For all those who thought that you need more than one person to form a band, think again! Manu Vijayan from Kerala, who has been studying engineering at the Army Institute of Technology in Pune for the past four years is the only member of his band ‘My side of the Story’ and this is how!
Before every performance, Manu records the backing track by creating his own music or editing and processing the music for the instruments that he does not know how to play. He plays this in the background and sings along with it, stringing his guitar during the actual performance. Even if it may sound extremely simple, the actual process is very difficult. Says Manu, “I have to first figure out what would be the appropriate instrument and sound. I have to edit it and process it to fit the song that I have composed and try to get the most apt sound for my chosen genre.”
Although Manu has been working independently for almost two years now after being part of several bands in Pune, ‘My side of the Story’ went live in February with its first stage performance. There is a very simple thought process behind the name, “Everything that I do with the music is how I want it to be. The songs I create narrate my story and the music expresses my emotions and hence the name,” Manu says. He also told us that while in a band it becomes very difficult to coordinate and meet deadlines because of several other commitments of other band members. He being the only band member, meeting deadlines is easier.
This 21-year-old musician draws his inspiration from many famous musicians such as John Meyer and James Hetfield. But ask him for one name that is his favourite and “Alexi Laiho (from Children Of Bodom)” is the prompt reply. Ask him why and he says, “Alexi is the one I worship. His music moves me and that is how I want my music to be.” Manu started playing music at the age of nine and currently writes and composes songs that fit into three main genres namely, Soft Rock, Comedy and Metal. While in conversation he let us in on the one reason why he plays music, “Music helps me release my emotions and convey stories in a relatable manner. It is the most constructive medium to express one’s emotions especially anger and frustration.”
He believes that music is much more than just the notes. Manu’s first song was a rock rendition of Vande Mataram followed by an original single called After The Solstice. Some of his other compositions include, The Exam Song and several other metal songs all compiled together in the album, Constructive Destruction.
(Manu is scheduled to perform in Pune in August and in Goa in December this year)