A few months ago, Subir Malik — Parikrama band member and manager — was informed about Chandigarh’s desire of seeing one of India’s oldest rock bands perform again in the city. The words might have come from an interviewer, but they were put forth on the behalf of city’s youth. So, here we are, finally bracing ourselves for a full-on Parikrama performance, scheduled to take place at the British Council, Elante Mall, today evening. As the first Indian rock band completes 22 years this year, the band members talk about their 22-year-old bond and the much-awaited performance in Chandigarh.
When was your previous performance in Chandigarh?
Though we have performed at the Leisure Valley for four years at a stretch and given various other performances in Chandigarh, our last performance here was five years ago. But, performing in non-metro cities is always exciting. The advantage we have here is that people are usually bored of some cultural overdose; so, they love it when such concerts take place.
Tell us about Parikrama@22 .
Since we’ve completed 22 years as a band, we did a five-city tour to commemorate it. The tour kicked off on July 18 and travelled through Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. But, we want to expand it with delivering performances at Vishakhapatnam, Lucknow, Chennai, Sikkim, Guwahati, Darjeeling and of course, Chandigarh."
Three of your four initial members — Subir Malik (manager and keyboard player), Nitin Malik (vocalist) and Sonam Sherpa (guitarist) — are still a part of the band (Chintan, the base player, left two years ago). How did you manage this 22-year-long bond when new-age bands are breaking up everyday?
Some of our other band members have been around for a while too — our tabla player has been around for 16 years; same is the case with our violin player Imran and guitar player Saurabh; they've been around for 14 years. Why we’ve survived this long is because it doesn’t feel like it’s been 22 years — we enjoy what we do and take each day as it comes. Initially, we used to have one band party every month where we wouldn’t talk about business at all.
There must be something that you all share the love for, which keeps you together…
For us, the biggest reinforcement is the response we get from our audience. Every artiste needs a strong reaction from the fans; once we get that, it’s very fulfilling. We have been very lucky. One does have bad shows but a majority of them have been a success.
Some associate a certain kind of darkness with your songs. Why is that so?
There’s no darkness; most of our songs are based on real life instances — Open Sky is about getting up and looking at the sky and feeling on top of the world; Zerox is the story of every boy. Once, we had gone to Bhutan for a performance — that's when 26/11 happened. We didn’t know anything about the attacks till someone told us to switch on the TV. On 29th, we headed to Calcutta for a performance and performed a song on the attacks; we had written it in four hours.