Singing with a straight face
The stand-up comic and actor has launched a three-piece band called Alien Chutney.music Updated: Mar 12, 2010 02:28 IST
What is Alien Chutney?It’s supposed to be something you don’t quite understand, are almost insulted by, that you think is way too arbitrary to
be successful, but at the same time, inherently Indian. So it’s very alien but its chutney!
Does your music fit in any genre?
No, not really. It’s funny, but it’s sophisticated music as well. Kaizad Gherda, who’s on the piano and my co-vocalist, and Kabir Singh, who does the digital bit, are serious musicians. We have house, techno and dance tracks, but my music space is bands like Tenacious D and Flight of the Conchords.
How do you go about writing the lyrics for such a genre?
(Straight faced) I consume some Brandy, pick up a guitar, and it all happens! I don’t really know how I write my jokes as well. Most of my comedy and songs come to me in the shower. So, I end up taking four-hour long showers.
What are the songs like?
We have songs about dating a Punjabi woman called My girlfriend is a hawaldar, songs about Punjabi men with man boobs called Paape, you are the dude if you have man boobs.
And we have a song about sleeping with the sabziwali, where the lyrics go, Put your aloo in my jeera, wrap your tamaatars around my kheera, Baby let your masala flow and love this ladka, ’cuz you are my sexy sabziwali and I’m your tadka!
Based on true stories?
(Laughs) No, I’m more likely to be your sabziwali than sleep with one.
So how did the band come about?
I was the vocalist of a very bad rock band in college called Bad Attitude. If I had any common sense, I’d let the dream die. But I think all comedians are failed rockstars, in any case. I’ve been writing songs on my guitar for quite a while now, I just took my music to Kabir and the band happened. I know funny, they know music, and it’s a healthy marriage.
How’d the first gig go?
The first gig was part of our stand up comedy show called Weirdass Hamateur Night. We wanted to see how people would react to the experiment of putting in 45 mins of songs in a stand up comedy set.
I thought I’d get massacred, but they loved it! And now, we are doing a gig a week. We even played at IIT Guwahati recently, and surprisingly, it went well there too.
How serious are you about the band?
Even though I don’t perform stand up for small crowds, I fully intend to earn our bones by performing in smaller venues like clubs. There’s an album coming out in September and in fact, the band’s also composing two songs in a movie I’m acting in, called Shaadi Of The Dead. I want to do a bit of everything, so I’ve two film releases, two books, a music album and playback singing, all happening. Yeah, I don’t sleep much!