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Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai

Hacktivist

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UK rap metallers Hacktivist performed for the first time in India at the BIG69 festival. They were headliners of the Red Bull Tour Bus on 18th January.

Me with 4/5th of the band

Me with 4/5th of the band

After performing at festivals like Sonisphere, Download, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, UK rap metallers Hacktivist will be performing for the first time in India. They will headline the Red Bull Tour Bus on 18th January.

“It feels amazing,” said vocalist Ben Marvin about their first gig in India at the BIG69. “It’s crazy we have a fan base already in India! None of us have been there before so we’re really looking forward to embracing the culture. Even if we are only there for a few days!”

The band got together in 2011. “J [Hurley, rapper] was recording his solo stuff at Tim’s [James, guitarist/vocalist/producer] studio and while he was there he spat some bars over a metal project Tim had been working on,” said Ben about how the band started out. “I then jumped on the tune as well and we put it online. The rest is history!”

The band also has Josh Gurner on bass and Rich Hawking on drums. Last month they toured UK with Dead Harts and The One Hundred. Ben said, “The tour went really well. It was very intense and there was hardly any days off. It was very full on. Both support bands were sick and good to be on the road with.”

Hacktivist’s self-titled EP was critically acclaimed across the world. “It started as just me, Tim & J,” said Ben about the release. “After releasing ‘Hacktivist’ & ‘Cold Shoulders’ we then got Josh & Rich on board and wrote the rest of the EP. It all came together and we were extremely happy with every track. We got a big reaction to the release, worldwide, like you said. We never thought it would be so well received. It started as an experiment, just us fucking around with different genres and now we’re in a serious touring band.”

One of the most popular tracks by the band is a cover of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s ‘N***as In Paris’. “Tim originally did the cover himself aside from Hacktivist,” said Ben. “It went down really well with fans so we then decided to cover it properly as a band and play out live. I’m happy we did this as it’s brought us to the attention of many people who may not have heard us otherwise. Our fans go crazy to this tune at our shows!”

The band is working on their first album. They have released 2 singles from the album so far, ‘False Idols’ and ‘Deceive and Defy’.

“The album still has the Hacktivist sound but is different from the EP,” said Ben describing the album. “Our sound has evolved. I think existing fans will dig it but it will also bring in new fans. We’ve experimented more. There’s heavier shit and also softer shit. There’s both technical and simple aspects.”

There is have no release date as yet but they plan on releasing the album as early as possible this year. Currently the band are touring with Enter Shikari around Europe and will then head to India to perform at BIG69. “We’ll then finish off the recording for the album.” said Ben about their plan for the rest of the year. “Other than that we have no plans set in stone but hopefully will be touring as much as possible and starting to write album number 2!”

“We look forward to coming to your country and showing you what Hacktivist is about!” said Ben signing off.

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March 15, 2015 at 11:00 am

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Escher’s Knot

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The excitement is slowly building up amongst metalheads across India, with just over 2 weeks to go for Mumbai’s only metal festival, BIG69. The headliners for the 2 day festival are legends Carcass, progressive metal act Sikth as well as Italian metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse and UK rap metallers Hacktivist. The festival taking place at the Richardson & Cruddas industrial compound in Byculla on the 17th and 18th of January, 2015 will also feature some of the biggest Indian bands such as Demonic Resurrection, Undying Inc, Zygnema, Kryptos and others.

(Left to Right) Manu Krishnan, Siddhartha Ramanathan, Abijith Rao, Madhav Ayachit, Anshuman Mishra

(Left to Right) Manu Krishnan, Siddhartha Ramanathan, Abijith Rao, Madhav Ayachit, Anshuman Mishra

One of the bands performing at the festival are Escher’s Knot from Bangalore. The band got together in July 2009 and since then they have opened for bands like Lamb of God, Lacuna Coil and Hammerfall. They were recently listed as one of the 20 best metal bands in the indian indie scene by Pepsi MTV Indies.

