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Horns Up Podcast: Episode 18

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What makes a band metal?

On this episode, we try to answer the eternal question objectively (well, somewhat) with the help of perhaps, India’s biggest metalhead, musician Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija (Demonic Resurrection).

So, are Alice In Chains, Ghost or Babymetal, Metal OR Not?

Tune in to find out.

Written by trendcrusher

June 19, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Interview with Reptilian Death

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Sahil Makhija is the most dedicated musician I have met in India. This weekend his death metal project Reptilian Death will release their 2nd album ‘The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence’ with a new line up.

Find out more about the album, the new line up and more in my interview with Sahil below.

RD

Hi Sahil, your album ‘The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence’ releases this weekend. How does it feel to be releasing a Reptilian Death album after 7 years?

It feels great man. This has been a long time coming. As a musician I want to release songs the moment they are done but we took a really long time to get everything in place with this band apart from the music as well and I practiced my ass off for the last 2 years on the drums so that I could record live. So it’s all come full circle and it feels great to have this album on the shelves.

The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence

The album sounds brutal and twisted. What inspired you during the song writing process?

For me the music writing process happens over time when I sit down and play guitar. There is nothing specific for it. I listen to a lot of music and metal over the years and that is what inspires me. I think I just write songs and then go okay this is more suited to DR or RD or Workshop and just get those songs to the respective bands. With RD the first draft of all the songs got done and we had 12 songs from which I actually dropped one and wrote a new one right towards the end of the writing process. Vinays lyrics and vocal style added a completely different dimension to what I envisioned and in a good way because it probably gave the album that slightly different flavour.

You were responsible for the recording and production of the album. How long did the recording process take?

This album was a task because I recorded 10 songs and my amp blew after which I re-recorded all 12 songs and then after a while I was not happy with the sound of it. Same for the bass we recorded the bass twice because we wanted to get the best possible sound for the album. I’d say it was over a period of 12 to 18 months of actual recording. In the end I think am very happy with the result.

How did Vinay and Ashwin become part of Reptilian Death?

I had seen Ashwins bass videos online when Daniel Rego (DR) shared it with me once and I also jammed with him for the DR All-Star gig so when I asked if he was interested in auditioning he readily agreed. Probably the best audition ever. He walked in plugged into the computer, I loaded up track 12 and said are you ready and he said yes and I he recorded the entire song in 1 take. It was flawless and I said you’re hired. As for Vinay I knew I wanted someone else to do the vocals and lyrics because I was creatively drained and also I wanted to focus on just playing the drums. I’m very picky about my death metal vocals and I wanted someone who was a commanding presence on stage and could give Reptilian Death the frontman it required and Vinay was an obvious choice. I asked him and he readily agreed.

The first live performance with the new line up was a surprise set at the 5th edition of Domination – the Deathfest that was held recently. How were the preparations leading up to the gig?

It was pretty intense, we practised our asses off. I was extremely nervous about dropping my sticks during the set and we did many rehearsals with the mask on to ensure we would be stage ready.

Do you have anything special planned for the album launch at Blue Frog in Mumbai this weekend?

No one has seen us before apart from the few at deathfest. The songs are all new. We don’t need anything special. Just come and experience Reptilian Death.

Buy ‘The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence’ here and here

check out ‘O’ from the album below

Interview with Workshop

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Workshop are a humor metal band from Mumbai. In 2009, they released their debut album ‘Khooni Murga’. After a short break and line-up changes, they are back with their second album ‘Made love to the Dragon‘. Find out more about the album, their new line-up and their plans for this year in my interview with Sahil ‘The Demonstealer’ Makhija and Hamza ‘The Hamzoid’ Kazi below.

Workshop

Hi guys, how do you feel now that your latest album ‘Made love to the Dragon’ will be released soon?

DS (Demonstealer): I am unbelievably relieved and thankful that the album is finally out. It feels like a great weight has been lifted off my chest. I’ve been stuck in a space time continuum of albums as since 2008 I was writing the new Reptilian Death album, since 2010 the new DR album and since 2009 the new Workshop album and all three have just seemed to have been in limbo. It’s kind of like copying files on the PC when you copy them one at a time it seems to go faster but when you copy 3-4 folders together it seems to take forever. So I was stuck in something like that and finally the first album to be completed and released is the new Workshop.

HK (Hamza Kazi): We actually consider it to be quite an achievement since it’s the first DSR release featuring live drums. We’ve gone through the 7 layers of hell to get this one out. Wait does hell have 7 layers or was that the human skin? Anyway, you get the point.

