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That Silver lining

Arindam Chatterjee in a freewheeling chat with the Silver band as it recalls moments that brought them together.

music Updated: Sep 16, 2008 18:36 IST
Arindam Chatterjee

As far as appearances go, these guys are cut from the same cloth that creates angst-ridden rock acts.

So when vocalist Mahesh Niroula, of the curly, headbang-worthy locks, clings to the wall of ‘The Apartment’, and bassist Rishi Rai strikes funky poses for the camera, one is certain that some amount of irreverence and tomfoolery will make their way into the imminent interview. <b1>

Initially, the quiet smiles from drummer Amit Godse and guitarist Savio Sebastian undermine the faux scruffiness, until the whole bunch chirps out pleasantries guided by bursts of enthusiastic responses.

First impressions
Savio, grin firmly in place, recalls his meeting with Rishi at a friend’s place. His innocence is evident in the way he recollects Mahesh’s first ‘rock scream’, which had enough pitch and power to impress Savio a year ago.

With fondness, the band recollects moments that brought them together: of Rishi moving from Kolkata to Pune, meeting Savio at a friend’s place, jamming in Rishi’s kitchen, and finally finding a worthy vocalist in the vivacious Mahesh.

Listening to these 20-somethings come up with safe quotes such as “This win (I-Rock) means more responsibility” and “We simply want to have fun on stage”, it is evident why Silver emerged at the top of the Independence Rock heap recently.

These are good-natured, responsible souls who steer clear of angst. Instead, they stress on writing “fresh original songs” (eight till now), and evince a desire to sound unique. “One must own the stage while one is up before the audience,” says Mahesh.

Experimental rock
A rigorous work ethic powered by a creative spirit saw Silver perform its kind of experimental hard rock — an amalgamation of funk, hard rock, jazz and progressive rock — in Taiwan at the beginning of the year for a competition.

Incredibly, the then six-month-old band forged ahead of other Indian contenders for a three-day stay in Taiwan. “In Taiwan, we had to stick to a rigorous schedule...every minute was accounted for. We also realised the importance of having the best equipment around,” says Rishi.

That eagerness to excel shapes the songwriting, rooted in reality. “We try to write material that is different. We play our originals with conviction. Which is why we stand out in competitons,” says Rai.

Common connections
Even when it comes to naming favourite bands, individual tastes are shoved aside. So you have names they connect with and respect: Black Sabbath, Extreme, Rush and Tool.

And they are at ease when talk turns to the future: Mahesh and Amit are yet to graduate while Rishi and Savio have day jobs. “For now, we want to establish the band. But we’ll come up with an album next year,” signs off Rishi.