I spoke to their vocalist Abijith Rao about their upcoming album, the Septic Progression gigs and also playing at the BIG69 festival. Read the interview on Pepsi MTV Indies.

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January 2, 2015 at 11:51 am

Albatross interview

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Albatross started as a project of Riju “Dr. Hex” Disgupta in 2008. “The idea was to create music inspired in the traditional side of metal; with different sets of musicians. But after a while, I realized that back in 2008, there was only 1 set of musicians who were actually into this kind of music. Those guys eventually became Albatross.” said Riju about the origins of the band. “Those who heard us back then were confused. ‘Werz the growlz bro?’ ‘Hi hatz ned 2 be louD’ ‘So mani soloz lulz’. But by the grace of Odin, today people not only get the music but look forward to catching us live as well.”

The horror themed music got the attention of King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque who mastered their first EP ‘Dinner is You‘ that released in 2010. In 2012, they released ‘The Kissing Flies’ EP as part of a split CD with American doom metal band Vestal Claret. The EP featured guest vocals from Niklas ‘Viper’ Stalvind (Wolf) and Sahil ‘Demonstealer’ Makhija (Demonic Resurrection).

Albatross

I spoke to vocalist Biprorshee Das and bassist Riju Dasgupta about their upcoming album ‘Fear from the skies‘ and also playing at the BIG69 festival for Pepsi MTV Indies.

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December 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm

BIG69 Festival + SikTh interview

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2015 is going to start off with a bang for Indian metalheads; the biggest metal festival in India, BIG69 will take place in Mumbai on the 17th & 18th of January. The headliners are British death metal legends Carcass, British prog metal band SikTH, Italian death metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse and British rap metal band Hacktivist. The festival will feature Indian bands like Demonic Resurrection, Kryptos, Undying Inc and many more. Bombay Metal Project and Joint Family will put on special performances. The latter are performing live after 5 years. With a total of 22 bands over 2 days, it’s going to be indeed a “Heavy” metal festival.

I spoke to Sikth’s vocalist Mikee Goodman about their reunion and also playing at the BIG69 Festival for Pepsi MTV Indies

Sikth

BIG69, named after the now legendary venue ‘B69’, will be held at Richardson and Cruddas. The former industrial estate has hosted quite a few rock/metal concerts recently.

SikTh are considered by some to be the “forefathers of British progressive metal”. Their albums, The Trees Are Dead And Dried Out, Wait For Something Wild and Death Of Death Day have influenced bands across the world. Mumbai hardcore band Scribe used to cover Pussyfoot when they first started out.

“It’s an exciting prospect to come to India, let alone playing a show.” said vocalist Mikee Goodman about playing their first gig in India. “It’s somewhere I have heard a lot about, from a lot of people. I’m really looking forward to it.”

The band performed for the first time in 7 years at the Download festival earlier this year. “It feels great to sing the songs again, playing to crowds like ours that participate like they do.” said Mikee about their reunion gig. “I think our crowds are among the most energetic there are. Really enjoying ourselves at the moment.”

Since the band disbanded in 2008, the members have been busy with different musical projects. Mikee with Primal Rock Rebellion, featuring Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith and drummer Dan Foord and an experimental band Outpatients. Graham “Pin” Pinney with progressive metal band Aliases. Dan Weller with pop band In Colour. “Over many years we talked it over when seeing each other, then one year everyone agreed, and we went forward with it,” said Mikee about how the reunion took place.

There have been a rise in the number of progressive & Djent bands since SikTh disbanded, Mikee says “I don’t know much about Djent or many progressive Metal bands of today to be honest. I listen to many different styles of music. But not necessarily those you mentioned. Although if you talk about bands like Tool being prog metal. I like them a lot.”

In October, the band performed at the fifth edition of the Silence festival in Nepal along with electronic metal act The Algorithm. “It was a unique and warm experience for our band. We really enjoyed ourselves and we were taken care of well.” said Mikee about their gig in Nepal. “Our experience left us wanting to go back!”

