A rock band that thrives on rough edges and doesn’t wish to be defined in a neat little box — nothing unusual here. But that is till you get in a conversation with Sifar, an indie band that breaks certain norms of how a band functions. Led by Amit Yadav on vocals, Sachin Mittra on guitars and Deepak Singh on drums, the band is preparing to launch their third album, titled 3, today.
Known for exploring dark human emotions and complexities of relationships through their songs, the band has made a conscious effort to be different this time around. “We have a collection of songs with half of them dark, and half of them positive. It gives a nice Yin-Yang vibe to the whole album,” explains Yadav.
This theme of Yin-Yang, and finding balance in the universe, is pertinent in almost everything the band does. From the album art of their latest offering, to working ‘together’ from different locations, they have devised an almost seamless way of functioning. The band hails from Delhi, but now only the drummer works from the city now, while other members have moved base to Mumbai. “That’s the great thing about living in the digital age! We are all connected constantly, even if we are in different geographical locations,” says Yadav.
But how do they practice before a gig? “We practice often as a band, but currently we send tracks to Deepak for him to practice on his own in Delhi, and rest of the band practices on his drum tracks in Mumbai. This is a bit unusual process, but works fine for us,” says Mittra.
The band has already released an online video of their song, Yehi Zindagi Hai, which is a first for them. Not many know that they made two music videos before, but never released them. “This video, written and directed by Columbian film maker Luis Vanegas, is more of a short music film rather than a music video. I am happy that we waited for the right one even though it was a long wait,” says Yadav.
As the world is shifting to online media for almost everything today, the band also makes the most of the medium. Though Yadav agrees that “CDs have some value to them because they give fans something physical to hold on to”, he feels people are eventually going to stream songs online. “We do release CDs for fans who still like to buy them. We have already taken orders for CDs for our new album,” adds Mittra.
Another unusual thing is the nomenclature they follow for their albums. Since ‘sifar’ is an Urdu word that means zero, Yadav decided to take that as the starting point and name the subsequent albums in a chronological order. With ‘3’, fans can expect to hear a “more evolved, darker, and most honest version of the band’s attempt till date,” says Singh.
The band also keeps releasing covers of popular Bollywood numbers, such as Khud Ko Kya Samajhti Hai (from Khiladi) and Gazab Ka Hai Din (from Qayamat se Qayamat tak). With the video and album in place, the band plans to focus more on live shows now.
They name Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Junoon as their biggest musical influences
Before the name ‘Sifar’ was finalised, they contemplated the name Ghulam
They are campus favourites and headliners at IIT campuses
Their biggest strength is the love and support they get from fans
Their biggest weakness is procrastination