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Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai

Serpents of Pakhangba interview

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Serpents of Pakhangba are an Avant Garde act with members split across the Indian cities, Mumbai and Delhi. A few days before their album release, I caught up with the band and asked them a few questions about how they got together, their writing process and also the album.

Serpents of Pakhangba is

Aruna Jade : Vocals, Keys, Kazobo, Words

Vishal J.Singh : Guitar, Guitar synth, Arrangement and Production

Manas Chowdhary : Didgeridoo, Electric Bass

Fidel Dely Murillo : Percussion

Written by trendcrusher

May 27, 2020 at 10:00 pm

Horns Up Podcast: Episode 41

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We have a new format on the Horns Up Podcast where the music takes center stage. Presenting Breakdown, a deep dive into a piece of music, and an attempt to appreciate and understand the musicians behind it.

The first track under the scanner is Drop Dead Gorgeous by Mumbai metal act Devoid. The song is a “A skewering look at our social reality, in this case, virtuality.” Vocalist/guitarist Arun Iyer joins us to break down the track and talks about Devoid’s comeback.

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November 30, 2019 at 11:04 pm

Zygnema

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In 2010, while visiting Mumbai on holiday I managed to attend a battle of the bands style competition called Yamaha Beats. The competition featured amateur bands from around the city, there were three metal bands – Abraxas, Noiseware and Zygnema. The band that impressed the audience and judges alike with their electric performance was Zygnema and they were declared the winners. The band got a moshpit going in an indoor hall which was quite a sight to behold. Since then, Zygnema have released 2 albums and their live act has gone from strength to strength.

Last month, I caught up with Zygnema at their jam pad and reminisced about the Yamaha Beats gig. We spoke about their recent European tour, the sound on their upcoming album and much more.

Read my article on Zygnema on Redbull.com

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July 19, 2019 at 11:00 am

Primitiv

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Indian death/doom metal act Primitiv are a 5 piece band consisting of members of Albatross and Hellwind. The band released their album Immortal and Vile based on tales of early man via Transcending Obscurity Distribution in February 2016.

Primitiv are releasing a live video for the track Taurus today and I premiered it on The Metal Wanderlust. The video shot to mark 5 years of the band captures their bulldozing live act.

Check it out the video and short inteview with vocalist Nitin Rajan on The Metal Wanderlust.

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June 30, 2019 at 10:57 am

Adit (Blackblood)

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Adit Khanzode is a familiar face to those in the Bombay metal scene. For the past few years, he has been organising gigs under the Blackblood banner and this weekend will be the 15th edition, no easy task. Find out more about the origins of Blackblood, the Mumbai metal scene and what’s coming up in the 15th edition of Blackblood in my interview with Adit below

Hi Adit, you are gearing up for the 15th edition of Blackblood. How are preparations going?

The preps are going on in full swing as it is our 3rd Year Anniversary gig as well, trying to promote it as much as we can for it to reach the maximum amount of people who have been related to Blackblood since 2016

You started the Blackblood series of concerts a couple years ago. What inspired you to get it started?

There were hardly any venues who were promoting metal music in Mumbai, especially Navi Mumbai, we had a few organizers who tried to create a regular metal gig scene but failed to deliver most of the times due to unforeseen circumstances and stopped doing it after a while, me being a part of an upcoming metal band ‘Orcus’ at that time felt the need to take matters into my own hands.

Looking back, what has been the most memorable edition of Blackblood so far? Why?

I can’t be biased towards a particular edition of Blackblood because all the BBs are my Babies (so cheesy) , but there are a few editions which did leave an amazing imprint of happiness on our minds,
for eg, BB6#Unchained was a special one cause it was dedicated to Unchained, one of the biggest college metal festivals that ever had been in Navi Mumbai , BB7#7meibaj was our first anniversary gig which had a tremendous turn out, BB8#Thankyouchester where we cried our hearts out, BB12 which was a part of Godless’ tour swarm over india, BB13#suarkebacche for the amount of grind it had in it, and BB14 #coremachayeshor for being the most surprising edition with respect to turn outs

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

I have been attending local metal gigs since 2011, and have seen almost every band that’s there in the city perform live, the main criteria for selection of the bands is that, they have to be tight enough to pull off a good enough set and also need to promote the show in a positive manner, it also depends on how much crowd a band might be able to pull off as Blackblood has been DIY since its inception

There are very few metal gigs happening in Mumbai at the moment. What do you feel is the reason behind it?

Its mostly Bollywood, Electronic and Hip Hop music that has taken over the live music scene in general, the logistics/production costs involved in an electronic producer’s performance or a hip hop artist’s performance is much less compared to producing a whole live band, Bollywood still manages to do live band shows as it’s a major platform in india and has a massive fan following, metal on the other hand caters to a very niche audience due to the extremity of the nature of metal music which isn’t very acceptable to the masses

What are you currently listening to?

I have been listening to Gojira, Meshuggah, The Ocean, Veil of Maya, Heart Of a Coward, Napalm Death, Devourment, Cerebral Bore, Animals As Leaders, Slayer, Metallica, Pantera, Widek, Hatebreed, the Contortionist, Lamb Of God, Linkin Park, SOAD, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Algorithm, Whitechapel etc in metal

Daft Punk, Bonobo, FKJ, Porcupine Tree, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Doors, RATM, Kings of Leon, anything that’s chill step minimal lo-fi or down tempo

What are 5 bands that the readers should check out?