For those who have been wondering if there will be another release soon from SikTh, Mikee states “We will not release a new album, if we released even a song I would be surprised as there are no songs written yet. We have no definite plans apart from India. So we have to wait and see.”

“Our fans can expect an intense and energetic show for sure,” said Mikee about what fans can expect from their set at BIG69. “We plan on playing our full headline set, no holding back. But we want full crowd participation, I heard this show shall be filmed!” This is going to be a set that no one will want to miss out on.

(Photo taken from the sikTh facebook page)

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December 11, 2014 at 6:32 pm

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Ten Years Later:A Darkness Descends

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Last month at the Metal edition of Control Alt Delete, the guys behind Bhenchod Madarchod zine decided to release a special zine. I contributed an article to the zine. Read the entire article below.

The number of releases by Indian metal bands has increased rapidly since the year 2000, and that can be easily attributed to both the home recording tech revolution and the rising popularity of the genre. One of the first such albums that I recall buying was 2005’s A Darkness Descends by Mumbai based death/black metal band Demonic Resurrection.

A Darkness Descends

If you’re a scenester from back in the day and own the album, I’m sure you’re reading this and wondering “Huh, it’s almost 10 years since it released?”

The album was a landmark release for its time when it came to the production, artwork, marketing and promotion. In fact, the promotional aspect came to be synonymous with Demonic Resurrection front man Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija. I caught up with him recently to find out more about the album, its recording process and a lot more.

“We started writing material after the new line up of the band (Mephisto and JP) came together in 2003,” says Sahil reflecting on the early days. “We started jamming on new material as they said they did not want to play any of the old songs.”
‘A Darkness Descends’, ‘A Frozen Portrait’ and ‘Spirits of a Mystic Mountain’ were the first few songs recorded. The first 2 tracks also featured on the Resurrection compilation that was released by Demonstealer Records.

The line-up for the album was Demonstealer on Vocals/Guitars, Mephisto (Keyboards), Husain (Bass) and JP (Drums). “We used to jam every weekend back then and spent the rest of the year writing the rest of the songs except ‘Where Shadows Lie’ and the ‘The Summoning’ which were completed in the studio.” says Sahil, describing the writing process for the album. The album was funded by prize money from college festivals such as RAIT, Mumbai and NSIT, Delhi.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Makhija, an upcoming music producer then was working at Farhad Wadia’s Power Studios at the time. Havin recorded demos for nu metal band Pin Drop Violence, 90’s alt punk act Kinky Ski Munky amongst other bands, it was a no brainer for him to produce the album himself. It was the first time for most of the band members at a professional recording studio.

“The idea was not to hold back on the production. It was not about can we do this live or not, we wanted the album to be the best that it could be,” reveals Sahil. “Working at Wadia’s studio gave me a chance to collaborate with a lot of people.”

Some of the collaborators were: Warren Mendonsa (Blackstratblues/Zero), Pozy Dhar, Prashant Shah (Scribe) who played guitar solos and Taufiq Qureshi and Nimit did guest vocals.
Complementing the production of the album was the exceptional artwork that was designed by Prashant Shah. Each of the 16 pages of the album inlay had a different design, a first for an Indian metal band. “We wanted to create a product that was of international quality,” says Mephisto. “The initial idea for the cover art was a concept that Sahil had in mind, however Prashant’s idea of a Dark Lord overlooking an army and its rendition is something that blew us all away.”

The album was released on 29th October 2005 at the 4th edition of the Resurrection festival at Vashi Marine Centre. The festival was organized by Barcode Entertainment [a venture between Sahil and Husain] and had an impressive line-up featuring acts Exhumation, Kryptos and Myndsnare (both from Bangalore). The show saw a good turnout and everything went off quite smoothly, by Indian metalhead standards. Sahil reminisces of the camaraderie he shares with the Bangalore metal bands. “It was so much easier back then; all we had to do was book their train tickets”.

