Indian rock is actually, rocking. And Delhi seems to be leading the revolution that the country is witnessing with gigs happening almost every alternate day, corporate sponsorships, newer venues, a variety of sounds and a huge line up of releases.
While the story so far was all about music releases in spurts, this year quite a few acts (both from Delhi and beyond) are going to hit the market with their own albums and EPs (CDs which are too long to be called singles and too short to be labelled albums).
Unsigned but not unsung The biggest beneficiary in the changing scene is the bands’ confidence -- they no longer wait for big labels for a platform, they are now getting a break from independent labels. Says Dev, “We haven’t approached a big label.
Even Rabbi was released by a small label and he made it big. These Indi-labels give a good platform and understand our creativity.” And though MenWhoPause is in talks with a ‘big’ label for the release of its muchawaited album titled Home, it was the band that was approached and not the other way round.
“The labels can see the growing acceptance and economics of the rock scene. So naturally, they are initiating offers,” says MenWhoPause guitarist Anup Kutty.
This means that even these Indi-labels are getting their act right with proper promotional activities and distribution abilities. So, independent labels like Counterculture, RSJ and Demonstealer records, which have signed up many bands, are fortifying their distribution network in major cities and increasing visibility in important music shops all across the country.
Plus, websites like musicyogi.com, rsjonline.com and others are stocking CDs of Indian bands. Big releases from outside Delhi awaited this year are those of Skinny Alley (Kolkata), Moksha (Chennai), Myndsnare (Bangalore), Metakix and Pentagram (Mumbai), among others.
Growing beyond EP The big rock releases emphasise another point, that every band worth its salt is now laying more stress on albums even though they prefer to test waters with EPs first. Says Surojit Dev, the Them Clones drummer, “An EP is not insignificant as ours helped us reach out to people.
Hopefully, our album will be a blockbuster too.” Dhawal Mudgal, vocalist for the Blues-rock band Half Step Down, adds: “Since we were already recording, we thought it better to record a few more songs and come out with a proper album as an album is an album after all.” Keep rocking, guys!