Move over albums and live shows. Bollywood is the newest platform for music bands to belt out their best. Be it Kailasa or Midival Punditz, they have been roped in to create film music that is "different" and the bands say the visibility and money are too good.
The upcoming Karthik Calling Karthik and Mumbai Cutting are two prime examples. "It's a transition of the Indian film industry in Mumbai. They have started accepting and appreciating different styles. Cinema goers now appreciate variety. They like cutting edge music and international standards rather than typical film music," Tapan Raj, member of Midival Punditz, told IANS.
"The new age cinema that has taken birth has given rise to the requirement of new age music," he added. Raj and Gaurav Raina, who constitute Midival Punditz, have collaborated with Indian American composer and musician Karsh Kale to form MPKK, a new production unit for their film music projects, including Karthik Calling Karthik.
Bollywood is slowly embracing the talent of live bands which have a distinct style and their own fan following. Director Anurag Kashyap's 2004 film Black Friday, which revolved around the 1993 Mumbai bombings, had soundtrack by contemporary fusion music band Indian Ocean. Their song Bande became a cult song.
"The new bunch of directors that we have today don't want to stick to one kind of music. They think that bands can provide different kinds of music, not the typical ones and thus they come to us," revealed Rahul Ram, vocalist and bass guitarist of Indian Ocean.
The band, which produced hit albums like Kandisa and Desert Rain, has also composed two songs for Aamir Khan's production venture Peepli Live. Ram also said that collaborating with films is a fruitful exercise for them as it helps in enhancing their popularity and also in making good money.
"If your song in a film becomes a hit, then it definitely helps. Money comes from live shows and if you have a hit song to perform at concerts then money will obviously flow in," he said.
Do they face creative freedom issues while composing for films? "Creative freedom is never an issue when you work in films. A director approaches you for his films only when he likes your work and wants you to produce a soundtrack in your own distinct style," singer Kailash Kher, who is part of the band Kailasa, told IANS.
Kailasa, which also includes Paresh and Naresh Kamath, composed music for films like "Dasvidaniya" and "Chandni Chowk To China". Echoing similar sentiments, Kale clarified: "We have always chosen projects where we get enough creative freedom. Thus we always work with people who want our kind of music. They don't want us to do something else.
"Definitely while working on a film you need to detach yourself from you and create music for the character and the music should do full justice to the scene. But that doesn't mean you have to compromise on your style," he added.
Others who have composed music for films include Pakistani band Strings, which made the title track of Sanjay Dutt-starrer Zinda, and Euphoria, which is behind the soundtrack of Mumbai Cutting, a compilation of 11 short films by 11 directors. Fuzon has also contributed to the soundtrack of Mumbai Cutting. It seems Bollywood is increasingly becoming the next step for bands.