I-Rock Flyer - Merged JPG

Prior to the album release the band had a pre order sale at a special price of Rs. 120 (Rs. 150 for those who lived outside Mumbai), something that was done for the first time by an Indian band. The album went on to sell out their initial print of 1000 copies within the first year, an impressive feat for a metal album that was self-released, and one that most bands can only dream of in today’s ‘industrialised’ scene. In the days before blogs, NH7 (the website or the festival), Rolling Stone, Pepsi MTV Indies or any of the music-related media and infrastructure we take for granted these days, it was Sahil’s incredible drive to succeed and his unabashed commitment to promoting his band and his music that led to such numbers

“I sat at home every weekend writing to labels across the world and do trade with them. A lot of CDs went out there. I think we sold around 500 CDs in India,” says Sahil about his distribution strategy for the album. ‘’Ï made sure all the Futardo’s had the album, also another other music stores. There was even Musicyogi.com, if anyone remembers that website”.

Sahil also deployed Facebook, e-mail campaigns and even a short-lived forums in his efforts to get his music out to as wide an audience as possible. At a time when few bands were interested in putting in time and effort towards self-promotion, Sahil not only made it an important part of his regular routine, he also experimented with a lot of the ideas that are now de rigeur for artists trying to get noticed. Of course, at the time he faced a lot of flak from scenesters annoyed at his ‘spamming’, and not all of those experiments worked out well, but the album did go on to sell another 1000 copies in the next 3 years.

Since the release of this album Demonic Resurrection went on to release an EP “Beyond the Darkness” (2007) and a album “Return to Darkness” (2010) to complete the “Darkness” trilogy. The band also played at some of the biggest metal festivals in the world like Inferno (Norway), Brutal Assault (Czech Republic) and Bloodstock (UK). Next month, the band will be releasing their most ambitious album yet, “The Demon King” which is being distributed in India by Universal Music and in Europe by Candlelight Records. The band will be also be playing a 6 day tour of UK and will also be performing at the Mecca for metalheads, Wacken Open Air. All of which would not have been possible without the success of this album, and the promotional strategies he came up with in trying to sell the record.

In conclusion, when asked if there anything he would like to change about the album, Sahil remarks “As a musician and producer, I wish I could re-record everything to match a different production, not necessarily a modern one. Maybe one day down the line, I will do a classic re-recording of the album.”

Cheers and stay demonic.

(Thanks to Bhanuj Kappal for his inputs and also editing the article)

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July 28, 2014 at 1:26 am

Midhaven

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Midhaven are an upcoming metal band from Mumbai,India. They released a promising EP “Tales from the Tide” last year and their debut album “Spellbound” will be out later this month via Universal Music India. I spoke to their vocalist/guitarist Karan Seven Kaul to find out more about the album.
Midhaven

Could 2014 turn out to be another big year for the Indian metal scene? With forthcoming releases from heavyweights like Demonic Resurrection, Bhayanak Maut, Undying Inc and Scribe (long overdue) amongst others, I personally wouldn’t bet against it.

Last month, I got an email from Sahil ‘The Demonstealer’ Makhija about a new, full-length release from Midhaven, an upcoming band from Mumbai. I’d never heard much apart from an EP called Tales From The Tide from 2013 that suggested a band with some promise, so I was curious as to what they sounded like now. After a couple of spins through their debut album Spellbound (buy here), I realized their combination of clean and growling vocals plus a lot of melodic riffage sets them apart from their peers in the country. I was hooked and just had to find out more.

