An accomplished keyboard player, manager of noted singers such as Mohit Chauhan, and the driving force behind one of India's oldest rock bands, Parikrama, Subir Malik has many facets to his personality.
Dressed in his trademark Pink Floyd t-shirt, Subir entered the premises of Baikunth Resorts, Kasauli, roughly an hour before the bands' scheduled performance at the Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Music Festival on Saturday to study the crowd profile and then make a list of songs that the band would be performing. "As a performer, one has to play according to the audience, only then would they click with you," he reasons.
Back in 1991, recalls Subir, when the members of Parikrama decided to come together and form a rock band in India, music was not a popular career choice. Nonetheless, they took the plunge, with the band gaining immense popularity. Presently, they do more than 150 shows a year.
With members Nitin Malik, Subir's brother who is also the lead vocalist; Sonam Sherpa, the lead guitarist; Saurabh Choudhary, guitarist; Subir, at the keyboard; Gaurav Balani who plays bass guitar; Srijan Mahajan and Ashwin 'Neal' Mani, both playing drums; and Sheel Patel who plays the tambourine, the band is a heavy package.
At the Kasauli festival, they played for an hour and had the crowd swaying to their tunes. Subir, in a candid chat with HT City, narrates the history behind Parikrama and talks about their passionate love for music.
On being the oldest rock band of India. In 1991, technology hadn't penetrated like it has today, so we only had audiotapes. We travelled unreserved, even standing through an entire train journey. Today, though we fly between destinations, we are still the same and I still wear the same Pink Floyd T-shirt that I used to wear then.
On making music for movies
For 21 years, Parikrama did not make any music for Bollywood. But now, Sonam, Nitin and I have just completed composing music for a film called Manju Nath, which is based on a real life incident of the murder of Shanmughan Manjunath in UP, who was shot dead for sealing a corrupt petrol station.
On social media
We call ourselves a live band, because till date, we have not come out with a single album. All our music is on our website www.parikrama.com and can be downloaded from there or from our Facebook page. In fact, we had nearly eleven and a half million downloads.
Piracy can never be stopped. It is basic human nature that if I can get something for free, I would never spend money on it. Nearly 80 % of the record companies of the world have closed down because of piracy. Even music channels have changed their programme strategy and have started playing serials.
On the present music scenario
The last five years have seen some great music bands come forward. Besides, even the audiences have really matured; they have become really open to originals played by the bands. In fact, some school bands in Delhi play fabulous rock music.