Trendcrusher

Posts Tagged ‘India

Indian indie goes digital

leave a comment »

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

leave a comment »

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.

View original post 1,091 more words

Written by trendcrusher

October 12, 2016 at 11:22 pm

death by fungi interview

leave a comment »

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

leave a comment »

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

with 2 comments

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

leave a comment »

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

leave a comment »

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.

 

Skyharbor

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