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‘The creativity of India is awesome’

Jayce Lewis, ex-drummer of Losing Sun, talks about his love for India, after his recently-concluded VH1 tour to India. Nikhil Taneja tells more.

music Updated: Oct 28, 2009 20:25 IST
Nikhil Taneja

The rock scene in India is bleak - what made you sign on with an Indian record label?
I’ve always been one to push my music. I find India is a country that is forgotten about in this particular genre. When EMI and VH1 made the move to combine efforts, I felt this was the perfect opportunity to launch this style in India.

Tell us about your album, Chapter.
Chapter is an album that everyone will be able to relate to in some way. It’s packed with energy, angst and passion and is channeled through the medium of music. I guess the great thing for the Indian crowd is that I am experimenting this with them. They are the first but they won’t be the last!

How difficult was it for you to transition from a drummer in a band, to a solo artiste?
I found this transition exhilarating, because I was a guitarist earlier for much longer than I was a drummer. I have always experimented with synths, layers and writing. Drums is only a quarter of what I can do — this albusm represents the whole story of Jayce Lewis.

You had a fallout with your band, Losing Sun. What had happened?
The band lied on our Myspace, saying that I had left the band to go solo, because I decided to go solo only after the band split. They not only disappointed and shocked me, but underestimated the fans of the band. I was disgusted when I read the lies online, and it motivated me to make my own journey.

I don’t have many fond memories of Losing Sun now. It was a lot of hard work gone waste. I don’t regret anything and always wish the boys the best of luck. The last few months leading up to the split of the band were dreadful and opened my eyes to who I was in a band with.

What memories do you have of your trip to India? Did you meet any musicians here?
I did — I visited a club where they were dancing, I was a bit drunk and so joined in to bust some Welsh Moves.

Have you ever experimented with a tabla?
Umm.. I’m not sure what that means. Is this a drug that I don’t know about?

Haha, no, it’s an Indian percussion instrument. Have you ever been influenced by the percussions, of say, a Zakir Hussain?
I do have a very clear Eastern influence to my style. I was heavily influenced by Sepultura for all the tribal rhythms that they had. I am still learning and still on the lookout for new influences, but as I said, percussion is only a quarter of what I do. But yes, the drumming on this side of the world is amazing. I’m very inspired by India so I will be taking some ideas home to show the people in Europe what this place is about.

Are there any other Indian musicians you’d like to work with? Danny Boyle worked with A R Rahman and both won the Oscars!
EMI wants me to get involved with a few high profile Indian artistes. You will just have to wait and see what that will bring.

Are there any Indian actresses you’d like to have in any of your videos? Shilpa Shetty and Aishwarya Rai are pretty well known faces in the UK.
I would love to work with Shilpa and Aishwarya — I remember when Shilpa was on Big Brother in the UK, I had much respect as she was by far the most intelligent person on there.

What do you think of Bollywood music?
Yeah, of course, Bollywood has my complete attention! The creativity of India is awesome! Art and music here is huge and
I love that. I want to hear more and would love to get involved.

Being from UK, you surely must have tasted Indian curry? Ever fancy writing a song about that?
I have to tell you that Indian food is my favourite! Murg Makhani from the Court Coleman manor, just up the road from where I live, in Wales, is practically my second home!