“Classical? Fusion? Abe koi metal/rock band ko kyun nahi bula lete?”
This was the first reaction of many students when they heard that Advaita were going to do a gig at Pearl ’15 (Including me). Although I’d heard a couple of their songs back in the days when Coke Studio was a rage, I wasn’t the type who adored Saregamapa stuff (don’t judge, I just don’t get it!). But the magic that Advaita created in their 2 hour long performance left all of us begging for more. I met with the members after their gig; they were exhausted and in no mood to give a same old, same old kinda interview, but did not turn down their brand new fan’s request to ask a few questions.
- How did you guys meet each other? How did the band come into existence?
Ujwal: “Ab yaar, woh dating website band ho gayi”
(No, don’t worry girls, he was just kidding.)
Abhishek: Basically, the Delhi music scene at that time wasn’t that big. We did know each other. Everybody was playing in different bands, watching others play. We came together because we wanted to do something interesting, something new. The main focus was writing and creating our own music. And thus, Advaita was born. The band was smaller then (FYI, now there’s 8 of them!). It’s been more than a decade since.
- What is your song-writing process like? Do you have a specific lyricist or is it a joint effort?
Abhishek: Some guys do write more than the others. For example, Chayan writes the solo english parts, I wrote some of the earlier songs. The activity does not include everybody, but yes, it’s 3-4 guys.
- What kind of a crowd do you prefer? The young, energetic engineering college crowd; an audience accustomed to classical music or something like a Hard Rock Cafe?
Unanimously: The first one, for sure. Especially when the college is BITS, Pilani. You guys are amazing!!
(Okay, he did not say those last 2 sentences, but I’m good at reading minds.)
- Post Fusion, Psychedelic. Very few bands can describe themselves using these words. Advaita has such a unique sound. Are there any influences behind your style of music?
Abhishek: Actually if you listen to what we listen to everyday, ie. if you borrow our playlists, every band member’s will be different. So that’s not really something that affects our music,it’s more like- How can electronica, bass guitar, sarangi, and the tabla come together and still sound..
Me: Brilliant, the word you’re looking for.
- What are your best live-performance memories? Feel free to say Pearl ’15.
Abhishek: (Laughs) Definitely one of the best.
Me: Thank you, and honestly speaking?
Album Launch in Delhi. (Suhail chips in)
Singapore, and recently, NH7, Pune was good. The Bangalore show too was memorable.
Suhail: Delhi is our home ground. The people there are like family. They always come to our concerts to show their support.
Abhishek: It’s more satisfying when you get an excellent audience from far away. Like the one in Calcutta.
Suhail: Recently… the Bangalore concert back in January. The reception we got there was amazing.
Unanimously: Yeah, that one was really good.
Abhishek: The thing was that people knew our songs thoroughly. Something we weren’t expecting.
Chayan: I think the best part about today was that a lot of people were listening to our stuff for the first time. It’s more challenging to get the crowd to love you at first sight.
- College is the starting point of many musical journeys. What tips or advice would you like to give budding bands?
Ujwal: Discipline, Dedication and
Gaurav: Become a DJ. Do something else.(Tongue-in-cheek)
Abhishek: Play exotic instruments. Alright, jokes apart, nowadays the music scenario is really awesome. Every month or so we get to hear a new band. There was a time when some music was appreciated, rest wasn’t. But today, up and coming artists are getting recognition. Humble advice- Just be yourself and keep your passion for music alive.
- Advaita is original and ground-breaking. It is very unlike the clichéd mainstream bands. Why did you choose this path? Was it a desire to be different from the others?
Suhail: We didn’t exactly ‘choose’ this path. It was just people coming together and making music, that was the plan and we’ve always carried it through. It was indeed a little bit hard to crack into the scene, but people started appreciating what we were doing, and suddenly we’re in the market.
- Do you always stick to your songs during gigs?
Chayan: Yes. We’ve had a couple of shows where people asked us to play some Bollywood music, but this is the only one thing where we turn down fan requests.
Do check out Advaita, thank me later. Here’s my top 3 list to get you started:
- Ghir Ghir
- So lost
PS :Advaita played an exclusive song for us! Jealous much?