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For the love of free music

Two nominees for Rolling Stone Metal Awards talk about the growing do-it-yourself culture.

music Updated: May 14, 2011 13:08 IST
Prayag Arora-Desai

Lauding the efforts of the burgeoning metal music community in the country, the second edition of Rolling Stone India Metal Awards has listed the nominees for this year. Competing for the title of Best Metal Album are two Mumbai-based acts Exhumation and IAFWAY. What make these bands stand out against the other nominees in their category, and the other categories as well, are their strong do-it-youself principles, adhering to which they distributed their albums entirely free of cost. Exhumation’s Consider This (2011) and IAFWAY’s Engravings (2011) were both recorded with no assistance from any record label whatsoever.

Exhumation’s vocalist Aditya Mehta says, “All of us in the band download music. If we had to pay for each and every album that we find interesting, we’d have to sell our homes. We don’t pay for what we listen to, so it isn’t fair to expect others to pay when they want to listen to our music. We don’t feel the need to be affiliated with any label either. It is the band’s job to understand why exactly they need to involve a middleman. We don’t have one, and we seem to be doing just as well as those who do.”

IAFWAY (short for I Am Fake Who Are You?) reveal that theirs has been a story of change. “When we started tracking our album, we had every intention of selling it for profit. We were rushing to finish it and didn’t realise how much more time and money it would cost to produce and promote hard copies. When we did, we reconsidered our options,” says guitarist Vishnu Kumar, who also confesses, “A lot of people who ended up listening to our music probably wouldn’t have if they’d had to pay.” Still in their teens, IAFWAY are also the youngest nominees for the upcoming metal awards, the dates for which haven’t yet been announced.

Free download
A download link for Exhumation’s Consider This is available onmehtakyakehta.
IAFWAY’s Engravings can be downloaded at