Advaita is an eclectic music group from New Delhi who borrow their name from an ancient Indian philosophy, which translates to mean Non-Duality. Since the group was formed, in 2004, Advaita has steadily grown to become one of the most respected acts in the Indian music scene. Their sound is a mÃ©lange of styles, moods and textures taken in from different cultures and music systems around the world. WTS got in touch with Abhishek Mathur, guitarist of Advaita, and hereâs what he had to say about the band and the music that they make…
WTS: Advaita has been playing since 2004. How has the Indian music scene evolved from what it was then to what it is now?
Abhishek: The scene has definitely evolved in many ways since the time we started playing. Bands and artistes are âexpectedâ to play their own music. Due to this, the quality of the songs being written has gone up and Indian bands are making songs that grab attention even internationally. Bands have become smarter with promoting themselves. In Delhi, thereâs an increased interest in watching live performances and innumerable venues have sprung up. The sceneâs bursting with potential and itâs only a matter of time until itâs unleashed!Â
WTS: How do the band members deal with creative differences and stick together?Â
Abhishek: There are creative differences from time to time. Itâs important to be friends beyond the music so thereâs a cushion for times when things donât seem to fit. Luckily, these guys are pretty down to earth, if we have arguments itâs only about music. There arenât many ego issues because we all bring in something unique and itâs the chemistry that makes the band work.
WTS: Did you guys ever face rejection earlier in your career?Â
Abhishek: We did face rejection in various competitions and from some people in the media. But weâve had firm belief in our music and carried on, feeling sorry for the critics rather than ourselves! There are a lot of people out there being ruthless critics without having a clue about music!
WTS: When a song does not require a particular instrument to be played, do you cut down on the number of members?
Abhishek: Generally the western rhythm section is involved in all the arrangements (drums, bass, guitars, keys) but we donât use both the singers, the sarangi and tabla in every song. Itâs important to not make our music sound forced,. If something isnât required in a track â so be it. As long as itâs got the Advaita vibe, itâs still an Advaita song!
WTS: Do you keep in touch with fans? How approachable are you as a band?
Abhishek: Oh yes, thanks to internet tools like Facebook weâre completely accessible to our fans. We also have an email address on our website and we get mails there on a regular basis.
WTS: Whatâs lined up for the rest of 2010?
Abhishek: Lots! Weâll be bringing out some unreleased material for free download as part of a single release shortly. The ‘Rasiya‘ video might get aired on MTV. Weâll tour cities on a bigger scale with spectacular stage design and lighting. Of course, the song writing never stops. Weâll go beyond what we did in our first album and surprise listeners. We intend to play in music festivals around the world. One step at a time though.