Midhaven started out in 2011 and now comprises Karan Seven Kaul (guitars, vocals), Shreyas Rane (guitars), Abhishek Sawant (bass, vocals) and Viraaj Saxena on drums. “It feels really amazing!” said an excited Karan Kaul about the release. “We’ve wanted to launch this album from the day we wrapped up at the studio, the day is finally coming! After months of hard work, it feels good to see that it’s paying off.” Describing the album Karan said, “the album consists of nine tracks, each placed in order to tell the listeners a story of rage, rebellion, loss and the death of the Sun God. It also focuses on the Indian God of Destruction – Shiva. This is a concept album which might be a bit hard to understand at first, but I guess if you give it some time, the songs will speak the story out to you.”

While their concept might be similar to Rudra from Singapore, their sound is unlike the vedic metal band. The writing for the album commenced after the release of 2013′a Tales From The Tide. “As the year went by, we wrote a close to 14 tracks (including ones written at the studio),” said Karan describing their writing process, “Four were scratched while a song of ours called ‘Altair’ was merged with another new one which in turn gave birth to ‘Fall of Olympus’. The song ‘Death Row’ has our producer, Jordan Veigas, on guest vocals.”

Spellbound

Spellbound sees the band move in a direction heavier than that of their last cut. “It wasn’t really decided that we’d go to the heavier side.” explains Karan. “The riffs came out sludgy and we got Abhishek to handle half of the album’s vocals along with Karan as well as breakdowns and guitar solos. So in a way, we basically started making music that we wanted to, that we enjoyed, and that just happens to be metal.”

The album was recorded at Jordan Veigas Music Productions between June and September last year. “Honestly, it was loads of hard work plus Jordan’s amazing connection with us that made the album.” said Karan about recording with the Reverrse Polarity bassist. “He’s a brilliant producer and an amazing friend who guided us, stole my cigarettes, loved to have a drink with us, believed in our music and wanted to make the best metal album out there.”

Midhaven are the third Indian band to have their album released by Universal Music after Reptilian Death and Coshish, no mean feat for a band that have been around for just over two years. “We’re still bare chest and celebrating all day because of the signing *beats chest in excitement*” exclaims Karan, “Universal Music dug our EP and the minute we got a call from them, we knew we had to speed things up. So, after four months of being in the studio and another two months of waiting for it to be mixed and mastered, we finally went up to their office with the album. They loved it and the next thing you know, we struck a deal! We’re honoured that a major label is backing us, it really does feel amazing.”

The band will be spending the rest of the year playing shows, starting with their album launch tour which is currently being put together. Catch them on tour when they hit your city, till then check out the lyric video for ‘Seeking The Divine’ below. Also, check out a recent review of Spellbound by fellow scribe Ritwik Deshpande, who called it “the most consistent and satisfying Indian metal release of 2014 so far.”

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April 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Hacride

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French heavy metal band Hacride were in Mumbai last week as part of the Deccan Rock tour organised by Orka Entertainment. I met their vocalist Luis Roux and drummer Florent Marcadet before they performed at Club Escape. Read my interview with them below

With Hacride

Hi, it’s your 3rd stop on India tour today. How’s the tour going so far?

Luis: Our first show in Hyderabad was great. The crowd was very excited, going crazy in the moshpit and headbanging a lot. I think it was one of the best concerts and it was great to meet our fans later. Unfortunately, our concert last night in Nashik was cancelled due to technical problems.

How did you become a part of the band?

Florent: I am a friend of Ben and Adrien for a long time. So naturally they thought of me to take the place of Oliver. I was not sure it would fit in my schedule as I also play for Klone. I don’t regret it as its been great so far. Adrien made me listen to a few demo tracks and I thought of Luis for the vocals and I called him.

Luis: I don’t live in the same city as the other guys, but we have many common friends like Trepalium who I have been hanging out for a really long time, you can say we are like a big family. I know Flo as he was friends with my previous guitarist and we got along pretty well. From the time we met I got to know that we have a lot in common especially a passion for music. They send me the demo for ‘Overcome’ and I added my vocals to it and sent it back via email. A couple of days later Adrien called me and said that I was in the band. We got together in a bar, had a few beers and realised we were on the same page.

Did you start working on the album after you joined?

