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‘Passionate hobbyists’

music Updated: Jul 28, 2011 12:53 IST
Collin Rodrigues
Collin Rodrigues
Hindustan Times
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How does one fulfil a music dream when their nine-to-five job needs attention? For these five city men, the formula is to form
a band, name it The Second Shift and have practice sessions only on weekends and late nights.

“We’re not trained musicians. We’re passionate hobbyists who’re doing more than the average hobbyist,” says guitarist Vijay Natarajan, adding, “We’ve all played in college bands, but none of us are trained.

The members’ professions range from voiceover artistes and bankers to consultants and HR professionals, and managing time can be tricky. “We sacrifice on some sleep and rest time. So we meet at my place nearly every weekend to jam, and more often prior to a gig,” explains guitarist Sandeep Mittal.

So what happens when they land a gig during work hours? Says drummer Ashley Murray, “We don’t! To put it simply, we’re not on an anti-work trip. Work and family are important and take priority. We play when we can manage both work and the music, without sacrificing on the work front. So we end up playing once in two months — but we’re okay with that.”

But what made these five successful individuals start a band and sacrifice on sleep? Was it money or just passion? Says vocalist Vinod Easwaran, “We wanted to play music, and one needs like-minded individuals to jam with. It all happened gradually; we first met to just jam at home on weekends. Then we found out we could go out and play live — not just covers, but our own songs too. The ‘own songs’ bit was important; without them, I don’t think we’d have started playing live.”

The band regularly performs in Mumbai and Pune. Tonight, they will perform at Hard Rock Café. Says Sandeep, “It’s hard for us to travel out of town for a gig because of our work commitments. We have recorded a demo CD with 10 songs, and have 10 more that are yet to be recorded. So that’s 20 songs to select from when we finally hit the studio to record an album, which we hope to do soon.”