Interview with Abhishek Mathur of Advaita

 

 

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 mélange 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 here’s 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 ‘expected’ 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, there’s an increased interest in watching live performances and innumerable venues have sprung up. The scene’s bursting with potential and it’s only a matter of time until it’s unleashed! 

 

WTS: How do the band members deal with creative differences and stick together? 

 

Abhishek: There are creative differences from time to time. It’s important to be friends beyond the music so there’s a cushion for times when things don’t seem to fit. Luckily, these guys are pretty down to earth, if we have arguments it’s only about music. There aren’t many ego issues because we all bring in something unique and it’s the chemistry that makes the band work.

 

WTS: Did you guys ever face rejection earlier in your career? 

 

Abhishek: We did face rejection in various competitions and from some people in the media. But we’ve 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 don’t use both the singers, the sarangi and tabla in every song. It’s important to not make our music sound forced,. If something isn’t required in a track – so be it. As long as it’s got the Advaita vibe, it’s 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 we’re completely accessible to our fans. We also have an email address on our website and we get mails there on a regular basis.

 

WTS: What’s lined up for the rest of 2010?

 

Abhishek: Lots! We’ll be bringing out some unreleased material for free download as part of a single release shortly. The ‘Rasiya‘ video might get aired on MTV. We’ll tour cities on a bigger scale with spectacular stage design and lighting. Of course, the song writing never stops. We’ll 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.

 

 

 

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Priyanka Shetty

Priyanka Shetty is the founder of What's The Scene? Follow Priyanka on Twitter @priyanka_shetty

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