If you measure it by the level of luck and hard work, being a successful band (or just putting together one) seems probably second only to being the astronaut who gets to land on the moon. We exxaggerate, of course, but having an indie band is tough. Though, it’s never been a deterrent for young musicians who swear by original tunes.
The past one year has seen at least two dozen new bands sprouting on Mumbai’s indie music scene. Among these are some that stand out for their fresh sound, showmanship and overall appeal. Here are eight young acts, all of whom have the makings of superstar bands.
The Lightyears Explode
Genre: Alternative indie punk
USP: High-energy gigs, catchy songs
Bandspeak: “We are glad we were part of the scene and still are. Only sometimes if feels like the scene is dead. We are looking forward to playing as many gigs as possible and getting tighter and better day by day. Also, we are focussing on writing faster, harder and better songs,” says drummer Aaron Carvalho.
Spud In The Box
Genre: Alternative pop-rock
USP: Fresh melodies, expansive sound and vocal harmonies
Bandspeak: “We’re in a kind of resurgence phase right now, and the excitement of it all feels amazing. And with people having certain expectations, we’re learning to drown all other voices and trust our instincts. It’s an uphill task; gruesome but worth it,” says vocalist-guitarist Ankit Dayal.
USP: Simple, profound lyrics, mellow vocals and rich melodies
Bandspeak: “We are very excited with how our debut album is shaping up. Some really cool collaborations have happened this year. We are looking at a whole new sound,” says vocalist Arijit Datta.
Genre: Alternative dance punk
USP: Minimal, yet intense, sound
Bandspeak: “We’ve had a good year. We played gigs across the country and are preparing to release an EP soon. We’ll be touring a lot to promote it,” says vocalist and guitarist Rishi Bradoo of the trio, adding, “It’s great to see more and more young people taking up music full-time.”
The Riot Peddlers
Genre: Hardcore punk
USP: Onstage personality
Bandspeak: “We’re focussing on coming up with new songs, more than looking to play gigs. We’ve been playing the same nine songs for quite a while, so we’re kind of bored of it,” says vocalist-guitarist Arun S Ravi.
USP: Melodious compositions and interaction with audience
Bandspeak: “Since we only perform the lyrical works of Kabir, people think we sing bhajans. But our set comprises of songs that are reggae, pop and rock, so we, in a way, present Kabir’s poetry in a more contemporary way,” says violinist Viswanath Ramaswamy.
Rachel And The Plutonians
Genre: Indie blues/rock
USP: Powerhouse vocals and their musical diversity
Bandspeak: “It’s been exciting to play our original music and see how it has shaped up over the last seven months. My amazing musicians — Yohan Marshall, Navneet Narasimhan, Jehangir Jehangir and Samir Karnik — only make this journey more enjoyable. We have started the recording process and should be out with an EP soon,” says vocalist Rachel Varghese.
USP: Upbeat songs and lively showmanship
Bandspeak: “We’re working on new material, which will be part of our debut album. It’s going to be themed around pop culture, with references from comics, films etc,” says drummer Karun Kannampilly.