there who always go, but what about this and what about that, why are you not singing about this topic or that topic? We want to tell them you bastards if that topic is important to you then you should do something about it. So yeah fuck politics!!! Fuck political cocksuckers!!!

You have incorporated more Indian sounds on your recent releases. How did that happen? Have your taken formal music lessons in Hindustani music or percussion?

We have mentioned before that Heathen Beast is a collective and there are many elements that need to come together to complete this puzzle. So there is always some member who can bring a certain element to the table. Some of us have learnt Hindustani Classical and Carnatic Music while we were growing up. So we have that knowledge and we constantly strive to learn more and soak in as much musical knowledge as we can.

The production on the EP sounds better than your previous releases? Did you do anything different during the recording?

We are a beast that keeps growing and evolving. For us we do not look at production of EPs as better or worse. We only look at what is it that the material needs. How can we create a sound. How can we make the message stand out. For us our production is all about being raw and dirty. It should be abrasive and should be like a sonic assault without sounding like those programmed metalcore and deathcore robots.

All your releases are available for free download. What is the reason behind it? Do you personally like the digital format, which is intangible compared to cds and vinyl?

For us it has nothing to do with the format. It’s about spreading the music and the message. From day one we have said our music is always going to be free. Even when we signed to Transcending Obscurity we told brother Kunal that he can release it however he wants but we will release it for free as well on our pages. We know there are fans who want to own the music and support the bands and we really appreciate that because we can make the next album with lesson tension about money. But in principle we will keep the music free. This has always been the plan.

You have only released EPs so far. Is there a plan to record a full length album in the future?

“We think the age of the album is over now. The attention span of people has fallen and we think the 3 song format is the best way to get our message across.”
“We will always be open to recording an album one day when it makes sense for us. We are also full of surprises so you might just get an album next instead of an EP. You can never tell with Heathen Beast.”

Do you have any final words?

Hailz to all the Heathen Beasts in the world. Let us destroy religion and the concept of god and free the minds of men and find true freedom. Hailz!

‘Stream/Download ‘Rise of the Saffron Empire’ below

Written by trendcrusher

April 25, 2016 at 10:00 am

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