Luis: Adrien had been working on the album for the past two years. He worked on some of the arrangements with Flo.

Florent: He had all these ideas in his head and also on the computer. After that we had a few rehearsals to feel the reactions to the tracks. We rehearsed for about 3 or 4 months to come to what you can be heard on the album.

Luis: I joined the band in September and by December I was done recording my vocals. A short time for me but overall it took less than two years, a lot less than Metallica took to record “The Black Album”. Adrien records at home so we don’t have to rent a studio.

What were your expectations from the album since their last album was quite popular?

Luis: I know Hacride only from the album ‘Lazrus’ and so I was a bit surprised to hear the new album as it was more simpler and effective. I started writing the lyrics and it was a very natural process. My vocal style is more ‘in your face’. I wanted to hear some good riffs and solos and nice melodies as its more important for me. I wanted it to be a bit nostalgic and sad, I hate happy music. I think with this album we have managed to explore some of the darkest things in life and it has inspired me a lot.

 

You just played a few gigs in Europe this year and now also in India, how does Indian metal audience compared to those in Europe?

Florent: It all depends on the city, the local scene and also the day we play. In general in Europe, we have so many things and there are so many American bands performing that maybe people tend to get a bit lazy and bored. Here in India, I can see that no one is bored, it’s a warm atmosphere. In France, we are sometimes criticized because we are not that well known in America and some kind of bullshit.

Luis: In France, people have a special taste, if a majority of people don’t like a band then no one will like it. Here in India, if people appreciate the music then they like the band, they don’t ask too many questions. In France, bands need to have an approval. To be honest I am not too comfortable with the French metal audience right now. There are a lot of extremists because its all about death metal, black metal and grindcore. Nu-metal is not cool any more but I think its very stupid because its its not cool then I am going to listen to it again. Metal is all about being different and that’s why I have to take the other side.

Messhugah are a band that you are often compared to. How influential are they on you as musicians? What are the bands that you grew up listening to?

Luis: I started out listening to a lot of Grunge band like Soundgarden, Stone temple Pilots, and then moved on to Thrash metal band like Antharax and Sepultura. I then went on to more extreme music like death metal and grindcore.

Florent: I listen to a lot of Hip hop, R &B and funk. Also a lot of New York hard core.

Luis: In the 90’s there was a wave of metal with rap bands like Rage against the machine, Body count, Faith no more, even the first limp bizkit album. I was overwhelmed by it. These are all our influences, but bands that have influenced Hacride are definitely messhugah, Strapping Young, Lad, Tool even deftones.

You are performing at the Prog Power Festival and Euro Blast festival later this year in October. Do you have another other tour planned this year?

We are playing in Barcelona in July and also French festival in August. We are also working on a European tour but its too early to say anything as yet.

Do have any message for your Indian fans?

Luis: I would like to thank the India people for their interest in Hacride, everyone has been really warm towards us since we arrived here. The food has been great; we’ve been eating a lot. We can’t wait to come back and play more shows here. Hopefully we will be able to play in Nashik again, we were disappointed for the guys who came there and waited for nothing.

Florent: This was my first time in India and also Asia. The trip has really changed our view just like every journey

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June 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

Domination – The Deathfest

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Around 10 years when I lived in Canada I bought the second issue of the Metalindia Magazine and got to know about Domination through a extensive report about the 2003 edition of the festival. I was quite surprised that there were extreme metal gigs in India. The music scene in India and Bombay was a lot different then.

“Bombay mainly had rock show not metal shows.” Says Nitin Rajan, organiser of Domination – The Deathfest “ Thursday nights at Razz and college competitions were the only avenues open to extreme metal bands. We started Domination – the Deathfest with The idea to get a band from another cities, a couple of bands from Mumbai and an upcoming band together.”

Audience at Domination - The Deathfest 2000.

Audience at Domination – The Deathfest 2000.