The album has been 3 years in the making, when did you start working on the songs for the album?

DS: To our own knowledge we wrote 1/3 of this album while recording the last album actually. If you go back to the Workshop blogs from the first album you will be able to retrace the origins of Gajanand Dhige, Made Love To The Dragon and Bunty Aur Malika Arabic version. So it’s been in the works since that time but officially in 2009 we started writing the album and it took us about a year to write after that.

HK: There are rumours of there being a few Govinda and Mithun movies which have been 13.5 and 16 years in the making. We’re definitely better off in that aspect for sure.

How long did the recording for the album take?

DS: Way too long! If you follow up our blogs we started in March 2011 and completed in December 2012. That is how long it took us. I’m so glad I own my own studio because can you imagine if I had to hire a studio for almost 2 years!! I’d be bankrupt!

“Blues Motion” features solos by Mattias AI Eklund and Christophe Godin. How did you get them to contribute to the album?

DS: Furtados Music got both of them to India for a Laney Clinic Tour and I was the tour manager so I spent a lot of time with both of them and we’re good friends now. I just wrote to both of them and said hey I’ve got this really cool song and I’d like you both to play a solo each and they said sure and sent me their solos and it just blew my mind!! It’s like totally amazing! They’ve both played such awesome solos.

HK: The real story goes something like this. They came to India. Sahil invited them on his Headbanger’s Kitchen show. Put some ‘Can’t refuse to play a guitar solo’ powder in the food and voila!

In June 2011, Workshop called it quits. What was the motivation behind starting the band again?

DS: Well we had an album half done, we were going to complete recording it anyway so it just made sense to get new blood into the band and move on because the album deserved it. It would have been a shame to have a great album and no band to play and promote it. So we discarded all Riju’s bass parts when Aditya Kadam joined us. He played on the album and became part of the band. 2011 was a very tough year for us and Workshop was one of those bands where the members were very important and we went through so much shit but now we’re back on our feet and ready to kick some ass.

HK: You know a band like Workshop makes a lot of money. We make 4 times the amount we get from our day jobs. Disbanding would mean reducing our income to 1/5th and who would want that? So it was more of a financial decision than anything else. Musicians will be able to wreak in the sarcasm here.

How did Devesh Dayal and Aditya Kadam become part of the band?

DS: We auditioned both of them. I actually don’t remember how it all happened but I am really glad they are part of Workshop as they both are top notch musicians and bought a whole new level of musicianship to the band both live and in the studio.

HK: Fevicol and an instruction manual.

Made Love To A Dragon

“Made love to the Dragon” will be distributed by EMI India across the country. How did the deal come about?

DS: For 7 years I’ve run Demonstealer Records and honestly it is not possible for me to run a label, play in 5 bands, have a day job and run a studio. So I approached EMI music to take up distribution of all my upcoming releases via DSR which is how the deal came about so while I can handle the PR etc the main time consuming and financial part of producing and distributing the album to stores will now be handled by them which takes a huge work load off me and allows me to focus more on the music.

What are your plans for 2013?

DS: Gig our asses off. We’ll play anything and anywhere so if anyone out there reading wants us for gig contact us and we’ll make it happen.

HK: Actually apart from Devesh, all the members are fat. If we gig our asses off, that’ll reduce our body weight by atleast 20%. That’s the actual plan. Weight loss for the win !

Any final words?

DS: Cheers & Stay Demonic! Mainly because Workshop has no cool catch phrase.

HK: That’s one small tit for man, one giant boob for mankind. There, now we’ve got a cool catchphrase.

Order ‘Made love to the Dragonhere

Written by trendcrusher

January 27, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Demonic Resurrection + The Supersonics

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Last week I did a couple of interviews for Indianrockmp3 with Demonic Resurrection and The Supersonics.

Mumbai metal band Demonic Resurrection are performing for the first time in UK at the Bloodstock Festival. I spoke to Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija about their plans for the Bloodstock festival, their live DVD and also their 4th album.

Demonic Resurrection 2012

Hey Sahil, next week you will be performing at the Bloodstock festival in the UK. What are your thoughts about it? Excited? Nervous?

Sahil: We’re definitely excited about this gig, the UK is a place we’ve been wanting to play for a long time and last year we were gutted when our visa’s didn’t get approved and we had to cancel our appearance at Sonisphere and also our subsequent UK tour. We’ve been wanting to play Bloodstock for a while and since Sonisphere got canceled this year we’re very fortunate that we were able to get booked for Bloodstock and so stoked to be making our UK debut at the festival. The bill this year is amazing with big names like Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, Testament, Machine Head etc it’s going to be EPIC! We’re really looking forward to kicking some ass and giving the UK metal heads a taste of Indian metal.

