Tag Archives: Kailash Kher

Break Free – A battle of the bands at Forum Mall

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This “Break Free” is a strange beast to tackle. It is roughly advertised as “the event where Kailash Kher makes an appearance” and the crowd that has turned up has absolutely no patience for anything other than to listen to some Kailash K. They are large in number, crammed into an enclosure in the foyer of an already crowded mall and are forced to listen to music that they could absolutely not give two hoots about. The protracted nature of the contest – three separate tracks for classical, fusion and rock each with three bands in each track, make matters worse for the impatient crowd. The MC is over-enthusiastic and gabby but she tries her best. The security staff have their hands full to ensure no one jumps the enclosure barricades.

Break Free - A battle of the bands at Forum Mall

The MC does the worst headbang impression I’ve seen. This is how she starts of the rock segment. She calls onto stage The News, purveyors of “happy rock” as she calls it. The News belt out three of their own compositions and each pack a solid wallop. The quintet is tighter than a cyclist’s shorts. Vocalist & guitarist Ankit Ranganathan can hold a tune and plays a mean acoustic guitar. The songs are crisp, have multiple tempo changes and yet have this peppy and upbeat mood. They have few minutes remaining in their allotted time but the sea of thumbs-down from the audience means they have to leave the stage.

Break Free - A battle of the bands at Forum Mall

MC asks the crowd if they want to hear some Hindi music and the crowd roar in approval. In a stunning twist she then presents Orchid – a metal band. They are replete with metalcore screams, double bass drumming and some badass bass-ery. Their music is also completely lost on the crowd, who seem to think the double bass is a cue for applause. The next and final band on stage is cROCKchets, a band of 14 year olds. All doubts of their nervousness are quelled in the first few minutes as they launch into Metatallica’s ‘Seek and Destroy’. Sigh. Kids and their ridiculous talent these days. Vocalist Aakash even has the audacity to get everyone to do Hetfield’s signature “Hoy Hoy Hoy” chant. Their finale is a tongue-firmly-in-cheek metal cover of Shankar Nag’s ‘Santoshakke’. Winning the contest should be a foregone conclusion now. Still no sign of the much-anticipated Hindi music that was promised, though.

Break Free - A battle of the bands at Forum Mall

Eventually Kailash Kher does make an appearance. He sings few bars from his hit songs although he clearly states that he is not contractually obliged to do so. Hundreds of phones and tablets are whipped out as people jostle to get a glimpse of singer. This trend of camera phones at concerts never ceases to perplex. The results are announced and rather surprisingly but deservingly The News take first place with cROCKchets coming second. Kher is persuaded to sing another song before he leaves the stage and he politely obliges after which there is an exodus of people heading toward the parking lot. The bands pose with their novelty cheque prizes to an almost empty audience. A strange beast indeed.

Here are the FB page links for the winners  The News and cROCKchets

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The Silent Sea by Advaita

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The Indian music scene is at its finest right now. The richness of our own musical heritage, be it Hindustani Classical, Carnatic or Folk, coupled with the immense exposure to music from all over the world has enabled artists in the country to create their own unique sound and feel, leading to some incredible musical acts. No other act in India, however, exemplifies the amalgamation of sights and sounds more than Advaita. This Delhi-based octet, which marked the coming together of a variety of musicians at the top of their game all the way back in 2004, have only grown from strength to strength, scaling peaks that only a few have been privileged to reach.

Their debut album Grounded in Space, which was released in 2009, is an absolute masterpiece, with tracks like ‘Durga’, ‘Ghir Ghir’, ‘Gates of Dawn’ and ‘Rasiya’ – each track showcasing the brilliance of each instrument used, a rare feat considering the number of musicians involved. Quick on the heels of the album’s success were appearances on Coke Studio and MTV Unplugged, where they performed on the same stage as some of Indian music’s biggest names, such as Shankar Mahadevan, Kailash Kher, Sunidhi Chauhan, Mohit Chauhan and Rabbi Shergill to name a few, which transformed the band from a niche Rock act into a house-hold name.

Three years after their ground-breaking debut album, Advaita has returned to the music shelves with The Silent Sea.  The long-awaited album brings back all the wonderful elements that have made Advaita such a loved act – Ujwal Nagar’s masterful Hindustani Vocals, Suhail Yusuf Khan’s serene Sarangi, Chayan Adhikari’s magnificent Western vocals and acoustic guitar, Abhishek Mathur’s powerful Electric guitar, Anindo Bose’s impeccable keyboards and electronics, Gaurav Chintamani’s groovy bass-lines, Mohit Lal’s wonderful percussions and bols and Aman Singh Rathore’s subtle yet perfect drumming. The album art is something which can bowl anyone over – extremely surreal, yet so in tune with the state of mind which is presented by the band.

The first track of the album ‘Dust’ begins with a melancholic but enchanting sarangi intro which is, without a shadow of doubt, a differentiating factor for Advaita’s sound, implying that dark and gloomy times lie ahead in the song, after which Chayan takes over. It beautifully showcases his vocal ability, during which he hits the high and low notes with equal élan. The entire song has an extremely ominous undertone to it, with the lyrics proclaiming “Everything shall pass, everything will turn to dust.” Not to be missed is the sarangi interlude in the middle of the song, which is simply mesmerizing. It is truly a superb start to the album; which only builds up the expectations for the tracks to come.

Gorakh’  was first heard by many during the band’s MTV Unplugged show. The amalgamation of Hindustani and Western is extremely well handled, considering the song alternates between an ominous and distant tone exhibited by Chayan’s Western vocals, coupled with the guitars and a voice of reason and hope by Ujwal’s Hindustani vocals. A special mention goes to the remarkable ‘Hey Maa’ aalap sung by Ujwal in the end – absolutely mesmerizing.

Soulful is the perfect word to describe the next track ‘Meinda Ishq.’ This song is a beautiful ode to love, and we get to listen to Suhail’s familiar and sweet voice as he sings this song as a soulful qawaali reminiscent of a serene Abida Parveen number, while we can listen to Anindo’s and Abhishek’s electronica far away in the distance. With majestic lyrics, such as “Kibla Kaaba, Quran bhi tu”, the song also causes a spiritual awakening which is only enunciated when the sarangi sets in. As you drink in the emotions and gear up to drown in it all, the track beautifully changes tempo, with the Western vocals and the instruments, which end the song with a sense of revitalization.

Mandirva’ is one of the most remarkable songs on the album. It speaks volumes about the plethora of emotions one experiences when in a situation – it is never a single emotion. Joy is always coupled with excitement, grief will give way to rage; it’s just the way emotional catharsis works. It begins immediately with a sargam which builds up beautifully to let Ujwall take over. His voice perfectly showcases the longing and sorrow as he sings of sadness and hope amidst rage beautifully depicted by the guitars, drums, keyboards and the tabla. Such a change in the song’s tempo makes the listener delve deep down into their own soul, and feel the connection. It is absolutely enchanting to listen to the journey Ujwal takes us through in the song – from the pain and hope interspersed with continuously built up anger until the breaking point is reached, and he descends into the madness caused by the wrath with an alaap which showcases the immense vocal marvel that he possesses, with the word ‘Mandirva’ being sampled and looped in the background. ‘Mandirva’ is a sensational composition – one of the album’s best tracks.

Spinning’ is an extremely mellow track, which compliments the intensity of ‘Mandirva’ perfectly. It opens with Ujwal’s vocals as a plea to a loved one, with Chayan giving him perfect company, as the song soothes and embalms. A special mention goes to Suhail’s sarangi, Anindo’s keyboard and the subtle drumming. This song is a major highlight of the album.

The instruments in the song ‘Words’ build up the mood with the Western vocals bringing in a sense of melancholy, and the Hindustani vocals powerfully adding to the mix. The lyrics are beautifully written, and the music is top-notch; however, it’s something that Advaita has done innumerably in the past, and it follows down the same predictable path. A beautifully composed track, but not anything the fans haven’t heard earlier.

Gamapanipa’ is the most fun song of the album. The moment you hear the sarangi play the notes of the song’s title, you know you are going for the ride. Even before the entire band joins in with everything they have, you already have your feet tapping and your head swinging to the music. Ujwal comes in with an alaap, from which Suhail just takes the song to another level, reminiscent of his magical vocals in ‘Durga’, and the Western vocals add to the joy, without losing the quality of the music, which is a remarkable feat.

Mo Funk’ is the reason why Advaita is such a magical musical act. Perhaps, the defining track of the album, along with ‘Mandirva’, this song sets in stone what all of us know as a general idea – the magnificence of Ujwal’s vocal talent, for in this song he exhibits his skills in Carnatic classical for the first time. The song begins with tantric bols and chants with an extremely funky groove, and all of it dies down to bring Ujwal to the fray, who flawlessly sings each of the Carnatic notes, and simply leaves you in awe at his versatility. Chayan comes in with a superbly crooned Rock ballad verse, and the tempo is built for an amalgamation of sounds towards the end. This is a scintillating track.

Tremor’ is again, another mellow track. Chayan’s vocals shine in this one, with the questioning grief in his voice. While the Hindustani vocals come in to give the song wonderful layering, a complaint that some listeners could have is that the song sticks to a template or a formula, which unfortunately, limits the range of the band. But that is still being too harsh on the band.

The title track of the album, ‘The Silent Sea’ s one of the most subdued. Melancholy is the first word which comes to mind when listening to this song. The song begins and ends with the sounds of the sea, with the same restrained vitality which has become a theme in the album, exhibited wonderfully by the vocalists and instrumentalists. The swarm of sorrow may get a little too much for some people by the end, but it’s a bold move by the band to sign off with this song.

This is quite an experimental album. The band themselves claim it to be the result of a higher level of maturity. A myriad of emotions and sounds to enunciate those emotions is what Advaita has played with here, and the result has been marvelous. Although the name of the band implies the state of being ‘non-dual’, some of the tracks from this album have such a dual nature to them; it adds an extreme amount of depth into the soul of the band. On the first hearing, the album may seem a little unusual to those who have gotten used to the band’s sound à la their first album; but on further listening, you are left in awe with what these outstanding musicians have created. This is truly a masterpiece in its own way; because although it will happen, comparisons with Grounded in Space are unfair. They are very different albums, the off-springs of very different thought processes. Kudos to the band for creating a sensational mix of Indian and Western sounds; very rarely can you find both co-existing so beautifully. The Silent Sea is a remarkable album, and will surely be a stepping stone which will take this marvelous music act to even greater heights. A wondrous achievement, and a must have.

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Kailash Kher: Sufi + Rock + Bollywood! at IIM Bangalore

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Kailash Kher, charismatic singer in the Sufi-rock style, proved yet again that he is right at the cutting edge of fusion music in India during his performance at IIM Bangalore this weekend.

I left early for the venue to beat Bangalore traffic, and reached so early that I caught the band’s sound check. I chatted with lead guitarist Paresh Kamath who told me about the lineup for the concert, especially singling out Tapas Roy on mandolin and saz (long-necked Turkish string instrument).

Kailash Kher: Sufi + Rock + Bollywood! at IIM Bangalore

Roy’s instrumentation added a distinctly Middle Eastern flavour to the performance that evening. But that’s getting ahead of the story a bit! The crowds began to fill in late in the evening as the crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter lined up in the east, and the stars of Orion filled the sky above. The stars then descended on the open-air stage at IIM-B grounds: Kailash Kher and his band Kailasa.

Naresh Kamath on bass, Kurt Peters on drums, Sameer Chiplunkar on keyboards, and Sanket Nayak on percussion (tabla, darbuka, dol) provided solid energetic support. It was great to see Sankarshan Kini on stage as well (acoustic guitar, violin).

The band played a tight two-hour set with sixteen songs, covering everything from ballads to dance numbers. The global mix included rock (instruments, chords), Middle Eastern flavours (darbuka, saz), Indian percussion (tabla, pakhawaj, bhangra dol), reggae and Sufi vocals (with incantations to Allah; depiction of human love as an instance of divine love).

Kailash Kher: Sufi + Rock + Bollywood! at IIM Bangalore

In each track Kailash Kher’s soaring vocals and earthy style shone through, right from the opening tracks ‘Dilruba’ and ‘Aoji‘ down to the closing pieces ‘Allah ke bande‘ and ‘Saiyyan’. The songs ‘Teri Deewani’ and ‘Na Batati Hu‘ drew huge applause, as well as ‘Tu Kya Jaane’ and the title track from his latest release, Rangeele.

“There must have been at least 7,000 people in the audience,” event organiser Vasundhra Jain told me; she said Kailash Kher was chosen as the headliner for their Unmaad Festival because he is not only a commercially successful singer but also keeps his independent and innovative edge, and is involved in social causes (eg. against human trafficking, child labour, global warming). He also performed in support of the recent Anna Hazare anti-corruption movement.

Kailash Kher: Sufi + Rock + Bollywood! at IIM Bangalore

Indeed, at the Bangalore performance Kailash Kher revealed not only his creative edge and infectious energy, but his humourous side and social awareness, delivered in irreverent “Hinglish” while bouncing and jumping around the stage.

“English is the first most confused language in the world,” he joked. “Let us focus not just on movie music but indie music also,” he urged the audience, taking a gentle dig at the Bollywood industry which dominates much of the Indian popular music scene. Kailash Kher has had hits in Bollywood as well, which has won him admiration from the indie scene for being successful in both areas.

“Don’t focus just on branding and marketing, you must also cultivate a sense of corporate social responsibility,” he told the students in the audience. “Half of life today is pretentious anyway, don’t waste the other half,” he joked.

Kailash Kher: Sufi + Rock + Bollywood! at IIM Bangalore

He endeared himself to the Bangalore audience by saying that the people and weather of Bangalore were perfect for music, and he even said a few words in the local language Kannada. He invited a couple of girls to join the band on stage for a dance, and seven girls eventually joined him. “Live life Queen size,” he advised them.

“The time for this performance is very short,” he said, taking a dig at the stifling government regulations and the “moral police” in India who insist that live entertainment and pubs shut down at the ridiculously early hour of 10 pm or 11 pm, an absolute dampener for the live music industry.

His Sufi messages drew the most applause. “Divinity is in love, everything else is bakwaas (nonsense),” he said.

Kailash Kher: Sufi + Rock + Bollywood! at IIM Bangalore

For his last song he called on everyone to dance. “Including you sitting there, you with the tie,” he said, singling out an attendee in the ‘VIP’ section.

Now in his late 30s, Kailash Kher appeals to a wide range of Indian society, and has a huge fan following abroad as well. His early influences included spiritual music, folk songs of North India, and classical music (especially Pandit Kumar Gandharv). He then moved to Mumbai in 2001, singing jingles for various TV and radio commercials.

In addition to Hindi, he has sung songs in a range of Indian languages such as Oriya, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telgu, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi, and Punjabi. He has been involved in hundreds of Bollywood film songs, and has collaborated with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Vishal-Shekhar, Salim-Sulaiman, Zakir Hussain, Vishal Bhardwaj and A.R. Rahman. His songs have featured in Hindi movies (eg. Mangal Pandey, Corporate, Salaam-e-Ishq) as well as other regional movies in Kannada (Junglee, Jackie).

Kailash Kher: Sufi + Rock + Bollywood! at IIM Bangalore

The band’s first independent album Kailasa (2006) and second album Kailasa Jhoomo Re  were huge hits, as well as the subsequent ones, Chaandan Mein and Yatra. This was seen as part of a broad revival of Sufi literature and lyrics.

“Kailash has this rare touch of marrying tradition with innovation in his compositions,” according to Adarsh Gupta, head of business at the label Saregama India, on the release of the latest album Rangeele. On TV, Kailash has also served as a judge on Indian Idol and IPL Rockstar.

His music has been described by critics as “intoxicating,” “hypnotic,” and commended for blending Hindustani classical forms (dhrupad) and Sufi qawwal. Followers of south Asian music notice more of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in his voice than Mohammad Rafi.

In contrast to Bollywood-style formulaic and poppy production, Kailash’s songs stand out for their folksy and spiritual nature even with the contemporary mix. Mumbai-based composers Paresh and Naresh Kamath have been co-founders of the band Kailasa and have been with Kailash Kher since the beginning.

“You will get to meet all the killer musicians in my band,” said Kailash, as he introduced the band members one by one at the end of the Bangalore show. The group is bound to find more success as they continue to innovate on the foundations of Indian folk and Sufi music along with a solid contemporary and Middle Eastern feel.

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Leslie Lewis And Kailash Kher And Kailasa At UB City, Bangalore

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Kailash Kher Live in Hyderabad

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Interview with The Ministry of Blues

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The Ministry of Blues (MoB) play a genre of music that originated in the 1900s, but combine it with a distinctly 21st-century flair. The band’s music is not the laid back, lonesome blues but a hard-hitting “we’re coming at you like a ton of bricks” blues played with finesse and a deft touch. Red Hot Blues Rock is what they call it! The MoB line-up includes Philipe (vocals & lead guitars), Vinoo (bass), Rauf (vocals & keyboard) and Deepak (drums).

WTS: Let’s start off with a bit of background information about MOB, how did it start and of course what made u call it The Ministry Of Blues?

Philipe: The three of us used to play together (Deepak, Rauf and Philipe) in a band called Aftermath. It sort of died around the same time that Ministry of Blues started. Not too much of a gap between the two. That was more of a hard rock band. Then we just got fed up of the music that we were playing, so we disbanded. Deepak came out with the idea of forming a blues rock band, nobody was playing blues rock then, we were the only band. Also Ministry Of Blues in short is MOB and it’s a genre of music that caters to the youngsters so we thought of calling it that.

Deepak: So we just thought of this name and everybody liked it immediately.

Rauf: I liked the whole MOB feel!

WTS: How has the band transformed in terms of members?

Philipe: That was for a very short period. The band formed when the other bassist (Sarat) left, he played for probably six months before he got transferred somewhere else. So the actual band started moving only after Vinoo joined.

WTS: How easy/difficult was it for you to make it big in the Bangalore music scene?

Deepak: Firstly, we don’t think we’ve made it big. We don’t take it so seriously. We just enjoy our music.

Philipe: People call us veterans, there’s a big difference between that and making it big!(laughs)

Vinoo: As long as we’re playing we’re happy.

Philipe: We’ve been there done that. I used to play in a band called Hammersmith, we had a whole lot of stuff going, my brother used to drive that band. We were Asia’s second act on MTV back then. What did we get out of it? Nothing. Rock machine went on for a short while and then they turned into Indus Creed. They had three albums after that. What happened after that? Nothing. Making it big is difficult unless you’re doing traditional Hindi music. You take Shankar Ehsaan Loy for example. Who are those guys? Ehsan was the guitarist of a band called Crosswinds, Loy was a hardcore keyboard player, now they have made it big after getting into Hindi music. For English music it will always be an issue. We don’t see it gaining equal popularity. Playing live, you can have a good day, have a good show, and the crowd has a blast. It ends there. Taking it beyond that and cutting out albums, making money out of it’s just not happening.

Deepak: People don’t make money out of albums. That audience is not there.

Vinoo: Many, many years ago, when I was in my teens I had decided that I’m not going to earn by playing music. It reminds me of things that I don’t want to do. I firmly believe that the only decent thing a musician can do is to play in front of people. Everything else is done to death. All this recording, being in albums and all that, it’s all done to death. The only thing that matters is that you play in front of people.

Deepak: That’s completely gone. In today’s world very few artistes/bands actually make albums and sell it, it’s the age of free downloads on the internet. Where is the money? The money is only in playing live.

Philipe: We are playing live but the market is not so big for English acts and guys playing Western music.

Vinoo: Take India’s largest band – Indian Ocean, they earn a large amount of money but they are making their money only through live performances. In fact their next album is being given out for free on the internet. I spoke to the guitar player, who’s an old friend of mine. I asked them why they are doing this, because I was very curious. He said “The record labels are the only ones who make money out of it, we get nothing out of it so we might as well give it for free.”

WTS: In a city that has a lot of rock and metal bands what is it like being a blues rock band?

Deepak: It’s nice. We enjoyed it, it’s something very different and new, and I think it’s still fresh, it still sounds good to people.

WTS: Ministry of blues only plays covers. Why won’t you play originals?

Vinoo: We haven’t got around to it. It’s not a priority.

Philipe: What we really like to do is take up covers and uncover covers. Most of our songs, I would say, are quite far from the originals.

Vinoo: They take quite a bit of work as well. Each song takes quite long! It takes a few days before we’re happy with it. There are a few songs we don’t play because we aren’t completely happy with it.

Philipe: Every college band says “Ok guys…Hi! Welcome to the show, we are going to do one of our own compositions”. We played in Vellore and the only criteria they gave the student unit, was to get a band that will not play their own material. The crowd doesn’t enjoy it! And also with this genre that we’ve picked up, it’s been done to death.

Deepak: In this genre there is a style, it’s a standard pattern of music so I’ll just be changing the lyrics. Now for example Eric Clapton, he recreates songs in his style. Its legendary that’s how blues rock is!

Vinoo: If you’ve heard him play ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’, he has put a reggae beat to it!

Deepak: I grew up listening to Santana’s ‘Black Magic Woman’, that’s not his song. It was done many years ago before Santana was born!

Philipe: That’s how music is, it’s what you bring into the whole thing. Otherwise it’s just an ego thing, “This is my own comp, I’ve got my own song!”

Ralf: Some of the numbers that we do were written in 1930s, nobody even knows about those artistes. We do it our way, not the way it has been done before. That’s how we like to do it. We don’t want to play a song like how it sounds on TV.

WTS: What are the criticism/compliments that you get from fans?

Deepak: Even now we hear from people that it was a good show or a bad show. There are fans who say you guys started out really dull. You should have done this song in the beginning. The song list is not changing as fast as it should. Because the guys come for all our shows and we’re not able to change that fast.

Philipe: I told him don’t come to the show, take a break! (laughs)

Deepak: This American comes up to me and says, “You play all kinds of blues, Texas blues etc. and the range is pretty wide.” It’s not just one kind of music we’re playing.

Philipe: Compliments, well for one, in the 30-35 years that I’ve been playing, touchwood, I’ve never been booed. Never. It’s just value for money. You may not like the music, but you will listen to it.

WTS: How long does your sound check generally last?

Deepak: Five minutes and we’re done.

Philipe: There was this time when we finished our sound check and the sound guy says “Are you guys a serious band? A five minute sound check? I’ve never done it in my life, you know.”

Deepak: It has taken so many years. If you’re professional enough you’ll understand what is the limitation of sound, and that it’s not going to get any better, hanging around there and keeping the audience waiting, it’s just not worth it.

Rauf: It all depends on the kind of instruments there are, how many members there are etc. For us, experience definitely comes in hand. With Philipe, the sound that comes on stage is so amazing, because of his experience, his tones etc are just perfect.

WTS: Each one of you seem to have fairly busy lives, how do you manage to find time to jam together?

Philipe: You can make time if you want to. And you have to make time for that. We have nasty working hours. Thank God we have five day weeks! Friday evening we drop what we’re doing and head out to this lovely little basement. It’s heaven. It’s got lovely speakers, an electronic drum kit that sounds like heaven, and the amps there are awesome, so the mikes are plugged in, and in about ten minutes we get started. I think we take longer opening the beer. (laughs) Fridays are mandatory. We jam every week unless we’re travelling. Tightness has to be worked at. Don’t forget that you’re out there, if you’re not good enough don’t go onstage. You have no right to be onstage if you’re not good enough.

Deepak: Keeping the band tight is something that can only come with practice. It’s like a plane flying , I don’t think you can go on if you cut your engines! (laughs)

WTS: How have you managed to stick together for so long?

Philipe: Friendship! Never has anything gotten to a nasty, personal level. Never, never. We don’t get personal. We have disagreements but not anything personal. We wouldn’t carry it home.

Deepak: In the music room there would be a lot of disagreements, but then we look at the bigger picture. If I get pissed off, I know that more than anything, I like playing with them. So it’s just about keeping your emotions off of it and enjoying what you’re doing.

Philipe: It’s like a lousy marriage (laughs) and we have thumb rules, if it’s getting out of hand just drop it. Then after a while it all gets back to normal. We make use of stuff you learn from marriage counseling. If you lose your temper with your husband, count to ten, take a walk in the park, things like that! (laughs)

Deepak: Another thing about this band, it’s very interesting. The other name we thought of was Seven Down.

Philipe: That’s because Vinoo is seven years older than me, I’m seven years older than Deepak and Deepak is seven years older than Ralf. Exactly.

Vinoo: That makes him (Ralf) 21 years younger than me!

Deepak: So they can’t fight. It’s like a father and son relationship. It’s not allowed. (laughs)

Ralf: (To Vinoo) Dad, where’s my pocket money? (laughs)

WTS: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t been to any of your gigs?

Philipe: Aggressive blues rock. High on energy.

Deepak: We transform into animals onstage! (laughs)

WTS: Do you think people’s focus will ever shift to live performances from Bollywood?

Deepak: The good thing that’s happening is bands that are playing live are now associated with Bollywood. Take for example Kailash Kher’s band, I watch it on YouTube all the time. Superb! He’s a great singer. So, live music is coming up. Kailash Kher’s concerts have around 8000-10,000 people!

Philipe: But Hindi rock/pop will always rule. Anyone who is going to contest that is a clown. It’s never going to happen. You will never make that kind of money, never have that kind of crowd. The only time when you had such an audience was the early nineties.

Ralf: Then (sings) Video killed the radio star!

Deepak: Then the discotheques came in, the DJs came. In my opinion, there is too much out there, as far as entertainment is concerned. Online EPs, everything – we’re being bombarded with lots of entertainment. Even during gigs, after about five songs you can see the crowd getting a little restless. Our kind of music is one where you have to build that taste, acquire that taste. At least right now. The only thing that can be done is promoting the bands, and they should keep playing. It’s going to take time.

Philipe: But I think one of the main things that’s happening in terms of playing live is the live webcast. Motherjane did that. They had a live webcast when they were playing at Opus by the Creek.

WTS: Deepak, don’t you feel like overplaying sometimes?

Deepak: I overplay all the time. I’m the only one who does more than what’s required.

Vinoo: Actually all of us do.

Rauf: It also depends on how much alcohol we’ve had.

Philipe: He doesn’t drink by the way. Good boy! (points to Rauf)

Rauf: I’m more of an adrenaline junkie.

WTS: Have you guys had any embarrassing experiences while performing onstage?

Deepak: Oh a lot of them! All the time, at every show. Serious goof ups!(laughs)

Philipe: There was this crazy goof-up in this solo that we do. He just completely goofed up onstage (points to Deepak). I was cringing! I was up there thinking “I wanna die right now!” It was that bad! (laughs) and then we come back home, and we see mails from people in the audience which read “that piece by the drummer and the bass guitarist was superb!” (loud laughter)

Deepak: So when we goof up, we just look at each other and smile, and the way we cover up is also great.

Philipe: One thing we’ve learnt to do is smile and act like nothing happened when we know it’s a disaster!(laughs)

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