The first edition of the festival took place on the 24th of June 2000. The bands that performed were Morticide, Kryptos, Threnody, Yama, Blasphemy and Nemesis and the venue was Razz Lawns. There was a tremendous response from bands and audience alike.

Demonic Resurrection performing at Domination - The Deathfest in 200.

Demonic Resurrection performing at Domination – The Deathfest in 200.

“It was an awesome experience.” “It was the first open air gig that DR had played and it was at the pituresque razz lawms. We were a new band and got to open the show, it was a huge honor for us. It was a great scene” – Sahil “The Demonstealer” Makhija (Demonic Resurrection)

“I remember it being one of my first shows – I couldn’t care less about the others. This being the mighty ‘Deathfest’ was a war call for someone like me. I don’t remember seeing a much better line-up in years.” – says Kunal Choksi of metal webzine/record label Transcending Obscurity.

“Back in 2000 Domination was one of those gigs that we were totally excited about and it was great to be part of something that helped shape the scene in one way or the other. Those were great times, exciting times, because we were just kids stepping out into the great unknown and Domination broke a lot of barriers for us back then and now 13 years later it comes full circle.” – Nolan Lewis (Kryptos)

Kryptos in the early 2000's

Kryptos in the early 2000’s

“The first few editions of Deathfest featured Kryptos, and for us, back then, it was a totally crazy fucking idea! We’re were totally blown by the organising, the reception we got, Razz and the scene that was being built in and around it. We’d travel by train (or bus) from Bangalore, general compartment, and upon arrival we’d be usherd into a 3 (4)-star hotel in Ville Parle. We had the fucking spa, steam room, pool and all else at our disposal. And, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, was on the house and taken care of. Nitin I, Nitin II, Nishant, Scrotum, Chirag, the rest of the Fate/Morticide gang and the support crew were not only good lads, but they pretty much set-up a support platform for all that there is today. Kudos! Feels great to be back at the original underground extreme fest. Only wish it was at RAZZ.” – Ganesh Krishnaswamy (Bevar Sea)

In the years to come, Domination also took place in Pune and Bangalore. However in 2003, the members of Intune Entertainment (the company Nitin co-founded) had to split up due to personal reasons. Check out the old Domination website for the line-ups and more information.

DV After almost a decade, the 5th edition of Domination – The Deathfest will take place and it stays true to its initial vision. The bands performing are Orion, Atmosfear, Insane Prophecy, Witchgoat, Gutslit and Exhumation. The line-up is quite diverse and should please all extreme metal fans. I will be seeing almost all of the bands for the first time hence really looking forward to the gig.

“I’m Excited and thrilled” says Nitin “Also extremely lucky to have people like Riju & Yash around who are putting in tremendous amount of effort for the gig. Of course the bands who are extending total support for it the fest to make a decent comeback!

“I’ve always been part proud, and part envious of Bangalore’s DIY metal scene, where the underground is very much alive with regular club gigs.” says Riju “When Nitin proposed bringing back Domination – The Deathfest for its 5th edition, it just seemed like the ideal avenue for bringing that experience to Mumbai. Every aspect of the fest will be an experience- from heritage to the music, and finally the awesome merch. We’ve been through a lot of shit to make this particular event happen, but its extremely rewarding to see such a great response for an exclusively underground lineup. Support the underground, and keep it alive!”

For interviews with the bands and review of Deathfest V, check out my friend Kunal website Transcending Obscurity.

Written by trendcrusher

March 9, 2013 at 12:48 am

Blek

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Blek are a punk band from Mumbai. In the past year or so they have been gigging all over India including the north east and have released their EP “Hexes + Drama, & Other Reasons for Evacuation” for free through ennui.BOMB. This month, they are the Artist of the month on Indianrockmp3. Check out my interview with them below.

Blek

Hi Guys, Hows it going?

Rishi: Ace.
Jared: Awesome

For those not familiar with the band, can you tell us how the band formed?