Again 5 is a very small number to list out for the readers to check out but I personally recommend a few bands from the Mumbai Local Metal Scene that you guys should check out, Eternal Returns, Carnage Inc, Sutledge, Dirge, Pacifist, Atmosfear, Sceptre, Primitiv, Albatross, Stark Denial, Anthracite, Last Ride Home, Festacorn, Death By Fungi, Dionysian, Killchain, Five Of Castles, Labyrinth , Jatin Talukdar Project, System House33

What can the audience expect from the upcoming edition of Blackblood?

Sheer madness as the Lineup this time is RAD AF, we have extreme death metallers Plague Throat from Shilliong, Prog/mathcore geniuses Orchid from Bangalore, Thrash with a mix of groove hailing from Hyderabad i.eHostilian, pure death chops presented by Dead Exaltation and Bloodkill who are an upcoming thrash metal band who have been ruling the college circuits in and around Mumbai, and a lots and lots of happy people in High Spirits (not the venue)

Do you have any more shows planned in the coming months?

We do have shows planned for the coming months, however as blackblood has been always commencing in Mumbai or nearby, we are planning on taking it to different cities in different states and would be looking for collaboration with bands from those particular cities

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

Thank you so much for considering me worthy of this interview, all I want to add is that Metal Music in general is fading away and a lot and lot more people are turning their ears to different genres, I am not against any genre as I myself enjoy music from every aspect of life, but also should not forget that , our upcoming generations won’t even know of this genre if we don’t introduce it to them first hand, I got into listening to metal/rock music because of cartoon network where POA by Linkin Park used to be aired with a cool animated video, got introduced to live metal music through Unchained and chose promoting metal music in everyway as my goal for life, we need to make the younger generation aware of this genre,we need to stop this sub-genre based elitism where people who follow a certain sub-genre of music DISS people who follow a slightly different sub-genre, and unite as metalheads to save the scene and make it progress in a positive manner, I really want to build a community of metalheads who support eachother at gigs and in general in life because there’s one thing common between us, i.e the Black blood of metal that runs through our veins.

If you are in and around Mumbai on 20th of APRIL, do come for the show or you can simply buy the tickets as a donation for this event on this event link

https://www.townscript.com/e/blackblood-15-metal4sau20-3rd-year-anniversary-edition-302421?fbclid=IwAR2uO0gFdasLVCDSZWNo4xR2Zl1eX6LBJz7uhx9JMaUD0sU2T6uiAWZIlOg

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April 17, 2019 at 7:00 am

United We Groove

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The past Friday while most of the music lovers in the city we’re at the Bryan Adams, a faithful few were at United We Groove. The gig was at the new centre for independent music, Above the Habitat. BYOB makes it a good deal for the audience.

I managed to catch a couple of songs by the first couple of bands, Karwaan and Punkture and they weren’t by cup of tea. Although I did like Punkture‘s cover of Velvet RevolverSlither’.

Grunge act Hook played songs from their recently released EP Blank Spaces and they sounded good. The surprise of their set was a cover of Split Holy Ghost Machine Gun.

The band I was really looking forward to was Primitiv. The band keep getting better each time I watch them live. Their set list mainly consisted of track from their album Immortal and Vile . A addition to their set is a unreleased track Squishy and Spongy (video below)* . The band are currently in the studio recording and I can’t wait to listen to their new material.

I didn’t stick around for the last band Systemhouse33 as it was late. Congratulations to the band on completing 15 years. 

*Posting the video since I manage to get decent audio.

Written by trendcrusher

October 16, 2018 at 12:09 am

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Killibrium

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The Indian metal scene has grown by leaps in the past decade. The latest entrants are Mumbai based death metal act Killibrium. The band have made their mark with their first album Purge, released last month. The album is a potent mix of brutal and technical death metal.

I spoke to guitarist Keshav Kumar about the origins of the band, their debut release and their future plans.

Read the interview on The Independent Voice

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April 16, 2018 at 11:22 pm

Dream Theater

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I wrote a gig review after ages.

The rain caused fans to wonder if Dream Theater’s concert at the MMRDA Grounds on Sunday night would be canceled. Their fears were allayed when the veteran American progressive rock band took the stage and played ‘The Dark Eternal Night’, the track with which they’ve been opening the last few shows of the Asia leg of their ongoing Images, Words and Beyond world tour. About 5,000 attendees braved showers throughout the gig and were treated to a flawless three-hour set, the highlight of which was the 23-minute epic ‘A Change of Seasons’. Each member of the band got their moments in the spotlight, with guitarist John Petrucci drawing the loudest cheers and even vocalist James Labrie, who has his share of critics, silencing his naysayers. The band promises to be back in India soon and considering the response they got, it’s very likely that their fans here won’t have to wait as long as they did for this much-anticipated live debut.

First posted on The Daily Pao.

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October 12, 2017 at 10:00 am

Posted in Gigs

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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

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May 28, 2016 at 7:20 pm

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.

 

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

 

 

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October 2, 2015 at 10:00 am