Do you have anything special planned for your set at Bloodstock?

Sahil: Not really, we’re just going to get out and and play our best gig. We’ve put together a setlist that we think best represents Demonic Resurrection and we’ll let the UK metal heads see and hear what DR is all about.

Which artists are you looking forward to see perform and meet at Bloodstock?

Sahil: The entire festival lineup is really awesome and I think we want to catch as many bands as possible including many artists we’ve not heard off, but definitely I’m personally looking forward to meeting George Kollias again and I want to definitely catch Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, Nile, Testament and Iced Earth among the list and probably even catch some local UK talent like Flayed Disciple, Ancient Ascendant, Aanal Nathrakh etc.

You plan on releasing a Live DVD with video footage from Bloodstock along with footage from you gig at Blue Frog on 22nd July. What else can we expect on the DVD ?

Sahil: When we say DVD we’re at this point only referring to the content because our fan funded music video got a little side tracked due to logistical issues and some financial issues as well but we collected a large part of the funds despite hiccups and we asked the fans if instead of a music video they’d like to get a copy of our performance at Bloodstock UK and they were all excited about it since it costs quite a lot for us to get the footage but it’s going to be 6 camera shot with multi-track audio so we’ll have a nice little package for the fans. We also shot the Blue Frog gig which we’re giving as a nice little add on so fans will get these concerts if they’ve contributed. When and how we release the footage later on a DVD is yet to be planned out but if it’s happening it will be along with our new album, probably in the form of bonus material. We’ll probably have a UK video blog series like we did for our Norway trip but that again will be online most likely.

How are things shaping up for the 4th album ? When can we expect it to be released ?

Sahil: Things are going well we’re more or less done writing the music for the album and we’re going to start the recording process once we return from the UK. We’re doing a much more elaborate production this time in terms of moving out of the more conventional way in which we record. I can only say that fans can expect the album early next year most likely.

Any Final words ?

Sahil: Cheers & Stay Demonic!

Kolkata post-punk quartet The Supersonics toured 4 cities around the country in the first NH7 Roadkill Tour this past week. I spoke to the band about the tour, their set list and also the new album they are currently working on.

Hey guys, what are your thoughts as you start a 4 city tour as part of the “Nh7 Road kill”?

Well we’re pretty excited. It’s the first tour since we got the band together again so everyone is charged up and looking forward to it. Also there have been a lot of guys who have wanted to see us around the country, and with this tour at least well get to hit most of the big cities so a lot of these people will get a chance to catch a gig.

Do you have a special set for the tour?

Well we’re going to use this tour to bring out some of the newer stuff so they get some stage time. Also we’ve reworked some of the older songs and opened them up a bit so there’s more room for us to play in. So you can expect a bit more jam oriented stuff. We’ll also be playing some stuff from Maby Baking so on the whole you can expect some old, new and some unexpected stuff

‘The Evil Fly” is a new song you recorded for the vinyl only compilation to be released by Puma. What is the song about?

Well it’s a commentary on how theres a lot of people who go through their entire life without a basic belief and value system, starting from your crooked businessman to your dirty politician. It’s a pity to see its these people who run our country and are systematically destroying it.

You are currently working on a new album. Tell us a bit about it.

Yeah we’ve been working on it. Like I said earlier, we’re going to be playing a few of these on the tour so they get some stage time. It’s important for us to play the songs out a bit on stage before we record them so that we understand every nuance of the song. Also it’s the only time you can really gauge the dynamics that exist in the song as the audience adds an energy that can really propel the song to the next level.

How does it compare sound wise to Maby Baking?

Well we haven’t started recording anything yet so it’s too early to compare and like I said earlier, we need to play these songs on stage a bit before I can define their sound as such. However, from a songwriting perspective I can say these songs are more straight ahead rock n roll tracks and as a band we’ve tried to treat them in that fashion.

Do you have any tentative release date for the album?

We’re hoping to get everything done by March next year.

Any final words?

Yeah we’ve released an ep in support of the tour. “We Are, We are” from Maby Baking has been totally remixed by our producer Miti Adhikari and all I can say is that a lot of people will be totally shocked when they hear what he’s done with it. It’s pretty amazing, even I was shocked haha. We have also released the second song that we worked out as a band, and even though it’s just a demo and we stopped playing that song six years back, it’s something for people to have till the second album comes out. There is also a song called Mundane Sunday which were putting on the same ep as well as a hidden track of sorts. You can find the ep on NH7.

Written by trendcrusher

August 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm