Indian bands are making their presence felt in the west today, west is exhausted. They are looking towards India for new forms of music,” says Nathan Harris, vocalist of Galeej Gurus. The rock scene in India has evolved over the past 10 years.
“Previously, we used to wait up to six months for a gig, while today, there are ample options in terms of both events and venues,” says Bruce Lee Mani, frontman of Thermal And A Quarter, arguably Bangalore’s most successful and longstanding band.
It is no wonder then that you find Indian bands touring abroad more often than before. The Raghu Dixit Project, which has brought in Indian elements into the rock genre, is quite popular and the band has been touring across the globe, from UK to USA to Australia.
The Indian audience too has evolved over the years. “Our audience has matured; you can’t get away with a bad show. You have an image and you have to live up to your mark,” says Bruce. Increased awareness to global sounds has helped in refining the taste of young Indian listeners.
Maybe this is why bands today spend more time and effort composing originals, “The best change that has happened is that originality is valued, today own compositions are preferred more than covers,” says Ryan Colaco, drummer, Kryptos, which is the first Indian metal band to have landed themselves contracts abroad.
Ryan, whose band Kryptos also opened for Iron Maiden during their tour to India, believes that Indian musicians and bands have it in them to achieve global success. “We have Indian bands that can gain the fame an Iron Maiden has achieved. Though, it would require a little more focus on the sound,” says he.
Indian bands may be making inroads into the global scene, but the veterans have some words of advice for the new blood. “Starting a rock band and making it your only source of income will not fetch you anything, but making use of your musical talents in streams like teaching, making jingles for ads and sound engineering might help in establishing yourself within a secure career” says Bruce.
With better venues and bigger events cropping up every year, rock and metal bands in India are finding a niche of their own. “We need more of these to encourage people and give them the quality of music they deserve,” signs off Ryan.