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The terribly talented Bhayanak Maut - Unplugged

With blazing fretwork, sledging vocals and mind-scrambling drums, the Indian metal band's latest EP - Metastasis is an addiction. Here're the band members in a candid chat with Sonakshi Babbar.

music Updated: Oct 30, 2010 12:38 IST
Sonakshi Babbar
Sonakshi Babbar
Hindustan Times

On first listen, Bhayanak Maut didn't set my entrails on fire neither did it make my jaws drop in brutal wonder. But with blazing fretwork, sledging vocals and mind-scrambling drums, the band's latest EP – was a gut assault. Metastasis is vicious, raw, and straight from the garage. It's a notch higher than BM's previous stuff; reason enough to keep my thumb glued to the repeat button on the i-pod. Anyways, amidst delirium caused by Chakna for Church, I decided to interview Bhayanak Maut. While navigating the insane maze of security and roadblocks to find a spot for the interview, I finally found a footpath where the BM fellows were humble enough to plonk themselves.Here is a sneak peek into the fearless Bhayanak Maut.You just released an EP - Metastasis. Why an EP and not a full-fledged album?Venky: Our earlier EP was called Malignant and hence, the next step was obviously Metastasis. Also, since it was an Internet release, Metastasis was a fitting title for it to go viral. The EP was an effort to release material that we wrote with Jai Rowkavi and also the one track that didn't fit into the previous album, namely, Chakna for Church. There has been a marked changed in the BM sound and hence we wanted to give people a preview of what we are up to before we release an album. Also, releasing a full-fledged album is clearly not a walk in the park unless we have enough finances to do an album the way we want to do it.MtasYour Untitled album cover shows an inkblot based on the Rorschach test. What's the significance of Metastasis' cover?Venky: The cover art shows a family photograph, but uncannily, everyone seems to have the same face. Just like Metastasis is the spread of this disease called Bhayanak Maut that will surely grip your neck and give you a good shake. Also, as Bhayanak Maut we are one entity. The cover is open to various interpretations, which makes it's clearly BM, because we refuse to be bracketed in any one kind of experience - musical or visual. Pick up the Untitled album to know more.Do you think web has evolved as a platform for releasing music?Aditya: Definitely, if you look at it kids who listen to metal aren't willing to shell out money to buy a CD. If a metal fan wants to pick up a CD of a metal band, its not available in India, he/she will have to go online and download it.That's a how it's been for the past ten years. If I put myself in a kid's shoe, I would also prefer to download.Therefore, the EP is our gift to the fans, whatever money we got from the sales of our CD's and merchandise has gone into the making of this EP. You bought our stuff, here take some free music home!Sunny:After we put the EP for free download our fans have gone up to 5, 800. People like free stuff and this way it puts us across to a wider range of audience.What makes Bhayanak Maut different from other bands?Vinit: We are six different people who aren't in other bands!I'm referring to the difference in you experiment with how BM sounds or prefer fine-tuning you existing sound?Vinit: (Laughs) Oh! You can't put a finger on it. It's a combination of different things. From different range of our influences to our varied styles we end up creating a unique sound.Rahul: It's a sound that has grown over time. From 2003 to 2010 our sound has been evolving. We have become better as musicians; we've understood instruments better. We have reached a stage where we know what direction we want our sound to go in. Sunny: We've been experimenting with music, coming to the jam room, treating every music differently, making each song sound different. All of us have different interpretation of a song, and what comes out is truly BM. Venky: Every BM song is an experiment. We know that we want the songs to be a completely new experience. We want it to be brutal. We want it to be fast. We want it to blow people's minds off. Hence, the effort that goes into every song is equal and extensive.But don't be surprised if we throw an ambient track or an electronic track your way - it's just us. We want to make music, and as long as it's good, who cares.How do you go about the song-writing process? Do you make a vague composition and leave it to others to flesh out their own parts?Vinay: Aditya and Venky have worked on the songs together for the EP. We have a very strong ESP - our mental capabilities, are better than any other bands. As soon as the riffs are ready, they'll just sit at home and mentally channel it to us, we pick it up telepathically (winks).Venky: The BM song-writing process is not at all a science, in fact we have a lot of fun doing that. An idea is brought to the table by either Aditya or Venky, which is then stitched and fixed and thrown around and rejected and mended and improved by everyone else in the band. Rahul 'lays the smacketh down' with his drum kit with Vinit by figuring out the right rhythm for the song. Vinay and Sunny write the lyrics and decide on the vocal delivery for the song. Do you like playing on-stage or recording in a studio?Vinit: They are two really different experiences. Live is more adrenaline; you get to see people reacting to your music right there, unlike reviews, which happen days later. You can see the look on their faces and you feed off the energy. Before every gig there's a certain amount of tension and nervousness. The reason we put in so much energy is because we all are eager to impress. On the other-hand, studio tends to get more technical. You really need to know your instrument, sound and what you want your end product to sounds like.See Video InterviewHave you had any on-stage goof-ups?Aditya: We had gone to play a show in Goa, fifteen minutes before we go on stage I I fell down from the jeep and fractured my right hand arm. Another time, we had gone to play a show in where I went into a furious stage of head-banging and the next thing I know I was on the floor! Once we played a show with one guitar as my guitar was plugged to the tuner.You guys played and awesome gig at the Deccan Rock with Textures. How was the experience?Rahul: Jai played drums for the Textures gig as I was in Scotland. But of what I've heard the gig was excellent.We look up to them for inspiration, so to share the stage with them was just too awesome.Vinay: They are the nicest guys around. They gave us food, which even the organisers didn't give.I was very happy that we got the opportunity to play with them. Remko, the bassist of Textures wore a Bhayanak Maut shirt and we're very thrilled about that. We would love to tour and open a show for them.What are your future projects?Rahul: We have lots of future fans but we just hope that they all fall into the place. For now we've couple of shows in the pipeline. We are starting to tour now and we hope to play as many shows as possible. Do have any videos in the pipeline?Vinit: Yes but as of now whatever money we'll get will go back into equipment to make us sound.Our next goal is to put out another full-length album and along-with that if we can raise the money to make a video then by all means.With bands like Scribe, Demonic Resurrection rocking the scene, how strong is the competition?Rahul: It's all healthy competition, it feels good to see so many bands kicking ass and playing such wonderful music.Vinay: The metal scene is really small in India, we know each other really well and are honest to each other. MautMetal is perceived as violent and angst-ridden music. How do you tackle this criticism?Venky: Metal is less violent than communal riots! It's fun music; people should appreciate it for what it is. There's nothing wrong about it.Vinay: If anyone thinks it's that way, and if the media fuels it, so be it. Metal is a fantastic release for us. It's the same for people who play and for those who come to enjoy it. We are a band that plays metal, we know what the truth is, it's fun and it's a lifestyle. As a metal band in India, how do you make money?Rahul: This is a personal question; we don't like to disclose such things on camera. Let's just say we make it happen, it's something to do with jobs and I don't meet Steve Jobs (Laughs). We are happy with our day jobs, the band is a release for all of us and we don't treat this as a job. But we do make money by playing shows. Earlier a sponsor helped us out monetarily because of which we could record our album in a big studio. Money doesn't come by easily if you are a band but with time it could become an option for earning more money. We are hoping to reach that stage soon. ***Line-up: Vinay Venkatesh & Sunneith Revankar - Vocals, Aditya Gopinathan Nair & R.Venkatraman - Guitars, Vinit Bharucha - Bass, Rahul Hariharan - Drums, Jai Row Kavi - Drums (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010)

First Published: Oct 29, 2010 18:04 IST