Tag Archives: God is an Astronaut

Until We Last at the Ion Bar and Kitchen, Bangalore

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Post-rock is a genre that I have never experienced live before, perhaps due to the dearth of post-rock bands in this country, although Mumbai has the privilege of being home to  Pangea, who I would say are similar but I am yet to see them live as well. Unfamiliar readers can check out bands like God Is An AstronautExplosions In The Sky and Isis for reference and some good ear-therapy. So when I heard about Until We Last, I was, needless to say, excited.

Ambient music is something you would listen to from the comfort of your plush sofa, because more than just music, it can often be an experience and there is much going on in every song, and in a live setting many things do tend to get lost due to the acoustics of the venue. So I was skeptical about whether they would be able to do justice to the recordings that I’d heard online and whether it would be as captivating or not.

Until We Last at the Ion Bar and Kitchen, Bangalore

A graduated ‘bedroom project’ , Ketan Bahirat’s work has gone through many lineup changes and a formidable early sound is what you have now. You know the band is interesting enough from little more than a soundcheck. Ralston Dsouza is powerful and precise behind the drums. The twin guitars layer seamlessly and the musical textures are lush and calm leading into big crescendos. Simple grooves carried over long melodic passages ease into the rising parts of the tracks at a measured pace.  Subtle basslines by Anjan Bhojraj keep the rhythm interesting in sections. Well placed voice samples add to the overall experience. They have a good sound to start with and there’s more to look forward to live than the recordings available currently. It would be interesting to see how the future looks for them, going by some of the new tracks they played for us in their extended set time. As promised in a Facebook post, the previous evening the band gave out free copies of their CD with a nice flower motif cover to the crowd.

Until We Last at the Ion Bar and Kitchen, Bangalore

One thing that would help is if the band would seamlessly go from one song to the next. Sometimes, breaks tend to jerk a listener back from fairy unicorn land to the real world of common stage banter. Some tracks that really stood out that evening were ‘To Space And Back’, which had an absolutely enchanting outro, and ‘Rain’ which was perhaps the most minimalistic track of the evening, yet so soothing in its simplicity.

Until We Last at the Ion Bar and Kitchen, Bangalore

Until We Last completely destroyed any fear I had about post-rock played in a live setting, irrespective of the venue. The 25 people present were treated to a fairly great set, but we did feel hassled unnecessarily at the venue – our petty troubles went from being billed separately by different entities within one establishment to sorting re-entry via a standard protocol mass eviction. A common alignment between stakeholders is key to providing a stable foothold for new music. The venue/service can contribute too, and anything better than pretending to care will help improve the experience. The audience needs convenience above all else and an unpleasant evening is a bother we settle by avoiding it altogether in future.

Until We Last at the Ion Bar and Kitchen, Bangalore

It is an effort to remember what the songs are called. I wouldn’t blame the band however, as most post rock songs/bands tend to sound similar as they’re mostly instrumental with no lyrics to differentiate between them, and the motifs/crescendos can be monotonous unless the band makes a conscious effort to set itself apart. It is also a difficult thing to hold a larger audience with a guitar driven sound that lacks vocals but my early impression of Until We Last is certainly very good.

Uday Shanker

Uday Shanker is a freelance photographer based in Bangalore and has a day job.

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Interview with Drones From The Turbine

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Drones from the Turbine is a psychedelic band from Bangalore that was formed in May ’09. The band members Anand Vijayasimha (vox/rhythm guitars), Pranav K (bass), Jaydev and Nithin (guitars) and Aditya (drums) are a bunch of peace-trippers who got together and started making music. WTS got in touch with the band and here’s what they had to say…

WTS: Let’s start off with a little background information. How did Drones from the Turbine start, and what’s the story behind its name?

Anand: Well, long before the band got together, PK (Pranav) and I went to a party one night.  I was pretty smashed and bored so I started reading a graphic novel called ‘Inhuman‘ by Stan Lee. I flipped through the book and stopped at a random page. There the protagonist of the book says “Quiet! I hear the drones from the turbine”. It stuck in my head and later when all of us got together we agreed on the name.

WTS: Where do you draw your influences from? What other bands or artists do you see as your primary inspirations?

Pranav: Well as individuals, the spectrum of music is huge. But as a band we go back to bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Soft Machine, Amon Duul. Also some of the non mainstream artists like Color Haze, God is an Astronaut, Feed Me.

Interview with Drones From The Turbine

WTS: What are your songs generally about?

Anand: Our songs are about transcendence. They are about the different states of mind we are in and also what is going on with the world. We are glad and grateful to be in a space where we can play music. We a proud of being free loathing hippie bums.

WTS: In a city infested with rock and metal bands, what is it like being a psychedelic band? How has the experience been so far?

Pranav: It’s liberating. We don’t have a certain way to do anything. Being a psy-rock band, we just go up on stage and ride the wave.

WTS: What do you guys like to do outside of working on music?

Anand: Motorcycles and reading is something I really enjoy indulging in. We also love to travel.

WTS: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Anand: Well mistakes happen. Man up, cover up and keep playing. We just laugh it out.

Interview with Drones From The Turbine

WTS: Other than the people you’re with now, if you could get any musician, living or dead, who would be in your “dream band”?

Anand: Bob Dylan, David Gilmour, Tom Waits.

WTS: What do you think about the current music scene in India?

Pranav: It is changing now and we have been lucky enough to have met a lot of great bands over the years. Many people are no longer listening to music just because it’s the IN thing right now, they are actually getting into it. A long way to go though.

WTS: For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words.

Anand: Shed your skin and listen.

WTS: You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs?

Anand: We love our environment because we are exposed to so many things. We draw inspiration from Trees, Hindu mythology, old detective movies, space, old cultures.

WTS: Have you had any funny experiences while playing on stage?

Pranav: The funniest band moment happened when we were playing at The Kyra Theatre. The smoke machine controller jammed and ended up covering the whole place with smoke!

Priyanka Shetty

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

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