Rishi: Well we all sort of met each other in college. We were very serious about writing music and things hit off from there.
Jared: We all kind of got along at the first jam. We started working on new songs from our second jam because we did not want to play any covers at the time & now we write off each other. It becomes really difficult to write new stuff when one of us are absent at jams.

Earlier this year you released your debut EP “Hexes + Drama, & Other Reasons for Evacuation”. Tell us a bit about it.

Rishi: Well the moment we had some songs down we figured lets see what we can do with them. Hexes was a way of figuring our way around the finer details of making a record. EPs give you a freedom to experiment. That’s what hexed was all about.
Jared: Yup, we also wanted to put stuff out there because no one really knew our songs. So this was great way to do it. It was a good learning experience as a band. There were so many things we hadn’t thought of before we started recording. Our producer, Ayan De helped us through the specifics of that EP a lot.

Hexes + Drama

The EP was released by ennui.BOMB. How did it come about?

Rishi: We were playing a lot of “underground” gigs last year, gigs like CTRL ALT DEL and the stupid ditties launch. Rishu heard us at gigs like that and wanted to get involved. We’d heard a lot about him and were eager to work with him.
Jared: Stupiditties (the compilations) is like a bible to fresh Indian indie. Being able to work with Rishu, the guy who puts it together is superb. He makes us work & makes things happen.

Last year you were one of the 5 all-India winners of the Ray-Ban Never Hide Sounds talent hunt. How did that help the band?

Rishi: Um. Free glasses are good, and in India there aren’t enough venues for young acts to develop. So every gig you get goes a long way in helping you grow if you make the most of it. Ray ban was one of those series of gigs.
Jared: It helped a lot. We could upgrade our gear. We met awesome bands like Digital Suicide & Fire Exit there. Free Ray- Ban’s, Yay!

In March, you did a tour of the north east to promote your EP along with The Lightyears Explode. How was the response?

Rishi: The lightyears joined us for the opener of that tour at kolkata. It was ace, the lightyears are always great to play with and are close friends of ours in Mumbai. The whole tour in itself was a riot. Great experience we made some good friends, and got back some good stories.
Jared: The North-East is a really neat place. The people are nice & the weather is good. They accepted our music & I love the vibe they bring to gigs. Those folks know how to party for sure.

Do you plan on releasing any new material in the coming months ? When can we expect a new EP/Album?

Rishi: A new single is almost ready, a lot of people who’ve heard us live wanted us to record it. So we figured we’d get it out there. Also looking at a new EP and loads of massive gigs before the year runs out.
Jared: What he said!

Later this month, you will be performing at the Ziro Festival of Music in Arunachal Pradesh; do you have any other gigs planned?

Rishi: Yes but they’d kill me if I told you. But we are planning something at what could be a new venue in south Bombay very soon. Keep your ears sharp its a b’day party.
Jared: Wow! Even I don’t know what Rishi is talking about. But yes, we are looking forward to ZIRO Festival especially after the ball we had in North East. I’ve seen the line-up & there’s so many new artists I want to see. Can’t wait.

Any final words?

Rishi: Hexed and drama for free on http://www.ennuidotbomb.com/#blek If you haven’t heard of us yet I just made it easier.

Band photo by monisha ajgaonkar

Written by trendcrusher

September 5, 2012 at 1:00 am

Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2012

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Last Sunday, I attended the 3rd edition of the Rolling Stone Metal Awards. I was also at the previous two editions, here is what happened last year. The awards is a great place to the metal community in India to get together and celebrate the bands that have put out some great releases in the past year. Check out the list of this year’s winners here.

The bands that performed were Pangea, Providence, Abraxas, Eccentric Pendulum and Zygnema. All the bands put on a great show and there were quite a few moshpits as you can see below

Met a lot of the people and also got to hang out with an old friend of mine, Srivatsan who took some pretty awesome pics. Check out my thoughts on this years gig along with pics here

Written by trendcrusher

July 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm