Tag Archives: The Vibe

Gingerfeet on their latest album – High & Above: The First Wave


Gingerfeet is a funk alternative band from Kolkata who played their debut gig at the Hornbill National Rock Competition in December 2012 and went on to win it! Less than a year and a few singles later, GingerFeet released their debut album High & Above: the First Wave on September 27 at Someplace Else in Kolkata (Read our review of the album here.) We had a chat with the band members about their music and their latest album. Read on!

WTS: How did Gingerfeet originate?

Abhishek Gurung: We have been friends for a long time, just that we were part of different bands having a different niche. It was sometime in Fall 2012, when we decided on forming a band adhering to a genre that we craved for ever since we started playing. We met in Gangtok, and then had a jam in our rehearsal studio in Kolkata and there was no shizz and jazz anymore, we decided to go for the kill.The thought process of the band suffused very well among all the members, the genre that we wanted to put ourselves in clicked and Gingerfeet was formed as an all original act.

WTS: Tell us what transpired after your win at the Hornbill Festival until the release of your debut album.

Lokes Mangar: We took it one thing at a time, we always had the plan of releasing an album, but it’s true that the win at Hornbill definitely boosted the release date prior to the time it was actually planned. We developed a super-strong fan base after the win and they demanded for a release which would let them have access to our music. So we stepped on the gas pedal to get things out on time. We released a couple of singles first and then finally released the album.

WTS: Tell us a bit about your experience at The Hornbill Festival and other major events you played at.

Dibya Raj Mukhia: Oh it was fantastic! The experience at the Hornbill Festival was out of the world as we played in front of 25,000 screaming fans singing/jumping along with our tunes. It’s an experience,bands dream of and we were completely overwhelmed to have won the Hornbill Rock Contest on the first go – many bands dream to achieve this platform for years.We had a great time overall,we would definitely pen it down as one of the best experiences ever. We had around 5 originals that time and the win urged us to write more.

In March , we were shortlisted for Hard Rock Rising in which we emerged as all India winners and represented India in the global scene. In June , we headlined Rock For Change , Darjeeling organized by Artists of Darjeeling. In August , we played at Harley Rock Riders Season IV in Kolkata. By this time we almost had the set list for the album ready. In September , we did a pre-release album tour in the north-east, headlined Auxesis – Assam’s biggest college festival and pub gigs in Cafe Hendrix and Upstairs Lounge. The tour was a huge success, playing at jam packed venues is awesome fun especially when you are playing ONLY original songs.All in all, the pre-release feeling was great. We had encores at every gig and it always feels good to hear the audience shouting out for another one of our own songs rather than a cover. When it comes to production and management,a special mention goes to our artist manager RockStar Events Artist Management for getting everything in place in the best possible way.

WTS: Tell us more about your songwriting process.

Vedanta: The songwriting process of Gingerfeet is not at all complicated. We distribute our parts equally. Dibya and I come up with guitar riffs and melody lines while Lokes and Abhinandan work on the groove structures. Abhishek and Abhinandan work on the lyrics and composition of all the songs. After the material is ready we jam and see how it’s working out and then we hit the studio for the scratch recording.

WTS: Tell us about the origin and composition of your new album. 

Abhinandan: Nowadays it is very difficult for a band to survive and seldom do people buy albums and support artists. So releasing an all-original album was indeed a challenge and it would be interesting to see how people react to it. We do have really high hopes on this and we are sure that we’ll get a good response. We had a lot of fun making it so I guess it would be fun to listen as well.

High and Above comprises of the first set of nine originals we wrote since we formed the band,the songs will make you feel good.There are no dark elements in our songwriting and lyrics despite the fact that majority of our songs are on the heavier side with a dose of funk,probably that’s the most fun part. Through High and Above, all our listeners will get a vivid taste of what comes to us naturally when we do music. The nine songs, each telling a story add up to a bigger story. Our listeners can easily relate to every song from this album, we have carefully sorted out the tracks so that every listener can enjoy this thrill ride with a smile on his/her face.

WTS: What kind of themes do you usually explore lyrically?

Dibya Raj: Majority of our songs have elements of irony,satire and positivity fused with metaphors.Our drummer, Abhinandan stresses majorly on metaphorical/metaphysical references in his lyrics while Abhishek enjoys writing subtle, animated lyrics which spark out well when co-related. Lyrically we have tried to portray the positive side to all ordeals of day to day life in this album. All the songs lead to a positive note keeping the challenge open.

WTS: Individually, are there some songs you consider more significant than the others?

Abhinandan: We have our share of favourites, nonetheless we love the whole album. All of us have different choices – Abhishek and Rhitabrata’s (Album Producer) favourite track is ‘Am I dreaming or what?‘, Lokes likes ‘Mr. Boombastic‘, Vedant and Dibya like the title track ‘High and Above‘ and ‘No Division‘. My favourites are ‘The Vibe‘ and ‘Fake You’.

WTS: What was the album launch like?

Vedanta: Great fun. Someplace Else played host to us, we had a full house, most of our CDs were purchased by tourists from Sweden,UK and USA who were present at the gig that night.

WTS: What is Gingerfeet upto next?

Abhinandan: We’ll let that be a surprise!

Shreya Bose

Shreya Bose is an English grad who is rethinking her dedication to academia and trying to figure out the secret to personal sanity. Currently, writing seems like the only activity that offers both inspiration and catharsis. When free, she overdoses on Yukio Mishima and Kahlua.


High And Above: The First Wave by Gingerfeet


Very few young bands from Kolkata make the effort to stand out amongst the plethora of the tried and tested formula that are so prevalent in the city. The ones that do make an effort eventually get shot down before they manage to establish themselves. Indeed it is not just about having talent, or about adopting the right approach or about having the right connections – you also require a thick skin and the mentality to walk barefoot through the fire that surrounds you. If you as a musician are able to do THAT, then maybe, just maybe you will have people appreciating your efforts and eager to listen to your music as well. Reaching a level where music lovers are actually dying to listen to you is a long, long journey. Some musicians struggle for years to reach anywhere close to this grade. Most musicians give up after a few years of trying. It’s a hard climb, and there is really no guarantee you will see a light at the end of the tunnel. One thing is certain though – there is no short-cut up this ladder. You start from the bottom rung. And you climb.

Gingerfeet’s rise up this virtual ladder has been startling to say the least. Almost like a violation of the laws of physics. Less than a year back this band from Kolkata did not even exist. A few jams, and before you know it they were short-listed to compete at Nagaland’s prestigious Hornbill National Rock Festival. And despite the fact that they were up against some of India’s finest young bands, Gingerfeet managed to beat the odds and turn out the eventual winners for 2012. Being crowned winners of a prestigious competition is a great springboard for any young band. However, Gingerfeet has ever since done precious little to keep themselves in the eyes of the music loving public, even in their home base at Kolkata. Being selected as one of the Indian finalists of the Hard Rock Rising competition in and playing the odd gig in and around the city is all that they have done in the past few months. Ask the average live gig goer in Kolkata and chances are they know nothing about the band – much less attended any of their gigs. It’s a cruel world, show business, and unfortunately if you don’t make efforts to remain in the eyes of the public you soon become yesterday’s news.

Releasing a debut album in such circumstances seems a bit of a risk for Gingerfeet, especially with very little having being done in terms of promotion. It almost feels like sitting for an exam after just a single midnight cramming session. However a lot of good effort has been put into High And Above: The First Wave as a whole – the Rs. 5 lakh prize money attained from the Hornbill win has indeed been put into good use here, because what you get as an end-product is an album where the band confidently delivers a mesh of funk and hard rock ditties, and although none of the 9 originals really blow your mind away, yet the quality of the compositions and the ability of the musicians do shine through. For a debut album most bands couldn’t really ask for more.

The 9-track album starts off with the bouncy, happy-go-lucky ‘Am I Dreaming Or What?’ and Vedant Razz impresses with the guitar parts. The next track ‘Fake You’ successfully changes the mood and tempo however and there is a more hard rock/glam feel to this composition. Drummer Abhindandan Mukherjee lends a steady hand on this track, commendably controlling the rhythm section – and he is ably assisted by Lokes Mangar on bass and Dibya Raj Mukhia on the rhythm guitar. Vocalist Abhishek Gurung has fun showing off his vocal range throughout the track. Very much the same is on offer for track #3 ‘Game On‘ and here too the grooves hit you thick and fast. ‘God Forbid’ is up next and bassist Lokesh and guitarist Vedanta get into a battle of the axes here, each egging on the other to slap and tap faster than the other. It does make for interesting listening.The tempo slightly changes with the title-track ‘High And Above’ but the element of funk doesn’t let up. Abhishek’s vocals sound a whole lot dreamy here and his voice transports the listener high above the ground, almost giving you the impression that you are floating in the air. The backing vocals sound a bit clichéd, but then again their absence would have somehow left the song incomplete.

Five tracks and we are mid-way through the album – if you, the listener, are an ardent fan of funk then Gingerfeet certainly has a lot more to offer and that is enough to take you through this journey. However if funk isn’t really your thing then chances are you may have already been bitten by the deja-vu bug. And unfortunately the deeper you dive into Gingerfeet’s effort the chance of you succumbing to the effects of mental fatigue are huge. Track #6 ‘Mr. Bombastic’ while starting off promisingly with some more of Lokesh’s intricate bass work somehow fails to hold your attention – which is a pity because this isn’t a bad composition. But despite the loud driving chorus and Vedanta’s interesting solo in between, it’s almost like all of this has already been covered by the band in their previous tracks.

The same can be said of track #7 ‘No Division although what does make this composition a wee bit more interesting is the Rage Against The Machine feel to the song in the chorus section, thus providing a lot more punch to certain sections of the song. But it is only when you get to hear track #8 ‘Stars do you feel that maybe, just maybe,Gingerfeet has a few more tricks up their sleeves. Amidst a flurry of infectious grooves Abhishek unleashes the monster within him and lets his voice take you through a crazy bumpy funk infested ride. Luckily the fever doesn’t subside and in the final track ‘The Vibe,’ Gingerfeet gives you another composition that stands out from the rest due to the edgy progressive rock influences that are wedged in between the otherwise hard-hitting funky grooves on offer. It is a good way to end this debut effort, because at the end of it all, what it does go to prove is that Gingerfeet are thankfully not a one-trick pony. And this is more than a relief because, as mentioned previously, in terms of musicality the biggest drawback to the band’s entrée into the Indian rock music world is the lack of surprises on the album – which is a big ‘surprise’ since the musical competence of this quintet has never been in doubt. However as debut albums go High And Above: The First Wave is seriously not a bad effort. In fact its production values far outshine most debut albums that are available in the market. And once again, although musically it is not the most brilliant of funk/hard rock albums on offer, yet whatever the band does dish out is pretty commendable. And you do get the feeling that their sophomore effort (whenever it is conceived) will contain a lot more zingy zesty surprises and will also tone down a whole lot on the monotony bit.

Gingerfeet as a live act are indeed a captivating lot and it is on stage where they rule the roost. And this is why the band should probably have laid a lot more emphasis in promoting their music through live channels. Unfortunately, performing just two gigs in Kolkata does not in any way constitute a pre-album tour. And though pre-album gigs may have been performed in other parts of the country, in all honesty enough has NOT been done to promote this album to the music lovers of the country. Which is a shame, because High And Above does deserve a proper listen. It is times like these where the band may feel the top of the ladder is so near and yet so far – perhaps a proper introduction to the band’s music on the live circuit followed by the album’s release would have been the proper sequence to follow. Anyway, what is done cannot be undone – and one can only hope that Gingerfeet will not rush their way to the top and will take the next couple of months to establish themselves and their music. And although this may slow down their climb up the proverbial ladder, being slow and steady will actually hold them good in the years to come. They definitely need to get their music heard across the land, and though this fine debut album will no doubt assist them in achieving that, it is eventually on the strength of their live performances where Gingerfeet will benefit the most.